RADIOFREQUENCY TREATMENT FOR VARICOSE VEINS
Venous Insufficiency Treatment
Endovenous Radiofrequency Ablation (EVRA)
EndovenousAblation Therapy for Venous Insufficiency
Endovenous thermal ablation, also called laser therapy, is a newer technique that uses laser or high-frequency radio waves to generate intense local heat in a varicose vein or incompetent vein. Heat is directed through a catheter to close the targeted vessel. This treatment seals the problematic vessels but leaves them in place so there is minimal bleeding and bruising. Compared to ligation and stripping, many patients have found that endovenous thermal ablation results in less pain and faster return to normal activities with similar cosmetic results.
Why is this procedure done?
The goals of this treatment are to reduce the symptoms and the risk of complications from venous disease, including blood clots.
Patients with large, symptomatic varicose veins and insufficient saphenous veins are candidates for this procedure. This procedure essentially replaces “vein stripping”.
Each patient is evaluated and treatment is personalized according to the patient's condition.
How is the procedure done?
You may receive local anesthesia or general anesthesia. Using an ultrasound to determine the location, your surgeon will insert a catheter into the vein to be treated. This is usually done just below the knee, but can sometimes be done at ankle level as well. Using ultrasound, the surgeon will inject a solution of fluid and anesthetic along the length of the vein to be treated. Following this, laser or radiofrequency ablation will be performed.
How long does varicose vein surgery take?
The procedure itself usually takes 20 to 30 minutes. This procedure is typically performed in an outpatient setting and you can expect to be discharged a few hours after the procedure. Full recovery will take about one to two weeks.
What happens after the procedure?
Your surgeon will give you specific instructions to follow after surgery. Typically, patients should elevate the treated limb when not moving, keep the incisions clean and dry, avoid swimming or hot tubs, and wear compression stockings. Compared to ligation and stripping, many patients find endovenous thermal ablation to be less painful, and their recovery to be faster.
What are the risks and possible complications of the procedure?
Before the procedure, you will be told briefed about the specific risks and potential benefits of the proposed procedure. This is generally a very safe procedure. However, as with any surgical procedure, there are risks. Complications after endovenous thermal ablation can include bruising and mild pain along the ablation site, development of blood clots in the veins in the treated leg, and irritation of the nerves that lie with the treated veins.
Special precautions are taken to reduce these risks and there is usually no post-procedure complaint.
Are there any side effects of the treatment?
You may experience pain and bruising throughout the ablation site. Rarely, you may experience some numbness or tingling along the shinbone. These will usually be dissolved within a few weeks.