Millions of people live with varicose veins. Although they were long considered cosmetic, doctors now recognize that they can cause uncomfortable — and even painful — symptoms. They may also be an indicator of more serious cardiovascular conditions. Luckily, you do not have to live with varicose veins any longer. At Cardiac Associates of North Jersey in Oakland, NJ, we use vein ablation to remove them safely and quickly. Keep reading to learn more.
A single ablation session generally lasts between 45 minutes and one hour. Patients will also need to plan for any necessary preparation and a post-treatment consultation with their provider. Treatments are performed right in our Oakland, NJ, office so that you can avoid a trip to the hospital or surgical center.
The most common reason to undergo venous ablation is to remove varicose veins. However, it can also be used to treat a few other conditions, such as incompetent veins. Laser and RF ablation offer an excellent alternative to more invasive procedures for these conditions. It is minimally invasive and can be performed right in our office.
In a nutshell, vein ablation is a minimally invasive treatment used to remove diseased or damaged veins. It is generally performed with a local anesthetic to help ensure you remain comfortable throughout the process.
During your treatment, we will identify and locate the damaged vein using ultrasound. One of our providers will then make a minute incision near the treatment area. Next, a catheter is inserted into the incision and threaded into the vein. This is used to deliver either laser energy or radiofrequency waves, depending on which method is used.
The heat produced by lasers or RF waves damages the vein wall. This results in scarring, which closes it off to future blood flow. The damaged vein eventually dissolves, after which it is absorbed and processed by the body and then eliminated as waste.
How Long Do Results Last?
Whether it uses laser or radiofrequency waves, ablation is a permanent solution. The vein in question is completely destroyed in the treatment so that it will not cause problems again. However, you may experience other varicose veins nearby, particularly if you are predisposed to the condition.
While results are permanent, they are not immediate. It takes some time for your body to eliminate the veins after they are treated. Most patients will begin to see results after about a week. However, you should keep in mind that it can take a month for the full results to develop.
How Many Treatments Are Needed?
Most patients will need to have several treatments before their varicose veins are entirely eliminated. These will be performed in our Oakland, NJ, office every four to six weeks until the desired results are achieved. However, a small number of patients may experience full results after a single treatment session.
The number of veins involved and their size will play a role in how many ablation sessions you ultimately need. Since there is some variability in the number of treatments needed, it is a good idea to discuss this before scheduling your first one. Our providers will be happy to go over your personal condition, so you have realistic expectations for your treatment.
What About Recovery and Post-Treatment Care?
Recovery is relatively straightforward after an ablation treatment. Most patients can return to normal activities right away. In fact, movement can help the recovery process for many patients since it helps boost circulation. The exception is strenuous exercise, which should be avoided for the recommended recovery period; usually a few days or a week.
Each patient and treatment session is unique, but we will most likely recommend that you wear compression stockings after ablation. Most patients will wear them for one to two weeks to help speed recovery and healing. You may also want to plan to have someone drive you home from the treatment.
Most adults can safely undergo veinous ablation. Generally, patients who relate well to the following statements may be good candidates for treatment:
- You have varicose veins
- Your condition causes embarrassment or discomfort
- You prefer treatments to be performed in your doctor’s office
- You want a treatment with a minimal recovery period
- You have a busy schedule and can’t take a lot of time off
- You are looking for a permanent solution
While ablation is very effective and generally considered safe, it may not be a good choice for every patient. If you have any of these conditions, you may want to postpone treatment or consider alternatives:
- You are bedridden or immobile
- You have acute deep vein thrombosis
- You are pregnant
- You have another arterial disease
You do not have to live with unsightly and uncomfortable varicose veins. Our professional staff is trained in several treatments that can safely remove them. Contact Cardiac Associates of North Jersey in Oakland, NJ, today to schedule a consultation. You will have a chance to ask questions about vein ablation and decide if it is a good treatment option for you.