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Lunch Break Surgery Treats Varicose Veins

Instead of the more painful procedure of vein stripping and ligation, a procedure called endovenous ablation is used to treat varicose veins and similar venous conditions.  The procedure is commonly called “lunch-break surgery” because it takes almost no time at all compared to surgical alternatives and has been known to be effective with minimal invasion and pain. Endovenous ablation has been approved by the U.D. Food and Drug Administration and uses a catheter to deliver radiofrequency heat inside a person’s varicose veins. The catheter technique has led some to refer to the procedure as a “microwave on a stick.”

In addition to eliminating varicose veins, endovenous ablation is also used for the treatment of stasis dermatitis and stasis ulcers. Physicians who specialize in venous treatment use endovenous ablation to remove severe varicose veins as well has cases in which a patient is suffering from poor blood circulation caused by chronic venous insufficiency (CVI). The endovenous ablation procedure is a minimally invasive one that seals the legs’ primary veins in a matter of minutes. The patient can resume regular physical activities the day after the procedure and is actually encouraging to engage in non-strenuous activities such as walking during the recovery period.

Dr. Randy Morton and his team perform endovenous ablation on up to 5 patients per week. According to many doctors, the catheter closure method has already helped a lot of people who suffer from varicose veins. But Dr. Morton said that not all doctors are aware of this new method.

30 million Americans suffer from serious varicose veins which can cause pain, cramps, a heavy feeling in the legs, itchiness, skin changes and even leg ulcers. Apart from being unsightly, varicose veins can turn into more severe conditions if left untreated. There have been cases, though rare, that swollen veins and dysfunctional blood valves cause blood circulation to get so bad that a patient has to have his or her leg amputated.

The traditional procedure used to treat venous conditions as such is vein stripping. Vein stripping in more invasive and can keep a recovering patient at home for days after surgery. The endovenous ablation method is a much simpler and gentler option. If a patient needs endovenous ablation, then the varicose veins that afflict him or her must be serious enough to warrant a medical procedure. Endovenous ablation is not considered to be a form of cosmetic surgery and the procedure is covered by Medicare, military health insurance through TriCare, the Veterans Administration as well as some private health insurance plans.

The treatment is applied under local anesthesia. During endovenous ablation, a catheter is slowly inserted into and pulled along the vein. It applies heat to the vein in 7 centimeter sections for 20 seconds at a time. Dr. Morton added that this process assures that the vein is treated in an even manner.  Sealing of the small hole on the leg through which the catheter is guided inside takes 3 minutes. There is minimum discomfort after the procedure. Finally, endovenous ablation is a less costly course of action than typical ultrasound and laser methods.

With endovenous ablation, the varicose veins patient will only feel a slight sensation as the catheter is moved along the vein, but many said that there is no pain. Dr. Morton, however, noted that there are the usual risks involved, like the development of blood clots or superficial phlebitis commonly known as sore spots. He added that these sore spots can be treated with simple topical creams. Talk to a doctor about how to treat varicose veins with endovenous ablation.

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