FDA approves liquid adhesive to seal varicose veins of the legs

The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new technique for treating varicose veins by sealing them with a clear liquid that turns into a solid adhesive.

The VenaSeal system is approved for patients with varicose veins of the legs that cause pain, blood clots or other symptoms. The system includes syringes, guide wire and a catheter which is used to inject the liquid that seals the diseased veins. Doctors monitor the procedure using ultrasound imaging.

Previous techniques used to treat varicose veins involved drugs, lasers, radio waves or incisions. An FDA official said in a statement the new technique "can allow patients to quickly return to their normal activities, with less bruising."

The VenaSeal system was developed by Covidien, which was recently acquired by Minnesota-based Medtronic Inc.