Varicose Vein Treatment: What Is VNUS Closure (ClosureFAST)?


VNUS closure is a popular type of minimally invasive varicose vein treatment. It is used to specifically target and seal off varicose veins that are causing medical problems. This procedure is also known as ClosureFAST and, more formally, as the VNUS RF (radiofrequency) Ablation system. It is almost always performed on an outpatient basis. The post procedure pain is minimal and the healing time is fast for most patients receiving this type of varicose vein treatment.

How Does VNUS Closure Work?

A thin catheter is inserted into the varicose vein. It is then carefully guided through the vein using duplex ultrasound to the point where treatment of the vein will start. Radiofrequency energy is then applied to the inner wall of the varicose vein. This causes the collagen in the inner wall to break down and the vein to “ablate,” i.e. collapse upon itself, and essentially become scar tissue that the body reabsorbs. As the catheter is slowly withdrawn, retracing its route into the vein, additional radiofrequency is applied. The whole procedure usually takes about thirty minutes to an hour. The patient is sent home the very same day, usually wearing a pair of compression stocking. He or she is also encouraged to go for walks right away to speed up the healing process.

How Does VNUS Closure Compare To EVLT?

The VNUS closure procedure is very similar to EVLT and other laser based varicose vein treatment options with the exception that the the source of energy is different. In laser vein treatments, laser energy is used to ablate the damaged (varicosed) vein but in a VNUS closure procedure, radiofrequency (RF) is used instead. 

What Is radiofrequency (RF) Exactly?

Radiofrequency (RF) is a type of energy that falls between twenty kilohertz (KHz) and three hundred gigahertz (GHz) on the electromagnetic spectrum. For medical purposes, what you really need to know is that radiofrequency is a type of “pulsating” electrical current used to generate thermal energy (heat energy) at very precise locations. The precision of the VNUS procedure allows the radiofrequency to be used to take out of commission a damaged varicose vein while not harming other surrounding tissues. To give you broader perspective, radiofrequency (RF) energy is also used in other medical procedures such as agnetic resonance imaging (MRI scans)

When Is VNUS Closure Used?

First, it should be noted that every patient needing varicose vein treatment has a unique anatomy and unique medical profile. For this reason, before any type of varicose vein treatment is administered, he or she must be full evaluated with duplex ultrasound to determine what’s the best course of treatment for that specific individual. Having said this, VNUS closure is most often performed on long straight veins in the leg. This usually involves the great saphenous vein (GSV) and the small saphenous vein (SSV). If it is determined that side branches off these long straight veins also need to be treated, a different type of varicose vein treatment, such as sclerotherapy or ambulatory phlebectomy, is usually used. These additional treatments may be done in conjunction with the VNUS closure procedure or at a later time as a separate procedure after reevaluation.

What Are the Primary Benefits of VNUS Closure?

The VNUS closure system can dramatically and quickly improve your quality of life! If you have damaged vein valves in your saphenous vein, or other veins, then you are likely experiencing the back flow of blood in your legs. This causes pooling of blood and fluid in your legs which increases hydrostatic pressure and the concentration of toxins in your legs. A variety of painful symptoms are associated with this including aching, cramps, swelling, a feeling of heaviness, restless leg syndrome, and an overall feeling of fatigue and sluggishness. Having the VNUS closure varicose vein treatment can eliminate these symtoms that can significantly interfere with your day to day life. Some patients even report that they feel younger after the VNUS closure procedure!

Are There Any Risks For the VNUS Closure Procedure?

All medical procedures carry at least a small degree of risk. That said, the risks for VNUS closure varicose vein treatment are very low compared to many other medical procedures and certainly far lower than the older saphenous vein treatments like vein stripping. The top risks for VNUS closure include nerve damage, the formation of blood clots, and infection. However, these occur in far less than one percent of the cases. Other risks include thermal burns, numbness, and in very rare cases an allergic reaction to the local anesthesia used. Some patients do experience bruising, swelling, and soreness after this type of varicose vein treatment but this is almost always temporary and usually subsides in one to two weeks.

What Are the Costs For VNUS Closure?

The exact costs of this type of varicose vein treatment will vary depending on the specific circumstances. In general, however, VNUS closure is more expensive than EVLT and many other types of laser vein treatment. However, if a medical need for the procedure is documented, and if the vein doctor determines that the VNUS procedure is the best way to proceed, most insurance policies, including Medicare, will pay for the procedure.

Get a Free Evaluation of Your Veins At Metro Vein Centers

If you or a loved one has varicose veins, you can receive a free evaluation of your veins by some of top vein doctors in the country. Just give Metro Vein Centers a call to set up an appointment at a time that is convenient for you. Likewise, if you don’t see varicose veins but you are experiencing the symptoms of varicose veins, such as achiness or swelling in the leg, it would be a good idea to get evaluated. This is especially true if varicose vein disease runs in your family because varicose veins are highly hereditary. If other members of your family have had varicose vein treatment, then you have a higher risk of needing this type of treatment too. It’s always a good idea to catch it as early as possible!



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