Radiofrequency Ablation

Ultrasound Guided Relief from Leg Pain

Radiofrequency ablation is an ultrasound-guided, minimally invasive treatment option for superficial venous reflux. A thin catheter is inserted into the vein through a small opening. Using radiofrequency energy, the catheter disrupts the tissues of the vein wall as it heats and seals the vein shut. This is an in-office procedure done in 30–60 minutes with local anesthetic only and no downtime after the procedure. Our patients can walk right out of the office with no need for a recovery period.

Studies have shown that those treated with radiofrequency ablation experienced less leg pain, less bruising, and fewer complications, resulting in a faster and less painful recovery than those treated with laser ablation or with other older vein treatment techniques. Our patients will quickly notice not only an increased quality of life but a better overall improvement in appearance.

For these reasons, we provide radiofrequency ablation in addition to what is known as VenaSeal as our treatment of choice for the closure of saphenous veins. Radiofrequency ablation is covered by insurance once all requirements are met. Individual insurance requirements can be discussed with the Heart of Dixie Vein and Vascular team.

Whatever procedure our team suggests, rest assured that our team will take care of you and give you the comfort and painless treatment you need. With radiofrequency ablation, your recovery time will surprise you, giving you pain relief in less time than more traditional methods.

How It’s Done

Radiofrequency ablation is a gentle, heat-based technique for closing the saphenous vein system. First invented in 1990, it quickly took the place of vein stripping, a rather invasive procedure that either tied off the offending vein or removed it entirely. In this procedure, after the administration of local tumescent anesthesia, the placed catheter uses heat to treat the inner lining of the vein, causing the vein to close.

Once the vein is closed the body naturally reroutes the flow of blood through healthier veins. This not only reduces pain but also makes unsightly discoloration and swelling disappear.

Side Effects to Radiofrequency Ablation

Some of the immediate side effects that you may experience after the surgery can be relieved relatively quickly. Some of them include:

  • A sensation of burning or tingling in the treated area for some time
  • Tenderness along the course of treated varicose veins, known as superficial phlebitis
  • Bruising along the sites of local anesthesia
  • In rare cases, DVT or blood clots may result
  • In rare cases, infection can result

If you have any concerns, never hesitate to give us a call and let us know how we can help.

What Should I Do After Ablation Surgery?

The entire surgery takes about 45 minutes to an hour, and your total time in the clinic will be one to two hours.

Immediately after surgery:

  1. Following the procedure, a simple compression dressing is placed on the treated leg to aid in healing.
  2. Patients immediately can ambulate and are encouraged to walk, bike, or lightly exercise starting the day of the procedure.
  3. A compression stocking will be worn for a few short weeks for the ablation to heal correctly and show the best results.

In the days and weeks after surgery:

  1. Pain relief from the surgery can be expected after one to three weeks after the procedure. In the meantime, over-the-counter pain relievers may be used to further reduce pain and inflammation.
  2. Patients may immediately return to normal activity, just avoid strenuous lifting or swimming for 2 weeks. Contrary to standard thinking, remaining active and moving on your treated leg will allow your cardiovascular system to improve and help the flow of blood remain strong.

Heart of Dixie: A Compassionate Leader in Vein Treatment

We pride ourselves on our talents to give our patients the pain relief and comfort they need to improve their lives. You will love our caring staff and the knowledgeable doctors that use state-of-the-art technology for optimal results. Give us a call today and make an appointment to have your leg examined, and we can come up with a treatment plan that is right for you.

For more information regarding the technology used at Heart of Dixie Vein Center visit www.medtronicendovenous.com. We can’t wait to help find the pain relief you’ve been searching for!