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Interventional Vascular Procedures

Venous Ablation

What is it?  Venous ablation is a technique for eliminating venous reflux.  Venous reflux is when a muscle pump stops working, and blood begins to pool in a large leg vein called the saphenous vein.  This can cause varicose veins, severe pain and ulceration of the skin.  Venous ablation is used to seal the abnormal, refluxing vein closed.  Since the refluxing vein has lost its ability to carry blood in the correct direction and was allowing it to flow backwards, it is no longer needed for normal blood flow, which is why it can be sealed off.

What happens during the procedure?  Through a tiny incision at the knee, typically the size of a pencil point, a small tube is placed into the saphenous vein of the leg.  A laser or radiofrequency fiber is passed through the tube into the vein.  Once this fiber is in place, it is activated, delivering a very localized heat to the vein wall.  In response, the vein closes down and becomes permanently sealed.

Preparing for the Procedure:

  • You will receive a prescription for one Valium 5mg tablet, please take it one hour prior to your scheduled procedure.
  • You may eat and drink as normal the day of the procedure.  Abstain from alcohol, as you should not mix alcohol with pain medications.
  • Please remember to bring your thigh-high compression stockings with you to your procedure.  You will need to wear them immediately following your procedure.
  • Please take all medications at your regularly scheduled time, unless your physician tells you otherwise.
  • Make sure your physician is aware if you are taking Coumadin or Warfarin.

Helpful Information:

  • Because you will be mildly sedated, you must make arrangements to be driven by a friend or family member to the place of service for your procedure.
  • Following your procedure you will not be able to drive home and should make arrangements to be driven by a friend or family member.
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