Ablation Procedures Treat Varicose Veins Without Traditional Surgery

Date: Aug 4, 2020

In the not too distant past, the only way to treat varicose veins was with surgery. Now, Emory Vein Center offers many alternatives that can be done in the office setting with local anesthesia, including ablation procedures. With ablation, patients experience no significant swelling or scarring and often begin to see improvement in their symptoms immediately. Vein ablation is safe and highly effective.

How Varicose Vein Ablation Works

If you have varicose veins, you already know that they can be unattractive and painful. This common condition is caused by weak valves in the veins that transport blood from the legs to the heart.

The only way to get rid of varicose veins is to redirect blood flow into healthy veins. This can be achieved with surgery, but that involves a trip to the operating room, multiple incisions, and a longer recovery. Almost all varicose veins can now be closed or removed under local anesthesia in the office. This results in less postoperative pain and a more rapid recovery. Varicose vein ablation performed by an Emory vascular surgeon is an effective, less invasive alternative.

Ablation procedures use heat or chemicals to seal off the diseased varicose vein, directing blood flow to nearby healthy veins. Ablation procedures result in little to no downtime and have a low complication rate. Many insurance plans cover some or all of the costs.

Start Your Journey with an Initial Evaluation

Emory Vein Center offers comprehensive evaluation and treatment for varicose veins. You may qualify for an evaluation via telehealth using our Emory Connected Care services.

This evaluation includes a conversation with one of our board-certified vascular surgeons about your symptoms and goals for treatment and may include plans for ultrasound testing. This testing may be needed to evaluate the extent of venous disease and to determine appropriate treatment.

Typical treatment plans begin with a conservative approach, which may include:

  • Exercising regularly
  • Elevating your legs
  • Wearing compression hose
  • Following a weight loss plan

If these don’t work, the vascular surgeon may recommend varicose vein ablation.

Four Types of Varicose Vein Ablation

Ablation procedures use heat or chemicals to close the diseased vein. Your vascular surgeon will help you determine which approach is right for you.

Heat Ablation

  • Radiofrequency ablation (VNUS Closure®) — The surgeon guides a small catheter into the affected vein through a small puncture in the skin. The catheter uses radiofrequency energy to generate heat that closes the vein.
  • Endovenous laser treatment (EVLT) — The surgeon delivers heat to the affected vein using a small laser fiber.

Chemical Ablation

  • VenaSeal™—The surgeon injects a small amount of specially formulated medical adhesive to the diseased vein.
  • Varithena®—The surgeon injects a small amount of foam sclerosant into the diseased vein.

Varicose vein ablation takes place at Emory Vein Center with a 30-60-minute treatment session, and the numbers of sessions required will depend on your treatment plan. You’ll receive a local anesthetic to minimize any discomfort—most patients say the procedure is painless. Many people notice an improvement in their symptoms right away, although it may take several months to see the full benefit of this treatment.

What to Expect from Varicose Vein Ablation

After varicose vein ablation, most people can resume their normal activities immediately. Your surgeon may recommend:

  • Refraining from strenuous activity for a few days
  • Taking a daily walk for a few days following treatment
  • Wearing compression hose, although most people don’t need to do so after vein ablation

There may be mild bruising after the procedure which will be temporary.

Take the First Step

Vascular surgeons at Emory Vein Center offer comprehensive treatment options to help relieve pain and minimize the appearance of varicose veins.

Call Emory Vein Center at 404-778-8346 (VEIN) schedule your varicose vein consultation today.

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