Venous Ablation Program to Help Improve Patients’ Blood Flow | Mercy (2023)

Varicose veins can be more than just unsightly. They can lead to chronic venous insufficiency, a condition that can cause pain, swelling, ulcers and other problems for patients.

Technological advancements mean treating varicose veins is safer and more effective than ever. Mercy Fort Smith's new endovenous ablation program is designed to help alleviate chronic venous insufficiency and help patients get back on their feet.

“Chronic venous insufficiency is very underdiagnosed,” said Dr. Surbhi Chamaria, interventional cardiologist at Mercy Fort Smith, adding that about 30 million people in America have the condition. The biggest risk factors include lack of exercise, excess weight, leg trauma, smoking or ulcers. Heredity also plays a role.

(Video) Great Saphenous Vein Ablation | For Patients

“Basically, what happens is that blood usually flows from our legs up and back into our heart,” she said. “These veins have valves that limit the flow of blood downward. Sometimes when patients develop varicose veins or chronic venous insufficiency, the valves stop working, and blood can flow in the wrong direction.”

Symptoms of varicose veins include:

· Pain

· Heaviness

(Video) Prof Mark Whiteley explains recovery from varicose vein treatment

· Swelling

· Fatigue

· Muscle cramps

· Restlessness

(Video) Part 4: Thermal Ablation: Diagnosis and Treatment of Varicose Veins

· Itching

· Burning

Dr. Chamaria said anyone with these symptoms can speak with their primary care physician, who can refer patients to Mercy Clinic Cardiology in Fort Smith. Patients can also contact the clinic directly to make an appointment.

Diagnosing venous insufficiency involves an ultrasound that detects how much blood is flowing in the wrong direction. Once a patient is diagnosed, there are different treatment options that Mercy offers, from conservative to invasive therapies. Conservative therapy would include wearing compression stockings that would help compress the blood and press it back toward the heart.

(Video) Vein Disease Treatment: Patient Stories

Mercy’s new program, venous ablation, is an outpatient procedure that involves using a radiofrequency catheter to burn the vein in order to stop the backflow of blood down toward the leg. The process involves an ultrasound for a re-scan of the leg so doctors can see exactly where the vein is and to locate an access point.

The procedure takes no more than 30 minutes, and afterward, the leg is wrapped in cloth bandages for 48 hours. The patient wears regular compression stockings for 48-72 hours after the procedure, then undergoes another ultrasound.

After the procedure, patients will see relief from pain, discomfort and swelling as well as improved blood flow, which will help their overall healing process.

There are no conditions that would prevent someone from undergoing a venous ablation, Dr. Chamaria said, unless a patient had an existing deep vein thrombosis. Some side effects could be mild itchiness or redness.

(Video) What is endovenous laser ablation treatment? | Vein Clinics of America

If a patient is already on blood-thinning medication, physicians will discuss whether it’s safe to stop the medication before the venous ablation, Dr. Chamaria added.

Learn more about varicose veins at Mercy Clinic Cardiology is at 7001 Rogers Ave., Fort Smith. Click here to learn more or to schedule an appointment.


Does vein ablation improve circulation? ›

After the procedure, patients will see relief from pain, discomfort and swelling as well as improved blood flow, which will help their overall healing process. There are no conditions that would prevent someone from undergoing a venous ablation, Dr.

What are the benefits of vein ablation? ›

Vein ablation is a very effective treatment and not only gets rid of the veins, but also relieves the painful symptoms such as aching, itching, rashes and swelling. It is a safe, minimally-invasive treatment that rarely, if ever, leaves scars.

What happens to blood flow after vein ablation? ›

Radiofrequency Ablation and Varicose Vein Recurrence

Once the lining is irritated, it causes the vein to collapse on itself, shutting off the flow of blood through the vein. Instead, blood is rerouted to healthy veins to promote normal circulation in the area.

How does venous ablation work? ›

Venous ablation is an in-office procedure that utilizes radiofrequency energy to cauterize and close bad veins in the legs. The goal of treatment is to alleviate symptoms such as swelling, achiness, fatigue, and heaviness of the legs and to reduce the risk of complications from venous disease, including blood clots.

What are the side effects of venous ablation? ›

The following are possible long-term side effects that patients may experience after undergoing radiofrequency vein ablation:
  • Permanent nerve damage.
  • Damaged tissue.
  • Collapsed veins.
  • Prickling pain.
  • Skin burns.
  • Feelings of burning.
  • Small blood clots.
  • Deep vein thrombosis (rarely)
Jul 29, 2022

How long does it take for legs to heal after vein ablation? ›

Vein ablation is a minimally invasive procedure, but it does require some time for your legs to heal completely. Typically, you can expect to make a full recovery in about four weeks' time.

What happens if you don t wear compression stockings after vein ablation? ›

Wearing them will help prevent the veins that were collapsed during sclerotherapy or ultrasound guided foam sclerotherapy to refill with blood. This means that spider veins or small varicose veins that were removed immediately during the procedure will not reappear.

Who needs vein ablation? ›

Venous ablation is a minimally invasive, outpatient treatment option to treat patients suffering from pain, heaviness, swelling, itching, throbbing, cosmetically unappealing or uncomfortable legs from varicose veins or chronic venous insufficiency.

Is venous ablation painful? ›

There is minimal pain and discomfort after a vein ablation procedure. Many patients do not need pain medication, while others may take over-the-counter analgesics. However, you may report some sensitivity and soreness in the area. Swelling, redness, and stinging are also possible but resolve quickly.

How long do I have to wear compression stockings after vein ablation? ›

The standard practice of the Veins Unit is to advise patients to wear class two compression stockings for four weeks post-operatively.

Is venous ablation safe? ›

Venous ablation is one of the most effective and safe varicose vein treatments available.

How long does vein ablation last? ›

Vein ablation is a procedure that uses high-frequency energy waves to close off the diseased veins in a person's legs. The procedure is usually performed on larger varicose veins and takes about 30 to 60 minutes, depending on how many veins need treatment.

How long does vein ablation hurt? ›

Most patients experience only minor discomfort, and only for about a week or two after treatment. There may also be some minor numbness in and around the treatment area, but this too typically lasts for only a few weeks, or until healing in the area is complete.

How serious is vein ablation? ›

What are the risks of varicose vein ablation? EVA is generally complication-free and safe, leaving virtually no scars. Injections into the skin can cause skin infection requiring antibiotic treatment and this is seen in less than 1 in 1000 people who have this procedure.

Is venous ablation a surgery? ›

Is endovenous thermal ablation considered surgery? Endovenous thermal ablation is a nonsurgical, minimally invasive procedure. This treatment requires a small incision, but it's much less invasive than varicose vein surgery.

Is there a downside to vein ablation? ›

Results: Ecchymoses and pain are frequently reported side effects of endovenous laser ablation. Nerve injury, skin burns, deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism seldom occur. An exceptional complication is a material or device that by accident remains inside the body after the procedure.

What can you not do after vein ablation? ›

Avoid strenuous activities, such as bicycle riding, jogging, weight lifting, or aerobic exercise, until your doctor says it is okay. Avoid standing in place for long periods of time. Most people are able to return to work and normal activities right away.

How do you sleep after a leg ablation? ›

You can sleep any way you like. Leg elevation is not necessary but if you feel more comfortable then elevate. There is no need to get up and walk during the night. The day of the procedure I would like you to resume normal activities as soon as possible.

How much should you walk after vein ablation? ›

While vein surgery is a simple laser procedure that doesn't require hospitalization or general anesthesia, strenuous activity like high-impact aerobics, heavy weight training and Pilates should be avoided for at least the first week. Most people can resume walking right away and for at least 30 minutes a day.

Can I drive after leg ablation? ›

Driving After Vein Ablation

One of the most common questions is whether a patient can drive immediately after vein ablation.. It's advised that you have someone drive you home from your appointment. The next day, you should be able to resume driving as long as you're in the car for only short distances.

How many hours a day should you wear compression stockings? ›

You should wear your compression stockings during the day and take them off before going to bed. Put them on again first thing in the morning. You should be given at least 2 stockings, or 2 pairs if you're wearing them on both legs. This means you can wear 1 stocking (or pair) while the other is being washed and dried.

What are the best compression socks after vein surgery? ›

20-30 mmHg stockings are the first medical-grade compression stockings. It is the most widely used, providing ample compression without being too strong. These are generally recommended for the treatment of varicose veins, spider veins, leg swelling, and after surgery.

Should I elevate my leg after vein ablation? ›

Keep your legs elevated to promote healing and give your vasculature time to reestablish blood flow. Most people need just two weeks off after vein surgery.

Do veins come back after ablation? ›

Once your vein has been treated, it is unlikely that the same varicose vein will reemerge in the same location. If a varicose vein returns in the same spot after treatment, it reopens in a process known as recanalization. The risk of recanalization is rare — under five percent — but never zero.

Can vein ablation cause nerve damage? ›

Nerve injuries occur due to the proximity of various nerves to the ablated or removed veins. Based on previous literature reports, damage to these nerves generally only causes transient cutaneous paresthesias that largely resolve within weeks to months [5].

How much does venous ablation cost? ›

The average cost of a vein ablation is about $1500-$2000 per vein out of pocket.

Are you awake during vein ablation? ›

Only a local anesthetic is used during the procedure – so you will be awake. In some severe cases, you may need general anesthesia or a sedative. The specialist will then use an ultrasound to locate the veins so that the catheter can be inserted into them.

Will vein ablation stop leg swelling? ›

Varicose Vein Treatment (Endovenous Ablation of Varicose Veins) Endovenous ablation uses energy to cauterize (burn) and close varicose veins. Doctors use it to help ease symptoms such as pain, swelling, and irritation.

Can I sleep with compression socks on? ›

There is no benefit to wearing compression stockings to bed — when the leg is flat in bed, gravity does not affect blood flow,” Kim said. “That being said, it doesn't hurt to wear them to bed if you please. Just keep in mind that wearing them in bed doesn't mean you don't have to wear them during the daytime.

Can you live a long life after an ablation? ›

Long-term survival is similar for patients with atrial fibrillation, whether they receive ablation or drug therapy. Control of the ventricular rate by ablation of the atrioventricular node and permanent pacing does not adversely affect long-term survival.

Do I need to wear compression stockings after vein ablation? ›

The results of this study show that wearing compression stockings after endovenous laser ablation (EVLA) of the great saphenous vein (GSV) can reduce pain in the first week after the intervention significantly but on a low pain level.

Does ablation cure venous insufficiency? ›

Endovenous ablation prevents future pain and complications

Treating chronic venous insufficiency and varicose veins also prevents future health problems that arise as these conditions slow down blood flow and increase pressure in your lower leg veins.

Do varicose veins affect blood circulation? ›

Varicose veins happen when there is damage to the valves within your veins. These appear as swollen dark-colored veins that are visible just beneath the skin's surface and are most commonly found in the legs. Swollen veins cause blood to flow less efficiently, which leads to poor circulation.

What can you not do after leg ablation? ›

Avoid strenuous activities, such as bicycle riding, jogging, weight lifting, or aerobic exercise, until your doctor says it is okay. Avoid standing in place for long periods of time. Most people are able to return to work and normal activities right away.

What exercise can I do after vein ablation? ›

If you or a loved one has recently had vein surgery, it's important to keep your body moving and maintain a normal level of activity.
Exercises you can do safely immediately following vein surgery
  • Walking.
  • Hiking.
  • Using a stationary bike, row machine, elliptical machine or stair climber.
  • Step aerobics.
May 18, 2020

What is the best treatment for venous insufficiency? ›

Keeping your legs raised (elevated) can reduce swelling and help increase blood flow. Wearing compression stockings may also help. Regular exercise can also improve blood flow.

What worsens venous insufficiency? ›

Avoid Tight Clothing and High Heels. Tight clothing or shoes can restrict blood flow in the legs and increase the risk of chronic venous insufficiency. High-heeled shoes can also impede blood flow in the legs. For this reason, your NYU Langone doctor may recommend wearing shoes with a low heel.

Can you live with venous insufficiency? ›

Chronic venous insufficiency affects millions of Americans, but the good news is that people with this condition can find relief from pain, avoid the complications, and lead a normal life by making lifestyle changes that include: Exercising. Keeping your salt intake to a minimum. Drinking plenty of water.

Which vitamin is good for blood circulation? ›

One of these, in particular, vitamin B3, can help people improve blood circulation. Also called niacin, B3 reduces inflammation and bad cholesterol. The vitamin is also important for increasing blood vessel function. Leafy green vegetables such as kale and spinach are good sources of vitamin B nutrients.

How can I improve blood circulation in my legs? ›

Here are 7 quick tips to improve blood circulation in the legs and feet:
  1. Walking. Walking is the simplest yet most effective exercise to help improve blood circulation in your legs. ...
  2. Stretching exercises. ...
  3. Different sitting positions. ...
  4. Compression stockings. ...
  5. Yoga. ...
  6. A massage. ...
  7. Sauna bath.
Feb 7, 2022

How can I improve circulation in my legs with varicose veins? ›

Lifestyle and home remedies
  1. Exercise. Get moving. ...
  2. Manage weight. Shedding excess pounds takes unnecessary pressure off the veins.
  3. Avoid salt. Follow a low-salt diet to prevent swelling caused from water retention.
  4. Choose proper footwear. ...
  5. Avoid tight clothing. ...
  6. Raise the legs. ...
  7. Avoid long periods of sitting or standing.
Mar 3, 2022

Can compression socks make venous insufficiency worse? ›

Poor circulation, also known as Venous Insufficiency, has the potential to cause leg pain, swelling, and fatigue. Fortunately, therapeutic compression socks have been proven to improve blood circulation and the symptoms of Venous Insufficiency.

How often should you walk after vein ablation? ›

Exercise after Varicose Vein Surgery

That's because walking during recovery from varicose vein surgery is critical for most patients. We ask our patients to walk after varicose vein treatment for 30 minutes and we advise walking every day for at least an hour a day for the weeks following treatment.


1. Varicose Vein Ablation | UCLA Vital Signs
(UCLA Health)
(First Coast Cardiovascular Institute)
3. Laser Treatment for Varicose Veins | Varicose veins Laser treatment Live | live EVLT surgery
(Citi Vascular Centre)
4. What is radiofrequency ablation treatment? | Vein Clinics of America
(Vein Clinics of America)
5. Diagnosis & Treatment of Chronic Venous Insufficiency w/ Dr. Jonathan Marshall | The CORE Institute
(The CORE Institute)
6. What is endovenous ablation? (Michael Malinowski, MD)
(Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin)
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