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Vein Ablation Procedure Repairs Circulation

May 20, 2022 11:22 a.m.

  • SBL Heart Center, Katsamakis, Vein Ablation

Varicose veins can be unsightly, but beyond that, they can be painful too. They can also be a sign of a larger issue – chronic venous insufficiency. The good news is that this blood flow issue can be corrected painlessly through a short, minimally invasive procedure in the SBL Heart Center.


Blood flows from the heart through the legs to the ankles and then is supposed to travel back to the heart in the greater saphenous vein. But for some people suffering from chronic venous insufficiency, the small valves in this vein do not close after the blood passed through, and the blood flows backward. This causes blood to collect in the legs.


Often times, people with chronic venous insufficiency will experience swelling in the lower legs and ankles and the skin can have a red or purplish hue. Left untreated, ulcers can form or recur, causing greater pain.


SBL Interventional Cardiologist Dean Katsamakis, DO, explained that through the use of endovenous laser therapy, or venous ablation, a small catheter with a laser is inserted near the knee. Guided by ultrasound, the endovenous laser therapy procedure is used to close the insufficient vein therefore rerouting circulation to normally functioning veins that return blood to the heart. 


“This is about a 30-minute procedure that restores the blood flow and relieves leg pain,” he explained. “The leg is wrapped and people walk out on their own and are encouraged to stay active” He added that this procedure replaces an older procedure called ‘vein stripping’ in which the veins were pulled out of the leg, which was a painful procedure. Now the blood flow issue is treated with endovenous laser therapy and people quickly resume their normal lives.


However, venous ablation is not the first step. People with suspected chronic venous insufficiency are first examined in the Heart Center and screened for the disease. Conservative treatment methods that include wearing compression stockings, taking diuretics and increasing exercise helps push the blood back up the greater saphenous vein. This may resolve the issue.


For more information about chronic venous insufficiency or venous ablation, please call the Heart Center at 217 238-4960



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