If you have varicose veins in your legs, radiofrequency ablation may be a viable treatment option for you. This is a minimally-invasive procedure that is an alternative to more invasive techniques like vein stripping surgery. It is done by inserting a small catheter into the leg. Through this catheter, radiofrequency energy is used to heat up and safely destroy the vein. The vein then begins to disappear from view and is completely gone within a few weeks.
Radiofrequency ablation, also referred to as RFA, can be done on an outpatient basis. Even though a small incision is necessary to insert the catheter, recovery happens very quickly, and most patients can resume their normal activities right away.
There is virtually nothing patients must do ahead of time to prepare for the procedure, unless they are taking prescription blood thinners or aspirin on a daily basis. This is something that should be discussed with the doctor. You should never discontinue a medication on your own without a doctor’s advice.
This procedure is usually performed using local anesthesia. Once the catheter reaches the vein, the radiofrequency waves will be applied to heat the vein. This causes it to collapse and close off. What remains will be absorbed by the body. As far as blood flow after the treatment is concerned, the body will redirect blood through healthier veins.
Following treatment, you will likely be asked to wear compression stockings for about a week, depending on your situation. In a follow-up appointment, the doctor will make certain the vein has closed off properly with the use of an ultrasound. You should be able to resume walking immediately after the treatment.
If you have varicose veins in your legs, you don’t have to live with them. Not only can they be unsightly, but they can also be extremely uncomfortable, negatively affecting your quality of life. We encourage you to consult with our team at Peripheral Vascular Associates to see if radiofrequency ablation treatment is right for you. If it isn’t, there are other options available. Also, if you have varicose veins in other locations, there are treatments that may be able to remove them as well. Our doctor will be happy to answer specific questions as they pertain to your individual situation.
Peripheral Vascular Associates has locations in San Antonio, Boerne, Corpus Christi, Del Rio, Floresville, Hondo, Jourdanton, New Braunfels and Uvalde. Contact us today to schedule a consultation for radiofrequency ablation.