What sensation or feeling should one expect after ELA of the saphenous vein and for how long?

Three weeks ago I had endovenous laser ablation of the saphenous vein. I have a pulling sensation. Is this normal? How long with the feeling last?

Answers from doctors (19)


The Sheen Vein Institute

Published on Apr 15, 2013

It is not uncommon for people to feel a pulling sensation post-endovenous laser ablation. This sensation is due to the EVLA causing the treated vein to form with scar tissue. Fresh scar tissue does not stretch well initially. The result is every time you flex your knee, you feel a pull. For most people, this sensation resolves within 3-4 weeks.

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Answered by The Sheen Vein Institute

It is not uncommon for people to feel a pulling sensation post-endovenous laser ablation. This sensation is due to the EVLA causing the treated vein to form with scar tissue. Fresh scar tissue does not stretch well initially. The result is every time you flex your knee, you feel a pull. For most people, this sensation resolves within 3-4 weeks.

Published on Jul 11, 2012


Ozark Regional Vein Center

Published on Apr 11, 2013

I have used both laser and radiofrequency to ablate the greater saphenous vein. That pulling sensation is occasionally seen with both laser and radiofrequency, but I see it MUCH more frequently with laser. It typically starts about 4 or 5 days after the ablation and may last several days, but typically will get better slowly. However, 3 weeks is longer than most I have seen. Exercise, such as walking, typically helps with it and it typically resolves over a few weeks. Has your doctor ruled out a clot with an ultrasound? Is the sensation less intense than 2 weeks ago?

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Answered by Ozark Regional Vein Center

I have used both laser and radiofrequency to ablate the greater saphenous vein. That pulling sensation is occasionally seen with both laser and radiofrequency, but I see it MUCH more frequently with laser. It typically starts about 4 or 5 days after the ablation and may last several days, but typically will get better slowly. However, 3 weeks is longer than most I have seen. Exercise, such as walking, typically helps with it and it typically resolves over a few weeks. Has your doctor ruled out a clot with an ultrasound? Is the sensation less intense than 2 weeks ago?

Published on Jul 11, 2012


North Shore Vein Center

Published on Apr 11, 2013

A "pulling" sensation is quite normal after EVLA and can take up to 8-12 weeks to resolve. This is common and no cause for concern. However, if you still feel uneasy, speak with the specialist who treated you.

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Answered by North Shore Vein Center

A "pulling" sensation is quite normal after EVLA and can take up to 8-12 weeks to resolve. This is common and no cause for concern. However, if you still feel uneasy, speak with the specialist who treated you.

Published on Jul 11, 2012


Intermountain Vein Center

Published on Apr 10, 2013

After the vein is ablated it tightens like a cord. This is what you are feeling inside of your leg - a tight, cord-like sensation that tugs and pulls. It is normal and may still happen for a few more weeks.

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Answered by Intermountain Vein Center

After the vein is ablated it tightens like a cord. This is what you are feeling inside of your leg - a tight, cord-like sensation that tugs and pulls. It is normal and may still happen for a few more weeks.

Published on Jul 11, 2012


I would suggest you follow up with the treating physician. An appropriate answer should be given to you, but not without a thorough physical examination and ultrasound evaluation.

Answered by Advanced Vein & Laser Centre, Ltd. (View Profile)

I would suggest you follow up with the treating physician. An appropriate answer should be given to you, but not without a thorough physical examination and ultrasound evaluation.

Published on Jul 11, 2012


Americas Vein Centers - Southborough

Published on Apr 09, 2013

This is normal. It may take 2-4 weeks before the pulling sensation is gone.

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Answered by Americas Vein Centers - Southborough

This is normal. It may take 2-4 weeks before the pulling sensation is gone.

Published on Jul 11, 2012


VeinSolutions - Edina

Published on Apr 09, 2013

The "pulling" sensation you are describing is most likely the saphenous vein which was, by way of the laser ablation procedure, closed and converted to what could be described as a very compact and totally occluded thrombus. As time progresses, the thrombus (or closed vein) begins to slowly turn into scar tissue. Scar tissue contracts and can, in some cases, cause a tightening or pulling sensation in the patient's leg. It should be nothing to worry about and you might want to try some gentle stretching. Also, applying very mild heat to the area can ease irritation. If it continues to trouble you though, a visit to your venous practitioner is probably in order.

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Answered by VeinSolutions - Edina

The "pulling" sensation you are describing is most likely the saphenous vein which was, by way of the laser ablation procedure, closed and converted to what could be described as a very compact and totally occluded thrombus. As time progresses, the thrombus (or closed vein) begins to slowly turn into scar tissue. Scar tissue contracts and can, in some cases, cause a tightening or pulling sensation in the patient's leg. It should be nothing to worry about and you might want to try some gentle stretching. Also, applying very mild heat to the area can ease irritation. If it continues to trouble you though, a visit to your venous practitioner is probably in order.

Published on Jul 11, 2012


More About Doctor Laser Vein Center

Published on Apr 09, 2013

Yes, this is very common. Most people experience a pulling sensation or tightness in the inner thigh for 3 - 6 months.

Answered by Laser Vein Center (View Profile)

Yes, this is very common. Most people experience a pulling sensation or tightness in the inner thigh for 3 - 6 months.

Published on Jul 11, 2012


Advanced Vein Center

Published on Apr 09, 2013

The pulling sensation is common and disappears over 4 - 8 weeks.

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Answered by Advanced Vein Center

The pulling sensation is common and disappears over 4 - 8 weeks.

Published on Jul 11, 2012


The pulling sensation is normal. It indicates the vein is scarring down and closing off. It is a good sign and will resolve itself over time.

Answered by The Vascular Institute at Teton Radiology (View Profile)

The pulling sensation is normal. It indicates the vein is scarring down and closing off. It is a good sign and will resolve itself over time.

Published on Jul 11, 2012


Lubbock Vein Specialists

Published on Apr 09, 2013

Yes, that's very "normal." You are probably feeling the saphenous vein pulling as it shrinks.

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Answered by Lubbock Vein Specialists

Yes, that's very "normal." You are probably feeling the saphenous vein pulling as it shrinks.

Published on Jul 11, 2012


Milford Vascular Institute

Published on Apr 09, 2013

Yes, that pulling sensation is normal. The vein is contracting as it heals. Eventually, the vein will completely scar over and you will no longer feel this sensation. Healing takes between 6 months to a year. Most patients' symptoms disappear in 4 months.

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Answered by Milford Vascular Institute

Yes, that pulling sensation is normal. The vein is contracting as it heals. Eventually, the vein will completely scar over and you will no longer feel this sensation. Healing takes between 6 months to a year. Most patients' symptoms disappear in 4 months.

Published on Jul 11, 2012


Heart and Vein Center

Published on Apr 08, 2013

It is VERY normal to have a pulling sensation following endovenous laser ablation. The symptom should begin to ease within 1-2 weeks.

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Answered by Heart and Vein Center

It is VERY normal to have a pulling sensation following endovenous laser ablation. The symptom should begin to ease within 1-2 weeks.

Published on Jul 11, 2012


Vein 911

Published on Apr 08, 2013

A pulling sensation is fairly common from one to several weeks after EVLA and is normal. The patient may feel like a "puppet" whose leg string is being pulled. The pulling sensation is the result of the saphenous vein shortening as part of the normal healing response after EVLA. It is hard to say exactly how long the sensation may last, but it does improve with walking and exercise.

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Answered by Vein 911

A pulling sensation is fairly common from one to several weeks after EVLA and is normal. The patient may feel like a "puppet" whose leg string is being pulled. The pulling sensation is the result of the saphenous vein shortening as part of the normal healing response after EVLA. It is hard to say exactly how long the sensation may last, but it does improve with walking and exercise.

Published on Jul 11, 2012


General Vascular Surgery Group

Published on Apr 08, 2013

A pulling sensation is common after endovenous laser ablation. This can last for 1-2 months and generally is not worrisome. However, if you are still concerned, see your doctor.

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Answered by General Vascular Surgery Group

A pulling sensation is common after endovenous laser ablation. This can last for 1-2 months and generally is not worrisome. However, if you are still concerned, see your doctor.

Published on Jul 11, 2012


Bella MD Laser Vein and Aesthetic Center

Published on Apr 08, 2013

The sensation you are feeling sounds pretty normal.

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Answered by Bella MD Laser Vein and Aesthetic Center

The sensation you are feeling sounds pretty normal.

Published on Jul 11, 2012


Vein Specialties of St. Louis

Published on Apr 08, 2013

A pulling sensation is normal after EVLA. There is localized inflammation in the area, as well as the sealed vein. We recommend our patients massage the length of the treated vein with Arnica cream several times per day until this passes. The inflammation will resolve faster, as will this pulling sensation.

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Answered by Vein Specialties of St. Louis

A pulling sensation is normal after EVLA. There is localized inflammation in the area, as well as the sealed vein. We recommend our patients massage the length of the treated vein with Arnica cream several times per day until this passes. The inflammation will resolve faster, as will this pulling sensation.

Published on Jul 11, 2012


Arizona Vein Specialists

Published on Apr 08, 2013

It is normal to feel a pulling sensation after EVLA since the vein has become shorter and narrower. It may last up to a few months, gradually fading.

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Answered by Arizona Vein Specialists

It is normal to feel a pulling sensation after EVLA since the vein has become shorter and narrower. It may last up to a few months, gradually fading.

Published on Jul 11, 2012


Vanish Vein and Laser Center

Published on Apr 08, 2013

The pulling sensation you are experiencing is perfectly normal. It is a result of the vein constricting from the laser. You may also feel hard areas along the vein that was lasered. These symptoms usually take 4 to 6 weeks to resolve. Warm compresses and anti-inflammatory agents typically help.

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Answered by Vanish Vein and Laser Center

The pulling sensation you are experiencing is perfectly normal. It is a result of the vein constricting from the laser. You may also feel hard areas along the vein that was lasered. These symptoms usually take 4 to 6 weeks to resolve. Warm compresses and anti-inflammatory agents typically help.

Published on Jul 11, 2012


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