Have you been recently diagnosed with varicose veins or any other venous disorders? Has the doctor recommended vein ablation treatment for you? Not sure what to expect from the procedure? Here, we will discuss about the procedure, its risks, benefits, and possible adverse effects.
What is Vein Ablation Technique?
Treatment of veins have become less cumbersome in the recent years due to advancement in technology and the minimally invasive procedures available. With the very recent Vein ablation technique you need not worry about fixing your vein issues.
The three main types of Vein ablation techniques are:
- Radiofrequency ablation (RFA)
- Endovenous laser ablation (EVLA)
The three procedures are similar but do have certain differences.
Radiofrequency ablation (RFA)
RFA treats large varicose veins and other vein diseases in your legs. RFA procedure involves heating the wall of your varicose vein using radiofrequency energy (RF) to close the blood flow in the damaged veins. The closed veins later collapse, get sealed and are absorbed by the body.
Endovenous laser ablation (EVLA)
Using EVLA, the walls of the abnormal veins are heated by laser energy and destroyed. A narrow tube called catheter is inserted into the damaged varicose vein. An ultrasound guided procedure, when the tip of the catheter is in the correct position, heat made by a laser fiber is applied to the inside of the vein. The laser delivers short bursts of energy that heat up the vein and seals it off.
Sclerotherapy involves injecting a solution into the vein which damages the internal lining of the damaged veins and seals them off.
What to expect during and after the ablation procedure?
Vein ablation is generally performed as an outpatient procedure. It takes approximately an hour to complete the procedure. You will mostly be allowed to go home on the same day of the procedure.
Before the procedure, the area that needs ablation will be cleaned and numbed. Your doctor will then inject a needle into the vein. Through the needle a special wire is then passed into the vein.
This is followed by heating up the vein ablation wire, which will cause the vein to collapse and seal shut.
Most people experience mild to moderate pain during the procedure. This can be managed with over- the- counter pain medications. Some people experience bruising or swelling at the ablation site which usually resolves in few days after the procedure. Risks such as Deep vein thrombosis (DVT), infections and nerve damage, though rare, are possible and need to be correctly diagnosed and addressed to prevent further complications.
Recovery after the procedure
Recovery from ablation procedure is usually quick, and easy. However, few things need to be kept in mind for a smooth vein ablation recovery.
Wear comfortable clothing: Avoid anything tight or constricting on your legs. Better to use loose fitting pants, skirts, or dresses.
Apply ice if swelling is noticed and pain is felt in the ablation site.
Always remember to elevate your legs above the level of your heart. This will aid in reducing the swelling and pain.
Lifting of heavy weights, long distance walking, and running can be avoided for first few days after the procedure.
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