VNUS Closure® is a minimally invasive alternative to vein stripping surgery. An innovation in varicose vein treatment, VNUS Closure® is a minimally invasive vascular procedure that improves upon uncomfortable vein stripping surgery. The VNUS Closure procedure involves using a small catheter to heat the end of a diseased vein, shrinking and closing the vessel and rerouting blood flow to healthy veins.
Varicose veins are a form of peripheral venous disease that result from venous reflux—a condition that affects roughly 25 million Americans. Venous reflux occurs when valves that keep blood flowing through a vein become damaged or diseased, causing blood to pool in the legs or flow backwards. This can lead to:
- Increasingly noticeable, dark or bulging veins in the legs
- Swelling in the legs or ankles
- Leg aches or cramps
- Leg heaviness
- Leg weakness
- Changes in the color or texture of leg skin
The VNUS Closure procedure involves four main steps:
- Using ultrasound imaging to map the diseased vein and identify its specific location.
- Inserting a very thin catheter through a small incision into the upper end of the diseased vein, where an anesthetic and saline is injected to numb the area and help empty blood from the vein.
- Delivering radiofrequency energy through the catheter to heat the vein wall, causing it to shrink and close.
- Gently removing the catheter and confirming the closure of the diseased vein through ultrasound imaging.
Comparatively, traditional vein stripping surgery requires incisions in the calf and groin area and is associated with greater post-surgical discomfort.
What to Expect
VNUS Closure can be performed on an outpatient basis using local or general anesthesia. Walking is encouraged immediately following the procedure, and many patients can fully resume normal activities in just one or two days. Additionally, most patients report significant symptom relief in one to two weeks after treatment.
The most common side effects of the VNUS Closure procedure are minimal bruising, swelling and scarring. Some patients report mild numbness around the groin, thigh or knee, although this usually resolves on its own in a few months.
Although rare, VNUS Closure can lead to complications such as:
- Blood clots
- Vessel perforation
- Vein inflammation
- Pulmonary embolus
VNUS Closure is a highly rated treatment with exceedingly positive patient satisfaction scores. However, the success of any medical procedure is dependent on the patient’s adherence to recovery guidelines as well as the skill of the surgeon. At Tampa General Hospital’s Heart & Vascular Institute, patients benefit from the world-class expertise of nationally recognized, board-certified vascular surgeons who routinely perform varicose vein surgery using state-of-the-art, IAC-accredited vascular ultrasound imaging technology.