Varicose veins are often regarded as a cosmetic issue, but the reality is that they’re often a sign of an underlying condition called chronic venous insufficiency. Left untreated, varicose veins may cause leg pain, aches, cramping, and a heavy sensation in your legs.
The good news is that treating varicose veins can eliminate their lumpy, twisted appearance. Routing blood through healthier blood vessels helps enhance the appearance of your legs while supporting your vascular health.
Our experienced team at Vascular Specialists offers a variety of treatment options for varicose veins at our Vein Care Institute. Here, we shed light on one specific treatment for varicose veins — venous ablation — and explain what you can expect before, during, and after your procedure.
What to expect before venous ablation
It’s important to confirm that venous ablation is the right path for you. Before recommending any procedure, our team examines your veins, reviews your symptoms and medical history, and analyzes any imaging tests (such as ultrasounds) that you may have had.
Once we confirm that venous ablation is right for you, we provide you with the preparation steps you may need to take before your procedure, which we conduct in our office. Before your venous ablation appointment, you can expect to:
- Follow specific directions for fasting
- Stop smoking for several weeks
- Avoid alcohol for at least 48 hours
You may need to adjust current medications or supplements, but never do this unless a doctor specifically directs you to do so. Additionally, if you’re using oral sedation with the procedure, our team provides additional guidance on the timing of taking this medication beforehand.
What to expect during venous ablation
The word “ablation” refers to the process of taking away something. In the case of venous ablation, our team uses heat 一 either through radiofrequency energy or laser energy 一 to take away varicose veins by sealing off problematic veins. It requires no stitches or incisions.
Once your mild sedation is in effect, our team inserts a catheter into your veins. This thin tube also contains a special wire, which we use to apply the heat into your vein.
The heat energy transmits through the wire and into your varicose vein, and it cauterizes your vein, triggering it to close. Eventually, your body reroutes blood to another, healthier vein, and the bulging vein gradually disappears.
What to expect after venous ablation
After your procedure, our team provides you with your aftercare instructions. You can go home immediately following your procedure, but you may need a friend or family member to drive you because the sedation can make you feel groggy.
Additionally, you may wear compression stockings to help promote healing.
Do you have questions about varicose veins? To learn more about your treatment options, call us at 815-824-4406. You can also book your consultation online at any of our convenient locations: Tinley Park or Evergreen, Illinois, and Munster, Indiana.