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Old 11-09-2017, 09:04 PM   #1
Tracyarts
 
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Default Vein ablation for lower leg, anybody had this procedure?

Anybody have the ablation procedure for venous insufficiency in the lower legs? My cardiologist wants me to have this in my right leg because the discoloration and occasional minor swelling I've been dealing with for 20+ years has progressed to constant minor swelling and minor pain now. And he says addressing it before it gets worse would be the best course of action. Because, as a T2 diabetic, I do not want to face dealing with venous ulcers.

He's the go-to leg vein guy in my area, does this all the time, says it's quick and easy. My other specialists signed off on it as it's been more than 6 months since my last "medical event" and my health is for the most part stable. I go in for some ultrasounds next week to see exactly what would need to be done. If possible, I'd like to do it ASAP, since my deductible is well past met for 2017.

Did it really help? Were you really back to your routine in a day or two? Was it worth the pain and expense?
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Old 11-10-2017, 02:12 AM   #2
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Hi Tracyarts - although I've never had the procedure myself, my mother had her first ablation at 17 and countless since, so I've been around the issue literally all my life.

First of all, anything outwardly visible that looks like it could turn into a venous ulcer needs to go - especially if you are T2 diabetic.

That said - a few more questions need to be addressed.

The ultra-sound they will do should most likely check whether your inner veins are in good condition - meaning they can take over the job of pumping back the blood. If that is not the case, then no outer vein ablation will solve the swelling problem.

Second - which technique are they recommending on using?
Laser ablation or classic surgical stripping?

What I am clueless about in this context is which affects and considerations come into play with diabetes regarding healing process, etc. So I would have the exact procedure checked by your diabetes specialist before doing anything.

Generally speaking - classic surgical stripping literally pulls out, strips the vein from the leg. While laser more or less melts away the vein and the residue is over time dissolved by the body.

The latter procedure imo is only one for more cosmetic vein issues. A friend of mine had it done - with great legs, it was a misdiagnosis, her actual problem was a needed hip joint replacement. It was relatively easy in the post-OP period, she only had to wear compression tights at night and was up and about immediately.

Surgical stripping would be my medical procedure of choice, especially if you have not only individual veins standing out, but circles, areas that are discolored and let's say unhealthy looking.
It is the more effective one - but also the one which needs more time and effort in healing.

After surgery, you're immediately asked to walk and move again - because activating the venous system is essential for healing and getting the other veins to do the job. Recommended is 2 hours of walking per day - plus at best using a little pedal device while sitting for longer; sitting with elevated legs for several weeks. Along with wearing strong compression stockings/tights for 4 weeks.
All of that if you want the ablation to be successful and improve vein health.

So taking into account your over all mobility and what you would be able to do for exercising your legs also would need to be considered.

Good luck and happy healing!
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Old 11-16-2017, 07:23 AM   #3
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It would be laser ablation, or something very similar. An office procedure with no significant recovery time.

I thought that was just for veins right under the surface of the skin, for mostly cosmetic purposes. But my doctor says it works to correct chronic venous insufficiency in interior veins too, at least in some cases, and I would be a good candidate for it.

I go for ultrasounds tomorrow to see exactly what's going on in my legs. But based on appearance and symptoms, the doctor pretty much knows what it is. This is just to confirm it.

I had another doctor tell me that I could start with prescription compression stockings first. But the condition is progressive and they would only slow the deterioration down.

The discoloration is likely permanent. But the ablation would help with the swelling, itching and burning, abnormal skin texture, aching and feelings of heaviness. It would improve my comfort and mobility.

So, I'll see what the doctor says tomorrow.
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