The VenaSeal closure system, which uses an adhesive directly injected into the vein, has been approved as a permanent treatment for symptomatic, superficial varicose veins, the Food and Drug Administration announced on Feb. 20.
“This new system is the first to permanently treat varicose veins by sealing them with an adhesive,” Dr. William Maisel, acting director of the Office of Device Evaluation in the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health, said in the FDA’s statement. Because the system “does not incorporate heat application or cutting, the in-office procedure can allow patients to quickly return to their normal activities, with less bruising,” he added.
The VenaSeal system differs from other procedures used to treat varicose veins, which use drugs, lasers, radiofrequency, or incisions, the FDA statement points out. The complete sterile kit includes the adhesive (n-butyl-2-cyanoacrylate), which solidifies when injected directly into the target vein via a catheter, under ultrasound guidance. The additional system components include the catheter, the adhesive, a guidewire, dispenser gun, dispenser tips, and syringes.
Approval was based on data from three clinical trials sponsored by the manufacturer. In the U.S. study that compared results in 108 patients treated with the VenaSeal system and 114 patients treated with radiofrequency ablation therapy, the device was shown “to be safe and effective for vein closure for the treatment of symptomatic superficial varicose veins of the legs,” according to the FDA. In the study, adverse events associated with the VenaSeal treatment included phlebitis and paresthesias in the treated areas, which are “generally associated with treatments of this condition,” the FDA statement noted.
The agency reviewed the VenaSeal System as a class III medical device, considered the highest risk type of medical devices that are subjected to the highest level of regulatory control, and which must be approved before marketing.
VenaSeal is manufactured by Covidien, which acquired Sapheon, the company that developed VenaSeal, in 2014. The system has also been approved in Canada, Europe, and Hong Kong, according to a Covidien statement issued last year.