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What is an endovenous ablation of the left greater saphenous vein?

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Quick Answer

Endovenous ablation is a medical procedure involving the cauterization of a saphenous vein, which can be the great saphenous vein in either leg, according to the Varicose Vein Clinic. This method attempts to reduce reflux within the vein, leading to shrinkage and eventual disappearance of varicose veins in the lower extremities.

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Full Answer

Chronic venous disorders, or CVDs, are a result of venous hypertension, which in turn is caused by venous reflux in one or more of the saphenous veins, which can include the great saphenous vein, states Medscape. This causes the twisting, engorged appearance of varicose veins.

Endovenous ablation can be performed under two methods: endovenous laser ablation (ELA) and endovenous radiofrequency closure (RFA). ELA entails the utilization of diode lasers, allowing for the application of sufficient thermal heat to the affected area of the greater saphenous vein to seal it and eliminate the malfunctioning tributary, states Medscape. RFA performs the same function as ELA, explains the Premier Vein Center. The difference is that, rather than diode lasers, RFA requires the use of radio waves as a means of ablating diseased veins. Both methods were conceived and are practiced with the goal of rerouting blood flow and encouraging healthy circulation within the greater saphenous vein.

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