Our veins have a tough job. They need to move de-oxygenated blood from the extremities back to the heart. In the legs, it’s a tough task. The veins have to fight gravity the entire way.
When we’re young our leg muscles and all of our support tissues lend a hand, helping to squeeze the veins and push the blood upward. As we age, these tissues slacken and the veins themselves weaken. Also, the veins have valves that prevent backflow. With passing time, some of these valves weaken or become damaged. All of these circumstances allow blood to pool in the veins at this area. Now you have a curvy, bulging varicose vein.
Varicose veins are far more serious than their smaller relative, the spider vein. Spider veins are clusters of small veins near the surface of the skin. They form for the same reasons, but are only a cosmetic issue.
Varicose veins, on the other hand, can cause pain and other problems. Dr. Jensen is one of Utah’s leading vein experts. He uses endovenous ablation to treat his patients’ varicose veins. This minimally invasive procedure is a great way to remove varicose veins without the pain and recovery of vein stripping.
How does endovenous ablation work?
In an endovenous ablation, Dr. Jensen first identifies the damaged vein and then applies anesthetic numbing cream to the area. Next a small amount of local anesthetic is injected into the vein area. Once the patient is numb, Dr. Jensen advances a tiny flexible catheter through a needle into the target vein.
Once in place, the catheter emits radiofrequency energy down the length of the targeted vein. This energy damages the walls of the vein, causing them to collapse, shrink, and close off. Any blood that was circulating through the varicose vein diverts naturally to adjacent healthier veins. In addition to removing the pain of the varicose vein, this blood moving to better functioning veins also improves circulation and relieves pain.
To finish the procedure the probe is removed from the vein and a small dressing applied along with compression bandages. The entire procedure takes less than an hour.
Recovery and results
Patients usually experience mild bruising and some tightness in the legs, although this passes in a few days. Patients can return home immediately after endovenous ablation, and most can return to work the next day.
Want to get rid of your unsightly, possibly painful varicose veins? Call Dr. Jensen at (801) 728-9258 to schedule a consultation.