Varicose Veins: Radiofrequency Ablation (RF)
Radiofrequency ablation is a minimally invasive treatment for varicose veins, like endovenous laser, was used as an alternative to surgery in the treatment of great saphenous vein insufficiency in the early 2000s.
What are the advantages of RF ablation over other treatment methods?
The procedure takes an average of 30 minutes under local anesthesia, and the patient can be sent home on foot after resting for 1-2 hours. Compared to conventional surgery, less pain and bruising, no bleeding and scarring, fewer operation time, can be applied under local anesthesia and almost no infection are the advantages
How well does it work?
Radiofrequency closure works well in about 97 out of 100 people who have it. That means it doesn’t work well in 3 out of 100 people.
Is it safe? What are the Possible side effects of radiofrequency ablation?
Skin burns, feelings of burning, pain, or prickling after recovery, from nerve damage (less likely than after vein stripping surgery). Small or large blood clotting in the vein or a deep vein (less likely than after vein stripping surgery).
When can I return to normal life after treatment?
After ablation, the patient’s leg is wrapped with an elastic bandage and the leg remains bandaged for 2 days. After removing the bandage, it is recommended to wear compression stockings for a period of 2-3 weeks until full recovery occurs. The patient does not need to stay in the hospital after the application. After the procedure, the patient is mobilized within a few hours and can return to their normal activities and work life after one day.
How is radiofrequency ablation performed?
During the surgery, patients are anesthetized with only sedative drugs and local tumescent anesthesia without applying general anesthesia and spinal anesthesia. The saphenous vein, which is reevaluated by ultrasonography during the operation, is inserted with a needle without making an incision near the knee, and the radiofrequency ablation catheter is delivered to the safe area in the inguinal region, where the vein called the saphenous vein joins with the deep veins. In the next procedure, 120°C energy is given by the conversion of radiofrequency energy into heat energy through a venous catheter and the catheter is withdrawn by burning the vein from the inside. The total time is an average of 45 minutes. After ablation, these vessels close instantly and are destroyed by the body over time. It can be used on large veins in the leg and can also be done in an office setting using local anesthesia or a mild sedative.