What is Vein Ablation?
Vein ablation – formally known as radiofrequency ablation (RFA) – is a minimally invasive and highly effective procedure that uses image-guided radiofrequency or laser energy to recirculate blood flow to reduce pressure and stress away from abnormal veins. Once faulty veins are ablated, healthy veins are then able to function in their place.
Endovenous ablation treatment boasts a 98% success rate in treating varicose veins and venous insufficiency (VI), and does not require general anesthesia or hospital stay.
Treatment results in improved circulation in the legs and helps alleviate common symptoms associated with varicose veins and venous insufficiency, such as:
- Restless Legs
- Cramping (often misdiagnosed as dehydration)
EVA results in fewer complications than standard venous surgery, and any complications that do arise are most often very minor and short-lived.
What is Venous Insufficiency (VI)?
Venous insufficiency (VI) is a condition where your veins struggle to return blood from your limbs back to your heart. This causes blood to collect or pool in the veins of your legs, and can be caused by several factors, including:
- Prolonged standing
- Family history of varicose veins
- Age over 50
- High blood pressure
- Any history of smoking
Venous insufficiency symptoms include:
- Throbbing legs
- Tired legs
- Varicose veins
- Changes in skin color on the affected leg(s)
- Leg ulcers (leg sores)
Venous insufficiency is more common in women than it is in men, and is more likely to occur in individuals aged 50 years or older. Additionally, it is estimated that 40% of people in the U.S. suffer from chronic venous insufficiency (CVI).
Treating Venous Insufficiency (VI) with Endovenous Vein Ablation (EVA)
All EVA treatments treat venous insufficiency in the legs. However, there are a few specific veins that require treatment more frequently than others.
One of the most popular targets for endovenous vein ablation is the great saphenous vein (GSV), which is located on the inside of the thigh and reaches from the groin all the way down to the ankle. The great saphenous vein is usually associated with varicose veins, which are a form of venous insufficiency (VI).
Other popular targets for vein ablation include the small saphenous veins (SSV), which lie in the back of the leg near the calf muscles, and accessory veins, which are located throughout the legs.
Ready to find out if Vein Ablation is right for you? Schedule a consultation at Wellness & Surgery today.
How Does Vein Ablation Work?
Endovenous vein ablation works by viewing a vein via ultrasound, and then directing microwave radiofrequencies to that vein through a catheter (a thin tube) that has been inserted into the vein via a small poke akin to an IV or epidural. Heat generated by the radiofrequency energy allows the blood to be recirculated through healthy veins. Eventually, the damaged vein shrinks—thereby eliminating the problem vein and allowing blood flow to redirect towards healthier veins.
This radiofrequency ablation procedure takes only 10 minutes to treat 2 veins and completely eliminates problem veins using just a relatively simple needle puncture covered by a bandage. When treating multiple veins, several sessions may be required.
Alternative vein ablation treatments consist of traditional surgical procedures that work by removing veins via larger incisions. These treatment alternatives may require general anesthesia and often entail a painful recovery.
What Can I Expect After Vein Ablation Treatment?
Compared to the weeks of recovery time associated with more traditional vein removal procedures, radiofrequency ablation treatment requires no recovery time. You’ll have full mobility the very next day! Patients are able to return home the same day as treatment by walking right out the front door.
Here are a few other things to expect post-treatment:
- You are encouraged to walk after the procedure, and you won’t have any trouble doing it! You’ll have full mobility mere hours after the procedure.
- You will be instructed to wear a compression sock for a period of time during your recovery.
- You may drive a car as soon as one day after your procedure.
Who is A Candidate for Vein Ablation?
Endovenous ablation is for those with venous insufficiency or varicose veins. It is meant to alleviate the following symptoms:
- Aching/throbbing leg pain
- Leg heaviness
- Tired legs
- Restless legs
- Ulcers or skin irritation
- Discoloration of the skin
- Phlebitis (painful inflammation of the veins)
Think you might be a candidate for Vein Ablation? Schedule a consultation now to find out!
Wellness & Surgery:
Your Destination for Vein Health
Approximately 150,000 cases of venous insufficiency are diagnosed each year. Chronic venous insufficiency is often underdiagnosed and undertreated. Early diagnosis is important as venous insufficiency can result in various conditions such as varicose veins. Undiagnosed venous insufficiency can also result in serious consequences.
In addition to reviewing symptoms and conducting a physical examination, Dr. Arad of Wellness & Surgery can determine if you have venous insufficiency using a fast and non-invasive diagnostic Wellness Ultrasound.
We can also help keep you free of venous insufficiency and other vein problems by providing lifestyle education and home care advice to help you avoid and manage problems, and quickly relieve any vein conditions using state-of-the-art treatments, including vein ablation.
It’s important to note that you do not have to see veins in your legs in order to seek treatment. Venous insufficiency is commonly based on symptoms and is often misdiagnosed. Our wellness ultrasound can help determine whether you have underlying vein issues and can help guide your treatment options.
Tired of dealing with varicose veins and venous insufficiency? We’re here to help. Schedule your consultation at Wellness & Surgery today!