Dr. Bruce R. Hoyle of the Advanced Vein Center in Orange, CA specializes in vein disorders. He’s a dominant figure in his field, which he demonstrated when he became one of the first 200 doctors in the nation to become certified in phlebology. Scroll down to read more.
Endovenous thermal ablation is a treatment that is typically used on incompetent saphenous veins, which are usually not visible but are a common cause of varicose veins. EVTA typically utilizes radiofrequency or laser energy to close these abnormal veins in the legs. The associated visible varicose veins may go away or may require treatment in a separate procedure called microphlebectomy.
ETA is not considered a cosmetic procedure although it may improve the appearance of some visible veins. Endovenous thermal ablation tends to be more commonly used to relieve the symptoms that arise as a result of venous insufficiency. For example, undergoing the procedure has the potential to relieve symptoms like swelling, aching, inflammation, and skin irritation.
Endovenous thermal ablation is much safer than many other types of surgical procedures, primarily because it is done under local anesthetic; in many ways, it’s not any different than going to the dentist. The procedure is done through a puncture wound, so no suturing is required which results in minimal to no scars.
The patient should wear comfortable or loose-fit clothing. All articles of clothing including jewelry must be removed before the patient can be examined. The physician will use an ultrasound machine to access the vein with an IV catheter through which the radiofrequency device or laser fiber is inserted. A topical anesthetic is applied to the skin, and a dilute anesthetic solution is injected along the outside of the vein. The energy from the device is applied to the vein to heat it until it closes. The procedure is done in the office, and the majority of patients can drive themselves to and from their visit. Not all doctors can do the procedure this way, so many patients are treated in the hospital or outpatient surgical center setting. Dr. Hoyle has performed thousands of these procedures in his office for more than 15 years. In fact, patients can resume most normal activities the next day, including returning to work.
It’s possible to develop an infection. Bleeding, blood clots and temporary numbness from nerve irritation can occur. These are extremely rare side effects. Tenderness is common but rarely requires pain medication stronger than Advil or Aleve. Many patients require no medication after the procedure.