Endovenous laser ablation is a proven, minimally invasive procedure used worldwide to close problematic branches in the superficial venous system.
Unlike surgical forms of treatment, the procedure is minimally-invasive, requires no sutures, and has no downtime.
The procedure is performed as follows: After using a small amount of local anesthetic, a small IV is started. Through this IV catheter, a special laser fiber is inserted into the target vein. Prior to turning on the laser, local anesthetic is targeted by ultrasound guidance and placed around the vein to be treated. With the anesthetic in place, the laser is turned on and slowly backed out of the vein. As it is removed from the vein, heat is generated that ultimately leads to the closure of the problematic vein. This does not interrupt the flow of blood from the lower extremity because when the unhealthy vein closes, blood is simply rerouted to healthy veins.
The treatment takes about 1 hour. You can resume your normal routine aﬅer any treatment with the exception of avoiding heavy aerobics for 48hours, soaking/swimming for a week (showers are fine), and travel 30 days post-treatment on extended plane or car trips. Lastly, patients wear compression stockings daily for typically one week following their endovenous ablation.
Routine follow-up examinations and ultrasounds are performed within a week of the procedure. In subsequent weeks, symptoms noted prior to endovenous ablation typically subside and the appearance of large bulging veins improve somewhat. For patients with extensive varicose and spider veins, a series of sclerotherapy injections are subsequently performed until vein flow and cosmetic improvement is optimal. The number of treatments varies per patient.
Endovenous ablation procedures are typically covered by commercial insurance carriers & Medicare. The approval process for commercial insurance coverage may vary per patient policy. Medicare patients generally receive immediate approval if procedures are warranted. Endovenous laser ablation is performed by our vein specialist, Dr. David I. Rosen, MD.