Vein 'Glue' or Medical Adhesives Closure

Glue for the treatment of varicose veins has come about because a few years ago a doctor in Germany thought "we've been using glue to treat arteries for years - why don't we try it on veins?"

Now the use of glue to treat varicose veins has now been demonstrated through a number of scientific trials to be very successful. (1)

Glue or "Endovenous Adhesive Ablation" is delivered by inserting a catheter or small tube which is passed up inside the vein to the top of the leg.  The catheter is withdrawn and the glue is injected inside the vein. The vein is immediately sealed and the effect is almost immediate.  

It's main area of use is to treat refluxing or incompetent saphenous veins which are the cause of more than 80% of severe primary varicose veins. 

Glue has a number of advantages.

  • Only one needle! 
    This is to gain access to the saphenous vein
  • Relatively quick procedure
  • Straight back to work and normal activities
  • No compression stockings required
  • Both legs can be treated at one sitting
  • Next to no discomfort (except inflammation on occasions - see below)
  • Glue is very safe
  • Theoretically no risk at all to arteries, nerves or lymphatics
  • Success rates equivalent to Endovenous Thermal Ablation (laser or radiofrequency)

Disadvantages 

  • Expensive ( there is no medicare rebate)
  • Inflammation can sometimes occur - not a significant problem in my experience
  • Long term efficacy data is not yet available but medium term data is very encouraging 

About "Glue"

Glue is cyanoacrylate or more commonly known as superglue. 
Don't worry because medical adhesive glues have been used in medicine for decades so there is already a lot known about this product with regard to human safety. 

References
1. Yasim A, Eroglu E, Bozoglan O, Mese B, Acipayam M, Kara H. A new non-tumescent endovenous ablation method for varicose vein treatment: Early results of N-butyl cyanoacrylate (VariClose®). Phlebology. 2017.