MINIMALLY INVASIVE VENOUS ABLATION FOR CHRONIC VENOUS INSUFFICIENCY (CVI)
Venous ablation is the surgical procedure of shutting down one poorly performing vein in the leg so the body will return venous blood more efficiently through its healthier leg veins.
Venous ablation is warranted when blood travels backward (refluxes) across faulty one-way valves inside the veins that are supposed to prevent the backflow (reflux) of blood. That blood then leaks out of the veins into the surrounding soft tissues in the leg, ankles and feet. The condition is called venous insufficiency.
Venous insufficiency is a progressive illness that causes pain, swelling and lymphedema in the lower extremities. Left untreated, venous ulcers can form on the skin that require intensive wound management in order to heal. Most often, simple conservative compression therapy with stockings will improve the condition.
At Encompass HealthCare and Wound Medicine, we perform two types of venous ablation: Radiofrequency Ablation and ClariVein, a non-thermal vein ablation system. Both methods represent significant advances in medicine, as they are far less invasive with fewer complications and dramatically improved healing rates when compared to outdated procedures like vein stripping or surgical vein removal.
With radiofrequency ablation, a thin, flexible tube called a catheter is inserted into a diseased vein through a tiny incision in the leg. Radiofrequency energy is then delivered inside the vein to provide an even and uniform heat to contract the collagen in the vein walls, causing them to collapse and seal. Once a leg vein is closed, blood flow is redirected to healthy veins.
Radiofrequency ablation provides a fast, comfortable recovery so the patient can return to everyday activities, most often within 24 hours of treatment.
ClariVein® is the latest endovascular technique for treating venous reflux disease. It involves inserting a rotating tube (catheter) into the vein, together with a drug, to close and seal it. Nothing but a local anesthetic is needed, so the treatment requires no hospital stay.
Compared to other similar techniques like laser ablation, ClariVein provides greatly reduced pain levels and virtually no discomfort or bruising during and post procedure. This is because the technique disrupts the lining of the vein, the endothelium, which then allows the highly effective use of sclerosants to close the vein.
This revolutionary device and technique have significant benefits for clinicians, patients, and health care providers:
- ClariVein is safe & effective and requires minimal local anesthesia.
- It eliminates the risk of nerve or skin damage or parathesia (the feeling of prickling, tingling or burning) from thermal energy.
- Excellent results are achieved by combining painless mechanical agitation within the vein along with proven sclerosants that shrink and collapse the vein.
- ClariVein is ideally suited to treat the great or small saphenous veins.
After applying local anesthetic on the skin, the surgeon makes a tiny incision below or above the diseased portion of the vein and inserts a fine catheter, which is attached to a motorized hand piece.
The catheter spins at around 3,500 revolutions per minute, which damages the inside of the vein slightly, causing it to collapse. The patient feels this as a buzzing sensation that is not painful.
As the catheter is slowly withdrawn, a drug is sprayed from the tip of the device into the vein, sealing it. The procedure takes about 20-30 minutes. Afterward, the patient can go straight home, but must wear a compression bandage for five days and a compression stocking for two weeks to assure the vein walls stick together and close properly.
There is virtually no bruising or pain and the patient can go back to work and resume regular activities almost immediately.
With the addition of venous ultrasound and venous ablation, Encompass HealthCare and Wound Medicine has further solidified its position as an all-inclusive, one-stop outpatient center for all aspects of wound healing.
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