Varicose veins can be unsightly and painful. They can limit your physical activities while making you feel self-conscious. If you are tired of being reminded of your varicose veins from the pain and discomfort each day, endovenous ablation might be the treatment for you.
What is Endovenous Ablation?
Endovenous Ablation is a minimally invasive procedure that uses radiofrequency and laser energy to essentially burn (cauterize) the varicose vein. The basics of how the procedure works include: an ultrasound machine used to locate and monitor the vein while a catheter and radiofrequency electrode are inserted through a small incision into the vein. Laser energy is applied to the vein causing it to burn and scar. This is a very effective treatment and most patients' varicose veins are invisible to the eye and even an ultrasound machine just one year after the treatment. No stitches are needed because the incision is so small which means there is little to no scaring.
Endovenous Ablation of varicose veins is typically an outpatient procedure. The procedure takes about an hour and is performed by a radiologist. The radiologist will apply pressure to the incision at the end of the procedure and put a compression sock around the area that was treated. Patients can usually go back to normal activity directly after the procedure. Patients are actually encouraged to stay active and moving after the procedure to reduce the chance of clotting or complications.
Most risks involved with endovenous ablation are minor compared to more invasive treatments. Risks include: infection, bruising or bleeding, tenderness, thrombophlebitis, and blood clots.
Typically endovenous ablation treats larger varicose veins. It is difficult to treat small and curvy veins with this procedure. Your doctor will encourage you not to take blood thinning medication in the days leading up to your procedure.
Endovenous Ablation for varicose veins has proven to be effective and low risk. It is minimally invasive and the results will leave little evidence of the varicose vein or the procedure. If you are tired of dealing with the discomfort of varicose veins, talk to your doctor to see if endovenous ablation is an option for you.