Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA) for Varicose Veins
Radiofrequency Ablation is a minimally invasive procedure to treat varicose veins by the team at Vein Institute of Utah. Varicose veins are swollen, raised blood vessels that occur in the legs and elsewhere in the body. Veins in our bodies contain one-way valves, allowing blood to return to the heart from the legs. However, sometimes those valves develop abnormalities. When this happens, blood ends up pooling in our veins. This ends up creating enlarged and visible varicose veins underneath the skin; if left untreated, varicose veins can lead to additional complications. If you are looking to have your varicose veins treated, contact the experienced office of Dr. Hadjbian at the Vein Institute of Utah by calling 801-748-0580.
What is Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA)?
Radiofrequency ablation is performed by means of a specially designed catheter inserted through a small incision. High-frequency radio waves are delivered through the catheter electrode and cause direct heating of the vessel wall, causing the vein to collapse, effectively closing the “leak” in the vein. The goal of radiofrequency ablation is to cut off/prevent blood flow from the diseased veins and divert that blood flow to other healthy veins nearby.
What Happens During Varicose Vein Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA)?
In preparation of your RFA procedure, part of your leg will be cleaned and shaved. You’ll feel a slight pin prick when the local anesthetic is injected to numb your leg so you should not experience pain during the rest of the procedure. The anesthetic usually works within a short period of time.
When your leg is numb, a small incision will be made so a specially designed catheter can be inserted. High-frequency radio waves are then delivered through the catheter electrode. These radio waves directly heat the blood vessel wall, causing the vein to collapse. The catheter is slowly withdrawn, closing the vein.
Radiofrequency ablation is usually performed as an outpatient procedure and is considered a minimally invasive option to treat varicose veins.
After the procedure is over, you will need to wear a special gradient compression stocking designed to help minimize bruising, ease local tenderness, and can help minimize the risk of blood clots.
How Do I Prepare for Radiofrequency Ablation of Veins?
The Vein Institute will conduct a physical examination and a duplex ultrasound, which is a test that shows how blood is moving through the arteries and veins to develop a treatment plan. Options and possible complications will be discussed, so you can make an informed decision. If you and Dr. Hadjbian decide to proceed with radiofrequency ablation, use these tips to prepare for your appointment:
- If you have recently been ill, or were diagnosed with other medical conditions by other physicians, be sure to tell your doctor.
- Make sure your doctor and anesthesiologist know about all allergies, and report all medications you’re taking (this includes herbal supplements and over-the-counter medications like aspirin.) Your doctor may advise you to stop taking blood thinners and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen and aspirin) for several days leading up to your procedure.
- On the day of your procedure, wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothing, and leave jewelry at home.
- Plan to have someone drive you home after your procedure.
- Walking is an important part of recovery after radiofrequency ablation for varicose veins, so it is important to plan ahead so you will be able to get the recommended amount of exercise to speed your healing.
What is the Success Rate? How Well Does Radiofrequency Ablation Work?
When performed by an experienced doctor like Dr. Hadjbian, chances of treatment success are very good. Although it is impossible to guarantee success, radiofrequency ablation works in 97 out of 100 people who have it.
In the event the first treatment is not successful in closing a vein, it will be treated again either through another ablation or a different type of procedure
Experienced Radiofrequency Ablation at Vein Institute of Utah
When you choose Dr. Ehsan Hadjbian, you are choosing a seasoned professional whose entire practice is dedicated to treating diseased veins. Dr. Habjbian and the Vein Institute of Utah are committed to helping patients find noninvasive, painless, cost-effective options.
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