What is Veinwave?
Veinwave is an innovative treatment for the elimination of smaller spider veins and networks of tiny veins known as telangiectasia. The procedure uses thermocoagulation therapy to heat affected veins, causing them to seal shut and immediately disappear from view. The procedure takes just a few minutes to complete and there is no discomfort for patients or downtime afterward.
Veinwave was developed by a vascular surgeon and leader in cosmetic vein treatments in the U.K. It has been successfully used in Europe for eight years and has now been approved by the FDA for use in the United States. The procedure is safe for all skin types and does not lead to pigmentation changes to the skin like other vein treatments might. The procedure may be used on any part of the body where spider veins or telangiectasia might appear, including the legs, face and arms.
When is it done?
Veinwave is typically recommended on spider veins too small to be safely treated with sclerotherapy. The procedure is particularly effective on networks of veins that are difficult to address with any other vein treatment. The procedure is primarily performed for cosmetic reasons, since these smaller veins rarely cause any types of uncomfortable symptoms. However, if symptoms accompany these veins, Veinwave will eliminate the symptoms at the same time the veins disappear.
Veinwave may also be used to treat veins that are in difficult-to-reach locations, such as behind the knees and around the ankles. It is gentle enough to be used on spider veins that appear on the face, particularly telangliectasia on the nose that does not respond well to other types of vein treatment.
How does the procedure work?
Veinwave is performed in a physician’s office as an outpatient procedure. There is no need for any type of anesthesia prior to the procedure. The area to be treated is marked and cleansed, and then the physician inserts a tiny needle just under the skin where the spider veins are located. The vessels to be treated are not pierced as they are with other types of vein treatment.
Once the needle is in place, microwave energy is emitted, which causes the vein walls to seal shut and collapse. Veins disappear instantaneously and blood is rerouted through healthy veins nearby. The procedure can address up to 20 inches of affected vessels within minutes. After the veins are treated, the needle is withdrawn and no bandages or compression dressings are required.
What is the recovery like?
Because a very small needle is used for the procedure, most patients experience very little discomfort during the procedure. Since no anesthesia is needed, patients are allowed to drive themselves home after treatment and resume normal activities immediately afterward. Some patients, particularly those with sensitive or fair skin, may see some redness around the treatment site, which dissipates within a few hours. Compression stockings are not necessary after a Veinwave treatment.
When will the results appear?
Results of Veinwave appear shortly after the procedure is completed. In fact, some patients report seeing veins disappear even while the treatment is in progress. Improvement continues over the next few days as veins continue to close and collapse from the microwave energy.
How many treatment sessions are needed?
Some patients only require one treatment with Veinwave to see desired results. However, larger areas may require additional treatment sessions before results are complete. In some cases, Veinwave might be combined with other vein treatments, such as sclerotherapy or laser ablation, to achieve full results.
Will veins reappear after treatment?
The veins that were treated with Veinwave collapse and are reabsorbed by the body, so they will not reappear. However, additional veins in the area may become varicose, which would require additional treatment to maintain positive results.
What is the cost of Veinwave?
The average cost of Veinwave ranges from around $400 to $800 per session. Cost varies based on the size of the area to be treated. Even the location of the physician can impact cost, with coastal doctors tending to charge more than physicians located in the center of the country. Because Veinwave is primarily a cosmetic treatment, insurance does not usually cover the cost of the procedure. However, physicians may have financing programs available to make the treatment more affordable for patients.