Endovenous Ablation

Endovenous ablation is a procedure that seals off an abnormally enlarged leg vein (varicose vein). This procedure uses heat from radiofrequency waves or a laser to seal off the affected vein. This procedure may be done if the vein is causing pain, swelling, sores on the skin (ulcers), or skin discoloration.

LET YOUR CAREGIVER KNOW ABOUT:

  • Allergies to food or medicine.

  • Medicines taken, including vitamins, herbs, over-the-counter medicines, and creams.

  • Use of steroids (by mouth or creams).

  • Previous problems with anesthetics or numbing medicines.

  • History of bleeding problems or blood clots.

  • Previous surgery.

  • Other health problems, including diabetes and kidney problems.

  • Possibility of pregnancy, if this applies.

RISKS AND COMPLICATIONS

  • Bleeding.

  • Infection.

  • Numbness or tingling along the leg. This is uncommon and is usually temporary.

  • Vein swelling. This is usually temporary.

BEFORE THE PROCEDURE

  • Blood tests may be done to make sure your blood clots normally.

  • You may need to stop taking blood thinners, aspirin, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (such as ibuprofen) before the procedure. Ask your caregiver when you can start taking them again.

  • Follow your caregiver's diet instructions. You may need to stop eating and drinking for 4 hours before the procedure.

PROCEDURE

This procedure usually lasts about 1 hour.

  • You will lie on an exam table. Your leg will be cleaned and shaved.

  • Ultrasonography will be used to help your caregiver see the leg veins during the procedure.

  • You will be given medicine that numbs the area (local anesthetic).

  • A tiny cut (incision) is made close to the area that will be treated. A narrow tube (catheter) is then slipped through the incision and into the vein.

  • Tiny sensors (electrodes or laser fibers) are slipped through the catheter and into the vein.

  • Radiofrequency or laser energy is sent through the sensors to burn the vein, sealing it off.

  • The electrodes, laser fibers, and catheter are then removed from the vein.

  • A bandage is placed over the incision.

AFTER THE PROCEDURE

  • You will wear a compression stocking on your leg. This helps to reduce bruising and prevent blood clots from forming.

  • You will be encouraged to walk around immediately after the procedure.

  • Arrange for someone to drive you home after the procedure.