Radiofrequency Ablation is one of the most effective minimally invasive treatments for varicose veins. Ablation generally means that a medical expert uses heat for damaging the tissue, which makes scar tissue form. This very scar tissue closes the vein. This technique uses radiofrequency energy in order to heat up and damage the wall inside a vein. This commonly closes off a varicose vein in the leg.
In order to treat a varicose vein, radiofrequency energy is directed through a thin tube inserted through a tiny incision in the vein. It can also be used on large veins in the leg and can be performed in an office setting using a mild sedative or local anesthesia. You’ll be able to walk right after the treatment and recovery time is very short.
The procedure is done under local anesthetic, which is medication that numbs or freezes a specific area of the body so it is pain free, but doesn’t put you to sleep.
The surgeon numbs the skin with the local anesthetic before making a small incision, usually near the knee or calf. A narrow tube called catheter is inserted into the vein that needs treating. Ultrasound images are used to ensure that it’s in the right place. A fine probe is passed through the catheter and inside the vein. Local anesthetic is then injected into the vein and the surgeon activates the tiny catheter, which is powered by radio frequency energy, to deliver heat to the vein wall. As heat is delivered, the vein wall shrinks and the vein is sealed closed. The catheter is removed and an ultrasound checks that the procedure has been successful.
A dressing is placed over the incision site and a compression bandage is placed on the leg. The procedure takes around half an hour. Over the next few days the body reacts to the damaged vein by causing inflammation and absorbing the tissue in the vein. This ensures that the vein stays closed permanently.
How does Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA) work?
The results of the RFA procedure are usually very good. Studies show that the vein is sealed up nearly everyone who has RFA. Some studies have also revealed that there is lesser degree of bruising and post procedure pain in radiofrequency ablation compared to surgical stripping.
Our world class Vascular Physician at MP Heart Clinic specialize in radiofrequency ablation procedures and treat hundreds of varicose veins patients each year.