Venous Rising: New treatment veins don’t have a chance

Venous Rising: New treatment veins don’t have a chance

The Stars are Lining Up

You’ve heard the commercial for Roach Motel. Right? They check in but they don’t check out. Roaches don’t have a chance. With our latest vein treatment methods, veins don’t have a chance either. When I say latest, that is 100% true. We are one of the first vein centers in the country to get approval for this new FDA medicine for the injection of varicose veins.


  1. Everyone wants new and improved.
  2. We all want new discoveries, new technology, and new ideas.
  3. Let’s discuss the incredible new advances in the world of veins.

Let’s concentrate on the big, ropey varicose veins.

On August 11, 2014, for the first time, a new injectable medicine called Varithena was used in the United States to treat a patient. The FDA has extensively studied Varithena. It is very safe and has been tested for over ten years in over one thousand patients.It was finally FDA approved in November of 2013.

How this New Medicine Works

Varithena, the new varicose vein medicine, comes in the form of a foam. I inject it into your veins.  The injection results in your veins shrinking up. Your body absorbs them. Hundreds of other veins take over. Your circulation is improved. Your legs will look and feel better. We discussed exactly what Varithena is and its cost in this article.

Varithena foam is safer than the older hand-made foam that doctors have used for years. It is very effective. It results in an improved quality of life on close follow up studies. It is fast and safe. It is a great advance. With this latest treatment veins gradually absorb and disappear.

“Krazy glue” for Veins? Really?

Unbelievably, a medical form of Krazy glue has been used for decades for closing blood vessels. Neurosurgeons have used it to close aneurysms and vascular malformations in the arteries in the brain for decades.
In a recent study done last year, 70 varicose vein patients from Britain, Germany, Denmark and The Netherlands had successful treatment veins with this medical form of Krazy Glue. The name of this glue is VenaSeal.

The success rate was 92.9% after twelve months.

The first VenaSeal cases in Canada were performed last year in Vancouver and Toronto. Nine patients had 100% vein closure. It doesn’t get better than that. According to the European study’s co-principal investigator, Dr. Thomas Proebstle from Germany, “Cyanoacrylate embolization is an effective and durable solution to the problem of incompetent great saphenous veins.” The FDA has not yet cleared glue for the treatment of varicose veins.

Combining Medicine and Scratching the Vein

Clarivein is another innovative approach to rid yourself of varicose veins. Here’s how it works.

It uses mechanic-chemical ablation. That means I insert a spinning wire into the target vein through a tube. The tube is like an IV. The inside wall of the vein is scratched and damaged by the wire that rotates at 3500 revolutions per minute. I  inject medicine into the vein at the same time. That destroys the vein with a double whammy.

The medicine can do its job better to kill the vein after the wire has damaged it first. Unfortunately, here is no billing code for this procedure. That makes reimbursement by the insurance companies difficult or impossible.

Treatment Veins and Our Fast-paced World

We live in a high tech world. Smart phones, computers in our cars, incredible digital cameras, and internet connections and speed are improving every day. We demand that they be fast. The faster, the better. Fast computers, fast food, instant messaging, and fast and easy recipes. Of course, it follows that we need to lose weight fast. Time is wasting.
These new treatment methods for varicose veins are fast and high tech. Less pain, less bruising and a faster return to all activities including heavy exercise. The latest improvements promise no support stockings. I can’t tell you how many times that my patients complain about the hot, heavy stockings.

Often people say it is the worst part of the whole vein treatment process. No stockings? Now we’re talking about serious improvement in the treatment of varicose veins!

The Future of Vein Treatments

I admit that I am excited. We live in an exciting time. In 1975, I watched Star Trek. The Star Trek doctor diagnosed and cured the crew with a computer thingy.

Bones McCoy, the doctor, waved a medical “Tricorder” over people to scan and analyze their medical problem. Today, these devices really exist.

We are getting closer and closer to the magic wand that everyone wants for the treatment of varicose veins.


In conclusion, it’s not just grannies who get varicose veins. Doctors perform over 550,000 varicose vein procedures around the world each year. The number of procedures in the U.S. has gone up 435% since 2002. Over 50 million Americans have varicose veins. Foam, glue, and mechanical-chemical rotating wires are the latest and greatest and all do the job.

  • Laser and radiofrequency, the current standards of care, may be on their way out soon.
  • These newer and improved technologies will make our lives better and more productive.
  • Our vein center offers the very latest FDA approved technologies.

For all of you Trekkies, “Veins: the final frontier. These are the voyages… Our mission is to boldly go where no man has gone before.” Call us today to discover more about this exciting Enterprise. Warp speed, Mr. Sulu!

About The Author

Dr. John Happel

Dr. John Happel has been in practice as a surgeon since 1986 in the Pittsburgh region. He specializes in vascular surgery and has subspecialized in the treatment of varicose and spider veins since 1999. Dr. Happel is board certified in vascular surgery and recertified in vascular surgery in 2012. He was chosen in 1985 to fulfill the position for the vascular surgical fellowship at the world renowned Mayo Clinic.