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What is endovenous laser ablation treatment?

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Quick Answer

Endovenous laser ablation is a noninvasive procedure for treating large, deep varicose veins in the leg. Laser energy is applied to the wall of the vein, causing it to close, explains Healthline. The doctor uses an ultrasound to guide the laser fiber through a catheter into the vein.

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Full Answer

The laser causes the vein wall to heat up, thicken and contract. The vein shrinks, is reabsorbed by the body and eventually disappears, states Healthline. Results can take weeks or months to be fully evident. Laser ablation is typically performed in a doctor’s office and the patient is awake during the procedure. The leg is numbed with a local anesthetic. The patient and doctor wear protective glasses while the lasers are in use. There should be no pain as the vein closes.

The treated legs are wrapped in medical grade compression stockings immediately after the procedure. These are worn during the day for a week after the treatment, according to Healthline. Strenuous exercise is prohibited but gentle walking is recommended. Hot baths, saunas and hot tubs are prohibited for a period after the procedure and so is the use of certain pain relievers that interfere with blood clotting. Patients can usually resume normal activities within a day or two of treatment.

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