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Varithena® Procedure
Varithena Procedure Buffalo Niagara

The latest news on Varithena® Varithena Treatment


Varithena® has recently been approved by the FDA for chemical ablation of the saphenous vein. As in any treatment, there needs to be research data that supports its efficacy, both short term AND long term. A small number of patients have been used in these studies to get FDA approval. There are NO long term outcomes for the Varithena® procedure as studies have to show whether it is as good, better, or worse than the gold standard techniques such as EVLT® (laser ablation) or VNUS Closure® (radiofrequency ablation).  

Unpublished series show that Varithena® is only 80% effective in the short term - compare this to > 95% for EVLT laser ablation or VNUS® radiofrequency ablation. 


Most importantly, there is NO evidence based data that Varithena® is more efficacious, safer and successful short term or long term. 

Scant data exists regarding Varithena® in the literature. A Medline search (scientific database of the NIH) on November 30 shows only a SINGLE article that mentions this product (see link below). Contrast this to the hundreds of peer-based studies published about the VNUS Closure®, EVLT® and ClariVein®. 
To date, Varithena® is NOT covered by medical insurance and is considered experimental by all local insurers - Blue Cross Blue Shield of Western New York, Univera, Independent Health (IHA), Empire, United Health Care, AETNA, CIGNA, Champus Military, Excellus, Community Blue, Medicaid ...


The newer techniques for ablation include Varithena®, foam + Holmium laser (LAFOS®), liquid sclerosant with rotating wire (clarivein®), liquid sclerosant + endo-venous clip (V-Block®) and endovenous cyano-acrylate glue (Venaseal™). None of these procedures are covered by Medicare or traditional insurance in the United States.

At the Vein Treatment Center of Buffalo Niagara, we have EVLT Never Touch®, VNUS Closure® and ClariVein®. We are currently evaluating Varithena® for our patients. 
If you are interested in the Varithena® procedure for saphenofemoral or saphenopopliteal venous reflux, call Dr. Karamanoukian at the Vein Treatment Center at 716-626-7700 or 716-839-3638


What is Varithena?

Varithena® (polidocanol injectable foam) is a prescription medicine used to treat varicose veins caused by problems with the great saphenous vein (GSV) and other related veins in the leg's GSV system. Varithena®improves symptoms related to or caused by varicose veins, and the appearance of varicose veins.


Types of Veins Treated

Varithena® treats a wide range of varicose veins in the GSV system, including:

  • Tortuous (twisted) veins
  • Veins above and below the knee
  • Veins with small, medium, and large diameters
  • Veins previously treated with other methods

Varithena® does not treat all forms of varicose veins. Please talk with your doctor to see if Varithena® may be right for you.

How Varithena® works

  • A small amount of Varithena® is administered through a catheter or by direct injection into the malfunctioning vein
  • The Varithena® foam fills and treats the desired section of the vein
  • The diseased vein collapses and the foam is deactivated
  • When the malfunctioning vein collapses, blood flow shifts to healthier veins nearby
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