All veins have valves that act like traffic signals, opening and closing to make sure blood is always flowing the correct direction. Varicose veins are veins with broken valves. In a varicose vein, blood flows backward and stays in the vein. This causes the vein to expand, stretch, and become twisted, which prevents it from circulating blood effectively.
Varicose veins arising from chronic venous disease is a highly prevalent disease that contributes to significant pain, debility, and quality of life reduction. Many patients will suffer from this disease and not seek treatment due to a lack of awareness.
Every year more than 500,000 people are affected in Australia.
With modern treatments available for the treatment of varicose veins, surgery is rarely necessary for complete healing of the damaged veins in the leg.
Endovenous Ablation is an ultrasound-guided procedure commonly performed by phlebologists (Vein doctor). The procedure uses energy to close varicose veins. Doctors use it to help ease symptoms such as pain, swelling, and irritation.
Endovenous Ablation is safe, less invasive and painful than stripping, and leaves virtually no scars.
The Endovenous Ablation procedure starts with inserting a catheter into the varicose vein while using an ultrasound to see inside the patient, which helps the phlebologist to guide the catheter through the vein. The end of the catheter heats the walls of the vein, which closes it. This causes blood to stop flowing through the vein and as the body recovers from the procedure, circulation becomes more efficient since blood is not flowing through a faulty vein. The problematic vein that has been treated shrinks and fades away.
Patients can return back to their daily activities on the same day or the day after receiving a treatment. While patients must make sure to walk around periodically to promote healthy blood flow to their legs following treatment, most experience little to no post-procedure pain or discomfort. Patients need only to wear compression stockings for one to two weeks. Only really heavy exercise and heavy lifting should be refrained from for one week.
FAST AND EASY TO PERFORM
In experienced hands, Endovenous Ablation only takes an hour to perform.
NO GENERAL ANAESTHESIA
Endovenous ablation can be done under local anaesthesia before the laser catheter is inserted into the leg. This eliminates any potential dangers and negative effects of general anaesthetics, such as forgetfulness, infection, nausea, and tiredness.
Ablation simply means “removal” or “to be taken away”. The wonderful thing about Endovenous ablation is it does not actually involve an invasive removal of veins. The removal of problematic veins takes place as naturally as possible as the body reabsorbs them after they are cauterized. All that is required to complete the procedure is a small needle stick, just large enough to insert a catheter to complete the treatment.
The published success of Endovenous ablation is between 95-98%, with far fewer complications than surgery.
LONG LASTING EFFECTS
Surgery and incisions can lead for possible recurrent varicose veins. Endovenous ablation provides long-lasting results with closure rates of 96% and higher, with a risk of neovascularization very low. Your phlebologist can give you tips on how to maintain all the benefits.
It is important to be aware that this is a chronic disease, and the procedure is by no means a cure. However, the physiologic and psychological benefits to the patient cannot be understated.
If you are thinking of pursuing treatment for varicose veins, talk to your doctor to learn more about what treatment options are available and which one is right for you.