Exploring Vein Treatments: Endovenous Radiofrequency Ablation
- Posted on: Oct 30 2017
At The Vein Clinic, we offer some ablative techniques to decrease or eliminate varicose veins. The treatments that we offer are carefully selected based on safety and efficacy. Because multiple options are available, patients need to know as much as possible about each. Here, we will discuss the important points of endovenous radiofrequency ablation.
Endovenous radiofrequency ablation, or RFA, targets problematic veins with heat. It may be performed as an adjunct to other treatments, but is often the first-line treatment before we consider surgical vein stripping. The target of this technique is the saphenous veins, which span from the hip downward. Minimally invasive and comfortable, RFA is typically completed within one hour for one leg.
Steps to Treatment
There are a few key elements to endovenous radiofrequency ablation that make this treatment optimal, including ultrasound guidance. Steps to treatment include:
- Ultrasound vein mapping.
- A local anesthetic application to the incision area.
- The vein is accessible through a tiny incision around the knee.
- A tiny tube goes into the vein & since veins have no nerve endings, this is not painful.
- Tissues around the vein are anesthetized with local medication; this extends down the entire length of the vein.
- Radiofrequency emits through the tiny tube. The heat from this energy closes the vein in segments as the tube is slowly moves along the vein’s length.
- Ultrasound helps confirm that the entire vein has closed.
- The body gradually absorbs the vein, which will then decrease visibility over time.
Endovenous Radiofrequency Ablation Benefits
RFA does target the saphenous veins with heat, but radiofrequency is gentle in its delivery. We prefer the use of radiofrequency, and our patients appreciate the simplified recovery process. Patients can resume many normal daily activities the day of treatment. Patients should avoid activities that require heavy lifting or extended standing for an amount of time recommended by our team. Walking is necessary for a quick recovery. We may recommend walking every hour for the duration of the treatment day. Then, a 15 to 30-minute walk each day is ideal.
Schedule a Consultation
While there are advantages to endovenous radiofrequency ablation, there are additional treatment options that may be better suited to your unique needs. Learn more about the vein treatments available in our Columbia office. Call (803) 253-8667.