Treating Veins

An innovative, m i n i m a l l y – invasive procedure, more advanced than laser, now resolves Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI) without the need for painful surgery and long recovery.

When CVI develops, the valves which pump blood to the veins are damaged and the blood, instead of flowing in only one direction to return to the heart, flows back or becomes stagnant.

The problem usually begins to present itself as varicose veins. Many patients with varicose veins that go untreated may develop CVI. The solution to CVI is eliminating the vein difficulty, so that the blood flows only through healthy veins. The vein which most commonly presents CVI is the saphenous vein, which travels the length of the leg. Until very recently, the way this problem tended to be resolved was by means of a very invasive operation, which consisted in making a large incision in the leg to tie, cut, and remove the vein (ligation and stripping). Recovery was very painful: the patient’s quality of life was severely impaired.

The development of catheter technology allowed for the cauterization from within making the vein inoperative, rather than removing the vein itself, turning it into a simple fibrous cord. Initially, this was achieved using laser energy.

A new technology now exists using radiofrequency energy, which is more comfortable and convenient. The procedure consists of a catheter inserted into the vein through a tiny incision below the knee.

Unlike painful vein stripping surgery or laser ablation, the catheter delivers uniform, consistent heat to each segment and temperatures do not exceed 120°C. As a result, the procedure causes less bruising and less post operative pain and allows for rapid patient relief and recovery.

The Venefit procedure eliminates the need for groin surgery and general anesthesia. The procedure also results in little to no scarring and is generally performed using local anesthesia in a vein specialist’s office or an outpatient surgical facility.

Dr. Manuel Abella, certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine and the Board of Cardiovascular Diseases, is affiliated with Kendall Regional Medical Center. To contact Dr. Abella, tel. 305- 221-6161.

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