Even though there have been new procedures introduced recently to treat varicose veins, surgical ablation varicose veins is still considered the standard way to treat them. The definition of ablation is: The surgical removal of an organ, structure, or part.
The veins in the lower legs have valves that defy gravity and help “push” the blood back up the body to the heart to be reoxygenated. Varicose veins are caused by a reflux, or backing up, of blood in the lower legs due to these valves being weakened and not pushing the blood back up to the heart effectively.
This condition is known as venous insufficiency. Varicose veins are large, fragile and often adhered tightly underneath the skin making surgical ablation difficult. During the surgery the cause of the reflux, or backing up, of blood can be treated at the same time as the varicose veins. In other words, if the valves are repaired at the same time the varicose veins are treated and the operation is successful, the varicose veins will not return.
If the varicose veins are in an area where you have had a bad case of dermatitis or there has been a recent infection of the area, surgical ablation varicose veins may be even more difficult to perform, may cause heavy bleeding, and could take longer to complete the surgery because of the underlying complications.
In these cases a pneumatic tourniquet is placed on the lower limb at the beginning of the surgery. We all know that a tourniquet is used to cut off the blood flow from a specific area. Before the pneumatic tourniquet is used, however, a preoperative ultrasound is completed to ensure that the arteries of the lower leg are in good working order.
The pneumatic tourniquet is only used for 30 to up to 90 minutes during the surgery to decrease the possibility of causing tissue death. The use of the pneumatic tourniquet allows the surgeon to work in a clean and dry field and the operation usually goes more smoothly and quickly and the veins can be removed more easily because there is no blood to worry about.
I know when someone says the word ‘surgery’ it can conjour up some pretty frightening images. Just relax, this ‘surgery’ is usually done on an outpatient basis which means you can go home the same day you have the surgery. You won’t have a huge surgical incision or have to have stitches, either. The small cut you will get will only be cleaned and covered with a band-aid. There are generally no complications to worry about so this surgery is safe and is less invasive than a regular surgical procedure.
There may be some discomfort after the surgical ablation varicose veins procedure but it will be minimal and you should be able to resume your normal activities immediately. Do not fly on an air plane or take a long trip in a car until your doctor clears you to do so. You will also need to wear compression stockings to lessen bruising and tenderness and it is important to keep moving to lessen the chance you will have complications like a blood clot.