What is VenaSeal™?

VenaSeal™ is a relatively new vein closure technique available by Medtronic. Approved by the FDA in 2015, VenaSeal utilizes a specialized chemical sealant known as cyanoacrylate.

This sealant has a long history of use in closing human vessels for various medical conditions and has been specially formulated by Medtronic for treating varicose vein-related disorders.

How Does VenaSeal™ Work?

Cyanoacrylate, often referred to as “glue”, behaves similarly to caulk or hobby glue. Initially in a thick liquid form, the medication polymerizes upon contact with blood, transforming into a solid-like consistency. This unique property allows the material to effectively seal the targeted vein, halting further blood flow.

VenaSeal device manufactured by Medtronic. Image source.

Who is VenaSeal™ For?

VenaSeal may be recommended by your physician if you have been diagnosed with saphenous vein insufficiency and if your anatomy is suitable for this treatment method.

When properly performed, VenaSeal demonstrates a high success rate, with a closure rate of up to 95% at 5 years based on large clinical studies. This success rate is comparable to other treatment techniques such as laser ablation and radiofrequency ablation.

How is VenaSeal™ Done?

VenaSeal is performed as an office-based procedure, typically without the need for sedation or anesthesia. Here’s an overview of the process:

1. Placement of Delivery Catheter

A delivery catheter, similar to a large IV, is inserted into the leg vein to be treated. The physician carefully positions the catheter under ultrasound guidance.

2. Delivery of Medication

The VenaSeal system delivers the medication directly into the vein, effectively closing it off.

3. Minimal Discomfort

Because the entire procedure is performed through a needle puncture, patient discomfort is minimal. Most patients require only a small amount of local anesthetic at the puncture site.

Advantages of VenaSeal™ over other Vein Closure Techniques

Heat-Free Closure

VenaSeal utilizes a glue medication instead of heat to close the vein. This eliminates the risk of heat damage to the skin or surrounding structures, making the procedure more comfortable for patients. There is no need for precautions such as tumescence injection, further enhancing patient comfort.

Disadvantages of VenaSeal™

VenaSeal employs cyanoacrylate, a medication injected into the body to close the vein. Like any medication, there is a risk of adverse reactions or allergies. According to a large, single-center study, the combined rate of adverse reactions and allergies is approximately 6%. Most reactions manifest as mild and self-limiting local inflammation at the treated vein. However, less than 1% of cases involve full-body allergy.

Patients should inform their Fox Valley Surgical Specialist of any history of vascular glue procedures and any previous unwanted reactions before undergoing VenaSeal. If localized redness, swelling, or pain occurs post-procedure, it may indicate a mild local reaction. While usually not cause for concern, patients should contact their healthcare provider for monitoring and treatment. In rare cases of full-body rash, facial or body swelling, difficulty breathing, or severe limb pain, emergency care should be sought immediately, as it may indicate a serious allergic reaction.

Your Experienced Vascular Team

Dr. Robert Ballard

Robert Ballard, MD

Dr. Alexander Tretinyak
Alexander Tretinyak, MD
Sarah Wilson, MD
Sarah Wilson, MD
Dr. Jason Le
Jason Le, MD
Ariel Stilp
Ariel Stilp, APNP