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Radiofrequency ablation (RFA), also called RFA treatment for varicose veins, is a minimally invasive treatment for varicose veins, which are enlarged, gnarled veins that protrude past the surface of your skin. Any vein can be affected, but varicose veins most often appear in your legs, feet and ankles, since standing and walking can increase pressure on these veins.

There are several options for treatment of varicose veins. The best treatment for you depends on the severity of your symptoms. If you have swollen and twisted veins in your legs, your NYC vein doctor may recommend RFA treatment for varicose veins. This procedure is a recommended treatment for larger veins that cause discomfort.

Doctors Recommend RFA for Varicose Veins Treatment

When veins do not function properly, they fill with blood and swell. Blood that cannot flow back toward your heart pools in the veins of your lower extremities. These veins appear bulging and discolored. Varicose veins have a purple or blue color and may be uncomfortable, throbbing, burning or aching.

While some people want RFA treatment for varicose veins for cosmetic reasons, the usual motivation is relief from pain. If your Manhattan doctor recommends radiofrequency ablation, varicose veins are probably causing more than cosmetic problems. Symptoms may include:

  • Aching or a heavy feeling in your legs
  • Swelling, burning or cramping
  • Increased pain after standing or sitting for long periods of time
  • Discoloration of your skin
  • Itching around your veins
  • Sores or ulcers

You do not have to live with these symptoms. Experienced doctors in New York City recommend RFA for varicose veins if you are experiencing a great deal of soreness and discomfort. The good news is that RFA vein ablation can relieve these symptoms, along with making those veins less unsightly.

endovenous radiofrequency ablation rfa

What to Expect from RFA Treatment for Varicose Veins

Your New York City vein specialist can perform RFA for varicose veins for most people in an outpatient setting. Unlike vein stripping surgery that requires anesthesia, you are awake for your RFA varicose veins treatment, which consists of seven steps:

  1. You are made comfortable on a surgical table.
  2. Your physician uses local anesthesia to numb any pain.
  3. She performs the procedure by using real-time images on an ultrasound.
  4. She makes a small incision and inserts a thin catheter into the full length of the diseased vein.
  5. The RFA device is inserted through the catheter in to the vein.
  6. Your doctor delivers radiofrequency to the walls of the vein.
  7. The vein walls are heated, causing them to shrink and the vein to close.

With RFA, varicose veins are permanently sealed, so blood no longer flows through them. Your body gradually reabsorbs sealed veins, and the blood flow is redirected to healthy veins.

After Radiofrequency Ablation Varicose Veins Procedure

RFA vein ablation is done with gentle heat that results in no discomfort during the procedure. You may feel slight pressure, but not pain. Your vein doctor can give you something to relax you if you feel anxious. After treatment with radiofrequency ablation, varicose veins are covered with a bandage over the surgical incision. You do not need sutures.

The procedure usually lasts between 45 minutes and an hour, after which your Manhattan doctor allows you to go home — as long as you demonstrate that you can walk. A friend or family member has to drive you home after the procedure.

RFA Ablation Recovery

After radiofrequency ablation, varicose veins recovery occurs gradually. You can resume normal activities right away. Your NYC doctor may recommend that you refrain from strenuous activities for several days.

Wear a compression stocking for at least seven days. The stocking helps reduce tenderness and bruising, as well as the possibility of a clot forming. You can participate in normal activities, but avoid sitting or standing in place for long periods of time. Do not spend too much time in bed because this increases the likelihood that you may have complications.

Radiofrequency Ablation Varicose Veins Recovery

You may experience some bruising or discomfort, but after treatment with radiofrequency ablation, varicose veins recovery time is usually quicker than after other surgical options for treating varicose veins. Within a week or two, you may notice that your varicose veins are not as prominent, but complete results may take several months.

By using RFA, your veins can eventually return to a fairly normal size. Varicose veins RFA treatment is usually safe and free of complications and you may even get relief of symptoms almost immediately. It’s much less invasive than traditional surgery, and most people report that they are pleased with the results of RFA vein ablation.