Vein ablation is a minimally invasive treatment for varicose veins that uses radiofrequency or laser energy to cauterize (burn) and close the abnormally enlarged veins. As the laser energy seals off these faulty vessels, blood flow diverts immediately to nearby healthy veins.
Varicose veins (e.g., enlarged or knotty like veins) occur when veins, typically in the legs, become less elastic and the one-way valves that normally prevent blood from flowing backward malfunction, causing blood to pool in the vessels.
Although this procedure may be used for cosmetic purposes, it is more commonly used to help alleviate symptoms. Symptoms are typically due to enlarged nonfunctional veins that cause circulatory problems (venous insufficiency). Leg symptoms can include aching pain, swelling, skin irritation or sores (ulcers), discoloration or inflammation (phlebitis).
Using ultrasound to visualize the enlarged vein, a catheter or vascular access sheath is inserted through the skin and positioned within the abnormal vein. A laser fiber or radiofrequency electrode is then inserted through the catheter and advanced to the desired location. Laser or radiofrequency energy is then applied, heating the vessel and causing it to close. Following the procedure, the faulty vein will shrink and “scar down.”
This procedure is often done on an outpatient basis and is usually completed within an hour. However, some patients may require admission following the procedure. Your physician will advise you as to whether or not you need to be admitted.
At Tenet Florida Physician Services, our highly trained heart specialists provide both laser and radiofrequency ablation treatments for varicose veins. Vein ablation is just one of many services our team of heart specialists provides for patients. If you were recently diagnosed with heart disease, need a second opinion or you’re looking for a highly skilled, compassionate heart specialist, you can find the care you need at Tenet Florida Physician Services. The Tenet Florida Physician Services network of cardiologists includes some of the leading cardiac specialists in South Florida. When you mention any heart-related symptoms to your primary care doctor, ask to be referred to South Florida’s dedicated team of highly skilled cardiologists.
Visit our Find a Doctor page to find a cardiologist near you!