Endovenous ablation treats varicose veins by using heat to ablate, meaning remove, the troublesome veins. In this minimally invasive procedure the problem varicose veins are exposed to heat which causes them to shrink, collapse, and eventually heal into scar tissue. Laser endovenous ablation uses heat from a laser to treat varicose veins, while sound waves act as the heat source in radiofrequency endovenous ablation. The varicose veins and spider veins treated with endovenous ablation are considered superficial veins, therefore the blood flow is redirected when they die off.
Endovenous Ablation: An Overview
How It Works: Endovenous ablation works by sealing off varicose veins and redirecting blood flow through properly functioning veins.
What It Treats: This treatment is used to treat varicose veins and the underlying veins that cause varicosities to develop.
Pros: Endovenous ablation is a minimally invasive, relatively simple treatment. It requires only a local anesthetic and little to no downtime after the procedure.
Cons: Additional treatment methods such as sclerotherapy or phlebectomy may be required.
Alternatives: Sclerotherapy, phlebectomy, and surgical ligation and stripping are alternative treatments that may be used instead of or in conjunction with endovenous ablation to effectively treat varicose veins.
Type of Procedure: The procedure is done on an outpatient basis, and is often performed in a doctor’s office setting. The typical treatment takes about one hour to perform and is done under local anesthesia.
Recovery Process: Recovery is immediate for the vast majority of individuals. The use of compression stockings will aid in recovery.
Results: Within one week’s time the results of the procedure should be easily visible.
Side Effects: Swelling of the vein is a common side effect of endovenous ablation; wearing a compression stocking will help minimize swelling. Rarely problems with blood clotting and nerve damage may occur.
Cost/Insurance: Consult your health care practitioner and insurance provider to verify cost and coverage of any vein treatments.
Consult Your Doctor: You should bring any documents necessary to give your doctor an accurate medical history, including recent illnesses and any allergies that you have. Make a list of the medications and supplements that you are currently taking as well as the symptoms that you are feeling. Write down any questions that you have ahead of time and bring them with you. Make sure you understand your doctor’s answers.