Venefit Procedure FAQs
How is the Venefit procedure different from vein ligation and stripping?
With vein stripping, the physician makes an incision in your groin and ties off the vein, after which a tool is threaded through the leg vein in order to pull it out through a second incision near your knee.
The Venefit procedure is minimally invasive. In contrast to vein stripping, the vein is closed using heat delivered by a catheter inserted through a small incision below the knee.
Vein stripping is usually performed in an operating room under general anesthesia, while the Venefit procedure is performed in our office at KW Vein Clinic - Kitchener location under local anesthesia.
How is the Venefit procedure different from laser ablation?
The Venefit procedure utilizes radiofrequency energy in 20 second bursts to provide controlled heat to contract the collagen in the vein walls, causing them to collapse and seal. Once a leg vein is closed, blood flow is redirected to healthy veins.
Laser ablation uses laser heat to contract and seal the affected vein. The laser delivers heat to the vein causing it to collapse. Unlike the Venefit procedure, peak laser temperatures can reach over 1334°F (729°C). Treatment with the 980 nm laser ablation can potentially lead to more bruising and post-procedure pain for patients than compared to the Venefit procedure.
The 2009 RECOVERY Study compared the experience of patients treated with the Venefit procedure and those treated with 980 nm laser ablation. The findings clearly demonstrated that for the majority of patients:
The Venefit procedure resulted in less pain, less bruising and fewer minor complications.
The Venefit procedure proved to be faster in improving patients’ quality of life.
How long does the Venefit procedure take?
The Venefit procedure typically takes 1 hour to perform.
Does the Venefit procedure require anesthesia?
The Venefit procedure is performed under local anesthesia.
Where is the Venefit procedure done?
The procedure is performed at KW Vein Clinic - Kitchener office.
After the Venefit procedure, how quickly can I return to normal activities?
Many patients experience a quick return to normal activities, typically within a few days. For a few weeks following the treatment, we recommend a regular walking regimen and suggest you refrain from very strenuous activities (i.e., heavy lifting) or prolonged periods of standing. We also recommend you wear your compression stockings for the first 2 weeks after surgery.
How soon will my symptoms improve after the Venefit procedure?
Most patients report a noticeable improvement in their symptoms within one to two weeks following the procedure.
Can I expect any pain, bruising or tenderness after the Venefit procedure?
Although it is possible to experience pain, bruising or tenderness after treatment, many patients report minimal to no scarring, bruising or swelling following the Venefit procedure.
What kind of results can I expect?
Results depend on the degree and extent of your varicose veins. However, patients have reported immediate relief from their uncomfortable symptoms. In addition, patients can expect the appearance of their legs to improve after the procedure.
What potential risks and complications are associated with the Venefit procedure?
As with any medical intervention, potential risks and complications exist with the Venefit procedure. Your surgeon will have a consultation with you to determine if your conditions present any special risks. They will also review with you potential complications associated with the Venefit procedure, which can include, but are not limited to, vessel perforation, thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, phlebitis, hematoma, infection, paresthesia (numbness or tingling), skin discoloration, skin burn and/or adjunct nerve injury.
Is the Venefit procedure suitable for everyone?
During your consultation, your surgeon will discuss whether your varicose veins are suitable for the Venefit Procedure. Many patients with varicose veins and chronic venous insufficiency can be treated with the Venefit procedure.
Is age an important consideration for the Venefit procedure?
The most important step in determining whether the Venefit procedure is appropriate for you is a complete ultrasound examination by your vascular surgeon. Age alone is not a factor in determining if the Venefit procedure is right for you. The Venefit procedure has been used to treat both women and men across a wide range of ages.
What happens to the treated vein left behind in the leg? Don’t I need it?
After treatment, the affected vein becomes fibrous tissue. Over time, the vein will be absorbed into surrounding tissue and blood will re-route to other veins.
Is the Venefit procedure covered by insurance?
OHIP does not cover the Venefit procedure. Some private insurance providers may cover the cost. Consult your personal plans to determine coverage. After your assessment, KW Vein Clinic may provide information to your insurance plan.
The Venefit procedure is an alternative treatment option to traditional vein stripping surgery. It avoids the risks of general anesthesia and the prolonged recovery, discomfort, and scarring associated with vein stripping. The Venefit procedure is performed on an outpatient basis in the office. Using ultrasound guidance, your surgeon will position the catheter into the diseased vein through a small opening in the skin. The slender catheter delivers radiofrequency (RF) energy which heats the vein wall. As the vein wall is heated and the catheter is withdrawn, the collagen in the wall shrinks and the vein closes. Venefit procedure will close the leaking vein which is feeding your varicose veins. Once this vein is closed, the flow into your varicose veins stops. Subsequently your varicose veins will significantly decrease in size, or completely disappear.
Following the procedure, a simple bandage is placed over the insertion site, and additional compression may be provided to aid healing. Patients who undergo the Venefit procedure typically resume normal activities within a day.