At the American Venous Forum meeting in Orlando today, I listened to an international group of vein specialists describe their results of using “super glue” for sealing faulty veins. The Sapheon Closure System uses a medical cyanoacrylate glue to treat refluxing veins. The glue is injected directly into the veins using a very fine catheter under ultrasound guidance. The number of people treated is small: 8 were followed afterwards for 1 year and 30 people were followed for 30 days. However, the results are impressive: 100% success and no need for local anaesthetic and no need for stockings afterwards.
We already have very effective treatments for varicose veins. The results of endo-venous laser (EVLT) and radio frequency ablation (VNUS) have been studied in huge numbers of people who have been followed up for many years. So why would you (as a person with varicose veins) or I ( as a vein specialist) be interested in super glue? Well the treatment is very fast and there is no need for local anaesthetic injections, so the procedure really is pain free. It is also claimed that medical grade compression stockings are not needed afterwards. Many people don’t like the idea of wearing stockings after vein treatment and many people defer treatment until the weather is cooler.
At present, the Sapheon “super glue” Closure system is at the experimental stage. Further clinical studies are needed in much larger numbers of people (to identify rare but serious complications) and for much longer follow up (to be sure this new technique stands the test of time). However, the Sapheon Closure System is an exciting new treatment option. Will I be performing it next week? I don’t think so. Next year? Well, maybe!