Sapheon, the company that is introducing “superglue” to close veins without needing so many anaesthetic injections, has launched a study in the UK.
Three centres, two NHS and one private (Charing Cross in London, Countess of Chester Hospital in Chester, and The Whiteley Clinic in Guildford) have all been selected to be part of this study.
Patients with varicose veins that fit the eligibility criteria will be offered treatment with this new glue technique.
In principle, a simple local anaesthetic injection will be used to pass a long thin tube (called a catheter) up the Great Saphenous Vein (GSV) under ultrasound guidance. In most endovenous techniques, this is then followed by the injection of local anaesthetic around the vein – a process called tumescence. This tumescence is essential when the vein is heated by laser or radiofrequency ablation.
Unfortunately, many patients find these injections uncomfortable and so a great effort has gone into finding ways around this technique.
The Sapheon system uses glue to stick the inside of the vein together and so no local anaesthetic is required.
The current study is going to look at a number of patients over one year to check that the system closes the vein successfully. Clearly, if the system is not effective, the advantages of fewer injections is irrelevant. However if the treatment proves as effective as expected, this could be a major advancement in venous surgery.