Vein stripping and ligation used to be the primary method for treating varicose veins. Fortunately, a variety of less invasive options is now available. Davin Haraway, DO, and the medical staff at Tulsa Vein Institute in Tulsa, Oklahoma, are specially trained to perform endovenous thermal ablation. Call (918) 701-2020 or go online to request an appointment.

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What is endovenous thermal ablation?

Endovenous thermal ablation is a newer, advanced outpatient procedure that is used to treat varicose veins. During this procedure, Dr. Haraway inserts a thin catheter or flexible tube into the affected vein through a tiny skin puncture. Using ultrasound-guided visualization and a tool at the tip of the catheter, that emits thermal energy, Dr. Haraway seals the damaged vein closed from the inside. The sealed-off vein is not removed, and this lessens bruising and bleeding.

What should I expect to experience during endovenous thermal ablation?

One of the benefits of endovenous thermal ablation is that most patients experience little discomfort or pain during the procedure.* In fact, the injection of the local anesthetic is usually the most bothersome part of the entire procedure.

Dr. Haraway discusses pre-procedure instructions with you and what to expect during your treatment, but your appointment will play out in four main steps:

Clean and numb treatment area

Dr. Haraway cleanses the treatment area with an antiseptic. You require no general anesthesia for this procedure; however, Dr. Haraway does inject a local anesthetic at the treatment site, and along the vein being treated (tumescent anesthesia) for your comfort.

Insert catheter

In a short while, the treatment area becomes numb. Dr. Haraway then inserts the catheter. You may feel some pressure during this step.

Close off affected veins

Then, Dr. Haraway begins closing off both ends of the affected vein or veins. Although you may not feel anything doing this step.

Remove catheter

Once he completes the procedure and removes the catheter, Dr. Haraway applies a small bandage to cover the access site where he punctured the skin.

The entire procedure takes about 30-60 minutes. Dr. Haraway recommends allowing up to two hours from checking in at the front desk to leaving. He encourages patients to walk around and resume activity right after the procedure.

Is endovenous thermal ablation safe?

Yes. However, as with any medical procedure, there are risks. During your pre-procedure consultation, Dr. Haraway discusses both risks and benefits. Complications may include:

    • Bruising and/or pain
    • Nerve irritation
    • Blood clots/PE (<1%)
    • Arterial vein infection

To learn if endovenous thermal ablation is right for you, contact Tulsa Vein Institute in Tulsa, Oklahoma at (918) 701-2020 or through the online requesting tool.

*Individual results may vary.