What is Cooltouch CTEV?
Cooltouch CTEV® is a clinically proven, minimally invasive procedure that treats varicose veins and their underlying cause, venous reflux, with little or no pain. Cooltouch CTEV® patients can walk away from the procedure and be back to
everyday activities – either at home or at work – typically within a day.
Why do varicose veins occur?
If you experience discomfort, swelling and varicose veins in your legs, you may be suffering from superficial venous reflux disease. More than 25 million people in the United States suffer from this condition. Venous reflux or venous insufficiency develops when the valves that usually keep blood flowing out of your legs become damaged or diseased, resulting in varicose veins. The main treatment alternative is to re-route blood flow through healthy veins.
How does Cooltouch CTEV® work?
CoolTouch CTEV® uses an endovenous laser to gently heat a fiber inserted into the vein, causing the vein to safely close. Once the vein is closed, the blood that was circulating through this vein is simply rerouted to other healthy veins, and the varicose vein essentially vanishes. The wavelength of the CoolTouch laser has been carefully selected to provide the most comfortable and effective laser treatment possible for varicose veins.
What is the procedure like?
The Cooltouch CTEV® procedure is performed on an outpatient basis. We use local anesthesia to numb the leg before treatment. The procedure consists of four steps:
- Mapping the vein. A typical procedure begins with noninvasive ultrasound imaging of the diseased vein to trace its location. This allows the physician to determine the site where the laser fiber will be inserted and to mark the desired position of the fiber tip to begin treatment.
- Inserting the laser fiber. After the physician accesses the vein, the laser fiber is inserted into the vein and advanced to the uppermost segment of the vein. The physician then typically injects dilute anesthetic fluid into the area surrounding the vein. This numbs the leg, helps squeeze blood out of the vein and provides a fluid layer outside the vein to protect surrounding tissue from heat once the fiber starts delivering laser energy.
- Delivering laser energy and withdrawing the fiber. Noninvasive ultrasound is used to confirm the fiber tip position. The physician then activates the laser machine. As the vein wall is heated, the vein shrinks and the fiber is gradually withdrawn. During fiber pullback, which typically occurs over 4 to 10 minutes, the entire vein is ablated (i.e. closed).
- Confirming the closing of the vein. During the treatment, ultrasound imaging is used to confirm that the vein has closed. If a portion of the vein is not closed, the fiber can be reinserted and laser reapplied. After the procedure, the narrowed vein becomes fibrous, sealing the interior of the vein walls and naturally redirecting blood flow to healthy veins. Often, the procedure is over in less than an hour.
What happens after the procedure?
After the procedure, we will apply compression stockings, and you will be up and walking out the same day. You will be able to resume light routine activity the next day and athletic or strenuous activities within several days to a couple of weeks. Approximately one week after the procedure, we’ll have you return to the office for an ultrasound examination. We also recommend that you wear compression stockings for several weeks after the procedure. Compression stockings will enhance your comfort and recovery in the initial days after treatment.
What are the benefits of Cooltouch CTEV®?
- The procedure causes minimal, if any, scarring; requires no stitches; and rarely causes any bruising.
- You will experience minimal, if any, pain or post-op complications, and the success rate is greater than 99%.
- The appearance of the vein, and any pain or swelling caused by the vein, will improve quickly after the procedure is completed. Some severe symptoms may take 1-2 weeks to completely disappear.
Will my insurance cover the procedure?
We accept Medicare and most other insurance plans, and are happy to file claims on behalf of our patients. Varicose veins aren’t just unsightly; they can also pose a real threat to your health. Therefore, it’s often in the best interest of both you and your insurance company to cover procedures like this one.