Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is used to treat varicose veins and other problems caused by venous insufficiency. RFA is a minimally invasive procedure in which a catheter is inserted into an abnormal vein and supplies heat energy to the vein, closing it permanently. Radiofrequency ablation requires only a local anesthetic, causes little or no pain, and leaves no scar. The procedure takes less than an hour to perform and patients can resume normal activities immediately afterwards.
Before proceeding with radiofrequency ablation, the doctor will perform a thorough medical examination, including a diagnostic ultrasound evaluation, to determine whether the procedure is appropriate for the patient's particular case.
Radiofrequency ablation is an outpatient procedure which is performed in the doctor's office. Patients generally experience little to no pain or "down time" away from work, and may begin to experience relief from their symptoms right away.