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Am I Too Old? Varicose Vein Treatment at Any Age

We’re often asked, ‘Am I too old to treat my varicose veins?’  The answer is no. Since modern varicose vein treatments are largely non-surgical, there are appropriate treatment options for those of any age. While varicose veins are more common with each decade of life, they can appear on young teenagers or at any time in older adults.    For active older adults, addressing varicose vein conditions is even more important to maintain healthy legs.    Otherwise, symptoms of leg heaviness, fatigue, swelling and pain can slow you down.  There are other complications of untreated varicose veins such as superficial thrombophlebitis, varicose vein rupture and leg ulceration, in severe cases.  There are a variety of minimally invasive treatment options for varicose veins, and depending on the individual preference, severity of the condition and the veins affected will help you and your doctor determine the best treatment course.

This is a 90 year-old female who wanted her varicose veins treated because they were bothersome to her when she played tennis and she didn’t like the way they look. These varicose veins were treated with painless injections, given at two treatment sessions. This is called foam sclerotherapy treatment of varicose veins.
The after picture is at one month following the varicose vein injections (foam sclerotherapy). She tolerated the treatment well and she was able to return to normal activities right away, with the main restriction being wearing compression stockings for several weeks.

 

New Foam Treatment of Varicose Veins

In November of 2013, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)  approved Varithena,™   a new type of foam treatment for the treatment of patients with incompetent veins and visible varicosities of the great saphenous vein (GSV) system. Varithena is a pharmaceutical-grade, low-nitrogen, polidocanol foam dispensed from a canister device. In two pivotal, placebo-controlled Phase III trials, VANISH-1 and VANISH-2, Varithena achieved a clinically meaningful improvement in the symptoms of superficial venous incompetence and the appearance of visible varicosities and addressed the underlying venous incompetence in the majority of patients treated. Varithena (polidocanol injectable foam) is a sclerosing agent indicated for the treatment of incompetent great saphenous veins, accessory saphenous veins and visible varicosities of the great saphenous vein system above and below the knee.  Varithena improves the symptoms of superficial venous incompetence and the appearance of visible varicosities.  Treatment is a minimally invasive, non-surgical procedure that requires neither tumescent anesthesia nor sedation.  Foam sclerotherapy has been used for years by medical doctors. What is new with Varithena , is that the foam is pre-made with low-nitrogen as opposed to room air, and is dispensed in a proprietary canister.   It is not yet available in doctors offices. Making Foam

Dr. Oz Show Highlights Foam Sclerotherapy Treatment for Varicose Veins

The June 1st episode of The Dr. Oz Show brought attention to foam sclerotherapy. He describes it as latest, most advanced technique to eradicate painful, varicose veins. Dr. Oz’s guest demonstrated how the procedure is performed: He used a vein light to visualize the veins, followed by a painless injection of a foamed solution. He also mentions that the old Varicose Vein Treatments hurt because of the saline solution that used to be used, but newer solutions such as polidocanol, are nearly painless.

We’re pleased that Dr. Oz brought much need attention to foam sclerotherapy, as we have been using it as an alternative to surgery for years. What most people don’t realize is that foam sclerotherapy is not new, but rather newly recognized. Foam sclerotherapy offers patients a non-surgical alternative for the treatment of varicose veins. There is essentially no down-time and return to normal activities is immediate.