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Radio frequency venous ablation

Veins are obliterated by heating

Radio frequency venous ablation is another tissue-saving method for treating varicose veins. Radio frequency ablation of varicose veins involves heating the wall of the vein using a bipolar generator and catheters with electrodes. The saphenous vein is then accessed above or below the knee via an intravenous cannula or small incision. The vein then dies off and is subsequently broken down by the body.

Who is radio frequency venous ablation suitable for?

In all cases of radio frequency venous ablation therapy, the saphenous vein can only be removed by laser therapy if the deep venous system is healthy. This is checked before treatment, for example, by an ultrasound examination (Doppler ultrasonography). In contrast to vein stripping, radio frequency venous ablation therapy leaves no lasting scars, so the procedure is most suitable for patients who attach great importance to the cosmetic outcome. Furthermore, in contrast to laser therapy, radio wave therapy usually causes fewer superficial bruises.

How varicose veins are treated with radio frequency venous ablation therapy

The treatment method with radio wave therapy is identical to that with laser therapy. The only difference is the energy used to sclerose the saphenous veins from inside. In radio wave therapy, the saphenous vein is heated with bipolar radio frequency energy. The course of treatment once again in keywords:

  • For local anaesthesia and to protect the surrounding tissues, a special anaesthetic is injected into the fatty tissues under the skin around the affected vein.
  • A hollow needle is inserted in the affected saphenous vein above the knee or at the ankle.
  • The radio frequency catheter is inserted in the affected vein segment.
  • The vein is heated from the inside and obliterated.

After radio frequency venous ablation therapy

Radio frequency venous ablation therapy is usually performed as an outpatient procedure. Fluid continues to leak out of the access sites for a few hours after the procedure. Most of this is the anaesthetic solution. Post-operative bleeding is rare. The next day after treatment, the doctor inspects the patient to check the outcome of the procedure, which may be followed by further follow-up appointments if necessary. Gentle exercise is useful after the procedure. However, the patient should avoid strenuous physical exercise and not lift any heavy weights or stand for long periods of time. A compression stocking must usually only be worn for a week. This helps prevent any possible side effects of the procedure. Complications are rare and may include
  • Severe pain
  • Wound healing disorders
  • Hypersensitivity reactions to the anaesthetic
  • Infections
  • Thrombosis.
Venous insufficiency itself cannot be cured by surgery for varicose veins. Therefore, patients should continue to wear their compression garments every day after successful vein surgery to prevent the onset of new varicose veins and enjoy the outcome of the operation for years to come.

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