Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA)
Is ClosureFast ™ Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA) Right for You?
Radio frequency ablation (RFA) uses a small dose of radiofrequency energy to treat venous insufficiency, thereby eliminating the root cause of varicose veins and the symptoms that go along with them.
When is Radio Frequency Ablation a Treatment Option?
There are valves inside the veins of the legs that help blood return to the heart. These valves are important because they help the blood work its way up the legs against gravity, closing behind it to prevent it from flowing backwards. When the valves are weak or damaged, they allow blood to backflow and pool in the veins. This is called venous reflux. Reflux causes the veins to stretch and twist, causing more damage to valves further down in the legs and compounding the problem, which leads to a potentially dangerous condition called chronic venous insufficiency
ClosureFastTM RFA catheter is used to close off the damaged vessels in patients who are experiencing venous insufficiency caused by venous reflux. Blood is then naturally rerouted to healthy, functioning veins. This treatment is indicated for patients experiencing symptoms of chronic venous insufficiency like discomfort, pain, swelling of the legs and ankles, varicose veins, leg cramps, restless legs, and ulcers (wounds that won’t heal).
Benefits of RFA
- High 94.9% success rate after 5 years
- Minimally invasive
- Office-based procedure
- No downtime; return to normal activities immediately
- Drive yourself to and from treatments
- No general anesthesia
- No stitches
- Less pain, bruising, and recovery time than traditional vein stripping
- Eliminates symptoms caused by venous insufficiency like swelling, pain, and varicose veins
- Patients typically experience very little discomfort
This minimally invasive procedure is done in the doctor’s office and takes between 30-45 minutes
A needle is inserted into the affected vein in a fashion that’s very similar to a blood draw. Next, a thin catheter is then inserted into the vein. Then, the ClosureFastTM RFA catheter is placed into the vein under ultrasound guidance to help the doctor visualize the vein.
Next, local anesthesia is applied. This anesthesia actually serves several purposes: it provides a cushion between the surrounding tissues and the vein to be treated to keep the heat from causing damage to anything but the vein, it helps ensure that the catheter makes contact with the vein walls, and it provides a numbing effect to minimize patient discomfort.
Then, the ClosureFastTM RFA catheter is ‘turned on’ in short bursts, applying heat energy to the inside of the vessel, contracting the collagen therein and collapsing the walls and sealing it off as the catheter is pulled back through the vein. At the same time, the doctor will apply external pressure to ensure the catheter makes contact with the vein wall. Last, once the entire vessel is sealed off, the catheter is removed, a bandage is applied to the insertion site, and a pressure bandage is applied. Your doctor may also put on compression stocking.
Throughout the procedure, ultrasound technology is used to ensure a safe and effective treatment.
Risks of Radio Frequency Ablation
There are risks associated with every medical procedure, and RFA is no exception. Patients may experience bruising, swelling, and hardened nodules or veins for a short time following their procedure, but these symptoms resolve on their own within a few days to a few weeks. Less than 1% of patients experience DVT (blood clot), and there’s a small risk of phlebitis (inflammation of the vein) or allergic reaction. On rare occasion, some patients may experience slight damage to tiny superficial sensory nerves near the treatment site, causing skin numbness that usually affects a small area and heals over time.
Your United Vein Centers doctor will discuss any additional risks that stem from your individual health with you while you’re deciding on a treatment plan and again before your treatment.
Why Choose United Vein Centers for Your Vein Treatment?
United Vein Centers are IAC-accredited vein treatment centers. At United Vein Centers, our patient-centric approach seeks to educate patients on their condition and potential treatments. Our highly trained and experienced vein specialists assess each patient’s individual lifestyle and health history in order to provide the best recommendations for treatment. We use cutting edge, minimally invasive procedures to improve our patients’ vein health. The results speak for themselves: thousands of happy patients whose quality of life and vein health have been improved after treatment at United Vein Centers.
Many vein treatments are covered by health insurance. We’ll help walk you through the costs associated with treatment and insurance coverage so you know exactly what to expect. If you’re experiencing symptoms of vein disease like swelling, pain, heaviness, or sores that won’t heal, contact us to set up a consultation with one of our vein specialists. Your vein health is important to your overall health and your quality of life. Don’t wait until your vein problems become severe. Call us today!
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United Vein Centers is dedicated to both patient satisfaction and excellent results. With locations across the United States, we are able to reach a broad spectrum of patients. Our doctors are vein specialists and our staff is thoroughly trained and educated in all aspects of vein health.
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