Radiofrequency ablation is a minimally invasive procedure which can be performed in the physician's office setting with local anesthesia, for the treatment of varicose veins. After the area has been cleaned, local anesthetic is injected into the distal area of the vein that is causing the bulgy, unattractive and painful varicose vein to be treated. A small tube or catheter is threaded along the vein under direct ultrasound guidance injecting local anesthetic along the way for patient comfort. When the entire vein to be treated has been canalized, sound waves are used to heat, collapse and shrink and eventually disappear. This technique typically is used to treat the venous insufficiency causing large varicose veins in the legs and takes approximately 30 minutes.
What are the benefits of endovenous ablation?
There are many reasons why patients may want to consider treating their venous insufficiency using endovenous ablation. This treatment provides:
- A minimally invasive, quick and easy treatment option
- Improved body image and confidence in appearance
- Improved blood circulation
- Relief from leg heaviness, pain, burning and itching
- Heal stasis ulcer or reduce chance of developing a stasis ulcer
What is the recovery like after radiofrequency ablation?
Following treatment of all the veins targeted for radiofrequency ablation, a compression bandage is place on the leg. The bandage is left in place for about two days and when it is removed, compression stockings are worn for the next two to three weeks as healing occurs. Patients are able to ambulate from the physician's office. Most patients who have the radiofrequency ablation procedure are able to return to their normal activities within a few days if they avoid heavy lifting and wear compression stockings.
What are the benefits of radiofrequency ablation over other similar treatments?
The advantages of radiofrequency ablation in the treatment of varicose veins are numerous. Traditionally varicose veins have been treated with surgical vein stripping requiring a general anesthetic. Radiofrequency ablation requires less anesthesia and the patients are ambulatory within a short period of time following surgery. This decreases the risk of blood clots that can occur as a result of immobilization. The decreased requirement for anesthesia with radiofrequency ablation also allows the physician to perform this procedure in the office. With no incisions involved, healing occurs at a faster rate, allowing for return to work in a shorter period of time.
What are the possible complications or side effects of radiofrequency ablation?
The cosmetic and functional results of radiofrequency ablation are comparable to and are even better than surgical vein stripping. However, as with any medical procedure, complications can occur. The chance of bleeding, infection or blood clots exists with radiofrequency ablation just as with other procedures. Immediate and long term results are improved due to the lack of incisions and trauma from this minimally invasive procedure compared to traditional surgery. Complications are rare for this procedure under the care of your vein specialists.
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Lone Star Heart & Vascular
425 Holderrieth Blvd.
Tomball, TX 77375
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