What Is Radiofrequency Ablation for Varicose Veins | Inovia Vein

If you have varicose veins, you may be experiencing a variety of symptoms. In addition to the unsightly appearance of your veins, you may notice burning, tingling, cramping, aching and other forms of discomfort. Fortunately, effective treatment options for varicose veins are available. One such option is a procedure known as “radiofrequency ablation.” 

What is radiofrequency ablation?

Radiofrequency ablation is a minimally invasive treatment option for patients who have varicose veins. This procedure uses radiofrequency energy to seal damaged veins and redirect the blood to healthier vessels nearby. During the procedure, your surgeon will make a small incision in the vein and insert a thin catheter that will be used to deliver radiofrequency energy into the treatment area. This energy will heat up the walls of the vein, causing scar tissue to form. This scar tissue will close off the vein. 

Radiofrequency ablation is most appropriate for large varicose veins located in the legs. It is typically performed in the doctor’s office under local anesthesia. Following the procedure, you will need to wear compression stockings for at least one week. You will be able to walk immediately after treatment, and your recovery period will typically be short. 

How successful is radiofrequency ablation?

Radiofrequency ablation is successful for the majority if patients, with less than 5 percent of people experiencing treatment failure. Rarely, if radiofrequency does not successfully close off the treated vein, alternative treatment options may be available. 

Does vein surgery on legs with varicose veins hurt?

Traditional vein surgery on legs in a hospital operating room (such as vein stripping) for varicose veins can be painful. In general, radiofrequency ablation causes far less discomfort. During the recovery period, you may experience minor discomfort, including burning or pain. However, these side effects are more likely to occur with vein stripping surgery. If pain does occur following radiofrequency ablation, it is less likely to be severe. 

Does insurance cover varicose vein treatment?

Some insurance policies may cover varicose vein treatment, depending on the specifics of the policy and the condition of your veins. However, in other cases, insurance coverage will not be available. During the evaluation process, we can help determine whether your varicose vein treatment will be covered by helping you contact your insurance company for a final determination. Although radiofrequency ablation is typically safer and less likely to cause complications than vein stripping surgery, all surgical procedures come with risks. For this reason, it is important to choose a vein doctor who has experience with this procedure and a strong record of success. The doctors at Inovia Vein Specialty Centers have treated countless patients with radiofrequency ablation. Contact us today to learn more about radiofrequency ablation or to schedule an appointment. You can also follow this link to meet our vein physicians across Oregon.

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