Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA)

A popular treatment option for varicose veins is radiofrequency ablation, or RFA. It is a minimally invasive, radio wave-based treatment for large, unhealthy varicose veins.

What is radiofrequency ablation?

RFA is a varicose vein treatment option that uses pulsating radiofrequency energy to improve symptoms of vein disease. A vein specialist inserts a tiny tube into your unhealthy veins, using radiofrequency energy. Once the radiofrequency starts pulsating and emitting heat—none of which you will feel while under local anesthetic—the vein will immediately close and blood circulation will improve through your healthier veins.

What Radiofrequency Ablation Treats

  • Varicose Veins
    Varicose Veins
  • Poor Circulation
    Poor Circulation
  • Leg Swelling
    Leg Swelling
  • Tingling or Itching
    Tingling or Itching
  • Cramping Legs
    Cramping Legs
  • Restless Legs
    Restless Legs
  • Aching or Heavy Legs
    Aching or Heavy Legs
  • Pain while standing
    Pain while standing

FAQs

  • How does radiofrequency ablation work?

    RFA works using heat-emitting radio waves that seal off problematic veins. An ultrasound-guided catheter is inserted into unhealthy veins and, with practiced guidance from your vein doctor, is pulsed gently to heat and close damaged vein pathways.

  • What can I expect with radiofrequency ablation treatment?

    Patients who are treated with radiofrequency ablation recover quickly from this minimally invasive treatment. Since RFA is done under local anesthetic, at most you’ll feel some slight discomfort during the procedure.

    After your 30-minute treatment is finished, you’ll be able to walk out and drive yourself home, with little downtime. Most patients are back to normal activity in just 24 hours.

  • What actually happens during treatment?

    • We’ll start by numbing the treatment area.
    • Second, using an ultrasound-guided radiofrequency fiber, we’ll thread a small catheter into your problem vein.
    • Your vein doctor will then use targeted radiofrequency waves to heat specific areas of the unhealthy vein, thereby causing it to close.
    • Now sealed off, the problem vein will be reabsorbed into your body as the circulation in your legs restarts through healthier veins.
    • We’ll give you compression stockings to wear for the next 24–48 hours and will schedule a follow-up appointment a week later.
  • Does radiofrequency ablation have side effects?

    Patients may experience some temporary bruising following their treatment. Reports of temporary numbness, itching, sensitivity, burning, or swelling are not frequent, but can occur. Some patients opt to take an over-the-counter pain medication or medicated cream to speed healing.

    There are no stitches needed following your RFA treatment, and patients are able to return to their normal activities right away.

  • Is radiofrequency ablation right for me?

    Patients with relatively untwisted, straight veins may benefit from either endovenous laser ablation or radiofrequency ablation. Taking into account your vein history, age, symptoms, and the type of veins that need treatment, your Metro Vein Centers specialist will determine the best treatment option for you.

Book a free evaluation today to get started on your custom treatment plan.

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