We already have reliable and effective endo-venous thermal ablation techniques for the treatment of superficial venous reflux causing varicose veins. These endo-venous thermal ablation techniques use very fine catheters to heat the vein from the inside to a temperature at which the vein is instantly closed and devitalised. Typically, Laser (EVLT) or Radio-Frequency (VNUS Closure) energy is used. So why do we need another one?
Well, sometimes, the vein to be treated is particularly tortuous (twisty) making it difficult to advance the straight catheter up inside it, or perhaps the vein is very superficial and close to the skin, raising concerns that heating the vein may damage the skin. Damage to the skin and to nearby nerves can be a particular concern in certain situations when endo-venous laser is used because, often, the temperature reached inside the vein can be several hundred degrees Celsius.
To overcome some of these difficulties, a French company called CermaVein has invented an endo-venous thermal technique which uses superheated steam. This technique is called Steam Vein Sclerosis. The catheter used to deliver the steam is very thin (1.2 mm) and also very flexible, so, it can be inserted into very small veins which may be tortuous and the temperature of the steam delivered from this catheter is only 120°C, minimising the risk of injury to nerves and the skin. In addition, just recently, a new short catheter has been invented which is specifically designed for the treatment of varicose veins just underneath the skin (steam phlebectomy).
Last week, I visited Dr Nicolini in Lyon at to see the technique being performed for myself. With Dr Nicolini’s permssion and with the permission of his patient, I filmed this short video of Steam Vein Sclerosis. I plan to do further research on Steam Vein Sclerosis, and I may introduce it into my practice. For some patients who have had surgical stripping and who have developed recurrent veins, Steam Vein Sclerosis may offer some advantages over the endo-thermal treatments that are already established. At The VeinCare centre we continuously strive to keep abreast of all the latest developments that may be of benefit to our patients.
Contact Dr Gajraj today for a confidential chat
“If you’re worried about your veins and would like a confidential chat please do get in touch. I am happy to offer simple advice by telephone (0800 698 3467) or email for free and without obligation.”