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This information will let you know what will happen during the procedure used to treat your diseased vein.
The procedure usually takes about an hour, depending on the severity of your disease and the amount of work required. You will, however, be at the clinic up to an hour before and after the procedure to evaluate and monitor your condition.
Your venous ablation will be performed in one of the clinic procedure rooms. You will have monitors attached to record your blood pressure, pulse rate, and oxygen levels. You will be given intravenous conscious sedation. You may have trouble remembering the procedure, but will not be completely asleep.
Endovenous Thermal Ablation is performed using local anesthesia along the course of the diseased vein. There may be some discomfort associated with the placement of the anesthetic, and also with use of the ablation fiber/catheter. This discomfort is generally mild and you will receive additional sedation during these times to lessen any discomfort.
A surgical incision is generally not required. Only small punctures are made to both place the ablation fiber/catheter and to remove the ropey varicose veins. Sometimes a small incision is made at groin level or ankle level to assist with the procedure.
In order to remove the unsightly and painful varicose veins or other visible veins in the leg, Endovenous Thermal Ablation procedures may be accompanied by micro-phlebectomy, sclerotherapy, or both.
Ultrasound is necessary during the procedure to access the diseased vein, to insert the ablation fiber/ catheter, to place the local anesthetic around the vein, and to position the ablation fiber/catheter perfectly within the termination of the diseased vein.
The ablation fiber/catheter is inserted inside the diseased vein and positioned to begin the ablation. Energy is delivered to the fiber/catheter, which is slowly withdrawn through the vein. The heat gently destroys the lining of the vein. There is no pulling, stripping, or avulsion of branches.
The small wounds are closed with steri-strips. Sterile dressings are applied, and your leg is wrapped with an ACE compression bandage.
The images above illustrate the catheter being positioned in the diseased vein. In the bottom image the vein is shown turning red as it is ablated by the energy.