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The vascular and interventional radiologists at Inova Alexandria Hospital were the first in the Washington metropolitan area to perform this groundbreaking treatment. During vein ablation, the physician inserts a thin catheter into the knee and uses ultrasound imaging to guide it to the greater saphenous vein. Laser (EVLT®) or radiofrequency (VNUS® Closure®) energy is applied to the inside of the vein, causing it to heat and seal shut.

Once the vein is closed, the twisted branch veins shrink and improve in appearance. Other healthy veins take over to carry blood from the leg, re-establishing normal flow. Vein ablation typically takes less than an hour and most patients return to normal activity immediately.

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