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Medical breakthrough helps treat unsightly varicose veins

Dr. David Greuner invented 'No Knife'

HOUSTON – They're unsightly and, in severe cases, could signal a potential health problem -- and millions of Americans are prone to the condition.

Here's how a procedure called No Knife repairs varicose veins, without scarring.

Allison Weigel's glaring, ugly varicose veins were treated without any scarring. She had spider veins, causing her a web of pain and embarrassment.

"(I was) just (embarrassed) about the bulging veins, both the comfort level of that, and also the way that it would look," she said.

Typical varicose vein surgery involves a scalpel incision, and then a large needle and sheath pass a laser catheter into the blood vessel. This can leave small scars, especially on dark skin.

"When these people have a lot of venous disease and require a lot of little incisions, it can lead to quite a disfiguring result on somebody that wants their legs addressed for cosmetic reasons as well,” said Dr. David Greuner, a cardiovascular surgeon at NYC Surgical Associates.

Greuner invented No Knife, which uses only a much smaller needle, containing a very thin laser fiber that contracts and repairs the vein -- a stark contrast in the two needle sizes and in the scarring results.

"With my way, there's zero scar on any of these people,” Greuner said. “No matter what your skin color, no matter how severe your vein disease is. We can address it without any single scar whatsoever."

Said Weigel, "The procedure has really changed the way I feel about my legs, and showing them, and made me a lot more comfortable with my body."

The No Knife procedure is covered by insurance.

Greuner said his procedure is actually cheaper than the norm, because it eliminates the cost of a sheath.