The news hit in 2017 that Theraclion, a medical equipment company based in Malakoff France, was beginning clinical trials to test a device called the Echopulse (the registered trademarked name) for varicose vein treatment. The Echopulse will use high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) to treat varicose veins. The clinical trial is being limited to treating varicose veins on the legs. The success rate has been very high so far and there have been no adverse effects reported. Although caution is advised until the clinical test is completed, this could revolutionize the way varicose veins are treated.
The principle investigator is Dr. Alfred Obermayer from Austria, a vascular surgeon with vast experience in minimally invasive endovenous laser treatments and radiofrequency ablation. Dr. Obermayer works as the chief surgeon at the St. Joseph Hospital in Vienna and is the director of the Karl Landsteiner Institute for Functional Phlebology in Melk Austria. His hope is that patients who suffer from recurring varicose vein, after minimally invasive procedures, will respond well to this new varicose vein treatment that is completely NON-invasive.
The patients chosen for the clinical trial all have chronic vein disease (CVD). Specifically, they have been diagnosed with venous reflux, where blood flows the wrong way in their veins due to vein valve dysfunction. They also have recurring venous network insufficiency at the thigh or groin level after other types of varicose vein treatment have been applied. Each of the thirty-five participants receive a single treatment of high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) using the Echopulse device. They then receive three months of followup examinations using duplex ultrasound to fully monitor. The goal is to determine how effective the the new varicose vein treatment is, how easy it is to administer, and if there are any side effects or other problems.
According to Theraclion’s official website, the Echopulse device is already used to treat benign thyroid nodules and breast fibroadenomas. High intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) is also being tested in other countries for the treatment of uterine fibroids, Parkinsonian disease, other neurological diseases, and a wide variety of cancers including prostrate cancer, bone cancer, brain cancer, liver cancer, kidney cancer, and advanced pancreatic cancer. High intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) is ultrasound energy that is focused through a series of acoustic lens to deliver thermal and or mechanical effects to the target area. However, the ultrasound energy does not affect other tissues as it passes through on its way to the target.
A live conference call and webinar on the progress of the clinical trial using the Echopulse for varicose vein treatment will be held November 13, 2017 at 5:00 pmVienna/Paris time.
Major advancements in varicose vein treatment have occurred in the last twenty to thirty years. These new treatments are far better than the preferred older treatment of “vein stripping,” where varicose veins were surgically removed much in the same manner as a surgeon would cut out a tumor. Vein stripping was very painful, forced patients to endure long recovery times, and the varicose veins often grew right back in the same area.
Most modern varicose vein treatment involves non-invasive, or only minimally invasive procedures, i.e. no painful surgery and no permanent scarring. The pain involved in these modern procedures is minimal and the recovery time is very short. In fact, most patients who receive modern varicose vein treatment can drive themselves and go back to work the very same day of the procedure. Moreover, these modern procedures work much better too. The varicose veins don’t usually grow back and there is almost never any scarring. When varicose veins do grow back using these modern procedures, they are usually not as bad as they were after vein stripping.
If you have varicose veins and would like to find out more about this new and exciting varicose vein treatment, and when it may be available in the United States, you can always contact Metro Vein Centers to ask your questions. The specialists at Metro Vein Centers keep abreast of all new procedures being developed internationally for varicose vein treatment. You can also go into one of Metro Vein Clinics’ offices to have a free evaluation of your varicose vein problem and get professional advice on the best treatment available to remedy or reduce your problem.