Isabel from Shropshire has asked whether the superglue treatment for varicose veins is actually worth the extra money over laser or one of the other endovenous treatments.
Professor Whiteley replies, “Well really I think the answer to that depends on why you want to have it and if you are suitable for it. The superglue or Venaseal™ treatment is an excellent treatment. We have now used it in a study and we are one of the centres taking part in international studies showing how well it works. It not only glues the vein together but also destroys it so after a year we just can’t see the vein at all from the inside.
The advantage of the superglue is that, because it doesn’t use heat, there is very little local anaesthetic required. Basically there is only one injection of local anaesthetic before the superglue goes in.
Now, although there is only one injection per vein of course, you may have some other injections for things called phlebectomies. This is where we remove the lumpy veins afterwards; or you may have foam sclerotherapy. So what it does is reduce the number of injections you are having dependant on how many veins need gluing, and reduces the amount of local anaesthetic needed.
When you come to see your specialist at The Whiteley Clinic, you will be told whether the superglue procedure will make a major difference to you or not. It may be at that stage you say – well, actually if it is only a case of fewer injections, I am not really interested. On the other hand, if you have quite a lot of work to be done to your veins, you may decide it is worth having fewer injections. Once you have talked to the consultant and had your scan, we can then help you make your decision.”