Endovenous ablation is a state of the art minimally invasive procedure to treat superficial vein reflux. This procedure provides an alternative to traditional radical surgical vein stripping and ligation.
The endovenous ablation procedure uses heat to seal the targeted vein from the inside using intravenous catheters. The procedure is minimally invasive involving only needle punctures to access the vein and to infuse anaesthetic and fluid along the length of the vein being treated. Intravenous sedation is used to relax you and to provide pain relief during the procedure. At AV&V, the Surgeon may recommend either the Radiofrequency or Laser as a heat source based on individual patient clinical findings. Both have been used extensively worldwide since the 1990's.
The first stage will involve inserting a laser or radiofrequency fiber through a catheter at the lowest possible access point in the targeted vein and threading it to the saphenofemoral (or saphenopopliteal) junction under ultrasound guidance. Your leg will then be anesthetized with a local anesthetic agent. During the second stage of the treatment, the fiber is heated and withdrawn from the vein. As it is removed, the heat coagulates and shrinks the vein wall creating permanent occlusion with reduced trauma to the surrounding tissue. This will relieve the backflow of pressure, which is causing your varicose veins. Over time, the body absorbs this treated vein.
There is mild discomfort with the procedure associated with the needles. There are risks of temporary swelling, redness, bruising, temporary skin numbness in addition to extremely rare risks of skin burns and deep vein clots.
The ablation procedure can eliminate pain, swelling and leg fatigue as fast as a few days after the procedure with little to no discomfort. Patients return to their normal lifestyle and activities with only minor activity modifications within the first few days.
Compression stockings are worn continuously for 48 hours, and then daily for 2 weeks. Minor activity restrictions (no heavy lifting or cardio workouts) are recommended for 1 week. It is advised to take precautions with sun exposure for up to 1 year. Follow up is recommended 3 months post procedure to evaluate results using the ultrasound and to update your plan of care.