Varicose veins are generally benign, unsightly blemishes that occur on your legs or feet when the veins swell. However, some patients do report pain associated with varicose veins, which may signal an underlying medical condition. The nationally recognized physicians at St. Louis Heart and Vascular can treat your varicose veins using endovenous ablation therapy at any of their six locations in St. Louis, Bridgeton, Des Peres, and St. Charles, Missouri, and Granite City, Illinois. If your varicose veins don’t respond to compression stockings or frequently cause you pain, call the nearest office to schedule your appointment.

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Endovenous Laser Ablation Q&A

What is endovenous ablation therapy?

Endovenous ablation therapy is a procedure where your physician at St. Louis Heart and Vascular uses radiofrequency (RF) energy or lasers to cauterize your varicose veins, soldering them shut.

Anyone with varicose veins is a good candidate for endovenous ablation therapy. With that said, though the procedure is effective for cosmetic fixes, it’s usually reserved for patients suffering from pain, ulcers, or other harmful symptoms. These symptoms can include:

  • Inflammation in the vein
  • Ulcers, sores, or other skin irritation
  • Skin discoloration
  • Swelling or aching pain

What can I expect during endovenous ablation therapy?

During the procedure, your physician at St. Louis Heart and Vascular will clean and sterilize the area receiving treatment and then cover the area with a topical anesthetic for your comfort. They’ll then use an ultrasound device to map out the varicose vein and track its path.

Once your physician maps the vein, they apply a local anesthetic to the entry point before creating a small incision and guiding the catheter device into the varicose vein. Once inserted fully, more anesthetic is administered to the area before your physician applies the RF or laser energy treatment to the vein. As your physician pulls the catheter from your vein, it “solders” the vein closed.

The entire procedure takes no more than an hour and you can usually leave the same day.

What is recovery like following endovenous ablation therapy?

You’ll be able to walk like normal immediately following your procedure, though you might experience some slight bruising or discomfort in the treated area. However, the team at St. Louis Heart and Vascular advises avoiding any intense physical exercise or sports for several weeks as the veins heal.

When will I see results from endovenous ablation therapy?

Your treated varicose vein should be fully closed and no longer visible within one week of your procedure, and relief from your symptoms is generally immediate. You’ll just need a few follow-up ultrasounds in the treated area to make sure the vein is fully closed and no further treatment is needed.

If you’ve started feeling pain or noticed other worrying symptoms in your legs, feet, or other areas that feature varicose veins, let the physicians at St. Louis Heart and Vascular treat the issue quickly and effectively with endovenous ablation therapy. Call the nearest office location in St. Louis, Bridgeton, or St. Charles, Missouri, or Granite City, Illinois, to book your consultation today.