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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
What do I need to know about endovenous ablation?
Endovenous ablation is a procedure that uses radiofrequency or laser energy to treat varicose veins. Varicose veins are large, twisted veins in your legs that bulge out under your skin. Endovenous ablation may help treat pain, discolored skin, or ulcers in your leg that are caused by varicose veins.
How do I prepare for endovenous ablation?
- Your healthcare provider will talk to you about how to prepare for your procedure. He may tell you not to eat or drink anything several hours before your procedure. He will tell you what medicines to take or not take on the day of your procedure. You may need to stop taking blood thinners several days before your procedure to prevent bleeding.
- You may need an ultrasound to help your healthcare provider plan your procedure. An ultrasound uses sound waves to show pictures on a monitor. An ultrasound may be done to show the shape and location of your varicose veins. You will need to plan for someone to drive you home from your procedure.
What will happen during endovenous ablation?
- You may be given local anesthesia to numb the surgery area. With local anesthesia, you may still feel pressure or pushing during surgery, but you should not feel any pain. You may also be given IV sedation to help you relax during the procedure. If your healthcare provider is using a laser, he will give you eye glasses to wear during the procedure to protect your eyes.
- Your healthcare provider may make a small cut in your skin. He will insert a small catheter through your skin and into your vein. Your healthcare provider will send laser or radiofrequency energy through the catheter and heat your vein. The heat will burn and close your vein to stop blood flow. Your varicose veins will shrink and stop bulging under your skin. Your healthcare provider will remove the catheter. He will place a small bandage over your incision.
What will happen after endovenous ablation?
- You may spend a night in the hospital to monitor the circulation in your leg. You may need to wear compression stockings. The stockings are tight and put pressure on your legs. This improves blood flow and helps prevent clots. You may need an ultrasound within 72 hours to look at your veins and check for blood clots. Your healthcare provider may tell you to start your normal activities immediately after endovenous ablation. He may also tell you to avoid air travel or prolonged sitting.
- You may have mild to moderate pain. You may have mild to severe bruising. Ask your healthcare provider will tell you how to treat pain and bruising.
What are the risks of endovenous ablation?
You may bleed more than usual or develop an infection. You may develop a pocket of blood under your skin that may need to be removed. You may get a blood clot in your leg. This may become life-threatening. Nerves and blood vessels may become damaged during your procedure. Your vein may become swollen, red, and painful. Your skin may be burned.
Care AgreementYou have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.
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