The Venoscope:

Advanced Technology for Diagnosis and Treatment of Vein Disease

by Ken Biegeleisen, M.D., Ph.D.


(To see the world's first - and, to date, the world's only movie - taken from within the Greater Saphenous Vein, click on the movie reel to the left).


I have spent most of my 30+ year career in veins struggling to develop a better method than either surgery or injections. The Venoscope is the result of that ongoing endeavor.

The picture to the left is one of the drawings from the Venoscope patent. If you're interested, click on the drawing to see the online version of the patent, from the U.S. Patent Office web site.

The Venoscope was supposed to be a giant step forward in medicine. Unfortunately, dozens of companies rejected it, telling me, in so many words, "Existing remedies are adequate". Really? Then how come a cheap, watered-down knock-off of my invention is now in use in virtually every hospital in America, and I get no royalties?

*To read about the legal aspects of this grand theft, click here*

*To read a more detailed history of the Venoscope, click here*

The remainder of this document will briefly describe the instrument, although it cannot be known, at this point, whether any of us will live long enough to see it actually used in medical practice.

History of Venoscopy

The Venoscope was designed to solve the problems inherent in both surgery and sclerotherapy (injections) for varicose veins. The major advantage of surgery has always been a longer remission time, that is, a more durable result before the patient would need further treatment. The major advantage of injections is that they give a superior cosmetic result.

The Venoscope has the power to bring about a longer duration of remission even than surgery, and a better cosmetic result than injections. The fact that no company has seen fit to produce it, but rather to produce a worthless, profit-oriented knockoff, is a testament to the morally degraded, irresponsible and mindless state of pharmaceutical-industry-controlled medicine in the 21st century.

The true Venoscope begins with an intravenous catheter, designed to be inserted directly into a large varicose vein. Fiberoptic bundles incorporated into the body of the catheter enable the doctor to see inside the vein, and serve additionally to conduct laser light into the vein for therapeutic laser ablation, if deemed desirable.

For the practitioner, the ability to see inside the vein is of great importance in locating key points in the venous anatomy. In order to see inside, however, the blood must be washed out. Sometimes this is readily accomplished by flushing the inside of the vein with a clear fluid, such as physiological saline. Thus, the Venoscope is equipped with at least one injection channel, for the introduction of the clear fluid. The same channel can also be used to inject medicines, or to pass a radiofrequency ("RF") ablation wire for electrocautery.

But there are vitally important points in the venous anatomy where the blood flow is so brisk that it cannot be washed out. Since you can't see through blood, a backup method of "seeing" is required. This is provided by piezoelectric crystals, known more commonly as "doppler" crystals. These are tiny little things, embedded in the tip of the catheter. These crystals allow for two additional powers in the Venoscope, namely the power to create a clear ultrasound picture from within the vessel (with a resolution exceeding anything possible from the surface), and the power to measure the direction and velocity of blood flow (also with a precision not possible from the surface).

I should note that at the time the Venoscope concept was first developed, dedicated vascular catheters containing either pure fiberoptic viewing capabilities, or pure doppler imaging capabilities, were already in use, and had proven their worth. The Venoscope combined these technologies into one instrument.

Finally, the device was made steerable, so it could be threaded into places where even surgeons could not readily go.


Uses of Venoscopy

The Venoscope has the power to diagnose and treat all kinds of varicose disease, employing every current method and every method readily imaginable in the future.

In ordinary varicose vein treatment, the Venoscope would excel. Consider, for example, remission time. We said earlier that this is a place where surgery has an advantage over injections. This advantage is due to the ability of surgery to obliterate a certain set of potentially troublesome vessels which run alongside varicose veins. We may refer to these as "parallel tributaries". They are usually small, but after injections, or after incomplete surgery, they can quickly grow into new varicose veins.

In a properly-performed operation, the parallel tributaries are carefully exposed, tied off, and cut. There is, however, no equivalent injection method, so that when varicose veins are injected, treatment of the parallel tributaries must be postponed until later, if and when they rear their ugly heads. (Fortunately, this does not, as a rule, increase the need for follow-up treatment, because most patients come back for a "touch-up" every few years anyway).

The Venoscope can "see" the openings leading into the parallel tributaries from within the main trunk of the varicose vein. These troublesome tributaries can then be either injected, lasered, or cauterized electrically.

If deemed desirable, the Venoscope can even be used as an aid to "traditional" surgery rather than as a competing method. This would come about by simply using its intense light to mark the important anatomic landmarks from within the vein, whereupon a skilled surgeon could do the otherwise-ordinary operation through a veritable pinhole, leaving no scar. This sort of microsurgery has often been proposed in the past, but it has always had a high failure rate when done "blindly" from the surface. With the Venoscope lighting the way, however, this sort of microsurgery becomes an ultra-precise art.


Other Uses

A Venoscope can be threaded into places where surgeons either can't, or won't go. A good example is varicocele, a varicose vein of the testicles in men (or the comparable condition of varicose veins on the labia of women). This disease results from a varicose vein whose origin is inside the pelvis, near the kidneys. The problem of varicocele, therefore, is a relatively small problem, but the surgery to correct it is a large operation. That's not a good combination! No one wants to get cut open to solve a small problem! So varicocele usually goes untreated.

The Venoscope, however, can be threaded up to the source of the varicocele without cutting the patient open. Once there, the various therapeutic powers of the instrument (medicine injections, laser, or RF electrocautery) could be called into play to obliterate the disease.

Likewise for calf muscle varicosity, which is an important source of leg vein disfunction, but which has historically been neglected because of the difficulty of gaining access to the veins deep within the calf muscles.


"Save the Saphenous!"

The Saphenous Vein is the cause of the majority of severe varicose veins in the human leg (click here for more info on this vein). It runs from the inside ankle, up the leg to the groin. Normally it carries a trifling amount of blood up; in varicosity the direction of blood flow reverses, and it carries a great deal of blood backwards, i.e., down the leg. What causes this?

One of the theories of causation of Saphenous varicosity is that the vein goes "bad" because of so-called arterio-venous communications (AVC's). I'm not going to say much about this complex phenomenon, other than that it is well-known and well-demonstrated that varicose veins -- but not normal ones -- do in fact have AVC's along their lengths. It is possible that if these alone were treated, the vein would heal itself with no further treatment. But there's no current way to treat the AVC's without destroying the entire Saphenous Vein along with them.

And why not destroy the entire vein, you might be asking? Because it can be used as a conduit in coronary artery bypass surgery ("open heart surgery"). See the Advanced Information writeup for more on this. For now, it is sufficient to note that the Venoscope offers, for the first time in medical history, the selective power to obliterate these AVC's without damaging the rest of the Saphenous Vein.


Expropriation of Venoscope Technology

The basic concept of Venoscopy has been expropriated, and re-worked as a marketing gimmick. This means a cheap knock-off which cannot see into a vein, which cannot perform ultrasound imaging or flow studies, and cannot be used to inject medications. Nor can it go to places not accessible to surgery. In fact it can't even go to places which are accessible to surgery! So what can the cheap knock-off do?

All it does is burn the living daylights out of the vein, employing laser light. This is what I call a "blind, deaf and dumb" cathether! The result is the equivalent of bad surgery, and yet the lying literature which has mysteriously popped up calls it the "equivalent" of surgery. What nonsense!

These liars also claim "permanent cures", which no honest doctor would ever claim. These things are discussed elsewhere, and I shall not repeat the whole story here. Suffice it to say that there are now at least a half-dozen companies making a cheap Venoscope knock-off, each of them selling "like hotcakes", spurring a new era in venous medicine.

Unfortunately, it's a new era of corruption. Although the knock-offs can't do anything which can't already be done with existing methods, they sell well, and that's all that matters in modern "medicine". The companies making these imitation instruments have grossed hundreds of millions of dollars, and there's no stopping their expropriated pseudo-technology now.

To make matters worse, not only do health insurers pay for this assinine blind laser-burning treatment, they pay more than they pay for surgery, thus forcing every surgeon to either "sell out" his principles and buy into the "new technology", or else lose money. Guess what the majority of surgeons did:   Did you guess right? Yes, they sold out!.

This means that the floodgates of money have now opened wide. It will be almost impossible to close them, because, to quote Bob Dylan, "money doesn't talk, it swears". Worst of all, under these circumstances the true Venoscope will not be made anytime soon. Why should a company invest millions in developing a good instrument, when a lousy knock-off, which costs a fraction of the money to make, can be sold at a large profit? It'll never happen!

Who benefits, and who's the loser? The beneficiaries are the same people who always benefit, namely the people who already had more than the rest of us to begin with. The losers? Me, for one.

But far more important than what happens to me, is what happens to you. The Venoscope knock-offs are a huge medical step backwards, and until their strangle-hold on venous medicine is broken, you will never have the benefits of the advanced venous therapy which is already available for your varicose veins.


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