The process of surgical removal of a varicose vein is simple. It involves the use of certain medical equipments like an ultrasound machine, catheter, laser fiber or radiofrequency electrode, and laser or radiofrequency console. First, ultrasound is used to visualize the varicose vein and bring it up on the ultrasound monitor. Then, an endo-vascular optical fiber is inserted slowly into the vein via a catherter. Then, when the laser electrode reaches the desired location, it is used to heat up and shrink the defective vein tissues which gradually cause them to fade away.
During the procedure, the area of the leg where the procedure is to be performed is cleaned, shaved and numbed using topical anesthetic cream or a local anesthetic injection. The patient is made to wear surgical drapes.
The ultrasound process is performed by a trained inter-venal radiologist. The operation is done on an out-patient basis, rarely is admission required. There might be slight discomfort to the patient when anesthetics are being injected or when small surgical incisions are made to incert the catheter, but the actual laser treatment and shrinkage of the vein is painless. The operation is simple and is generally over within an hour.
A follow up ultrasound examination is essential in order to assess the treated vein and to check for adverse outcomes. Within one week, the target vein should be successfully closed. Additional procedures (such as sclerotherapy or phlebectomy) may be necessary to treat associated veins.
For more information please watch video: Varicose vein surgery