Reporting Cynthia Demos
NORTH MIAMI BEACH (CBS4) — It’s estimated 80-million Americans are affected by varicose veins. They aren’t pretty and they can have a profound effect on a person’s self-esteem especially in South Florida where bare legs are common in shorts and skirts which are worn year-round. For people looking to rid themselves of those unsightly and often painful varicose veins, there’s a new procedure called ClarviVein.
“I think I’ve had varicose veins for about 7 or 8 years now,” said Abby Brodtman.
The 32-year-old had gotten used to living with varicose veins, which are leg veins that fill up with an abnormal amount of blood, but when they became extremely painful, she needed help.
“I’m self conscious of it, but more than anything, I walk a lot and I’m pretty active so it was actually hurting me. It actually burned or caused a cramping pain in the back of my leg,” explained Brodtman.
That’s when she turned to North Miami Beach interventional radiologist Dr. Adam Gropper w ith North Beach Vascular & Aesthetics.
“The culprit vein in varicose veins, the valves don’t work anymore. The idea is to destroy that vein,” explained Gropper.
Typical treatment has been laser ablation or radiofrequency ablation which uses heat to get rid of the vein, a process that requires numerous shots of numbing medicine. Now Gropper uses ClariVein.
“It uses, instead of heat energy; it mechanically abrades or scrapes the inner lining of the vein. Then at the same time it delivers a chemical, sclerosing, which causes the vein to scar down permanently,” said Dr. Gropper.
Gropper said using the device makes the procedure faster and there’s less stress on the patient.
“It felt like pushing and pulling. I watched a movie the whole time while he was doing it,” added Brodtman.
When the veins disappear, most patients say, so do the self esteem issues related to varicose veins.
“It’ll make me feel more comfortable with my legs,” Brodtman said.
“I see a lot of women. They come in feeling ashamed to show their legs. They’re always wearing pants and after the procedure they’re just so happy they can go to the beach and wear shorts,” added Gropper.
Patients have to wear support stockings for a week or two but they can get back to normal activities immediately after the procedure.
Generally, ClariVein is covered by insurance.