What to Expect After Varicose Vein Ablation

Age and injuries can cause the walls of your veins to weaken and the valves to fail, so the blood pools in place. This causes spider veins and varicose veins, the type you can see — and sometimes feel — through the surface of your skin. For many years, the only way to get rid of them was to surgically remove them.

Dr. Charles Hunt II and our team of vein experts here at Alabama Vein & Restoration Medspa use advanced technology to eliminate your unsightly varicose veins without invasive surgery. We use endovenous thermal laser ablation right here in our office, which means you stay comfortable throughout the procedure and go home without pain.

Understanding endovenous thermal laser ablation

Dr. Hunt trusts the TVS™ 1470 vein laser for its precision and effectiveness. He uses ultrasound-guided imagery to position a laser fiber at the targeted vein. He mildly sedates you and injects a local anesthetic, so you won’t feel a thing. He then activates the laser that heats up your vein and destroys it.

Dr. Hunt doesn’t actually remove the vein — your body naturally absorbs the dead tissue over the next few weeks and months. He only removes the vein via microphlebectomy; unless it’s excessively large, in which case he would make a micro incision and remove it.

Because the TVS 1470 laser targets the water in your veins rather than the blood, as is common in older techniques, you get less bruising.

What to expect after varicose vein ablation

Dr. Hunt performs thousands of successful endovenous laser ablation procedures, so you can rely on his extensive experience and his wisdom when it comes to recovering from your treatment.

Expect to see these symptoms

The first thing you see when you look at your leg post-procedure is an ace bandage wound around your leg. And that’s all you’ll see for the next 24 hours, so go home, elevate your leg, and relax.

Swelling: On day two, have a seat and gently unwind the ace bandage. You should see some considerable swelling because we injected your leg with a numbing fluid. This will dissipate over the next week or two.

Bruising: Although endovenous laser ablation is minimally invasive, your tissues still undergo a bit of trauma, so you will notice some general bruising and some along the path of the vein.

Bleeding: If Dr. Hunt removed a vein or two, you will see steri-strips and covered with a gauze pad. If you notice any bleeding at an incision site, simply elevate your leg and put direct pressure on it; it should stop quickly.

Lumps: Occasionally, small lumps form if the redirected blood gets trapped in a tributary vein after the procedure. If it’s especially uncomfortable for you, Dr. Hunt may inject a thin needle to draw out the pooled blood.

Expect to feel these sensations

Most of our patients have zero pain, but they do report certain sensations such as:

  • Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Itchiness
  • Mild discomfort (take ibuprofen)

If you feel pain in your foot or heel, the likely culprit is an overly tight ace bandage — loosen it up a bit.

About two weeks after the procedure, some patients feel a pulling sensation in their upper thigh. Not everyone reports this post-op symptom; it tends to be more common in athletes and highly active people. If you do experience it, you can expect it to fade away in about two weeks.

Expect to do these things

On your first day following your endovenous laser ablation treatment, it’s best to take it easy with your leg elevated. Feel free to get up and use the restroom or get something to eat, but try to stay down with your leg up most of the day.

Wear compression hose: Once you remove the ace bandage, you wear a compression stocking over your leg for at least two weeks. This keeps the swelling down.

Walk: After the first 24 hours, we encourage you to walk and carry on with your life as normal with just a few restrictions (see below). Plan to go back to work about three days after your treatment.

Don’t lift: Walking is fine, but refrain from lifting heavy objects for a few weeks after your procedure, especially if you have incisions. Moderate movement speeds up the healing process, but strenuous exercise and lifting can put too much stress on your healing veins and slow down your recovery.

Don’t take hot baths: Feel free to shower or bath during your recovery, but avoid high temperatures, including saunas, hot tubs, and sunbathing. The heat dilates your blood vessels, contributes to swelling, may cause blood to pool in your veins, and can hinder healing.

Where to get treatment for your varicose veins

If you have varicose veins and have been putting off treatment because you don’t want to undergo or recover from surgery, you’re in luck — there’s a better procedure available to you now. Contact us by phone or online to schedule an appointment with Dr. Hunt at any of our five Alabama locations.

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