The procedure is usually performed in the doctor’s office with numbing medicine and a mild sedative, thus eliminating the need for hospitalization and general anesthesia. The physician will use ultrasound to assess and map the vein(s). A very small incision is made at the site and the physician inserts a sterile catheter through the skin and positions it within the abnormal vein using ultrasound guidance. The fiber or electrode tip is inserted through the catheter. A solution called Tumescent (a numbing medication mixture of lidocaine, saline, epinephrine) is administered at predetermined intervals into the skin along the thigh and over the vein. Minimal stinging may be experienced. Tumescent is used to numb the tissue around the vein and protect it from the generated heat. As the physician gently pulls back the catheter the fiber uses high frequency radio waves to generate heat that seals the target vein. If Laser Ablation is used, the diseased vein is sealed using laser energy. Recovery is quick. Patients are encouraged to return to normal activities the day after the procedure. The vast majority of patients have very satisfying results and little discomfort.
Once you have decided to proceed with Varicose Vein ablation treatment, you will be asked to come to the office to view a video on the procedure, discuss pre-procedure guidelines, discuss consent and sedation if desired, review financial issues with insurance and be measured for new stockings if you need them. This visit usually takes about 30 minutes and any further questions will be answered.