What is Medical Superglue

Medical Superglue - Vein Doctors Group

Medical Superglue is intended to permanently treat the underlying veins that cause varicose by sealing the affected veins with a cyanoacrylate-based adhesive. It cannot be used to treat the actual varicose veins but these often improve significantly so that direct treatment (usually done by Ultrasound Guided Sclerotherapy) is not required. Because the sealed area due to Medical Superglue is very soft and elastic it eventually becomes undetectable.



Your doctor inserts a catheter through the skin into the diseased vein and injects the clear liquid. He then monitors the placement of the catheter and the delivery of the adhesive using ultrasound imaging. Once the adhesive is injected inside the diseased vein, the area is manually compressed, and the adhesive changes into a solid to seal the varicose vein.


Medical Superglue is used for patients with symptoms of venous reflux disease. This occurs when the valves have stopped working properly, allowing blood to flow backwards and collect in the leg veins causing varicose veins and may be associated with aching, swelling, cramping, itching, and ulcers. These symptoms can worsen over time if not treated.


Medical Superglue seals the underlying veins which generally relieves symptoms.


Medical Superglue is most appropriate for patients who have straight sections of underlying veins where the valves have failed and there are not a lot of associated varicose veins.


The published success of Medical Superglue is up to 98.9% (VeClose Study), with fewer complications than ELA or surgery.

Medical Superglue has been meticulously trialled in the United States and Europe over the last 5 years.  Results published show a low risk of complications and excellent medium-term results.  The VeClose Study out of Germany showed a 98.9% closure rate at 6 months.  Medical Superglue is considered as effective as Endovenous Laser Ablation (ELA) but does not involve the use of heat and can, therefore, be performed with the application of a small amount of local anaesthetic as opposed to the larger volumes of anaesthetic required for ELA.


  1. Less Discomfort - Medical Superglue reduces the discomfort and the recovery time that would be associated with both Ultrasound Guided Sclerotherapy (UGS) and Endovenous Laser Ablation (ELA). Only one small injection of Local Anaesthetic is required during the procedure
  2. No compression stockings are required after the procedure for most patients. They may be used for up to 3 days if further treatment is required after Medical Superglue
  3. Faster recovery /Less after procedure discomfort - Medical Superglue is designed to reduce recovery time that is normally associated with UGS and ELA (which is also short). Many patients return to normal activity immediately after the procedure. Your doctor can help you determine when you can return to normal activity. Medical Superglue is designed to allow rapid return to normal activities
  4. Walk-in walkout
  5. Medical Superglue is now covered by Medicare and Private Health Funds


  1. It cannot be used for the direct treatment of varicose veins but rather the underlying veins that cause the varicose veins. This MAY mean the varicose veins need to be treated at a separate session.
  2. The treated vein may become sore and require anti-inflammatories and time to settle.


When will my symptoms improve? The diseased superficial vein caused the symptoms. Thus, symptoms may improve as soon as the diseased vein is closed.

When can I return to normal activity? Medical Superglue is designed to reduce recovery time. Many patients return to normal activity immediately after the procedure. Your doctor can help you determine when you can return to normal activity.

Is Medical Superglue painful? Most patients feel little, if any, pain during the outpatient procedure.

Is there bruising after Medical Superglue? Most patients report little-to-no bruising after Medical Superglue.

What happens to Medical Superglue? Only a very small amount of Medical Superglue is used to close the vein. Your body will naturally absorb the adhesive over time.

How does Medical Superglue differ from thermal energy procedures? Medical Superglue uses an adhesive to close the superficial vein.


  • You do not need to cease any medications.
  • Do not shave your legs.
  • Do not apply moisturiser on the day of treatment.
  • Wear slacks or loose trousers or shorts for the appointment and ensure that you have a comfortable pair of walking shoes.
  • Pre-medication is generally not necessary. If you have a particularly low pain threshold, take 2 Paracetamol tablets or 2 Ibuprofen tablets with food before the procedure


You will have an ultrasound imaging exam of the leg that is to be treated to confirm the area where Medical Superglue will be used. The doctor will again discuss the procedure with you.

A brief summary of what to expect is below:

  • You may feel some minor pain or stinging with the injection of the local anaesthetic to numb the site where the doctor will access your vein.
  • Once the area is numb, your doctor will insert the catheter (i.e., a small hollow tube) into your leg. You may feel some pressure from the placement of the catheter but it will not be painful.
  • The catheter will be placed in specific areas along the diseased vein to deliver small amounts of the medical adhesive. You may feel some mild sensation of pulling or tugging. Ultrasound will be used during the procedure to guide and position the catheter.
  • After treatment, the catheter is removed and a dressing placed over the puncture site.


  • You will be free to immediately leave the clinic.
  • You will be directed to go for a 10-minute walk before you go home.
  • Walking for 10-15 minutes per day is advised until you see your Doctor again after 2 weeks.
  • Continue with normal exercise activities after 48 hours
  • Avoid long haul flights for at least 2 weeks after treatment or if you want to travel before that time then please discuss with Your Doctor and appropriate arrangements can be made.
  • Your veins will be checked with Ultrasound 2 weeks after your treatment.
  • Sometimes the treated vein becomes sore but this will invariably settle down with time and may on occasion need some mild analgesia and some Anti-inflammatory medication


The Medical Superglue procedure is minimally invasive and catheter-based. As such, it may involve the following risks. Your doctor can help you understand these risks.


  • Pain - Mild to moderate pain may persist for 1-2 weeks along the treated vein. Post Medical Superglue discomfort should be managed with a combination of light walking and rest (with leg elevation) along with anti-inflammatory medication such as Nurofen or Voltaren.
  • Paraesthesia (i.e., a feeling of tingling, pricking, numbness or burning) – this has been reported in some studies and is thought to be a result of inflammation around the treated vein temporarily affecting surrounding nerves.
  • Phlebitis (i.e., inflammation and soreness of the treated vein) – this may occur along the inner thigh in line with the treated vein. This is again managed with anti-inflammatories and stockings. Your doctor should be contacted if this is limiting your activity.
  • Swelling in the treated leg


  • Bleeding from the access site
  • Hematoma (i.e., the collection of blood outside of a vessel)
  • Hyperpigmentation (i.e., darkening of the skin)


  • Infection at the access site
  • Non-specific mild inflammation of the cutaneous and subcutaneous tissue
  • Allergic reaction to the Medical Superglue adhesive
  • Deep vein thrombosis (i.e., blood clot in the deep vein system)
  • Pulmonary embolism (i.e., blockage of an artery in the lungs)
  • Neurological deficits including stroke and death
  • Vascular rupture and perforation
  • Visible scarring
  • Arteriovenous fistula (i.e., an abnormal connection between an artery and a vein)