Endovenous Radiofrequency Ablation Fort Worth, TX
Endovenous radiofrequency ablation (RF) is a minimally invasive alternative to outmoded vein stripping for the treatment of venous reflux, the underlying cause of most chronic venous disease. The radiofrequency ablation procedure eliminates the diseased vein by applying heat to the lining layer of the vein. This produces immediate vein closure, eliminating the diseased vein from the circulation. Once the damaged vein is closed, blood is naturally re-routed through healthy veins. Over the long term, the thermal injury to this lining layer of the vein causes the vein to scar, preventing it from re-opening. In fact, a vein successfully treated with radiofrequency will no longer be visible on ultrasound a year after the procedure. We use the ClosureFast catheter by Covidien, previously known as the VNUS Closure system. This radiofrequency catheter has a 98% success rate and is the newest generation and most frequently used radiofrequency device for vein ablation procedures. The radiofrequency treatment is done in the office with little discomfort and a quick recovery.
Radiofrequency Procedure Video
The diseased vein is accessed through a small puncture wound under local anesthesia. Then the small radiofrequency catheter is placed into the vein and guided by ultrasound into the correct position. A local anesthetic solution is placed around the vein, and radiofrequency energy produces heat which is applied to the lining layer of the vein over a period of 1 to 3 minutes. The catheter is removed and a tape strip placed over the puncture wound. The entire procedure takes 30 to 45 minutes. Other than the mild discomfort associated with placement of the local anesthetic, the procedure should be relatively pain free.
After the radiofrequency procedure, patients may experience mild bruising and swelling in the area of the treated vein. Most patients require only acetaminophen or ibuprofen for a couple of days for discomfort. Patients can return to regular activities shortly after treatment although lifting and strenuous physical activity should be restricted for about a week. Patients will also need to wear compression stockings during waking hours for seven days. Your doctor will provide you with specific post-operative instructions. If your treatment plan includes radiofrequency ablation, your doctor will discuss the procedure in detail and answer questions you may have about this procedure.
Side Effects and Risks
Complications related to endovenous radiofrequency ablation are rare. Proper preparation and careful attention to postoperative instructions will reduce the risk of problems. A small percentage of treated patients will have discomfort, temporary numbness, or more extensive bruising. A blood clot in the deep veins of the leg is unusual, occurring in less than 1% of patients treated, according to numerous studies. At Reeder Vein Institute we have not seen a significant blood clot in the deep veins of the leg following radiofrequency ablation. As always, we will discuss in detail the potential risks associated with any procedure we recommend and answer questions you may have before proceeding with your treatment.
*The information about Endovenous Radiofrequency Ablation was reviewed by Board Certified Surgeon Dr. Michael Darnell. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us using our contact form.