Varicose veins affect millions of people around the world. This condition where the veins of the lower extremities get swollen, twisted and discolored can occur due to several risk factors including old age, obesity, pregnancy and other underlying medical conditions that predispose a patient to increased pressure on the legs.
Although varicose veins are relatively painless and usually do not develop to other health conditions, the look of those twisted, discolored veins can easily affect one’s self-confidence, especially since varicose veins become very visible if not addressed right away. This is why a lot of patients seek medical treatment to get rid of the swollen veins altogether and improve how their lower extremities look, one of which is through varicose vein removal or ablation.
Here’s what you need to know about the Varicose Vein Ablation:
Understanding Varicose Vein Ablation
Before undergoing the procedure, it’s very important to know how this type of varicose vein removal works. Vein ablation is one of the most common types of varicose vein treatment where the affected veins are occluded and the blood flow diverted to healthy veins.
This is done with the help of a duplex ultrasound that identifies blood flowing in the wrong direction and corrects them. There are three types of vein ablation: sclerotherapy, laser ablation, and radiofrequency ablation. The type of procedure to be conducted on a patient will be decided by the doctor and will depend on the severity of the varicose veins.
Preparing for Varicose Vein Ablation
As with any other medical procedure, the interventional radiologist will explain the process to create awareness that helps alleviate stress and aid in the success of the procedure. Part of the discussion will be the cost of ablation and the possible complications that may take place during and after the procedure is done.
Before the procedure, you will be asked to provide specific information that will be used in medical planning. This includes all medications that you are taking, any allergies to food and medication, any previous surgery and reactions to procedures done before. You may also need to take blood thinners such as aspirin, warfarin or NSAIDs a few days before the ablation.
Going through the Ablation Procedure
On the day of the procedure, you will be asked to wear comfortable clothing and not wear any jewelry with you. You will also be required to buy compression stockings, which you will need to wear immediately after the procedure and for the next 14 days. The ablation usually takes only 45 to 60 minutes, after which you will need to walk for 30-40 minutes and do it daily for the next 14 days. If you experience slight pain or discomfort in your lower extremities after the procedure, you just need to take paracetamol.
Varicose vein ablation promises an initial closure of up to 100% and persistent closure of up to 97%. If the procedure goes well and you follow your doctor’s advice to the letter, you can expect the treated veins to be completely invisible after 12 months.
It’s normal, however, to have some bruising or discoloration on the treated area for a few months after the procedure.
We specialize in diagnosis and treatment for any and all vascular health issues for patients in San Diego County, Orange County, and Riverside County. For more information or to set an appointment, please contact us.