Defective, one-way check valves in the Great Saphenous Vein (GSV) or the Small Saphenous Vein (SSV) are the most common cause of varicose vein disease. When the valves fail, the blood falls down the vein, leading to pooling in the superficial veins. This backwards flow is the underlying problem that leads to the formation of varicose veins and the signs and symptoms of vein disease including bulging veins, leg swelling, leg pain, and abnormal skin. To achieve excellent results from your vein treatment, the first step is correctly addressing the veins that are the source of the problem and sealing them off.
The greatest modern advancement in treating varicose veins is an innovative therapy called endovenous ablation. The ablation technique was developed to replace the much more invasive surgical vein stripping procedures, which required general anesthesia, several cuts on the leg, at least two nights in the hospital, and a higher risk of complications. Ablation procedures restore healthy circulation by sealing off (ablating) “leaky” veins, eliminating the backwards flow of blood. As a result, this procedure significantly improves large bulging veins, while preventing other complications such as swelling, skin ulceration and blood clots.
How is Laser & Radiofrequency Ablation Performed?
Two types of endovenous ablation include Endovenous Laser Ablation (EVLA) and Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA).
The first option, radiofrequency ablation (RFA), utilizes heat generated from radiofrequency waves to close down the dysfunctional vein. The second procedure utilizes energy from a laser to seal off the dysfunctional, unhealthy veins and is commonly referred to as EVLT. Some patients are better suited for radiofrequency ablation, and others for laser ablation.
These outpatient procedures take between 5-10 minutes and are performed in the comfort of one of our conveniently located offices (Nashville and Hermitage). To perform the procedure, an area on the thigh is injected with a local anesthetic (numbing medicine). Using an ultrasound to see the vein, Dr. Siragusa enters the unhealthy vein and inserts either the laser or radiofrequency catheter. After a Lidocaine solution is injected to make the vein completely numb, the catheter is activated and thermal energy is delivered to the walls of the vein, causing it to collapse on itself. Over the next few weeks, the sealed-off vein is converted to collagen, which is absorbed back into the body. This process results in less trauma, pain and bleeding for patients in comparison to other methods such as vein stripping. Once treated, blood no longer pools in the leg, restoring healthy circulation.
After treatment, most patients are able to walk out of the procedure and immediately return to work or normal daily activities. Following ablation procedures, patients will wear a compression sock on their leg and can resume normal activity immediately after treatment.
What is the Advantage of Laser & Radiofrequency Ablation?
Endovenous ablation procedures offer many benefits for patients looking to correct their circulation. These procedures are done in the office, have little to no down-time, and take Dr. Siragusa less than ten minutes to perform. Both RFA and EVLT are excellent treatment options, and are more than 97% effective at treating the source of your varicose veins, with most patients noticing an improvement in how their leg feels within 24 hours. At Siragusa Vein and Laser, we are proud to offer both options to our patients to ensure they receive the best treatment possible for their specific needs. In addition, our on-staff insurance specialist helps navigate the approval process to get the most coverage for our patients from their insurance providers. This ensures our patients receive the best treatment at the most affordable prices. For patients who are anxious about their procedures, we offer either a mild anti-anxiety medication (Valium) or a self-administered nitrous oxide (Pronox) to make their experience as comfortable as possible.
Take the first step
If you and Dr. Siragusa decide that endovenous ablation is right for your particular needs, our vein specialist team will discuss any needed preparation for the procedure with you. Endovenous ablation is a very safe, effective, and well-tolerated treatment, performed by Dr. Siragusa in our modern, comfortable and efficient office setting.