Radio frequency vein treatments, also known as “radiofrequency ablation,” are a minimally invasive procedure to help remove varicose veins. In this treatment, radiofrequency energy is used to heat the inner walls of the problematic vein, causing enough damage to seal off and kill the vein.
During a radiofrequency ablation, the troubled vein is first examined using an ultrasound so that the doctor knows exactly where to treat it. Next, the doctor will apply a local anesthetic so that patients do not feel any pain during the procedure. A thin plastic tube will be inserted into the leg through a small opening and slowly guided into the vein. The doctor will then turn on the radiofrequency energy, using it to sear the vein as the tube is withdrawn from it. This completely seals the vein, closing off blood flow and instead diverting blood to a different series of veins.
After the procedure, patients might have to wear compression stockings for at least a week in order to keep the vein compressed. Patients should begin to see results immediately, but some veins do take up to a year to disappear completely.
Radiofrequency vein treatments are not a surgical procedure, as only a small incision has to be made in order to insert the tube. Because of this, no stitches are required, and patients can return to their normal routine right away with no downtime. Compared to more invasive procedures like vein stripping, radiofrequency ablation is also much less painful, has fewer complications, and has a much shorter recovery period. In fact, the long-lasting results of radiofrequency vein treatments are just as effective as those from a more invasive technique.
This type of treatment also works very well in most patients, with an overall 97 percent rate of success.