Treatment for Varicose Veins Takes Step Forward

December 18, 2014 by
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Vein expert Mitchel P. Goldman, MD, discusses vein treatments.

Vein expert Mitchel P. Goldman, MD, discusses vein treatments.

New therapies – including a new foam treatment that became commercially available in August – are leading to more effective leg vein treatments, according to Mitchel P. Goldman, M.D, a leading expert on vein treatments and 2013-14 President of the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery.

Treatment of large leg varicose veins has taken a big step forward with the debut of Varithena, which combines Polidocanol and a carbon dioxide mix to create a new injectable foam that causes eventual closure and disappearance of the veins.

“Foam treatments have come a long way,” said Goldman, co-founder of Cosmetic Laser Dermatology in San Diego.

Varithena, by BTG, can be used to treat veins in the great saphenous vein system, which runs the entire length of the leg. Goldman conducted clinical trials on Varithena before FDA approval.

While some patients may regard veins – particularly on the face, chest or hands – as essentially a cosmetic concern, Goldman said leg veins can cause health problems. Fifty percent of patients with varicose and other leg vein problems experience blood clots or ulceration. Varicose veins also can cause night cramps, restless legs, pain and other issues, in addition to cosmetic concerns. An estimated 30 million-plus Americans ages 18 to 70 have varicose veins, he said.

A survey of 221 patients who participated in the final clinical trial for Varithena shows success with the new treatment, Goldman said.

At one year post-treatment, the patients showed consistent improvements in appearance; disease severity; and symptoms such as heaviness, aching, swelling, throbbing and itching, Goldman said. Both physicians and the patients themselves assessed how the leg looked.

“I have no doubt Varithena will be an important addition for physicians’ abilities to treat leg veins successfully,” Goldman said.

Goldman was among the first in the country to perform foam sclerotherapy for leg and hand veins and then teach others the procedure. He also has written extensively about the treatment.


Posted in Health & Beauty, Veins


ASDS is the largest specialty organization exclusively representing dermatologic surgeons who have unique training and experience to treat the health, function and beauty of the skin. ASDS members are pioneers in the field. Many are involved in the clinical studies that bring popular treatments to revitalize skin and diminish wrinkles to the forefront. Their work has helped create and enhance many of the devices that remove blemishes, hair and fat, and tighten skin. Dermatologic surgeons are also experts in skin cancer prevention, detection and treatment. Visit ASDS at:

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