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 Treatment of Varicose Veins by Radio Frequency Ablation

There are several ways of treating varicose veins by minimally invasive techniques. Radio frequency ablation (RFA) and end-of-venous laser therapy are two methods that use energy to burn the inside of a varicose vein to cause destruction of the vein wall. Radio frequency energy is high frequency electrical energy as is used in a surgical diathermy. Laser therapy uses a concentrated light beam to heat the wall of the vein. These two methods are called thermal ablation of varicose veins.

Other methods that are used in a similar way are called chemical ablation. This is a type of sclerotherapy that is used to destroy the wall of a varicose vein. Similarly mechanical energy can be used to achieve the same objective.

In choosing a method of minimally invasive techniques for treating varicose veins, one has to balance the use of the minimal amount of energy to achieve the endpoint so that procedure does not cause pain and discomfort and surrounding tissue damage allowing healing to occur more rapidly versus the need to cause an adequate amount of ablation so that there will be no recurrence of varicose veins.

Radio frequency ablation seems to achieve these objectives very adequately. Scarring and tissue damage including bruising is minimal and recovery is rapid. The procedure can be done within one hour in the office or in the intervention radiology Suite.

The following video outlines the procedure step-by-step and will give you enough information so that you can understand what will be happening to you if you decide to have your veins treated by radio frequency ablation.