10 Vein Ablation Facts

Vein ablation

Vein Ablation

1. Minimally invasive

Vein ablation is a minimally invasive technique used for treating varicose veins. Either radiofrequency energy or laser energy is used in the process. The techniques for radiofrequency and laser energy vary very slightly but both uses heat to damage tissue in order to create a scar closing the vein.

While electric and magnetic energy give radiofrequency energy, laser energy comes from light. Varicose veins generally occur when weak veins on leg surface stretch, twist and bulge to end up being visible on the skin.


2. Involves bursts of radiofrequency

Vein ablation involves sending bursts of radiofrequency or laser energy through a catheter with the intention of using heat energy to intentionally destroy the vein wall tissue along the vein length. This damaged tissue leads to the formation of scar tissue which in turn closes the varicose vein.

3. Provides relief of symptoms

Vein ablation helps provide relief from the symptoms associated with varicose veins like leg sores, swollen ankles, fatigue, aches and scaly and dry skin. In the process, vein ablation helps improves leg appearance. Moreover, the procedure has a low risk to side effects.

4. Can be performed on outpatient basis

Vein ablation can be performed on an outpatient basis under local anesthesia where the physician first performs a duplex ultrasound to map the leg veins. Then the physician marks the skin’s varicose veins before starting the procedure.

5. Use of mild sedative or local anesthesia

Once the varicose veins are marked, heat energy is directed through a thin tube or catheter which is inserted in the vein through a small incision. It is usually performed on large veins on the leg and can be performed under a mild sedative or local anesthesia, in an office setting. Its recovery period is short which is why you can walk following the treatment.

6. Use of compression stockings

You need to wear compression stockings for a week or more after vein ablation. Your doctor will subsequently perform a second duplex ultrasound during your follow up appointment to ensure the vein has been closed.

7. Common in people with chronic venous insufficiency

Vein ablation is indicated and advised for patients who suffer from chronic venous insufficiency, individuals who have skin problems on the leg and for those who just want to improve the appearance of their varicose veins. However, health insurance may not provide coverage if the procedure is performed for cosmetic reasons.

8. Potential side effects

There are some possible side effects of vein ablation like skin burns, small or large clotting of blood in the vein and feelings of prickling, pain or burning after recovery because of the nerve damage. However, the more experienced the doctor is with the procedure, the lower are the risks to face.

9. No further surgical incisions necessary

The main benefit of vein ablation is that there are no surgical incisions used for treating varicose veins. Only a small nick is performed on the skin to pass the catheter, and it does not have to be stitch closed after the procedure. So if compared to other varicose vein stripping techniques, vein ablation is a more effective option with less pain during recovery.

10. Leaves no scars

Vein ablation leaves practically no scars as the skin openings are only a few millimeters big considering that no large incisions are made. In fact, most patients can thus return to normal daily activities immediately with little to no pain.


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