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What is endovenous laser ablation for varicose veins?

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Video Overview

Endovenous laser ablation is a minimally invasive technique that provides an alternative to vein stripping. It's a treatment used to treat larger varicose veins, particularly the underlying veins below the skin that contribute to the surface varicose veins. Its advantages are that it can be done in office under strictly local anesthesia, there are no incisions, it is all done through a needle puncture and basically the procedure involves this: a patient is laying down, we image the underlying vein with the ultrasound, give them a little local anesthetic, put a small needle into underlying vein, and then place a laser fiber into the vein, we get that into position then give them dilute local anesthesia, which makes the procedure pain free. Finally, the treatment really consists of delivering laser energy to the inside of that vein as we slowly withdraw the fiber. What is excellent about the treatment is it's minimally invasive; it can be done in office, no incision with very, very good success rate, and a very low complication rate. The recovery is usually fairly easy; patients are generally advised to wear compression stockings usually for about a week. They are advised to walk each day, avoid things like hot baths, heavy lifting, and long travel for about a week. They may have some bruising they may have some swollen that usually mild perhaps 3-4 out of 10, controlled with Ibuprofen as needed. We have them return in about a month, to evaluate the result of the treatment and then proceed with the treatment of the surface varicose veins.

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