1. How Long Does Vein Ablation Take?
One of the first questions patients ask is, “How long does vein ablation take?” The answer depends on the treatment you use and the extent of vein damage. But our award-winning vein doctors in New Jersey regularly conduct vein ablation in 15-30 minutes. We use innovative tools like radiofrequency, vein adhesives, and injectable sclerosants to close veins through the surface of the skin. Since we don’t need to sew up large incisions or administer general anesthesia, the process is very fast, and patients often complete treatment during their lunch break. Click HERE to book quick spider or varicose veins treatment with our NJ vein specialists!
2. Is Swelling After Vein Ablation Normal?
Patients wonder about side effects like swelling after vein ablation. It’s common to have a bit of swelling after the procedure. Your leg will feel fuller near the treated vein until the tumescent anesthesia dissolves. This is not considered a complication and typically resolves in a day or two. Use ice, elevation, and walking to help reduce swelling. Some patients will also feel mild cramping or soreness, which they can treat with walking, or with Tylenol if their vein doctor approves. Avoid heating pads, hot baths, and anti-inflammatories like Ibuprofen temporarily, unless your doctor tells you otherwise, since these impact blood pressure and could induce bleeding.
3. Any Radiofrequency Ablation Varicose Veins Complications?
Patients also ask if radiofrequency ablation of varicose veins has complications. The primary complication to consider with radiofrequency is whether the patient is allergic to the tumescent anesthesia that will be injected around the vein. This serves as a heat buffer for surrounding tissue, so that the heat only impacts the desired part of the vein. If patients can’t tolerate the anesthesia (which doctors identify beforehand), we’ll recommend an alternative ablative method like vein adhesives or sclerosants.
If you have pus, severe pain, red streaks near the injection, or fever following radiofrequency ablation, these are signs of an infection. While rare, this is serious, so call your doctor right away. In addition, chest pain, shortness of breath, or fainting are exceedingly rare, but could indicate a blood clot or DVT, so head to the emergency room. Our vein doctors always check for existing blood clots before treatment and instruct patients to wear compression stockings if they are at risk. Most patients will only need to wear the stockings for a few days.
4. Radiofrequency Ablation of Varicose Veins Recovery Time?
With radiofrequency ablation of varicose veins, patients are relieved to hear that recovery time is very minimal. Most patients can, and should, walk immediately after the procedure and resume their normal routine, including going back to work. There is no large wound to heal or clean, and there are no stitches or large bandages to deal with.
Most patients don’t have to avoid getting the treated area wet or avoid driving, so it’s basically life as usual after ablation. Your vein doctor will tell you whether to avoid strenuous exercise like cycling, but that should only be for a week or two. In general, they’ll encourage you to stay fairly active, and avoid sitting or standing for long periods of time without changing positions.
5. Is Ablative Varicose Veins Treatment a Surgery?
Patients often assume vein ablation is the same as varicose veins surgery. However, many types of ablation are minimally invasive and non-surgical. Patients remain awake throughout procedures like radiofrequency ablation, which are done in our office, and they don’t need to stay in the hospital. Ablation does not require general anesthesia, and some ablative techniques don’t require local anesthesia either. Vein stripping surgery (phlebectomy) cuts the vein out of the body through a series of incisions. But endovenous ablation therapy of incompetent veins treats them within the body where they become scar tissue and disappear.
6. Vein Stripping vs. Ablation: Which Recovery is Easier?
Patients want to know the difference between vein stripping vs. ablation. Which procedure has an easier recovery? Minimally invasive vein ablation has a much easier and quicker recovery than traditional vein stripping. Ablation is performed with small needles or catheters, so the wound is very tiny. There are no sutures or significant pain or swelling. There is also less risk of infection and blood clots, and no risk of complications from general anesthesia or hospital germs, with outpatient ablation.
Vein stripping often involves multiple incisions which need to heal, in addition to the vasculature which needs to heal where the vein was cut away. Newer surgeries, like ambulatory phlebectomy, have an easier recovery than traditional surgery. But minimally invasive procedures are still the easiest, and only involve brief swelling, bruising, or soreness from the injection.
7. Is Ablation Care Like Post Varicose Vein Surgery Care?
Post-treatment care for vein ablation is easy. Most patients can drive themselves home since they don’t need general anesthesia. You’ll want to keep the treated area clean, but typically, showers, walking, working, and all usual activities are permitted. You can ice or elevate the leg if needed, and wear compression stockings if advised. But otherwise, vein ablation doesn’t limit your life.
Post varicose vein surgery care requires more vigilance, including wound care, rest, limited activity, and steps to prevent blood clots, bleeding, and infection. This might include wearing compression stockings for a longer period and temporarily avoiding certain foods and medicines. You’ll want someone to drive you home after surgery, and preferably, stay to help for a day or two.
8. Is Vascular Surgery a Varicose Veins Treatment to Avoid?
While vein ablation is easier to perform, endure, and recover from, that doesn’t mean that everyone should avoid vascular surgery as varicose veins treatment. There are certain patients with blood clots or overly engorged and tortuous veins who might need surgical varicose vein removal for their safety. This is also true of some patients with certain medical conditions or those who have failed other treatments.
If your vein doctor recommends surgery, you should not avoid it, assuming your doctor is a board certified vein specialist. However, if your primary care doctor or dermatologist recommends varicose vein surgery, talk to our vein specialists first. We offer innovative treatment for varicose veins that other vein centers in New Jersey don’t provide.
9. Varicose Vein Treatment Before and After: Does It Work?
Patients should always ask for varicose vein removal before and after photos, to see whether treatments work. If the vein center can’t provide their own photo gallery (not stock images), don’t trust them for varicose vein treatment. Our renowned NJ vein center has conducted thousands of vein procedures and we love showing patients the results of our cutting-edge procedures.
10. Who Performs the Best GSV Vein Treatment in NJ?
The answer to what to expect after vein ablation depends largely on who performs it. If you want vein ablation to be successful, choose a qualified vein doctor. Our Harvard-trained vein specialists hold multiple certifications and use the latest treatment methods in our accredited vein center. We offer several minimally invasive options for GSV, varicose, and spider vein treatment, including radiofrequency, endovenous laser ablation, vein adhesives, and sclerotherapy. Each patient has unique venous anatomy, so our vein doctors will design the perfect plan for you!