The steam method

What is the steam method?

The steam method is an innovation in minimally invasive vascular surgery aiming to eliminate veins by heating their walls with the use of this new technique.

This treatment method has been in use since 2006, and was awarded by the European Forum of Vascular Surgery in 2010 for being the best and most original method of treating varices.

Instructions for the steam method

The steam method is excellent for eliminating any type of varice or chronic venous insufficiency.

Steam method treatment procedure

During the intervention hot vapors are injected under pressure with the aid of special fine catheters. Water under pressure is injected through a micro-tube, which has an internal diameter of 0.1 mm, and is heated with the aid of electric current. The hot water will exit the tube in the form of steam puffs, which have a temperature of 150 degrees Celsius. A catheter is joined to the end of the tube, where the steam is pumped out. This catheter serves the purpose of leading the steam into the vein. The temperature of the steam entering the vein is approximately 120 degrees Celsius. The steam will return to a fluid state thanks to the condensation process, the resulting heat being absorbed by the vein’s wall.

The thermal excision method using steam requires employing a 1.2 mm extremely flexible catheter, which is introduced through the needle, that had been used to puncture the vein. The procedure is done by using a local anesthetic. It is conducted under echographic guidance and lasts approximately 30-40 minutes.

 

The advantages of the procedure

  • Lack of pain: the procedure does not cause any sort of pain. Any type of pain that might occur is similar to a minor discomfort.
  • Safety: the heat transfer during the procedure applying the steam method is done under 1 second.
  • Versatility: the steam method can be applied to treat any type of varicose vein due to the fact that steam can reach the smallest portions of the vein to which a catheter cannot have access to.
  • It reduces the risk of having venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolism.
  • It reduces the risk of having or experiencing recurring venous ulcer.
  • Using steam guarantees the homogenous diffusion of heat.
  • The catheter’s stainless steel tip provides great visibility for the guiding echography. Furthermore the steam’s diffusion is also precisely visible.
  • Collateral varicose veins can be treated during the same treatment session.

 

Post-op recovery

The intervention is conducted with the use of a local anesthetic. The time spent by the patient at the clinic is reduced to a mere few hours, after which he/she may return to his/her daily activities. This method does not leave scars and excludes the possibility of causing hematomas (unlike traditional varice elimination interventions, which plucked the faulty veins through a procedure called stripping, or laser surgery, which may cause burn marks).

A probability of relapse for the varicose disease is extremely low, and the aesthetic improvements are undisputed and spectacular. 

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