No one likes the look of unsightly varicose veins. These veins that are swollen and enlarged are signs of a condition known as “venous insufficiency.” Veins are responsible for returning oxygen-poor blood to the heart. When these veins fail, it results in blood that flows backwards, which then pools, causing the bulging and distended veins. Unfortunately, if these veins go untreated, serious conditions such as ulcers and blood clots can arise.
A procedure known as radiofrequency ablation can be used to not only get rid of the unsightly veins, but also prevent any serious conditions. Radiofrequency ablation is a minimally invasive procedure that is done in a physician’s office.
Radiofrequency Ablation Procedure
During the procedure, patients are given a local anesthetic. Once the treatment area is sufficiently numbed, the physician inserts a tiny tube or catheter. After the catheter is in the vein, radiofrequency energy is applied to close the vein. The vein will then be absorbed or ablated, hence the name radiofrequency ablation.
Your body has more veins that it needs, so closing and absorbing affected veins is still very safe. Patients can stand up and walk immediately after the procedure. Over a period of time, the veins that have been closed will be absorbed completely, along with the pooled blood that caused the unattractive look. Any pain and itching associated with varicose veins will also disappear.
Safe, Effective Procedure
The procedure is very safe and effective; however, there are possible side effects such as feelings of burning or prickling, skin burns, and possible clotting. Risks are lower when you use a doctor who is experienced in using radiofrequency. It is important to discuss with your doctor how often he or she has seen these side effects.
Success rates are high with experienced physicians. While some pain will be experienced, it is less after ablation that after vein-stripping surgery. You may need more than one treatment or a combination of vein treatments in some case. For example, after the larger, more visible veins are treated through ablation, smaller branches that cannot be seen may need to be treated with ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy.
If you want to finally get rid of varicose veins, consult an experienced cosmetic physician to discuss the various options for your individual case.