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Ablation For Varicose And Spider Veins

The doctors and staff at the Vein Center treat spider and varicose veins with the most effective and minimally invasive ablation procedures.

Why choose UPMC in Central Pa. for your ablation procedure?

Our vein care specialists understand that each varicose or spider vein diagnosis is unique. That's why we take a patient-centered approach to your care, with attentive physicians and staff dedicated to delivering the best possible outcomes.

Led by our Vein Center Director, Stuart B. Pink, MD, FACC, FSCAI, RPVI, our staff of physicians, nurses, and specialists are trained in all types of blood vessel conditions. Every year, our specialists – including Nitin Jaluria, MD, FACC, Robert E. Martin, MD, and Margaret Kueny-Beck, PA-C – treat hundreds of people with varicose and spider veins.

What is ablation for varicose veins and spider veins?

Ablation is a minimally invasive procedure, using thin, flexible tubes called catheters or tiny needle injections. Through the catheter or the needle, the vein specialist delivers heat or chemicals to damage the tissue and close the vein. There are three types of ablation procedures:

  • Endovenous Thermal Ablation. A minimally invasive procedure in which a small catheter is inserted into the affected vein. Controlled heat is then used to collapse the vein as the catheter is withdrawn. This procedure is done in our office.
  • Mechanical Ablation. These techniques are the least invasive methods of vein closure available anywhere. They include the insertion of a small catheter that delivers a safe and effective drug or glue into the diseased vein as the catheter is removed. These methods do not require multiple needle sticks. Return to normal activity is immediate. ClariVein infusion catheter is one type of mechanical agent we utilize.
  • Chemical ablation (sclerotherapy). This procedure diminishes varicose and spider veins with tiny needle injections of a medication that collapses the vein, which will later be absorbed into the body. The number of treatments varies according to size and type of veins. Normal activities may resume immediately. Varithena® is one type of sclerotherapy agent we offer. Your vein specialist will use a catheter or a direct injection to deliver a small amount of Varithena, an injectable foam medication that helps to close your vein.

Most healthy patients with varicose veins are eligible for varicose vein ablation. If you are pregnant and want to treat varicose veins, you'll need to consult with your doctor to discuss any risks that may be associated with ablation procedures.

What happens during ablation?

Ablation takes about one hour under local anesthesia or with a mild sedative. Your doctor will use ultrasound to map your leg veins and mark them on your skin. A catheter is then inserted into a tiny incision in your skin above the vein and then moved to the end of your vein where it injects a chemical or uses radiofrequency energy to destroy the tissue along the length of your vein.

What can I expect after ablation?

After the procedure, your treated vein(s) will no longer be able to fill with blood, forcing the blood to reroute through healthier veins.

How long does it take to recover after ablation?

You'll be able to resume normal activities immediately after an ablation procedure however, you should avoid strenuous activities for 1-2 weeks. To prevent blood clots, you will wear compression socks or bandages for several days or weeks following the procedure.

Need more information?

Call the UPMC in Central Pa. Vein Center at: 717-920-4500

Request Information.

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Our Locations

UPMC Vein Center
2808 Old Post Road
Lower Level
Harrisburg, PA 17110

Phone: 717-920-4500
Fax: 717-920-4501

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