A Different Option For A Varicose Vein

If you’ve looked through our blog at Northern Michigan Vein Specialists, you’ve surely heard of radiofrequency ablation of varicose veins. But in some patients, this isn’t a good treatment when a patient cannot tolerate needles very well or if they have extremely large veins or abundant large branching varicosities coming off of the treated vein.

In these cases, Dr. Heeringa may use another treatment option — mechanico-chemical ablation.

What Is Mechanico-Chemical Ablation?

Mechanico-chemical ablation is an alternative method for closing off a problematic varicose vein. The procedure is similar to how Dr. Heeringa performs radiofrequency ablation, but the difference is the catheter used.

In mechanico-chemical ablation, a special rotating catheter is advanced into the targeted vein. After the catheter is positioned in the vein, Dr. Heeringa pulls a trigger. This causes the catheter to spin. This motion inside the vein irritates the inner lining of the vein walls. At the same time as the rotating catheter is turned on, a sclerosant is injected through the same catheter, creating two methods for getting the vein to close off.

The combination of both mechanical damage from the catheter and chemical damage from the sclerotherapy works better than either method done in isolation.

When Is Mechanico-Chemical Ablation A Better Solution?

This varicose vein treatment is non-thermal, non-tumescent, and it is an effective alternative to ablation using heat energy in either radiofrequency ablation or laser ablation. Using mechanico-chemical ablation is a good option where the use of thermal energy is precluded by the varicose vein’s proximity to a nerve. It also negates the need for multiple needle pokes, as there isn’t any need for tumescent anesthesia.

Does This Method Of Ablation Hurt?

Our patients at Northern Michigan Vein Specialists find this ablation method to be more comfortable because it doesn’t use heat. It only requires local anesthetic in one location where the catheter is introduced into the vein. Patients feel a vibration sensation as the catheter tip spins within the vein.

Do you have varicose veins that are causing problems such as chronic venous reflux, restless leg syndrome, or itching and pain? Call Dr. Heeringa at Northern Michigan Vein Specialists, (231) 946-1488, and schedule a consultation at either our Traverse City or Cadillac locations.