If you are suffering from varicose veins and wondering whether the radiofrequency ablation treatment would work for you, then an understanding of this procedure would help you decide the best for you. Nowadays, many people are opting for radiofrequency ablation for varicose veins. Radiofrequency is generally advised to people who suffer from saphenous vein insufficiency (a common varicosities condition in most people), which include edema, leg fatigue, pain, venous ulcers, and skin changes.
Radiofrequency Ablation Procedure
As the name suggests, this procedure requires minimal invasive treatment for varicosities. Ablation, heat to damage tissues, is practiced by the doctors. The procedure involves heating the wall of the veins, using a catheter and a bipolar generator. The saphenous vein is accessed below or above the knee via an intravenous puncture/cannula or through a small incision. While maintaining the vein wall temperature at 85°C, the catheter is withdrawn manually at every 2.5-3 cm/minute. Though this method closes off the affected vein in the leg, it makes a scar tissue form. After the treatment, you need to wear compression stocking for one or two weeks, as advised by the doctor, depending on the condition of the veins. At the follow up, the doctor would use duplex ultrasound to ensure that the affected vein has closed properly.
Possible effects after the treatment
As per the patients’ feedback, this treatment can result in immediate occlusion, covering 90 to 100% of saphenous veins. The patients’ reviews reveal that they require less analgesia and less pain, compared to that of other surgery like stripping. However, in very few cases, there could be side effects like leg fatigue, edema, leg pain, and varicosities, even after the surgery. But, overall the patient satisfaction rate is quite high.
Some other possible side effects include:
- Skin burns
- Pain, prickling feeling, burning sensation from nerve damage (after the recovery)
- Blood clotting (small or large) in deep vein
However, all these side-effects would be minimal or nearly zero if the varicose veins are treated by a reputed doctor, who comes with years of experience with radiofrequency. The more experienced the doctor is with this method of treatment, the less risk you would likely to have.