A New Kind of “Super Glue”

New biomedical adhesive safely seals leaking leg veins through a single needle stick.

Enrique Marquez, 67, was born in Cuba but came to the United States as a child in 1964. He went on to become a college professor, retiring in 2013 after 35 years of teaching, including 21 at Florida Gulf Coast University. His retirement was interrupted earlier this year, however, when his legs began showing signs of disease.

Dr. Joseph Magnant of Vein Specialists in Fort Myers and Bonita Springs treated Enrique Marquez and Derrick* (alias) for venous insufficiency using the VenaSeal™ Closure System.

“My legs went back to their normal size, and the discoloration is going away. My legs look like they did when I was twenty-five years old.” – Enrique

“Diabetes is part of my family inheritance, from both my mother’s side and my father’s side,” shares Enrique. “When I first started having problems with my legs, I thought it was related to my diabetes, and I was very concerned.

“My legs became swollen, discolored and irritated. They were also painful, especially at night. I had infection in my legs and ran a fever, and my legs felt very hot and heavy. I also had some varicose veins, but I figured that at my age, that was normal. There were also areas of incredible inflammation.

“It was difficult for me to walk, exercise and do my daily activities. I had to take breaks and sit down because my legs felt like they were going to give out.”

As Enrique’s leg symptoms got worse, he became increasingly alarmed. Because he assumed his leg problems were associated with his diabetes, he worried about the potential complications, including limb amputation. He went to several doctors, but the first two had no answers for him. Finally, the third surprised him with an unexpected diagnosis.

“He told me, I don’t think your problem is diabetes; I think it’s really your veins,” Enrique explains. “Then he said. I’m going to refer you to Dr. Magnant.”

Joseph G. Magnant, MD, is a board-certified vascular surgeon who specializes in treating vein disorders. His practice, Vein Specialists, has offices in Fort Myers and Bonita Springs. The practice is dedicated to the comprehensive, modern evaluation and most advanced minimally invasive treatment of vein disorders.

Dr. Magnant examined Enrique and ordered diagnostic ultrasounds of both legs. The results showed that several of Enrique’s leg veins had leaking valves, which was the cause of his symptoms. Dr. Magnant then explained vein disease in detail to Enrique.

“When the one-way valves in the leg veins fail, it causes the flow of blood returning to the heart to be impeded,” describes the doctor. “That’s a condition called venous insufficiency. As a result of this condition, blood leaks out of the veins and pools in the legs. It may also leak out of the veins into the surrounding tissues, leading to a host of problems.

“Some of the signs and symptoms of venous insufficiency include varicose veins, swelling, achiness, heaviness, nighttime cramping, restless legs, thickening and discoloration of the skin, and skin ulcers.”

VenaSeal Procedure Advantages

After explaining the condition to him, Dr. Magnant recommended treating Enrique by using the VenaSeal Closure System, a minimally invasive treatment that seals incompetent veins by using a biomedical adhesive, or super glue.

Dr. Joseph Magnant of Vein Specialists in Fort Myers and Bonita Springs treated Enrique Marquez and Derrick* (alias) for venous insufficiency using the VenaSeal™ Closure System.

The VenaSeal Closure System is the least-invasive treatment for venous insufficiency.

This specially formulated, sterile cyanoacrylate glue is made for use in humans, and at the end of the procedure, which was first approved for use by the FDA in 2015, a glue/blood complex remains in the vein that breaks down over time.

“The VenaSeal system has not necessarily replaced the other procedures that are used to treat venous insufficiency such as endovenous radiofrequency or LASER ablation,” explains Dr. Magnant. “This is simply another tool in our chest of options. VenaSeal has been shown to be equally effective as the heat-based ablation techniques.”

VenaSeal has also turned out to have some advantages over the heat-based ablation procedures. Because the radiofrequency and LASER techniques use heat energy to seal problem veins, insulating liquid must be placed along the entire length of the vein. This is done to prevent thermal tissue injury and to anesthetize the area around the vein so the patients feel less discomfort.

“Placing that liquid along the veins requires about half a dozen needle sticks, which feel like bee stings,” informs Dr. Magnant. “But because there’s no heat with VenaSeal, there’s no need to infuse liquid around the vein. As a result, we only need to use one ‘bee sting’ per vein when the VenaSeal method is used. Therefore, VenaSeal is a good option for people who are terrified of needles or have a low pain tolerance.”

Another advantage of the VenaSeal system is that it can be used to close nearly the entire length of the great saphenous vein (GSV), which is the longest vein in the body. In the calf, the GSV wraps around a sensory nerve. This prevents specialists from treating the GSV below the mid-calf using heat ablation due to the potential for damaging the nerve. With VenaSeal, however, there’s no heat and therefore no risk of nerve damage.

“Using VenaSeal, we can treat a longer segment of the vein,” educates Dr. Magnant. “We can generally get all the way down to the ankle. This is especially helpful for people with stasis dermatitis whose skin discoloration is a sign of severe distal venous disease.”

Dr. Magnant notes that another group of people who may benefit more from VenaSeal are those with open wounds. In most cases, he says, leg wounds are the result of trauma to an area of stasis dermatitis, which is a common inflammatory skin presentation of venous insufficiency.

“In those cases, I want to close as much of the vein as possible,” says Dr. Magnant. “Our goal is to seal the diseased veins that are leaking blood into the surrounding tissue, which leads to difficulty in healing the skin breakdown and ulceration. Once we stop that leaking, wound healing occurs much more rapidly.”

It was the presence of stasis dermatitis that prompted Dr. Magnant to recommend VenaSeal as the best option for treating Enrique.

“I chose VenaSeal for Enrique because it’s a better option for those with severe stasis dermatitis,” offers Dr. Magnant. “He had significant stasis dermatitis with inflammation, thickening and discoloration of the skin of his ankles. He had two veins on each leg with severe venous insufficiency.”

“Dr. Magnant’s diagnosis put me at ease,” states Enrique. “He gave me a detailed description of the problem and showed me the ultrasounds. He discovered the exact veins that were problematic, and I was very impressed with that.

“After he explained the different procedures he could do to treat the veins and proposed the super glue, I did some research on it. I was concerned about the chemicals involved and if I would have any repercussions.

“I discovered, however, that the glue is an organic compound that has antibiotics, so there’s no chance of infection. Also, it’s absorbed by my cells. The science and logic behind the VenaSeal are impeccable.”

Return for Results

In 2003, Derrick*, 69, retired from the international sales company he managed. By 2007, the Bronx native tired of the winter weather and cost of living in Westchester County, New York, where he lived, and moved south to sunny Florida. Derrick wasn’t concerned about the appearance of bloated varicose veins and discoloration on his legs, but he was worried about the health of his legs.

Dr. Joseph Magnant of Vein Specialists in Fort Myers and Bonita Springs treated Enrique Marquez and Derrick* (alias) for venous insufficiency using the VenaSeal™ Closure System.

“The VenaSeal Closure System was an absolute success… I recommend it and Dr. Magnant.” – Derrick

“I had some ugly veins protruding from my legs,” he relates. “They weren’t swelling that much, but the veins were bulging. I didn’t notice any real heaviness or achiness in them, either, but I did have occasional cramps in my legs at night. I knew by the way my legs looked that they weren’t in healthy condition.

“Five years ago, I figured I had to do something about my veins. A friend who is a nurse had her legs treated by ]Dr. Magnant at Vein Specialists, and she highly recommended him, so that’s where I went.”

Unfortunately, Derrick was battling another health issue at the same time, so he postponed having his leg veins treated. Finally, in January of this year, he returned to Dr. Magnant with the same symptoms and asked the doctor to initiate treatment. Dr. Magnant began by evaluating Derrick’s leg veins using ultrasound.

“Derrick had varicose veins, leg cramps and stasis dermatitis,” offers Dr. Magnant. “His left leg was worse than his right in terms of varicose veins. The ultrasounds also showed severe venous insufficiency.

“As we began to discuss the treatment options, Derrick informed me that he was very afraid of needles and requested IV sedation for the procedures. We don’t offer that form of sedation, so I decided that VenaSeal was a better option for him because it can be done using a single needle stick.”

“Dr. Magnant told me there were two veins in my left leg and one in my right leg that were leaking and needed to be sealed,” says Derrick. “When he told me about the new procedure that uses this super glue to seal the veins, I said, Let’s do it.”

Derrick says the doctor completed his treatment during two forty-five-minute procedures, one for each leg, done two weeks apart. He says that approach worked perfectly. He adds that even though multiple needles weren’t involved, he still could not watch Dr. Magnant while he worked.

“I didn’t look while Dr. Magnant was performing the treatment,” admits Derrick. “I thought about other things while he was doing it. I knew Dr. Magnant was inserting a tube up into the veins in my legs and injecting the glue, which really wasn’t bad. I just felt a slight discomfort while he was doing that.

“When he finished the procedure, I felt great. Dr. Magnant’s assistants put the compression stockings on me, which I wore for two weeks, and everything was fine. Wearing the compression stockings made my legs feel even better. After that, there was no pain, no anything.”

Absolute Success

When Dr. Magnant told Enrique about his venous insufficiency, he immediately thought of his years as a teacher, spending 16 hours a day on his feet. Enrique is convinced the experience led to his vein damage, which accumulated over time.

Dr. Joseph Magnant of Vein Specialists in Fort Myers and Bonita Springs treated Enrique Marquez and Derrick* (alias) for venous insufficiency using the VenaSeal™ Closure System.

Both Enrique and Derrick benefitted from the VenaSeal procedure available at Vein Specialists.

Enrique was encouraged when Dr. Magnant told him the problem was one he could cure and that the result would leave him with healthier, stronger and even better-looking legs. Dr. Magnant’s predictions for Enrique’s recovery were right on target.

Enrique is amazed by the appearance and function of his legs as they continue to improve through the recovery process.

“Now, I have no pain, swelling or marks on my legs, and the veins are gone,” he marvels. “My legs went back to their normal size, and the discoloration is going away. My legs look like they did when I was twenty-five years old.

“I had my second procedure two and a half weeks ago, and I’m back to my normal life with a few precautions. Dr. Magnant just told me not to do any heavy lifting for three weeks so I don’t hurt my legs. But I’m back to exercising at the gym and doing my
regular activities with no problems.

“The last time I saw Dr. Magnant, he said my recovery was going fantastic.”

Derrick’s VenaSeal procedures were done in March, so his recovery is further along than Enrique’s. Derrick is also pleased with his results and states, “I have a couple of other veins that are protruding now, but they aren’t the ones Dr. Magnant sealed. Dr. Magnant may do another procedure on those veins. I’m going back to see him in September for the final touches.

“I’m very happy with the way my legs turned out. I didn’t notice that much swelling or heaviness in my legs before treatment, but since I had the VenaSeal procedures done, they feel lighter and look thinner.”

Derrick and Enrique agree that the VenaSeal Closure System was a good option for treating their venous insufficiency. They also match in their approval of Dr. Magnant and his staff at Vein Specialists.

“The VenaSeal Closure System was an absolute success,” enthuses Derrick, “and it’s the least-invasive treatment. I recommend it and Dr. Magnant. He’s the best. He’s down-to-earth, very easy to get along with and knowledgeable.

“So is his staff. They were very helpful and comforting. The ultrasounds were done professionally, and everything done in preparation for the procedures was done professionally. It made me feel very comfortable.”

“I have developed a strong appreciation for Dr. Magnant,” adds Enrique. “He is a caring doctor with incredibly good manners. He is also very patient and extremely thorough. He explained everything to me because he wanted me to understand the problem and how it was going to be treated. I feel very comfortable being under Dr. Magnant’s care.”

Both Enrique and Derrick benefitted from the VenaSeal procedure available at Vein Specialists. They also had excellent experiences with Dr. Magnant and his team. Derrick has a few thoughts to sum it all up.

“The VenaSeal Closure System is a great procedure,” he says, “and Dr. Magnant is a great doctor. If anyone has a vein that’s a problem, Vein Specialists is where they should go.”

*Patient’s name withheld at their request.
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