Endovenous procedures refer to treatments that occur within the veins. The inside of the vein is heated using radiofrequency or laser energy. This leads to irritation within the vein, and subsequent scarring causing it to clot off.
Consequently, the blood flow reroutes to other healthier veins. This process may improve the appearance of varicose veins. However, it can also be effective in the treatment of painful or uncomfortable leg symptoms that may occur due to varicose veins.
Texas Surgical Dermatology, led by board certified dermatologists Dr. Tri H. Nguyen and Dr. George G. Hughes III, provides vein treatments to patients in Houston, Katy, Spring, The Woodlands, Texas, and surrounding communities.
An experienced and prudent dermatologist, who is trained to use x-rays and ultrasound to treat diseases without surgery, performs endovenous ablation.
The patient does not need to go to a hospital to receive this treatment. They should inform their current medications, supplements, allergies, and health history to the dermatologist prior to the procedure.
The patient should wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothes on the day of their treatment as well as arrange for someone to drive them back home. The treatment will commonly involve the below mentioned steps:
- The treatment provider will apply a special numbing cream around the vein.
- The leg will be scrubbed thoroughly prior to the procedure to prevent the development of infection.
- The provider will inject a small quantity of local anesthetic around the vein.
- A small nick is made in the skin to place a narrow tube (catheter) in the vein.
- Ultrasound will guide the path of the tube.
- After the catheter’s tip is at the right location in the vein, a radiofrequency tip or laser fiber is placed within the vein.
- The provider will inject numbing drugs directly into the vein and subsequently deliver heat to the inside of the vein via laser fiber or radio waves.
- The catheter will be taken out after the procedure is complete and pressure is applied to control any bleeding.
- A tiny bandage is applied over the site of the puncture.
- The patient will need to wear compression stockings following the procedure.
- The time taken for the procedure is around one hour, and the patient can resume their routine activities immediately.
Endovenous radiofrequency ablation and laser ablation can successfully treat varicose veins. In a span of one year, the veins remain closed off between 91 and 100 percent of the time. There is less discomfort, and the recovery is easier in comparison to surgical treatment of varicose veins.
Along with the risk of infection, endovenous treatment risks may also include:
- Bruising or bleeding at the catheter site
- Bruising and discomfort around the treated vein, compression can help address this pain
- Swelling and clotting of the vein (thrombophlebitis) which can be managed with OTC anti-inflammatory medicines
- In rare cases, blood clots can develop, and these warrant immediate medical intervention
Endovenous radiofrequency ablation and laser ablation can be an effective treatment option for patients who are experiencing problems due to large varicose veins and want to avoid surgical procedures. Such patients can promptly set up an appointment with a dermatologist specializing in the treatment of varicose veins.