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What Are the Pros and Cons of Ablation for Varicose Veins?

Successful ablation can provide patients with relief from the discomfort they experienced from varicose veins.
Bruising is a possible side of effect of ablation for varicose veins.
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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 28 September 2014
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There are both pros and cons of ablation for varicose veins. Among the pros are the fact that the procedure is minimally invasive and less likely to cause complications than more invasive procedures. Fast recovery times also make ablation an optimal choice for some people. As far as the cons are concerned, there are risks, which include infection, nerve damage, bruising, and soreness. Additionally, ablation isn’t an option for tortuous veins or blood vessels, which are those that twist and bend.

The primary pro of ablation for varicose veins may be the fact that the procedure provides symptom relief. When the procedure is successful, a person may experience relief from the aches, swelling, sores, and fatigue that can accompany varicose veins. Additionally, this procedure often improves the appearance of the patient’s legs.

Another of the pros of ablation for varicose veins is that it is minimally invasive. An individual who has ablation for varicose veins doesn’t have to deal with a large incision or long recovery times. In fact, ablation typically involves less risk for the patient than more invasive treatments. This doesn’t mean ablation is without risks, however. A person who chooses to undergo this type of vein treatment may experience soreness, which is usually mild, as well as bruising after the procedure; some may also note minor burns.

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Fast recovery times are also among the pros of ablation for varicose veins. Often, a person who undergoes this procedure can return to his normal schedule and activities once it is complete. He may be asked to wait a couple of weeks to resume strenuous activity, however. For example, some forms of physical exercise and all heavy lifting may be prohibited for about two weeks after ablation for varicose veins.

One of the cons of ablation for varicose veins is infection risk. The skin is penetrated for an ablation procedure, so there is a chance that something that was present on the skin may cause an infection. Still, most people will not develop an infection after this procedure, and the need for antibiotics after ablation for varicose veins is rare.

Another con of ablation involves the risk of damage to nerves. While nerve damage is not common as a result of ablation procedures, some cases of heat damage have occurred. Fortunately, the damage isn’t usually permanent.

Ablation also is limited in terms of the types of veins it can be used to treat. This is another con of the procedure. Veins that twist, bend, and turn typically require another form of treatment.

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