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What is endovenous ablation of varicose veins?

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Quick Answer

Endovenous ablation is a procedure done to promote healthy blood circulation in patients with varicose veins, according to the Radiological Society of North America. The treatment involves using lasers to close off abnormal veins to prevent the formation of blood clots.

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Full Answer

A catheter is placed into the skin around the non-functioning vein, states the Radiological Society of North America. Laser energy is funneled through the catheter and into the vein. The heat makes the vein close, and eventually the vein becomes smaller so that blood can flow to the healthy veins. Some doctors apply an anesthetic cream over the skin covering the abnormal vein before making a small incision. The procedure often does not require in-patient care and is completed in an hour. Endovenous ablation can reduce symptoms of deficient circulation in the legs, including aching pain, ulceration, inflammation and swelling.

Although endovenous ablation presents some risks, such as infection, bruising around the area of the incision and inflammation, the benefits of undergoing the procedure include no visible scars and effective shrinkage of abnormal veins 12 months after the surgery, claims the Radiological Society of North America. Although recovery time varies depending on the outcome of the surgery, patients who undergo endovenous ablation can resume their normal activities quickly, asserts Cleveland Clinic.

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