venous reflux

Resolving Venous Reflux Disease with Vein Ablation Treatment

Sep 20, 2023Arterial Disease, Radiofrequency Ablation, Varicose Veins

Vein ablation is an effective treatment method used to combat venous reflux disease, also known as chronic venous insufficiency (CVI). This medical condition significantly impacts the effective circulation of blood in the lower extremities, often resulting in leg pain, varicose veins, and swollen discolored legs. Fortunately, vein ablation treatment can provide immediate relief for those experiencing discomfort.

Understanding Venous Reflux Disease

Venous reflux disease arises when the tiny one-way valves that normally pump blood back up toward the heart become faulty. As a result, blood begins to pool in the legs, causing the veins to overload and bulge. These bulging veins, or varicose veins, affect more than 25 million Americans. They can appear as small, thin purple lines under the skin commonly referred to as “spider veins,” or as thick, protruding veins that are visible beyond the skin surface. Regardless of their form, varicose veins often indicate the presence of venous reflux.

As a progressive disease, venous reflux can initiate more severe circulatory problems if it isn’t promptly addressed.

Symptoms of Venous Reflux Disease

The following are common symptoms associated with venous reflux disease:

  • Leg pain, particularly after standing or sitting for extended periods.
  • Tired or weak legs.
  • Varicose veins.
  • Burning or itching sensation on the skin.
  • Swollen legs and/or ankles, also known as edema.
  • Alterations in the color and texture of the skin.
  • Open wounds or skin ulcers.

Undoubtedly, venous reflux disease can significantly impact an individual’s quality of life, especially for those whose jobs require extended periods of standing or sitting.

Vein Ablation Treatment

Vein ablation therapy offers immediate relief of symptoms from venous reflux disease, allowing patients to return to their regular activities with minimal to no pain. By destroying faulty veins from the inside, vein ablation not only ameliorates the cosmetic appearance of the legs but also effectively restores their function.

Once ablated, the faulty veins atrophy and eventually disappear.

At Coastal Vascular Center, our surgeons use various techniques for vein ablation:

  • Radiofrequency (RF) Ablation: Surgeons can deliver high-energy radio waves through the end of a catheter to destroy problematic veins. The tissue absorbs the radio waves, converting them into heat—thus, eliminating the targeted cells.
  • Chemical Sclerotherapy: Another method is through sclerotherapy, where surgeons inject alcohol or other substances into the faulty veins to induce scarring and subsequent closure. The body gradually absorbs the scar tissue over time.

Both procedures are minimally invasive and perform under local anesthesia and moderate sedation. After making a small incision, the vascular surgeon has access to the patient’s venous system. Then a catheter goes into the greater saphenous vein in the thigh. Guided by ultrasound imaging, the vascular surgeon navigates the catheter to the varicosed area for treatment. As a result of the procedure, the problematic vein collapses and eventually seals shut.

These procedures typically last an hour, and post-procedure there may be minor soreness or bruising, which can usually be addressed with over-the-counter pain relievers. Notably, there are no scars or stitches involved because the procedure requires only a tiny skin nick, about the size of a pencil tip.

Vein ablation provides significant benefits. It boasts a success rate of 93 to 97 percent, accompanied by a low recurrence rate. Furthermore, it’s an outpatient procedure, which means less recovery time.

At Coastal Vascular Center

Our expert team at Coastal Vascular Center is composed of dedicated professionals ready to assist you in managing and treating your venous reflux disease. Our expertise in venous ablation treatment coupled with our compassionate and tailor-made patient care ensures you’re in capable hands.

For additional information about venous reflux disease and its treatments, please do not hesitate to contact the Coastal Vascular Center. We understand the impacts of venous reflux disease and are committed to helping you regain the full health and functionality of your legs.

Health-related information on is for educational purposes only and, therefore not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.