A pen that erases spider veins

Published: Dec. 30, 2010 at 11:58 PM EST|Updated: Jun. 20, 2011 at 10:41 PM EDT
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(MEDSTAR) - Vein specialists know that it's easier to get rid of big, bulging veins than it is to clear out a web of small ones. But there is a new therapy that can erase spider veins.

Susan Ross has some spider veins she wants to get rid of. The hair-thin veins are frequently left even after other therapies get rid of bigger ones.

"The limitations of sclerotherapy are you must get the needle into the vein. So, if you can't get the needle into the vein to inject the solution, you need some other energy to get that vein to seal shut," said Dr. Steven Elias, a vascular surgeon at Englewood Hospital in Englewood, NJ.

Now, Dr. Elias is using a microwave-based therapy called VeinGogh.

"It is a way of getting energy into the vein that you want to treat, but getting it, what we call transcutaneously, through the skin," Dr. Elias said.

The doctor guides the tiny needle over target veins, barely piercing the skin.

"So here the energy is being absorbed by the vein that causes the vein to be damaged and shrink and seal shut. Patients don't feel heat or anything when it's being done," said Dr. Elias.

Keeping in mind this is part of a multi-stage process, results are visible within a few weeks.

"So they understand from the beginning, it's going to be some injections, some sclerotherapy, and some VeinGogh," Dr. Elias said.

Patients can expect a 60-70 percent improvement in the way their legs look.

"So long as you set the patient's expectations, there's definitely an improvement," said Dr. Elias. "But they should not expect to go from seeing veins to looking as if they're 16 again."

Steps that can help your legs look like a work of art.

There are no restrictions on patients following the procedure, other than using some sun screen and Aloe Vera gel for a week or two. In addition to treating spider veins on the legs, VeinGogh is also being used by dermatologists to treat patients with Rosacea.

Fast facts:

  • Up to 25 percent of all adults have varicose veins.
  • In addition to being unsightly, varicose veins can lead to leg pain, ulceration and development of blood clots.
  • Traditional therapies for varicose veins include sclerotherapy, ambulatory phlebectomy and laser or radiofrequency ablation.
  • A newer treatment, VeinGogh™, uses microbursts of high-frequency electrical energy to heat and collapse targeted veins.

For information on VeinGogh™, or to find a local provider: http://veingogh.com.

For general information on varicose veins or treatment for the condition:

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