For many years, vein stripping, the surgical removal of diseased veins, was considered the primary treatment option for getting rid of varicose veins. No more, says Jacksonville vein specialist Dr. James St. George. Today, a far less invasive procedure is the norm.
Endovenous ablation is an advanced treatment that uses heat energy to treat saphenous veins, which are the cause of varicose veins and their symptoms including leg pain, swelling and changes in the color of the lower legs and feet. Heat energy applied to the inside of the vein damages vein tissue, causing scar tissue to form and close off spider or varicose veins. Veins shut down and are no longer able to swell, which means those unsightly blue lumps and the accompanying pain disappear.
While the thought of heat high enough to zap and shut down a vein may seem painful, quite the opposite is true. Patients typically feel a slight pin prick when the local anesthetic is injected and some pressure when the catheter is inserted, but no serious discomfort. There is no time required for recovery and patients return to work immediately. It’s a minimally invasive procedure that works for all ages and generally is followed with non-invasive treatments like sclerotherapy and wearing of graduated pressure stockings.
If you have varicose veins, leg swelling, pain or discoloration, call the St. Johns Vein Center at 904-402-VEIN (8346) or complete our online email form to schedule a consultation.