Radiofrequency Ablation: A Varicose Veins Remedy with Minimal Downtime

Varicose veins are often more than a cosmetic problem. You’re not only tired of looking at those blue or purple strands of rope-like tissue making the skin on your legs bulge; your legs are often painful and swollen after spending time on your feet. 

If you want to avoid surgery, radiofrequency ablation is one option for treating varicose veins. Our board-certified interventional radiologists at REDI Diagnostics Corp. in Elmwood Park, New Jersey, help many patients resolve varicose vein problems by performing radiofrequency ablation

Why should I have treatment for varicose veins? 

Some people have no symptoms from varicose veins. Even if you don’t, it’s important to be checked to ensure you don’t have a blood clot. 

Although most superficial varicose veins close to the skin don’t cause clots, extensive varicose veins that are deep within the skin increase your risk of a clot. Blood pools in your vein because a valve in the vein isn’t working properly. If the clot separates from the vein wall, it can travel to your lungs and cause a life-threatening pulmonary embolism. 

What happens during radiofrequency ablation for varicose veins?

You receive local anesthesia or a sedative for your radiofrequency ablation procedure. Your doctor makes a small cut in your skin, inserts a wire catheter along the vein wall from your knee to your groin, and applies radiofrequency energy to the wire. Ultrasound guidance is used to position the catheter in exactly the right place. 

The radiofrequency heat energy destroys the cellular integrity of the vein wall. This seals the vein, and your doctor withdraws the catheter. Our staff places a bandage on the small incision. No stitches are involved. 

Advantages of radiofrequency ablation for varicose veins

Radiofrequency ablation has several advantages over surgery or older methods of treating varicose veins. 

Minimally invasive 

Radiofrequency ablation is a minimally invasive procedure. You don’t have the risks of surgery. Research notes that radiofrequency ablation has fewer complications than surgery and excellent clinical outcomes. 

Minimal downtime

Because it’s a minimally invasive procedure, you have minimal downtime afterwards. You’re able to walk after the procedure and recovery time is short. You simply wear compression stockings for at least one week after the ablation. You have a follow-up appointment in about a week, when your doctor uses ultrasound to ensure your vein is completely closed. 

Cosmetic advantage 

Surgery for varicose veins can produce scarring. You won’t have that problem with radiofrequency ablation. 

Good results

There is approximately an 80-93% success rate at closing off varicose veins using radiofrequency ablation. The outcomes are similar to having surgery for varicose veins without the more extensive recovery time. 

Radiofrequency ablation for varicose veins not only relieves your pain and other troublesome symptoms, but also eliminates those unsightly ridges in your legs and improves the way they look. 

If you want solutions for your painful varicose veins, don’t wait any longer. Call our office or request an appointment online today.

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