How long has the Veinwave™ system been available? Veinwave™ is a revolutionary technique used by vein specialists around the world to eliminate spider veins on the legs. Veinwave™ is the only treatment of its kind having FDA clearance in 2009 for treatment of spider veins.
How does Veinwave™ work? The Veinwave™ system uses thermocoagulation (“heat”) to treat spider veins. The process involves using an ultra fine insulated needle on the surface of the spider vein to deliver just enough heat to cause the vessel walls to collapse but because of the insulation extra heat is not transmitted into the skin (similar to sucking the air out of a drinking straw and then gluing the inside walls together). Unlike lasers and other light based therapy which use photocoagulation (“light”) with variable penetration through the skin, Veinwave™ treatment is usually more precise and complete.
What types of veins are best treated by Veinwave™? Fine thread-like spider veins measuring less than 3mm in size (similar to a strand of hair and too small for sclerotherapy) respond best to Veinwave™ treatment. This also includes mattes of tiny spider veins incompletely treated with sclerotherapy or other light based therapies. For larger spider veins, sclerotherapy is the preferred option.
Does Veinwave™ treatment hurt? Some patients have mild discomfort, but usually Veinwave™ treatment is very tolerable – especially compared to electrolysis, laser, or intense pulsed light treatments. It is not necessary to use any anesthetic for Veinwave™ procedures. In fact, it is better to avoid any local anesthetics to prevent vasodilation (“relaxation”) of blood vessels. At most, patients would require over-the-counter pain medicine like Tylenol.
How does the treated vein look afterwards? Most vessels will almost completely disappear immediately after treatment. The treated area may feel flushed with some minor swelling in the skin for a few hours. Some “micro-scabs” may appear but will flake away within a few days. For the next few weeks, the treated vessel will resemble a “cat scratch.” Occasionally, the area may appear darker after treatment with some brownish pigment change. How long after Veinwave™ treatment can normal activity resume? Normal activities can be resumed immediately after treatment, including normal sun exposure and light make-up over the treatment area.
Once an area is treated, can the spider vein return? Most properly treated spider veins will disappear. For the small percentage of veins that are incompletely treated or return, additional treatment may be required.
Are there any situations where Veinwave™ treatment should be avoided? Please notify you practitioner if you have any of the following conditions: Serious allergy to nickel or chromium metals; pacemaker, automatic defibrillator, or other implantable devices; heart conditions; skin infection; diabetes mellitus; pregnancy; seizure history; tattoos. Prior to treatment, makeup or artificial suntan in area to be treated should be avoided.
Will insurance pay for Veinwave™? The cost for Veinwave™ is not covered by insurance and will not be billed to insurance by UAB. UAB Vein clinic fee schedules will be made available prior to treatment.
For more information visit the Veinwave website at veinwave.com, and Patient Brochure.
To schedule a new patient evaulation or for more information about other heart and vascular services available at UAB, contact UAB HealthFinder at 205-934-9999.
To contact the UAB Vein Clinic directly, call 205-996-VEIN(8346).