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Varicose Vein Ablation Procedure: Pros, Cons, Side Effects, and More

June 10, 2022

spider and varicose vein treatment center

What is the varicose vein ablation procedure?

A varicose vein ablation is a group of minimally invasive treatments that heat (ablate) and destroy the diseased saphenous veins responsible for your vein problems. Vein ablation is the most effective minimally invasive treatment for chronic venous insufficiency, the root cause of spider veins, varicose veins, and most other vein problems. The varicose vein ablation procedure involves inserting a specialized catheter into the diseased vein to channel thermal or laser energy, which destroys the diseased vein responsible for your vein problems.

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Varicose vein ablation is a minimally invasive and in-office procedure. It usually concludes within an hour, causes little to no pain and discomfort, involves a negligible risk of complications, and doesn’t involve any downtime. After the procedure, you can resume most of your daily activities and work immediately — with no harsh side effects or complications. Vein ablation also has a nearly perfect (97%) success rate and a negligible risk of vein disease recurrence. After vein ablation, you don’t have to worry about the same varicose veins returning.

Please schedule an appointment to explore your varicose vein treatment options.

How does varicose vein ablation work?

To understand how varicose vein ablation works, you need to better understand the root cause of varicose veins — chronic venous insufficiency.

What is the varicose vein ablation procedure? How does varicose vein ablation work? We describe the advantages and side effects of vein ablation treatments.

Chronic venous insufficiency is the circulatory disorder responsible for most vein problems. Healthy veins contain valves that ensure smooth one-way blood circulation to the heart, often against the force of gravity. Venous insufficiency is a condition wherein the vein valves collapse or malfunction, causing blood to flow backward and accumulate in the leg veins. The continued accumulation of blood in leg veins leads to vascular dilation and the eventual formation of spider veins and varicose veins.

Vein ablation is a minimally invasive procedure for chronic venous insufficiency, the root cause of varicose veins. The vein doctor administers local anesthesia and makes a small incision on the skin’s surface, through which a catheter is carefully driven into the diseased saphenous vein (under ultrasound guidance). Once the catheter is lodged in place, the vein doctor injects tumescent anesthesia to ensure comfort. Finally, the catheter is activated to generate thermal energy, which destroys the diseased saphenous vein responsible for your vein problems. The accumulated blood reroutes into healthier leg veins.

Since vein ablation targets the root cause of varicose veins, it prevents the formation of new spider veins and varicose veins. After the vein ablation procedure, the vein doctor can perform an ambulatory phlebectomy to remove the superficial varicose veins from the skin’s surface.

Types of varicose vein ablation procedures:

Radiofrequency Ablation

Radiofrequency ablation is a minimally invasive procedure that involves using radiofrequency energy to destroy the diseased vein. The vein doctor inserts a catheter and generates radiofrequency waves, which converts into thermal energy and burns the diseased vein. This is one of the safest and least painful treatments for chronic venous insufficiency.

Laser Ablation

Endovenous laser ablation was first pioneered in 2003 — this is the world’s first minimally invasive treatment for chronic venous insufficiency. Instead of channeling radiofrequency energy, the vein doctor uses a specialized laser fiber to generate laser energy. Laser ablation produces the same results as radiofrequency ablation, but it causes a little more post-treatment discomfort.

How long does vein ablation take?

Vein ablation is an extremely quick and efficient treatment. The entire in-office vein ablation procedure concludes within 30 to 60 minutes, following which you can resume your daily activities and work. Vein ablation is the perfect lunchtime procedure because it can fit within your lunch break, following which you can resume your work and daily activities. You don’t need to take any time off work.

What are the benefits of varicose vein ablation?

Varicose vein ablation is one of the most effective and reliable minimally invasive vein treatments. Until recently, vein disease could only be treated via complex surgical procedures, such as vein ligation, vein stripping, and venous bypass surgery. Vascular surgeries involve hospitalization, extended downtime, and a higher risk of complications, such as infections and deep vein thrombosis. Furthermore, varicose vein surgery has a lower success rate than minimally invasive procedures and a higher rate of vein disease recurrence.

The following are the primary benefits of vein ablation (compared to vein surgery):

  • Minimally Invasive: Vein ablation is a minimally invasive procedure — there are no major excisions, general anesthesia, hospitalization, or open surgery.
  • Comfortable: Vein ablation is performed under local anesthesia, so it causes minimal discomfort during and after the treatment.
  • Minimal Side Effects: Vein ablation involves minimal post-treatment side effects, such as redness, swelling, tenderness, and mild discomfort.
  • Negligible Risks: Vein ablation is an extremely safe procedure with minimal risks. The risk of infections and deep vein thrombosis is negligible.
  • No Recurrence: Vein ablation has a significantly lower risk of vein disease recurrence than traditional varicose vein surgeries.
  • Efficient: Vein ablation concludes within an hour and involves no downtime, making it an extremely efficient lunchtime procedure.
  • No Downtime: Vein ablation doesn’t involve any downtime — you can resume most of your daily activities and work immediately after the treatment.

What are the side effects of varicose vein ablation?

The primary side effects of vein ablation include mild redness, swelling, tenderness, and bruising around the treatment sites. Some patients also notice mild skin discoloration, and there’s a small risk of nerve injuries because of the thermal energy. But most of the side effects are mild and temporary, and you can resume your daily activities immediately. This is the safest and most reliable minimally invasive vein treatment available.

Varicose Vein Ablation Procedure: Pros, Cons, Side Effects, and MoreVTC

Book a Consultation

Scheduling a consultation with one of our vein treatment experts is one of the best ways to determine the proper resolution for your varicose veins. The treatments can include sclerotherapy, laser or radiofrequency ablation, a medication called Varithena, or procedures such as Venaseal, or Clarivein.

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Vein Doctor New York - Dr. Michael Nguyen

Contributing Author

Dr. Michael Nguyen

Harvard Trained | Spider & Varicose Veins Specialist

Dr. Michael Nguyen is a world renowned and Harvard trained vein specialist in Manhattan. He leads the team of vein doctors offering the highest level of care at the Spider and Varicose Vein Treatment Center in New York & New Jersey.

Book now
Meet our diplomat-certified team

Dr. Michael Nguyen

VENOUS SPECIALIST | Harvard Medical School

Dr. Michael Nguyen is a world renowned and Harvard trained vein specialist in Manhattan. He leads the team of vein doctors offering the highest level of care at the Spider and Varicose Vein Treatment Center.

As a pioneer in the treatment of varicose veins problems, Dr. Nguyen is considered a top vein expert for developing minimally invasive and customized treatment plans for the many symptoms of venous insufficiency, including leg cramps, skin discoloration on legs, spider vein removal, and restless leg syndrome.

Dr. Michael Nguyen
Meet our diplomat-certified team

Dr. Caroline Novak

Venous Specialist | NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY

Dr. Caroline Novak is a double Board Certified vein specialist in Paramus and Clifton, NJ. Dr. Novak is well known for continuously performing the best treatment for spider veins and varicose vein removal in the New Jersey area. She is committed to developing long lasting relationships with her patients, allowing her to personalize a varicose and spider veins treatment plan that successfully meets her patients' goals.

At her Clifton and Paramus vein clinic, Dr. Novak utilizes the latest and most advanced technology to restore patients back to health without unnecessary surgery, and with minimal to no downtime.

There are a variety of minimally-invasive varicose vein treatment options available. Your vein doctor can perform the procedure on-site and have you back on your feet in under an hour.
Meet our diplomat-certified team

Dr. Sareh Rajaee

Venous Specialist | BROWN UNIVERSITY

Dr. Sareh Rajaee is a Board Certified Vascular Surgeon and Vein Disease specialist. She is highly sought after for his expertise and excellent outcomes in spider veins and varicose vein removal. She is proud to serve the New York community at our vein clinic in Manhattan.

Our vein clinics offer FREE insurance verification– most vein treatments are covered by all major medical insurances, including Medicare.

There are a variety of minimally-invasive varicose vein treatment options available. Your vein doctor can perform the procedure on-site and have you back on your feet in under an hour.
Meet our diplomat-certified team

Dr. Todd Kobrinski

Vein Specialist | GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY

Dr. Todd’s goal as a vein treatment doctor is to help patients achieve the best quality of life. After learning about you, how vein disease is affecting you and why, he is able to craft a customized treatment plan for your spider and varicose veins.

Our vein clinics offer FREE insurance verification– most vein treatments are covered by all major medical insurances, including Medicare.

There are a variety of minimally-invasive varicose vein treatment options available. Your vein doctor can perform the procedure on-site and have you back on your feet in under an hour.
Meet our diplomat-certified team

Dr. Juan Montoya

VASCULAR SPECIALIST | Yale Medical School

Dr. Montoya is a Vein Specialist and Vascular doctor in New York. He is highly sought after for his expertise and excellent outcomes in cardiac surgery, and is now proud to serve the Vein Clinics in Manhattan, NY.

Dr. Montoya performs the latest minimally-invasive vein treatments to treat Chronic Venous Insufficiency; a condition that leads to spider veins and varicose veins, along with symptoms such as leg cramping, pain, and fatigue.

Dr. Juan Montoya
Meet our diplomat-certified team

Dr. Carly Guthrie

VENOUS SPECIALIST | Harvard Medical School

Dr. Carly Guthrie is the co-director of the Spider and Varicose Vein Treatment Clinic in San Diego. Dr. Guthrie is a double Board-Certified vein specialist, and is regarded as one of the top interventional ultrasonographers in the country. In her years of training and on staff at Harvard, she worked with the top venous specialists in the world, attending some of the most complex cases. Her areas of expertise include radiofrequency ablation using ultrasound guidance, sclerotherapy, phlebectomy, and the newly approved VenaSeal technique for treatment of venous insufficiency and varicose veins.

Dr. Guthrie is focused on bringing the newest and most-advanced treatments to Southern California in order to decrease recovery times and improve patient satisfaction.

Dr. Carly Guthrie - Vein Doctor called phlebologist
Meet our diplomat-certified team

Dr. Billy Schoenfeld

VENOUS SPECIALIST | Harvard Medical School

Dr. Schoenfeld has advanced training in ultrasound and venous access, having treated thousands of patients in his career. He is a specialist in the treatment of venous insufficiency and varicose veins, including ultrasound guided radiofrequency ablation, sclerotherapy, and phlebectomy.

Dr. Schoenfeld is focused on introducing new therapies to San Diego, such as the recently FDA-approved VenaSeal procedure for treatment of varicose veins. During his training at Harvard he worked with the best doctors in venous medicine and is now devoted to bringing those state-of-the-art technologies and treatments to Southern California.

Dr. Billy Schoenfeld
Meet our diplomat-certified team

Dr. Jasmine Koo

VENOUS SPECIALIST | UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON

Dr. Jasmine specializes in minimally invasive treatments for spider and varicose vein removal in San Diego, California. Her areas of expertise include Sclerotherapy treatment, radiofrquency ablation, and VenaSeal treatment for chronic venous insufficiency.

Our Vein Clinic San Diego offers FREE insurance verification– most vein treatments are covered by all major medical insurances, including Medicare.

Dr. Jasmine Koo
Meet our diplomat-certified team

Dr. Amanda Steinberger

VENOUS SPECIALIST | Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

Dr. Steinberger has a great passion for the treatment of chronic venous insufficiency, which is demonstrated by her technical precision, unparalleled bedside manner, and extraordinary results. She is board certified in Interventional Radiology and Diagnostic Radiology by the American Board of Radiology.

Dr. Jasmine Koo
Meet our diplomat-certified team

Dr. Thomas Arnold

Vein Doctor | Pennsylvania University

Dr. Thomas Arnold has significant experience with thousands of procedures performed for spider and varicose vein removal. He is adept at ultrasound guided procedures and cutting-edge vein treatment methods for vein disease.

Dr. Jasmine Koo
Meet our diplomat-certified team

Dr. Kamran Saraf

Vein Doctor | Georgetown University

Dr. Kamran provides treatments to relief the symptoms of chronic venous insufficiency; a condition commonly known for causing spider and varicose veins, leg heaviness, swelling and discomfort amongst other symptoms. Dr. Kamran is known as a top varicose vein specialist for his excellent outcomes and extraordinary patient care.

Dr. Jasmine Koo
Meet our diplomat-certified team

Dr. Walter Lech

Vein Doctor | Harvard Medical School

Dr. Lech’s advanced technical skills are rivaled only by his empathetic, patient-centric approach to care. For the past several years, he has applied the same detail-oriented, compassionate treatment philosophy to patients suffering with chronic venous and lymphatic disorders.

Dr. Jasmine Koo
Meet our diplomat-certified team

Dr. Mitchell Karmel

Venous Specialist | Harvard Medical School

Dr. Karmel is triple board certified with extensive experience in vascular imaging. He completed a radiology residency at Cornell Hospitals, where he served as chief resident. Dr. Karmel completed a two-year fellowship in Cardiovascular/Interventional Radiology at Harvard Medical School rotating though Brigham and Women’s Hospital, The Dana Farber Cancer Institute, and Boston Children’s Hospital. He has vast experience in vascular procedures and is coauthor on several peer reviewed papers and presentations.

Dr. Jasmine Koo
Meet our diplomat-certified team

Dr. Zalekha Shair

Venous Specialist | New York Medical College

Dr. Zalekha Shair is a board-certified surgeon with extensive experience as a varicose vein and spider vein doctor. A long-island native, Dr. Shair completed her undergraduate studies at SUNY Stony Brook before completing a masters program and obtaining her Medical Degree at New York Medical College.

vein doctor in Long Island
Meet our diplomat-certified team

Dr. Andrew Cortes

Venous Specialist | SUNY Downstate Medical Center

Dr. Andrew Cortes is a Board-Certified Vascular and Interventional Radiologist and Vein Expert. Dr. Cortes has received recognition for various academic achievements, including the John P. Craig, MD, Award for Excellence in Microbiology and Immunology while training at SUNY Downstate Medical Center.

vein doctor in Long Island
DR.NGUYEN
Dr. Caroline Novak
Dr. Caroline Novak
Dr. Caroline Novak
Dr. Juan Montoya
Dr. Carly Guthrie
Dr. Billy Schoenfeld
Dr. Jasmine Koo
Dr. Jasmine Koo
Dr. Jasmine Koo
Dr. Jasmine Koo
Dr. Jasmine Koo
Dr. Jasmine Koo
Dr. Jasmine Koo
Dr. Jasmine Koo
Dr. Nguyen
Dr. Caroline Novak
Dr. Caroline Novak
Dr. Caroline Novak
Dr. Juan Montoya
Dr. Carly Guthrie
Dr. Billy Schoenfeld
Dr.-Jung-_-vein-specialist-houston
Dr.-Jung-_-vein-specialist-houston
Dr.-Jung-_-vein-specialist-houston
Dr.-Jung-_-vein-specialist-houston
Dr.-Jung-_-vein-specialist-houston
Dr.-Jung-_-vein-specialist-houston
Dr.-Jung-_-vein-specialist-houston
Dr.-Jung-_-vein-specialist-houston

Michael Nguyen MD

Triple Certified
Harvard Medical School

Dr. Michael Nguyen is a world renowned and Harvard trained vein specialist, leading the Spider and Varicose Vein Treatment Center in New York. Dr. Nguyen has been a pioneer in the treatment of varicose veins problems, as well as the many signs of venous insufficiency, including: leg cramps, painful varicose veins, leg swelling, restless leg, and skin discoloration on legs.
Read more >>

Caroline Novak MD

GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY

Dr. Todd’s goal as a vein treatment doctor is to help patients achieve the best quality of life. After learning about you, how vein disease is affecting you and why, he is able to craft a customized treatment plan for your spider and varicose veins.
Our vein clinics offer FREE insurance verification– most vein treatments are covered by all major medical insurances, including Medicare.
Read more >>

Sareh Rajaee MD

BROWN UNIVERSITY

Dr. Sareh Rajaee is a Board Certified Vascular Surgeon and Vein Disease specialist. She is highly sought after for his expertise and excellent outcomes in spider veins and varicose vein removal. She is proud to serve the New York community at our vein clinic in Manhattan. Our vein clinics offer FREE insurance verification– most vein treatments are covered by all major medical insurances, including Medicare.
Read more >>

Todd Kobrinski MD

BROWN UNIVERSITY

Dr. Todd’s goal as a vein treatment doctor is to help patients achieve the best quality of life. After learning about you, how vein disease is affecting you and why, he is able to craft a customized treatment plan for your spider and varicose veins.
Our vein clinics offer FREE insurance verification– most vein treatments are covered by all major medical insurances, including Medicare.
Read more >>

Juan Montoya MD

NYC VEIN SPECIALIST
YALE MEDICAL SCHOOL

Dr. Montoya is a Vein Specialist and Vascular doctor in Manhattan. He is considered one of the best spider vein doctors in Manhattan, having successfully restored thousands of patients back to health, by implementing cutting edge treatments such as radiofrequency ablation, VenaSeal, and sclerotherapy for spider veins.
Read more >>

Carly Guthrie MD

Double Certified
Harvard Medical School

Dr. Guthrie is the co-director of the Spider and Varicose Vein Treatment Clinic in San Diego. She is recognized as one of the best varicose vein doctors in SD, and has developed a career specializing in minimally invasive varicose vein treatment options.

Read more >>

Billy Schoenfeld MD

Double Certified
Harvard Medical School

Dr. Schoenfeld is a specialist in the treatment of venous insufficiency and varicose veins, including ultrasound-guided radiofrequency ablation, sclerotherapy, and phlebectomy for spider vein removal. He also has advanced training in ultrasound and venous access, having treated thousands of patients at the Vein Treatment Center in San Diego, CA.

Read more >>

Jasmine Koo MD

UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON

Dr. Jasmine specializes in minimally invasive treatments for spider and varicose vein removal in San Diego, California. Her areas of expertise include Sclerotherapy treatment, radiofrquency ablation, and VenaSeal treatment for chronic venous insufficiency.

Our Vein Clinic San Diego offers FREE insurance verification– most vein treatments are covered by all major medical insurances, including Medicare.

Read more >>

Amanda Steinberger DM

Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

Dr. Steinberger has a great passion for the treatment of chronic venous insufficiency, which is demonstrated by her technical precision, unparalleled bedside manner, and extraordinary results. She is board certified in Interventional Radiology and Diagnostic Radiology by the American Board of Radiology.

Read more >>

Thomas Arnold MD

Pennsylvania University

Dr. Thomas Arnold has significant experience with thousands of procedures performed for spider and varicose vein removal. He is adept at ultrasound guided procedures and cutting-edge vein treatment methods for vein disease.

Read more >>

Kamran Saraf MD

Georgetown University

Dr. Kamran provides treatments to relief the symptoms of chronic venous insufficiency; a condition commonly known for causing spider and varicose veins, leg heaviness, swelling and discomfort amongst other symptoms. Dr. Kamran is known as a top varicose vein specialist for his excellent outcomes and extraordinary patient care.

Read more >>

Walter Lech MD

Harvard Medical School

Dr. Lech’s advanced technical skills are rivaled only by his empathetic, patient-centric approach to care. For the past several years, he has applied the same detail-oriented, compassionate treatment philosophy to patients suffering with chronic venous and lymphatic disorders.

Read more >>

Mitchell Karmel MD

Harvard Medical School
Dr. Karmel is triple board certified with extensive experience in vascular imaging. He completed a radiology residency at Cornell Hospitals, where he served as chief resident. Dr. Karmel completed a two-year fellowship in Cardiovascular/Interventional Radiology at Harvard Medical School rotating though Brigham and Women’s Hospital, The Dana Farber Cancer Institute, and Boston Children’s Hospital. He has vast experience in vascular procedures and is coauthor on several peer reviewed papers and presentations.
Read more >>

Zalekha Shair MD

New York Medical College
Dr. Zalekha Shair is a board-certified surgeon with extensive experience as a varicose vein and spider vein doctor. A long-island native, Dr. Shair completed her undergraduate studies at SUNY Stony Brook before completing a masters program and obtaining her Medical Degree at New York Medical College.
Read more >>

Andrew Cortes MD

SUNY Downstate Medical Center
Dr. Andrew Cortes is a Board-Certified Vascular and Interventional Radiologist and Vein Expert. Dr. Cortes has received recognition for various academic achievements, including the John P. Craig, MD, Award for Excellence in Microbiology and Immunology while training at SUNY Downstate Medical Center.
Read more >>
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