Lake Medical Imaging provides minimally invasive procedures that often replace traditional surgery.
Venous Ablation: Varicose Veins
Venous ablation is performed in our office using imaging guidance. After applying local anesthetic to the vein, one of our interventional radiologists inserts a thin catheter, about the diameter of a strand of spaghetti, into the vein and guides it up the greater saphenous vein in the thigh. Then laser energy is applied to the inside of the vein. This heats the vein and seals it. By closing the greater saphenous vein, the twisted and varicosed branch veins, which are close to the skin, shrink and leg appearance improves. Once the diseased vein is closed, other healthy veins take over to carry blood from the leg, thereby re-establishing normal flow.
Benefits of Venous Ablation Treatment
You may return to normal activity the next day with little or no pain (there may be minor soreness or bruising, which can be treated with over-the-counter pain relievers). Because the procedure does not require a surgical incision – simply a nick in the skin about the size of a pencil tip – there are no scars or stitches. Traditionally, surgical ligation or vein stripping was the treatment for varicose veins, but these procedures can be quite painful and often have a long recovery time. The success rate for venous ablation is substantially higher than that for surgery (meaning the recurrence rate is low); in fact, the success rate for venous ablation ranges from 93% to 95%.