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What To Expect During Vein Ablation?

Dec 14, 2023
What To Expect During Vein Ablation?
Vein ablation offers numerous benefits over traditional surgical methods. Here’s what you can expect during the minimally invasive procedure for varicose veins.

If you're considering vein ablation or have already scheduled the procedure at Houston Vein Specialists in Houston, Texas, with David D. Shin, MD, RVT, RPVI, FACS, it's important to understand what to expect. This minimally invasive treatment is commonly used for varicose veins and other venous disorders, offering a quicker recovery and fewer complications than traditional surgical methods.

What is a vein ablation?

Vein ablation is designed to close off problematic veins, typically those affected by varicose veins or venous insufficiency. It uses heat generated by radiofrequency or laser energy to scar and close the affected veins. The vein ablation procedure redirects blood flow to healthier veins, alleviating symptoms and improving overall vein health.

Preparing for the procedure

Before vein ablation, you'll consult with Dr. Shin and the team to review your health history and discuss any necessary preparations. You might need to stop certain medications temporarily. On the day of the procedure, you'll likely be advised to avoid eating or drinking for several hours beforehand and to wear comfortable clothing.

Does insurance cover vein ablation?

Many insurance plans cover vein ablation, especially if deemed medically necessary. Check with your insurance provider for specific coverage details.

Vein ablation process

A vein ablation is typically performed as an outpatient procedure, meaning you can go home the same day. The process begins with a local anesthetic to numb the treatment area. Then, a small catheter is inserted into the vein, through which the specialist administers radiofrequency or laser energy. The entire procedure usually takes less than an hour.

Most patients report feeling little to no pain during vein ablation. Some discomfort or mild pain may be experienced after the procedure, which usually subsides within a few days.

Recovering from a vein ablation

After vein ablation, you'll spend a short time under observation before being allowed to go home. Recovery is relatively quick, with most patients returning to normal activities within a few days. Dr. Shin will provide specific instructions for home care, which may include wearing compression stockings, avoiding strenuous activities, and attending follow-up appointments.

Potential risks and complications

As with any medical procedure, vein ablation carries some risks. Common side effects include pain, bruising, and swelling at the treatment site. Rare but serious complications can include nerve damage, deep vein thrombosis, or infection. Following your doctor's post-procedure instructions closely will help minimize these risks.

Benefits and effectiveness of vein ablation

Vein ablation offers numerous benefits over traditional surgical methods. It's less invasive, has a lower risk of complications, and requires a shorter recovery period. Most patients experience significant relief from symptoms, and the procedure has a high success rate in treating varicose veins and venous insufficiency. Recurrence of varicose veins is possible but less likely with this treatment.

Schedule an appointment 

If you have varicose veins, call Dr. Shin or schedule an appointment online for more information about our minimally invasive treatments, such as vein ablation with ClosureFast™, VenaSeal™, phlebectomy, and sclerotherapy, all of which are effective and require little downtime.