In the continued effort we scientists do for medical research, and trying to provide increasingly better and less problematic solutions to our patients, new techniques are continually being developed, but some of them either have not yielded the expected results, or for any reason they have not received enough interest from vascular surgeons and have fallen by the wayside. In other cases, they are still experimental techniques or have not yet yielded enough studies about their efficacy and safety to broadly recommend them, and for that reason I’ll just mention their names in a list below (a list that for sure will be incomplete because of the great variety and their ongoing development).
Regarding all these inventions, I would like to share a common idea: at the time of writing this post, none of them showed yet to provide enough advantage in terms of risk / benefit over the other techniques already discussed in the previous posts. Should you be offered a solution like this, my best advice is first to ensure that the doctor (who is going to perform it) is a truly specialized vascular surgeon who is specially trained in that particular procedure, and demand a clear explanation of what is the advantage he expects to offer you comparing to a more conventional technique. If it is an experimental technique, you have the right to be aware of it, and to freely decide whether or not to accept to be part of the study, and to be rigorously informed of all risks and benefits: experimental studies and clinical trials are worldwide subject to very strict legislation and regulations on how they should be carried out, in order to assure in the best possible way the patient’s rights and especially patient safety. If the proposed treatment is not presented under these conditions, I would advise you to reject it and seek a more conventional solution.
Some of this “inventions” are:
- Cryotherapy: endoluminal ablation of veins by means of application of extreme cold through the catheter tip to freeze the vein.
- Water steam sclerotherapy: varicose veins are occluded by injecting water steam (delivering heat) inside of them.
- Subfascial endoscopic perforator surgery (SEPS): this one seems to be useful for healing of venous ulcers in very specific cases, but there are few vascular surgeons really experienced in performing it (because there are also very few of these specific cases that could benefit from this).
- Restorative Phlebotherapy and T.R.A.P. (Three-dimensional regenerative ambulatory Phlebotherapy): it pretends to “heal” or regenerate the varicose veins returning them back to healthy state through low-dose sclerosing injections or even by “injections of light” (sic). I have not been able to find even a single reliable scientific publication about it, which does only not inspire any confidence on it, but makes it especially untrustworthy, and highly suspicious of being a fraud.
Should you be interested in getting to know this disease better, and its causes, consequences, how to treat them, and, even better, what can we do to prevent them, you can find it all well explained in the ebook VARICOSE VEINS: Truth & myths.