If you are thinking about undergoing a varicose vein procedure such as laser or radiofrequency vein ablation, you may be wondering what kinds of anesthesia may be offered to help keep you comfortable during your procedure. Here, we define the four main categories of anesthesia and which ones may be used depending on the procedure being performed.

What is general anesthesia?

General anesthesia is used for major surgery, and the patient is unconscious and has no awareness or sensations. One frequent side effect is drowsiness after the procedure, which typically goes away within the first 1-2 hours after surgery. Some patients may experience a sore throat or nausea. Serious reactions to general anesthesia are rare. Vein stripping, a traditional surgery to remove varicose veins before the advent of laser and radiofrequency ablate, required the used of general anesthesia.

What is regional anesthesia?

Regional anesthesia is like a nerve block or epidural that numbs large areas of the body. Local anesthesia is injected near the cluster of nerves that provides sensation to the area of the body that’s being treated.

What is IV/monitored sedation?

IV sedation is constantly monitored throughout the procedure and can be adjusted. In mild sedation, the patient is awake and can respond to instructions during the procedure. With IV sedation, the effects can be reversed almost immediately once the drip to the vein is stopped.

What is local anesthesia?

Local anesthesia is injected locally to numb a smaller treatment area. In most cases of vein ablation, a local anesthetic is used to numb the topical area, while tumescent IV sedation is used down the length of the vein that’s being treated. Oral sedation can be provided for a patient who is anxious about the procedure being done.

If you live in or near the Fort Worth, Texas, area and are interested in an ablation procedure to address your varicose veins and want to learn more about the types of anesthesia that may be used during your procedure, call 817.893.2699 to schedule a consultation.


Call 817.235.0769 to schedule your screening and see how Southwest Vein and Leg Center’s Venous Reflux treatments can improve your health and quality of life.


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