Painful varicose veins can make it difficult to stand for long periods of time or exercise the way you want to. Even if your veins cause no painful symptoms, they can become a serious cosmetic concern. They can cause blue, bulging masses in the legs, as well as itching and skin discoloration.
Standard treatments for varicose veins, like compression stockings and leg elevation, may not provide the relief you need. However, vein surgery may present obstacles and risks you aren't comfortable with. Many people worry about general anesthesia and the lengthy recovery time vein surgery requires. Others worry about infection or post-surgical pain in the affected vein.
Fortunately, there are minimally invasive procedures that can provide relief from the pain and unsightliness of varicose veins. One of those procedures is radiofrequency ablation (RFA).
Georgia Vascular Institute’s Vein Center specializes in radiofrequency ablation for the treatment of varicose veins.
Here’s everything you need to know about this procedure.
Radiofrequency ablation is performed using heat produced by radiofrequency. The procedure takes approximately 45 minutes to an hour, with two hours for recovery.
On the day of your procedure, your doctor will begin by numbing the leg receiving the radiofrequency ablation energy. Once your leg is numb, your doctor will use ultrasound images to guide a catheter to your affected veins. The catheter will then distribute radiofrequency heat to the veins.
The heat produced by the radiofrequency destroys the vein wall and effectively closes off the vein. Local anesthesia insulates the surrounding tissues from heat damage during the procedure.
Following your ablation, you’ll be able to walk immediately. You can also go home the very same day. You’ll be given a bandage to wrap the puncture site, and you'll need to wear compression stockings for a week afterwards, but recovery time is relatively short and painless.
Learn more about this procedure at Georgia Vascular Institute.
Radiofrequency ablation closes varicose veins in nearly 90% of patients. Veins that aren’t successfully treated are either treated again, or the patient receives a recommendation for another vein surgery that is more likely to be effective.
Additionally, RA causes little pain after the procedure. Patients can walk immediately, and rarely need time off to recover.
RA requires very small incisions that heal quickly and cause no scarring and very little bruising afterwards.
If you have painful, bulging varicose veins, radiofrequency ablation may provide you with relief.
While not everyone is a candidate for the procedure, the majority of people who are good candidates will see positive results and experience no downtime.
Not sure if you have vein disease? Take Georgia Vascular Institute’s online vein screening today.
If you’re ready to explore radiofrequency ablation to treat chronic pain in your legs or to restore the appearance of your legs, contact Georgia Vascular Institute today.