Endovenous Radiofrequency Ablation/Laser Ablation
The treatment of venous reflux (the root cause of varicose veins, uncomfortable leg swelling, and even leg ulcers) has evolved greatly over the last two decades. If a patient has venous reflux in the superficial veins, namely the greater and lesser saphenous veins, then sealing off the vein by heating it from within can alleviate the pressure that leads to the symptomatic venous disease. The procedure can be done either in the office or in the operating room. A small catheter is inserted into the problematic vein using ultrasound guidance. The catheter may have laser or radiofrequency (microwave) energy, which is used to heat the dysfunctional vein from within, causing the vein to close off completely. The leg is then wrapped with a compression bandage which stays on for 48 hrs. Recovery time is fairly short, and most patients return to normal activity within two days.