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All You Need To Know About The Vein Ablation Procedure

All You Need To Know About The Vein Ablation Procedure

Vein ablation uses power to cauterize and seal varicose veins. Physicians use it to help relieve discomforts such as aching, inflammation, and irritation. Ablation is less invasive than surgery, safe, and virtually scar-free.

Before the vein ablation procedure, you must talk to your doctor about recent illnesses, medical conditions, and allergies. As a recommendation, you should list the medicines you take, including supplements and aspirin.

Your physician will probably instruct you to stop taking aspirin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), or blood thinners before you are ready to undergo your procedure.

Although many people can live for years with venous disease and never notice or experience symptoms, it is a condition that has the potential to cause complications over time.

This situation is especially true if you are already at risk.

If you have varicose veins, you may ponder what vein ablation is and if it is painful.

We will show you everything you need to know about the procedure, varicose veins, vein disease, and treatment.

Varicose Veins

Risk Factor

Varicose veins are relatively common, affecting about twenty-five percent of adults. Your veins help keep blood moving toward your heart. However, if the valves inside them are weak or show signs of damage, blood can back up in your veins, swelling and distending them. The result is varicose veins, which can eventually become venous disease.

Some risk factors for varicose veins are pregnancy and childbirth, age, being a woman, being overweight, obese, family history, standing or sitting for long periods, and having a sedentary lifestyle.


Some symptoms caused by varicose veins include visibly swollen veins, aching, heaviness or leg pain, leg cramps, especially at night, swollen legs, feet, or ankles, and itchy or skin discoloration, following a little explanation of some of them.

Swollen legs are not always a cause of concern. However, if you smoke, are overweight, or sit or stand for long periods, swollen legs may result from poor blood circulation. The venous disease causes the valves inside the veins in your legs to malfunction. As a result, instead of pumping blood toward the heart, gravity pulls the blood downward. Over time, if not adequately treated, this lack of proper circulation can lead to swelling of the legs and ankles.

There are many different reasons why your leg might be painful; however, unless you have recently suffered an injury or fall, the pain in your leg is likely due to an underlying health condition. When the blood in the veins in your legs has nowhere to go, it begins to pool in the veins.

This situation may not be noticeable at first, but over time this can cause pain when performing routine activities such as walking or bending down. Another telltale sign that leg pain is due to venous disease is if the pain goes away when you rest. Once you elevate your leg, you are helping the blood flow back as it was supposed to.

While this can provide effective pain relief, the effects are only temporary, as you cannot elevate your leg all day.

As said before, venous disease is a condition that affects the body’s ability to circulate blood properly through the legs. Blood delivers oxygen and nutrients to our organs, tissues, and muscles, and if we don’t have sufficient, wounds can develop that take a prolonged time to heal or sometimes don’t heal at all. Also, skin discoloration is another sign. If there are red, blue, or purple discolorations on your legs or ankles, this is likely a result of vein disease and poor circulation.


About Vein Ablation Procedure

As said before, venous disease is a condition that affects the body’s ability to circulate blood properly through the legs. Blood delivers oxygen and nutrients to our organs, tissues, and muscles, and if we don’t have sufficient, wounds can develop that take a prolonged time to heal or sometimes don’t heal at all. Also, skin discoloration is another sign. If there are red, blue, or purple discolorations on your legs or ankles, this is likely a result of vein disease and poor circulation.

Prior to the Procedure

Before scheduling your vein ablation procedure, you will have a consultation with a vein specialist, where you can find out details about what vein ablation is. In addition, the doctor will perform a physical exam and check your legs for signs of vein disease.

Your physician will inquire about your medical records, any other conditions you have previously been diagnosed with, and if you underwent any vein treatment. Also, he will ask you about any current medication intake, including herbal supplements and over-the-counter medications, and if you have any allergies.

Most likely, you may need to stop taking blood thinners, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and aspirin before the day of the venous ablation procedure. In addition, your physician will advise you not to shave nor apply moisturizer to the treatment areas and to wear loose-fitting clothing.

Although sedation is not necessary with vein ablation, you may prefer to arrange for someone to drive you back home after the procedure.

Day of the Procedure

On the day of your vein ablation procedure, your doctor may use an anesthetic cream to help reduce pain in the area and will then clean and sterilize the area. Next, they will use an ultrasound device to visualize the vein and place an electrode into the vein through a small incision.

If you are concerned that vein ablation is painful, your physician will inject a local anesthetic into the site to numb the tissue and insulate it from the heat of the electrode. The electrode then releases energy that heats the vein, searing it and causing it to close.

You may need to wear protective goggles and feel a slight sensation when the doctors apply the local anesthetic, as well as some pressure when inserting the catheter. However, doctors don’t consider the procedure painful.

Once complete the procedure, you will likely experience only minimal discomfort. A study published in 2015 detected that more than two-thirds of people who underwent venous ablation did not need pain relief after the procedure, while about one-third used an over-the-counter pain reliever such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen.

Day of the Procedure

After vein ablation, your physician will provide you with a compression stocking to help minimize tenderness and bruising. Your doctor may also tell you to have someone drive you home after your appointment. Nevertheless, you can return to your regular activities immediately.

Your vein should seal entirely within a week, and your doctor will ask you to return for another ultrasound to verify that the vein has closed completely. Your physician will advise that you move as much as possible to help increase circulation and avoid blood clots from forming. Physical activity also helps decrease any swelling during your recovery.

You will need to clean and dry the treatment site for forty-eight hours afterward. Avoid showering until after this time, and do not soak the area in a hot tub, tub, or pool for up to ten days.

When treatment is complete, you should feel little or no soreness and little to no swelling. You should also be able to stand for more extended periods than before and walk farther. In essence, you should enjoy a better quality of life after having a vein ablation.

Once you have recovered from laser ablation of varicose veins, you will want to avoid future vein problems. Routine physical activity can help promote circulation in conjunction with not sitting for prolonged periods. Keep track of your weight and talk to your doctor if you are overweight.

Please eat a healthy diet to protect your veins and prevent damage to your blood vessels.

How Painful Vein Ablation is after the procedure

There is minimal pain and discomfort after a vein ablation procedure. Many patients do not need pain medication, while others may take over-the-counter analgesics. However, you may report some sensitivity and soreness in the area. Swelling, redness, and stinging are also possible but resolve quickly.

Your physician will give you compression garments to help with swelling and bruising, decreasing any discomfort you feel. In addition, following your doctor’s instructions will help reduce any pain. Also, the fact that you stay physically active after the procedure is essential to promote faster healing.


Is Vein Ablation Right for You?

If you are in a situation suffering from varicose veins due to chronic venous insufficiency, a leg vein ablation can help you get relief from your symptoms. Vein specialists in the United States are capable of discussing your treatment options and creating a plan based on your current condition.

Take action and schedule a consultation with your physician to get personalized treatment recommendations and enjoy your health.

More Questions about Vein Ablations

How does the blood reroute after the procedure?

After the catheter is removed, the application of heat causes the targeted vein to collapse and gradually seal off. Subsequently, the blood naturally seeks alternative pathways by rerouting through other nearby veins in the body. This rerouting process ensures that the blood flow is efficiently redirected to allow for proper circulation and functioning.

What happens to the vein as the catheter is pulled out?

As the catheter is gently removed, the application of heat causes a series of beneficial changes to the vein. Firstly, the heat causes the vein to collapse, effectively sealing it shut. This closure helps to prevent any leakage or further complications. In addition, as the vein heals, it undergoes a gradual restructuring process, ultimately redirecting the blood flow through nearby, healthy veins. This redirection ensures that the circulatory system continues to function optimally despite the closure of the treated vein.

How is the catheter guided into the vein to be treated?

The catheter used for endovenous thermal ablation is carefully guided into the vein to be treated. To initiate the procedure, the skin and surrounding tissues are first numbed. Following this, a small incision is made in the skin, through which a specialized thin tube known as a catheter is inserted. To ensure precise placement of the catheter, ultrasound imaging is employed as a guiding tool. With the assistance of the ultrasound, the catheter is directed into the desired vein for treatment. This meticulous process guarantees accurate placement and optimal results for the ablation procedure.

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Modern Heart and Vascular, a preventive cardiology medical practice, has several offices around Houston. We have locations in Humble, Cleveland, The Woodlands, Katy, and Livingston.

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At the Modern Heart and Vascular Institute, we offer state-of-the-art cardiovascular care with innovative diagnostic tools and compassionate patient care. Our priority at Modern Heart and Vascular Institute is prevention. We help patients lead healthier lives by avoiding unnecessary procedures and surgeries.

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This article does not provide medical advice. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you need cardiovascular care, please call us at 832-644-8930.

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