Laser Ablation

Procedure Locations

What is Laser Ablation?

What Is Laser Ablation?

If you have varicose veins, you know how painful and embarrassing they can be. While generally not a health threat, varicose veins may lead to health complications, including the inability to pump a sufficient amount of blood back to the heart. Varicose veins can also indicate deeper vein problems, including thrombosis and blockages. Laser ablation or endovenous ablation is a minimally invasive outpatient procedure that uses a laser within the vein to treat varicose veins at their source. At Fairfax Vein Center, the laser treatment we use is called the VenaCure EVLT  (Endovenous Laser Therapy) system.

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What causes varicose veins?

Varicose veins may be caused by many factors, including weight fluctuations, pregnancy, long periods of sitting or standing, and injury to the legs. Varicose veins can appear under the skin, look blue or purple, and produce symptoms such as itching, heaviness in the legs, and swelling.

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How does Laser Ablation work?

Laser Ablation is performed under local anesthesia, using Ultrasound as a guide. In this procedure, laser energy is used to shrink and seal the varicose vein closed, preventing any blood from flowing through it. Instead, blood will be diverted to healthy veins, causing an increase in circulation and improvement in appearance.

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What should I expect during Laser Ablation?

During your initial appointment, our staff will provide you with pre-procedure instructions. It is very important that you follow these instructions and take any prescribed medication. Before the procedure, the area will be prepped and you will receive a local anesthetic. A small laser fiber will be inserted into the region using a thin needle. Ultrasound imaging will help guide the laser to the site of the varicose vein. Once we have located the vein, a precise dose of energy is fired through the vein, causing the walls to collapse and the vein to shrink down and restrict any blood flow. The blood is naturally diverted into healthy veins, increasing your circulation and alleviating the pain and symptoms of varicose veins and venous insufficiency. Once all of the veins are treated, we remove the probe and cover the area with a compression bandage. The entire process typically takes less than an hour.

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What should I expect after Laser Ablation?

You will receive complete post-procedure instructions before leaving our center. Bruising of the area is normal. You may resume normal activities immediately, and walking is encouraged. Hot baths, running, and heavy lifting are to be avoided for two weeks. Air travel and long car trips should be avoided for three weeks. Compression stockings should be worn for three weeks during the daytime. Follow-up visits are scheduled for one week, and four weeks later. Our Vein Specialists will also do a follow-up duplex Ultrasound at the one-month visit to ensure the vein is successfully treated.

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Can I schedule Laser Ablation with Fairfax Vein Center?

Before scheduling an appointment, you will need to get a referral from your physician. Once you have a referral, you can schedule an appointment by calling 703.698.4488 Monday through Friday 8am — 6pm or click here to make an online appointment request.

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When are appointments offered for Laser Ablation?

For your convenience, appointments are available mornings, afternoons, evenings and weekends at our Vascular Center. Learn more about this location.

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