Endovenous Radiofrequency Ablation: What is It and Could it Work for You?
- Posted on: Jun 15 2020
Varicose veins are a frustrating problem that can make you feel self-conscious and flat-out uncomfortable. These swollen, twisted blood vessels are a source of throbbing, leg cramps, discoloration, and even ulcers on the skin if they get bad enough. The interesting aspect of varicose veins is that, because they are such a common problem, many people simply live with their symptoms. There is no benefit to doing this. Here at Minimally Invasive Vascular Center, patients can explore various ways to get rid of varicose veins, including endovenous radiofrequency ablation.
Endovenous radiofrequency ablation can eliminate varicose veins with minimal discomfort, minimal bleeding, and a short recovery period compared to traditional vein procedures. This treatment is performed in the office with a local anesthetic that prevents pain. In most cases, the entire process is done in less than an hour.
What is Treatment Like?
After numbing the skin, the endovenous radiofrequency ablation procedure takes place through a tiny incision. Through this, a very thin catheter (hollow tube) is inserted into the vein. Upon precise placement of the catheter, a machine delivers radiofrequency energy into the vessel. This heats the walls of the varicose vein and causes it to collapse. The sealed vein prevents blood flow, which means it prevents blood from pooling. Circulation naturally redirects to nearby veins that are better equipped to move it upward to the heart.
Benefits of endovenous radiofrequency treatment include:
- Quick, convenient procedure
- Minimal swelling after treatment
- Little to no bruising or scarring
- Short recovery period
What is it Like to Recover from Endovenous Radiofrequency Ablation?
Most patients can comfortably resume normal activities on the same day as their vein treatment. Mild bruising and swelling are expected but typically do not get in the way of minor physical activity. A compression garment is applied after endovenous radiofrequency ablation to stabilize tissue and help blood redirect to healthier veins. Compression may be worn for several weeks. Some people wear compression garments continually after vein treatment to promote optimal blood flow when they engage in physical activity like walking and standing for long periods.
Within a week or two after treatment, patients can expect to see their treated veins shrinking and fading away. Symptoms like aching, throbbing, and cramping also tend to subside within a few weeks. According to surveys, 97% of patients who undergo endovenous radiofrequency ablation are satisfied with their results one year after their procedure.