Similar to radiofrequency ablation, a thin catheter is gently inserted through the skin into the affected vein. This catheter, however, is equipped with a laser, which heats the vein causing it to close. After the catheter is withdrawn and the healing process begins, the closed vein is reabsorbed into the body and the blood supply in that area is naturally rerouted through other, healthier veins.
When is this method used?
Patients who have large, symptomatic varicose veins and those with incompetent saphenous veins are candidates for this procedure. This procedure is essentially taking the place of “vein stripping.” Each patient is evaluated, and treatment will be individualized for the patient’s circumstances.
What kind of results are achieved?
The goals of treatment are to reduce symptoms and reduce the risk of complications from venous disease, including blood clots. Compared with ligation and stripping, many patients find that endovenous thermal ablation results in less pain and a faster return to normal activities, with similar cosmetic results.
What should you do going forward or post-treatment to ensure vein health?
Exercising, maintaining a healthy body weight and not spending long periods sitting or standing can help ensure vein health. Also check in with your doctor if you notice new veins or you condition not improving. Veins that do not close are treated again.