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Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA) for Varicose Veins

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Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA) for Varicose Veins

Radiofrequency ablation therapy is a minimally invasive treatment for the problem of varicose veins. Ablation means that the surgeon makes use of heat to damage tissue that causes the formation of the scar tissue. It is this scar tissue that closes the vein. In this technique, radiofrequency energy is used instead of laser energy for heating up and damaging the wall inside this vein. The treatment closes off varicose veins in the leg.

When it comes to the treatment of a varicose vein, radiofrequency energy is directed using a thin tube which is inserted through a small incision in the vein. It can also be used on large veins in the leg and can be performed in an office setting making use of a mild sedative or local anesthesia. You can walk right after the treatment and recovery is also short. You will be recommended to wear compression for a week or two after the radiofrequency ablation therapy. The surgeon uses a duplex ultrasound to ensure that the vein is closed.

Is the treatment safe?

Here are a few side effects of this procedure:

  • Large or small blood clotting in a deep vein or the vein
  • Feelings of prickling, pain and burning after recovery, due to nerve damage
  • Skin burns
  • It thus becomes important to choose an experienced doctor for radiofrequency ablation therapy. The chances of side-effects minimize when the chose surgeon has expertise in performing the procedure. The surgeon associated with ABC makes sure that a patient has complete understanding of the surgery, its risks and benefits so that he or she can make the right decision.

    How well the procedure works?

    It has been found that this particular treatment closes off varicose veins in nearly 88 out of 100 people. In simple words, it does not work in 12 out of 100 people.

  • Veins that are not closed are treated again. Choices available are another ablation therapy of any other type of procedure.
  • Pain after this therapy is relatively much less in comparison to the vein surgery.
  • It is apparent for you to know about the indications that make it necessary for you to undergo this surgery.

    Should I undergo this surgery?

    If you are considering undergoing radiofrequency ablation procedure then do think about these questions:

  • How much so the entire treatment and examination cost?
  • How much experience and expertise does the surgeon have with this particular treatment?
  • How many sessions do the doctor suggests you to have?
  • Step by step RFA treatment

  • Step 1
  • With the guidance of ultrasound, the radiofrequency catheter is inserted into the vein via a small incision and then advanced to the area that has to be treated. The tip of the catheter would be placed nearly 2cm from the Sapheno-Femoral Junction.

  • Step 2
  • Again with the guidance of ultrasound, local anesthesia is administered along the length of the vein. This is done for enhancing the comfort of the patient, to better the contact between the vein wall and radiofrequency fibre and to provide a heat sink for protecting the surrounding tissue.

  • Step 3
  • The RFA fibre has a special design and comprises of a 7cm length active tip. It is through this tip that the RFA energy is released. The vein wall is heated alongside this 7cm length section. Usually, the fibre is activated for twenty to forty seconds for 7cm length of vein. This makes the entire procedure easy and quick to perform.

  • Step 4
  • When the Radiofrequency energy is released from the tip of the fibre, it produces a thermal reaction in the vein wall along the treated area, resulting in sclerosis and collapse of the vein wall within no or minimal discomfort after the procedure.

    Cost of radiofrequency ablation treatment in India is pocket-friendly making it possible for many people to get rid of this problem. Make sure that you discuss all aspects of the cost and the treatment with the surgeon before proceeding with the treatment.