Varicose veins are abnormal veins that have become enlarged and twisted. They most often occur in the legs.
Endovenous chemical ablation (ECA) — also known as ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy — uses medication to close abnormal veins that can cause varicose veins, leg ulcers and other issues. The procedure is virtually pain-free and is performed in an office under the guidance of ultrasound.
Endovenous chemical ablation destroys abnormal veins by injecting a medication into them. This minimally invasive procedure replaces older forms of vascular surgery.
The liquid or foam medicine is injected into the vein, causing the vein to shrink and collapse. Once the vein has been destroyed and no blood can flow through it, the tissue is naturally reabsorbed into the body over time.
Varicose veins most often occur in those who are over 50 years old or those who are obese. They are more prevalent in women and are often linked to other symptoms such as pain, leg swelling, skin thickening, ulceration and itching.
Before your ECA procedure, remember to:
Immediately after the procedure, you should walk for one hour. You should continue walking one hour everyday for at least two weeks. It is recommended that you continue to wear compression socks for two to three weeks after the procedure.
Avoid heavy lifting, extreme exercise, saunas and long flights or car trips for two weeks following the procedure. Most patients are able to walk immediately after an ECA and can return to their normal routine without delay.
Some patients experience bruising, tenderness or even staining of the skin that subsides over time. In rare cases, deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or infection can occur.