WHAT IS CLOSUREFAST?
CLOSUREFAST is the name given to the procedure that delivers Radiofrequency energy through a small catheter inserted into the skin to seal off deep and large Varicose Veins. The procedure has in the past also been called the VENEFIT and the VNUS. It is also described as Ultrasound Guided Radiofrequency as Ultrasound imaging is used to accurately deliver the radiofrequency energy.
WHY USE RADIOFREQUENCY ENERGY?
Radiofrequency energy is a form of electrical energy that can be very effectively and accurately concentrated to generate heat. If the inside of a Varicose Vein is heated to a high enough temperature the vein can be closed off and destroyed.
HOW DO I KNOW IF THE CLOSUREFAST IS NEEDED?
A Mapping scan is performed to identify the site and severity of the underlying Varicose Vein problem. Depending on the findings of the Mapping Scan will determine whether the CLOSUREFAST is the best choice versus other options. The cost effectiveness of the procedure also needs to be evaluated and discussed.
HOW IS THE CLOSUREFAST PERFORMED?
The treatment is done in the rooms as a walk in walk out procedure. An Ultrasound scan identifies the area to be targeted, some local anaesthetic is injected, a tiny skin incision is made and a small fine catheter is inserted through the skin and into the Varicose Vein. Radiofrequency energy is then delivered through the catheter to cause contraction and collapse of the vein wall. The catheter is slowly withdrawn to progressively heat up and seal off the entire length of the Varicose Vein being treated. A stocking is applied to the leg and immediate return to walking and normal activity is undertaken. The procedure typically takes about an hour though this will be longer if both legs need to be treated. There is usually minimal discomfort either during or after the CLOSUREFAST procedure.
HOW LONG HAS THE CLOSUREFAST PROCEDURE BEEN USED?
The use of Radiofrequency energy to treat Varicose Veins has been performed since 1998. Many thousands of the CLOSUREFAST procedures have been performed throughout the world and it is one of the most popular alternatives to surgical stripping of veins.
WHEN IS THE CLOSUREFAST USED?
The CLOSUREFAST is used to target the main drainage veins from the groin or back of the knee. These are veins that years ago would have required hospital admission, general anaesthetic and major surgery to strip out the varicose vein.
The main non-surgical alternative to CLOSUREFAST is with ultrasound guided Laser treatment. This procedure commonly known as EVLT can also give excellent long term results in treating Varicose Veins. For more information visit our page on Endovenous Laser Therapy. There is some evidence from comparison studies that CLOSUREFAST is associated with less pain and bruising than Laser and improvements in quality of life measures occur up to 4 times faster with CLOSUREFAST.
It is not usually used if there has been past surgical treatment and the Varicose Veins have come back as these veins are best managed by Ultrasound Guided Sclerotherapy.
It is not a treatment to target surface spider veins which are best managed by Surface Sclerotherapy. In terms of surface veins it is important to realise that when surface veins and deep varicose veins occur together it is usually necessary to target the deep veins first and then tidy up the surface veins to get the best long term result.
HOW MUCH DOWNTIME IS THERE?
The beauty of the CLOSUREFAST is that the procedure can be done in the clinic rooms without a hospital admission being necessary. Only a small amount of local anaesthetic on the skin is used and because no general anaesthetic is required normal activity can be resumed immediately. The procedure is quick only taking 1-2 hours. Most people take the day of the procedure off work and then can return to work the next day. Walking is encouraged immediately after treatment and at least 30 minutes walking is recommended each day after treatment for at least 2 weeks.
It is recommended that very strenuous exercise (either weights or cardio) is deferred until 1 week after treatment. It is also advisable that very hot baths, spas and saunas are avoided for 1 week after treatment.
There is some conjecture over the ideal timing of any of the deep vein procedures including CLOSUREFAST and plane flights. As a general guide it is recommended to wait at least 1 week after any long distance airline travel before treatment and avoid any airline travel for 2 weeks and long haul airline travel (more than 4 hours) for a minimum of 4 weeks after treatment. This is to reduce any increased risk of deep vein thrombosis (dvt). In certain circumstances where patients might be at higher risk it may be recommended to wait longer before flying and/or a blood thinning injection (CLEXANE) may be prescribed.
HOW MANY TREATMENTS ARE NEEDED?
The CLOSUREFAST is designed as a single treatment to target the main drainage vein. A follow up Ultrasound scan is needed after the procedure to check the results usually 1-2 weeks later. Fortunately it is in only a very small number of patients that a further CLOSUREFAST treatment might be needed in the future
If there are other branch varicose veins these may require follow up Ultrasound guided injections and if there are associated Spider veins that are a cosmetic concern then these will require separate surface injections or surface laser treatment.
WHAT IS THE COST OF THE CLOSUREFAST?
The initial Mapping scan that determines suitability for the procedure is largely covered by Medicare. Cost is $ 450, (Medicare rebate $270 so out of pocket approx. $180)
The cost of the CLOSUREFAST varies if one or both legs need to be treated. One leg is $3000 and both legs $5700.There is a Medicare rebate available of between $500 and $700 depending on whether one or both legs are treated. The single use catheter is the main reason for the out of pocket expense. Private Health Insurance does not cover out of hospital treatments so they do not provide any further rebate. As there is a Medicare rebate no GST is applicable. Treatment cost includes the stockings and follow up Ultrasound scan. Out of pocket medical expenses can be claimed back against income tax but individual circumstances vary and advice from your accountant as to whether this is applicable would be needed.