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.


  • 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.


  • Bleeding.

  • Infection.

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

  • Vein swelling. This is usually temporary.


  • 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.


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.


  • 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.