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FAQs about Vein Ablation in Legs

Almost 40 percent of the senior United States population is affected by vein ablation condition. Some veins appear superficially on the skin of the legs and thighs as abnormally swollen, elongated, twisted, bluish-purple colored threads. With time, these veins bulge and rise above the surface of the skin. These are very much uncomfortable and if left untreated, results in serious medical conditions like leg ulcers.

Vein ablation in legs is a common condition nowadays. However, most people dread the situation and refrain from consulting a doctor in fear of going through painful surgical procedure. An understanding of the different aspects of this condition helps you to know about the condition and gives confidence to choose the right doctor for the treatment.

What is vein ablation?

When the veins become weak due to age, prolonged standing condition, hormonal imbalance or pregnancy, the valves of the veins stop functioning. As a result, the blood from the heart pools in the veins of the legs and become enlarged. This condition is varicose. Vein ablation is a treatment to close the affected vein in the leg, with an image-guided procedure. The procedure is not painful and requires minimum invasion. The doctors use laser ray or radiofrequency to burn (cauterize) the affected veins and close them.

What is endovenous ablation and how does it treat a varicose vein?

In the endovenous ablation procedure, a flexible tube i.e. a thin catheter is inserted into the affected vein by making a tiny incision on the skin. Then, under ultrasound, the entire length of the affected vein is treated with either radiofrequency or laser. This injures the vein wall, causing ultimately to close. With time the dead veins turn into scar tissue.

By treating the affected vein, ablation procedure also helps in regression of the visible varicose veins. If the affected veins do not completely regress, then the connected procedure of micro-phlebectomies or sclerotherapy injections are recommended by the doctor. The former involves removing the affected vein by making tiny incisions or punctures, along the path of bulging veins. Through these incisions the doctor uses a surgical hook to remove the affected vein, thus causing minimum scarring. In the latter procedure, a special solution is injected into the varicose vein. Then the solution hardens causing the affected vein to collapse or close.

Is there any recurrence varicose veins risk after ablation treatment?

Varicosity is an outcome of a progressive disease, depending upon the lifestyle, genetics, and other health condition of a person. The doctor can treat the affected vein; however, the recurrence of the same condition over time depends on the individual factors.

How long does it take to recover after ablation treatment?

The doctors normally advise the patients to start walking immediately after the treatment. However, they are asked to avoid strenuous exercise like weight training, for at least 2 to 3 weeks. The patients undergoing this treatment are also advised to wear compression stockings. Though there could be a mild discomfort and bruise in the treated leg for 3 to 4 weeks, it becomes normal with time.

Dr. Chane

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