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Endovenous laser ablation treatment (EVLT) uses heat to shut down the leaking veins and relieve the symptoms they cause. The procedure is performed under aseptic conditions in the angiography suite. During the procedure, local anaesthesia (pain killer) is injected into the skin at the access site to prevent discomfort. An injection of a mild sedative can also be given to ensure that you are comfortable and relaxed during the procedure. Using ultrasound guidance, the interventional radiologist threads a thin laser fibre into the leaking vein through a tiny hole in the skin in the leg. Next, the tissue along the vein is numbed to minimize discomfort during the heating process, and the laser heat causes the vein to close. Once the problem vein is closed, blood will flow through the remaining healthy veins.
Radiofrequency ablation is a similar treatment, using a fibre that emits radiofrequency energy instead of heat from a laser fibre. The advantage of RF ablation compared to laser is the lesser chance of nerve injury due to the heat and faster procedure.
VenaSeal glue ablation: An injection of medical glue into the affected vein to cause closure through a pin hole access in to the vein. The advantage of this technique is it avoids the risk of nerve damage by the heat, no discomfort during procedure and is performed with a single needle prick.