Experts at Hawaii Vein Center talk treatments for varicose and spider veins

Short procedures can help clear up the problem

Sponsored by Hawaii Vein Center

Varicose and spider veins are a problem that many women will experience in their lifetime. While they are often removed for cosmetic reasons, some cases can lead to serious health complications. HI Now host Kanoe Gibson is with Dr. Danelo Canete to learn more about how these can be treated.

Dr. Canete is an invasive cardiologist who used to insert coronary stents to open blocked coronary arteries. In 2007, he decided to start a vein practice, Hawaii Vein Center, since it also used catheters.

Spider and reticular veins occur in about 50 percent of all adult females. Dr. Canete says he sees excellent results injecting sclerosant drugs to close the vein. Unfortunately, these are cosmetic and are not covered by medical insurance, and sometimes more than one treatment is needed.

Varicose veins can cause severe leg cramps, leg ulcers, and even heavy, itchy, and restless legs. For that reason, Dr. Canete says it’s a condition covered by medical insurance. While laser is still being used to treat varicose veins today, it has a higher complication rate with downtime from work and normal activities. Newer treatments evolved, and Hawaii Vein Center now uses radiofrequency, placing a catheter after a local injection near the knee and pushing the catheter all the way up to the groin. The vein is heated and closes the vein completely with 98 percent remaining closed after two years. The procedure takes about 15 minutes and the patients can resume normal activities immediately.

Dr. Canete has also used a newer treatment called a Clarivein procedure that destroys the inner lining of the vein. This also takes about 10-15 minutes with no downtime. The newest procedure to treat veins is Venaseal, another short catheter based treatment, which uses medical grade glue delivered by catheter.

Many times, a follow-up surgical procedure is done, called microphlebectomy, to remove the ugly bulging veins that remain. Doctors nick the skin after local anesthesia and pull out the varicose veins with a kind of crochet hook.

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