Varicose veins can cause symptoms such as pain or bleeding, but may also be a harbinger of a more serious underlying condition known chronic venous insufficiency (CVI), which is a severe vein disease that makes it difficult for blood to return to the heart from the legs. When this happens, instead of the blood flowing from the legs to the heart, it flows back toward the lower extremities and pools in the legs. This can lead to pain, heaviness, and swelling of the legs, but more importantly, it can also cause dark discoloration of the skin and even skin breakdown that may lead to ulcers. Some estimates have put the number of people suffering from CVI at more than 30 million Americans over the age of 40—more than 20 million of those being women—with only approximately 2 million receiving adequate diagnosis or treatment.
For some, varicose veins only cause minimal discomfort; however, if left untreated, they can lead to serious complications. Should this occur, health care professionals may recommend advanced treatment to remove or close the affected veins.
The VenaSeal™ closure system is the only non-tumescent, non-thermal, non-sclerosant procedure that uses a proprietary medical adhesive delivered endovenously to close the vein. This unique, minimally invasive approach eliminates the risk of nerve injury, with clinical studies demonstrating that the treatment is not only safe, but also extremely effective. Administered without the use of anesthesia in an office setting, patients are able to avoid the discomfort associated with the multiple needle sticks required to complete other vein procedures. Since VenaSeal™ closure is achieved through a micro puncture in the skin—only necessitating the covering of a small Band-Aid—there is no prolonged recovery time and patients are not required to wear uncomfortable compression stockings or wraps after the procedure. The return to normal activity, and even vigorous exercise, is instantaneous once the patient leaves the office.
The VenaSeal™ device must be used as a system and differs from other treatments that use drugs, laser, radio waves, or cuts in the skin to close or remove veins. During the procedure, Dr. Ricotta injects the VenaSeal™, which is a clear liquid that polymerizes into solid material once it makes contact with blood, through a catheter that has been inserted into the diseased vein. In order to ensure proper placement of the catheter, he utilizes advanced ultrasound imaging technology.
"I feel honored to be one of the first surgeons in the United States to use this new procedure,” said Dr. Joseph J. Ricotta, MD, MS, FACS. “VenaSeal™ is the first system to permanently treat malfunctioning veins by sealing them with an adhesive and it offers patients another easy, in-office treatment option with essentially no recovery time. Patients can leave the office after the procedure and go out and run a 5K if they want to. Another important advantage for patients is that they do not have to wear the uncomfortable compression stockings or wraps that are required with other current vein closure procedures. I’m excited to see it grow within my practice.”
Dr. Joseph Ricotta is a nationally and internationally renowned expert in the field of vascular and endovascular surgery. He brings years of valuable experience working at the nation’s leading institutions—such as Yale, Johns Hopkins, Mayo Clinic, and The Cleveland Clinic—to his current role as the CEO and Medical Director of the Vascular Institute of Atlanta. In addition, Dr. Ricotta is also an Associate Professor of Surgery at the Georgia Regents University/University of Georgia (GRU/UGA) School of Medicine.
Dr. Ricotta has garnered national and international recognition as an innovative pioneer and thought-leader in vascular surgery. In addition to paving the way with VenaSeal™, he was the first surgeon in the Southeast United States—and is one of a few in the world—to perform endovascular robotic surgery. He is also the first surgeon in the United States with FDA IDE approval to create and implant custom modified endografts in high-risk patients with complex aortic aneurysms, and was the first to perform peripheral drug coated balloon angioplasty in the state of Georgia.
Dr. Ricotta has received numerous awards and has been repeatedly named a “Top Doctor” by both U.S. News and World Report and Atlanta Magazine, as well as one of “America’s Best Doctors” by Castle Connolly. He has also been chosen as a “Top Surgeon” in the United States on multiple occasions, and has been named a distinguished fellow by the Society for Vascular Surgery.
For individuals in the Atlanta area who are looking for an experienced and highly respected vascular surgeon, Dr. Ricotta is currently accepting new patients at his Roswell office. To learn more about how he can help you, please visit his website at www.ATLVascular.com or call the Vascular Institute of Atlanta office at 470-355-3053.
Dr. Joseph J. Ricotta II MD, MS, FACS
Vascular Institute of Atlanta