Chronic Venous Insufficiency - I had endovenous thermal ablation

Dimensions Magazine

Help Support Dimensions Magazine:

Tracyarts

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2005
Messages
2,367
Location
, Female
I was able to finally get my legs treated this week.

I have chronic venous insufficiency and was having a lot of bothersome symptoms in my lower legs. Swelling, heaviness in my legs, discoloration around my lower legs above the ankle, toughening of the skin, itching, stinging, tightness, and sore/crampy feelings after walking. It was starting to affect my mobility and I was at risk of developing venous ulcers had it not been addressed.

Compression stockings helped some but only temporarily while I was wearing them. The pain and swelling would return by morning after I slept without them.

So I had the RF ablation procedure where they insert a catheter into the vein, zap it, and "kill" that vein so that a healthy one will take over the "dead" vein's function.

The procedure is fast, minimally invasive, and not very painful at all. There were a few issues to deal with because of my size and body shape, but nothing that caused too much difficulty.

Mainly the problem was my belly apron restricting access to my groin and having to shift position and hold it out of the way while they positioned the catheter port in my upper thigh (it's essentially the same as an IV port, no incisions). And they have extra flesh to get through to access the veins, so positioning the port takes a bit of extra time (but you're good and numbed up, so pain is minimal).

Some doctors have a weight limit for the procedure, but my doctor only requires that your belly doesn't completely obstruct the groin, and that you are mobile enough to follow the aftercare walking requirements (30 minutes minimum spaced throughout the day at multiple intervals).

I started noticing the first signs of improvement in 36 hours of the first procedure (I had 3 separate veins treated. 2 in one leg, 1 in another. Over 3 consecutive days). I'm really hoping to get some major improvements over the next month or so.
 

Tracyarts

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2005
Messages
2,367
Location
, Female
I had my first follow up today. Ultrasounds and a brief exam and consultation with the doctor's physician assistant.

Everything's going fine. No blood clots, the superficial veins are closed and the main veins are in the process of collapsing as they should.

I've had some tenderness and bruising, and random unpleasant sensations in my legs but nothing too bad. Getting up and walking it off helps a lot.

I'm already walking better and able to stand longer without as much leg pain and heaviness. I will have more improvement as I finish healing.

I'm really glad I kept pushing for it with my insurance company.

I go back in a month for another follow up. So far so good.
 

Orchid

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2009
Messages
1,052
Location
Europe
Get well soon, hope you have a speedy recovery and enjoy the Christmas/holidays season, take care Orchid.
 

Tracyarts

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2005
Messages
2,367
Location
, Female
I'm still doing well. About 2 weeks from my next follow up.

Right now I have a LOT of itching as the bruises start to fade, in the areas where they inserted the ports. Normal but not pleasant. And still a lot of random twinges and tender spots. Again, normal healing pains, but no fun.

I don't need a compression stocking on my left leg any longer, unless I want to wear it for comfort, and the swelling is almost gone in that leg and foot. My right leg is still coming along but it was more severely affected. They had to treat two veins in it, only one in the other. I can tell that the circulation is improving in both legs by how they look and feel though.

Not gonna lie, the recovery process is tougher than I expected it to be.

This is probably due to my autoimmune disease making me weaker in general. I had a bad flare up over Christmas that's just starting to pass. It made it harder to walk as much as I needed to, and it was all I could do to manage 2-3 minutes at a time on my treadmill.

I had looked into having this done some time back when I found out that they could effectively treat venous reflux with RF ablation instead of vein stripping, but was turned down because of my weight. The doctor who did my procedures last month said it's not really a weight issue and evaluates large patients individually based on body shape and mobility.

Which is good to know.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Aqw

Tracyarts

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2005
Messages
2,367
Location
, Female
I had my final follow up with ultrasounds. The procedure was a success. The treated veins have collapsed fully, and the neighboring veins took over and have a good strong blood flow. I will have minor aches, twinges, tightness, etc... for a while still. But that's all normal. I definitely feel an improvement and see positive progress too. The discoloration is gone on my left leg, and fading on my right. That's an indication of better blood flow.
 
Joined
Jan 11, 2021
Messages
305
Location
Manawatu, New Zealand
Blood flow is so important.
I had so many blood cots after a fall (I fall 60 metres in a series of bounces) in the Ruahine Rangers that I had the femoral vein removed to get flow again.
It is good to see the blue in the legs and feet go away.
Normality can return
I hope you have a lot of recovery.
 

Latest posts

Top