ClariVein is a minimally invasive technique for the treatment of varicose veins. This technique is even less invasive than the laser and VNUS Closure techniques requiring much less local anaesthetic infiltration.
All the minimally invasive techniques work by destroying the intima – the inner lining of the vein. When the intima is destroyed, the vein seals off and turns into fibrous tissue which is gradually removed by the body.
The laser technique uses laser energy to destroy the intima while VNUS uses radiofrequency energy.
ClariVein uses a combination of mechanical disruption of the intima and chemical injury using sclerosant solution. The combination of these two methods is a very efficient and painless way of sealing the vein.
What is involved in the technique of ClariVein?
The ClariVein technique is performed with the patient awake under local anaesthetic. The leg is prepped and draped. The vein is identified at the knee level and a small amount of local is infiltrated and the ClariVein catheter is inserted into the vein under ultrasound control. The tip is positioned at the top of the vein at the level of the groin. The device is activated and the tip rotates agitating the inner lining of the vein. At the same time sclerosant solution is infused through the end of the catheter as the catheter is slowly withdrawn down the vein. The combination of the rotating tip and the sclerosant causes the vein to seal.
What will I feel during the procedure?
There will be a needle prick as the local anaesthetic is infiltrated at the start of the procedure. When the catheter tip starts to rotate patients describe a vibration or tickling type of sensation. Sometimes the tip of the catheter may catch of the wall of the vein causing mild discomfort. At this stage Mr Gaunt will reposition the catheter away from that area and resume the procedure.
What are the advantages of ClariVein?
There is significantly less discomfort during the procedure than other minimally invasive techniques and the technique requires considerably less volume of local anaesthetic to be infiltrated. ClariVein avoids the use of thermal energy to seal the vein so there is less chance of injury to adjacent sensory nerves. Initial reports suggest less post-operative discomfort over the treated vein.
Are there any disadvantages?
This is a new technique and results regarding long term efficacy are not available. However, results suggest 96% successful vein closure at one year – which is comparable to EVLA and VNUS.