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 our vein clinic 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 VenaSeal as our treatment of choice for closing saphenous veins. Radiofrequency ablation is covered by insurance once all requirements are met. You can discuss individual insurance requirements with the Heart of Dixie Vein and Vascular team.

Whatever procedure our team suggests, rest assured that our staff 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.

“Everyone at the Heart of Dixie has been absolutely wonderful! The doctor, PA, techs, and all of the staff were amazing, prompt, and with great attitudes and professionalism. I had to have the venous ablation treatment and everything from the prep before the procedures to the expertise during was greatly appreciated!”

—Lisa L.

How Radiofrequency Ablation Works

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 radiofrequency ablation, after administering 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. When the blood reroutes, it not only reduces pain but also makes unsightly discoloration and swelling disappear.

Radiofrequency Ablation Side Effects

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
  • In rare cases, infection

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

“I am very pleased with the Doctors at Heart of Dixie! Justin Poole performed a readiofrequency procedure on my veins in both legs and there was hardly an discomfort! Justin and his staff are very welcoming, professional and most of all made me feel like a person instead of a number. They were also very accommodating to my schedule. I would highly recommend them for any vein treatment!”

—Becky W.

What Should I Do After Radiofrequency 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 radiofrequency ablation procedure, we’ll place a simple compression dressing 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. You will need to wear a compression stocking for a few short weeks to help the ablation heal correctly and show the best results.

In the days and weeks after surgery:

  1. You can expect pain relief from the surgery one to three weeks after the procedure. In the meantime, you may use over-the-counter pain relievers to further reduce pain and inflammation.
  2. Patients may immediately return to normal activity, but they should avoid strenuous lifting or swimming for two 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 Radiofrequency Ablation Vein Treatment

We pride ourselves on our talent to give our patients the pain relief and comfort they need to improve their lives. You will love our caring staff and knowledgeable doctors who 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 that we use at Heart of Dixie Vein Center, visit We can’t wait to help find the pain relief you’ve been searching for!

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