Varicose Vein Ablation
What is it?
Veins that carry blood back to the heart from your legs for re-oxygenation have valves that may leak and pool blood. This leads to abnormal swelling or varicose veins. These painful and enlarged veins usually appear on your legs but sometimes show up elsewhere in your body. Symptoms for people with large varicose veins may include leg fatigue and pain. Some patients also seek varicose vein ablation for cosmetic reasons. In a laser ablation treatment, laser energy – and sometimes radiofrequency energy – is used to cauterize (burn) and close the vein that causes the superficial varicose veins.
How is it done?
Ablation uses a catheter (small tube) that is inserted through a nick in the skin. The laser energy is delivered through the catheter, shrinking and sealing the faulty vein. This minimally invasive procedure can be done in a physician’s office in about an hour, and only local anesthesia is required. Depending on the severity of the varicose veins, treatment may be performed on each leg at separate appointments.
In some cases of varicose veins, doctors will perform a phlebectomy, in which a large surface vein is removed through several tiny incisions on your skin. Sometimes this is performed in the same setting as laser ablation. Regardless, a patient usually is able to return home the day of the procedure.
The Loyola difference
Loyola is a nationally recognized leader in cardiac care. U.S. News & World Report ranked us 18th in the nation for cardiology and heart surgery in 2012, making this our 10th year in the top 50.
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