– Endovascular RF Ablation –
After a consultation, and ultrasound scan of your veins, it may be determined that the most suitable treatment for you is to undergo is radiofrequency (RF) ablation of your varicose vein(s). This is undertaken as an outpatient procedure, meaning that you are able to stand and walk immediatly after your treatment, and you may usually return to normal activities the following day.
During the treatment, Mr Salaman uses an ultrasound scanner to locate the problematic vein, and an injection of local anaesthetic is administered to an area of skin above the vein. A small cut is then made into the skin above the vein, and a sheath (narrow plastic tube) is placed into the vein. A VeinCLEAR RF catheter is then inserted through this sheath and along the vein. Further local anaesthetic is then injected along the whole length of the vein to be treated. The tiny catheter then delivers RF energy to the vein wall in the form of heat. This heat causes the collagen within the vein wall to shrink, and the vein then closes and blood is then rerouted to other, healthier veins.
Once the treatment is completed and the full length of the problematic area within the vein has been closed, a compression stocking is placed on the treated leg, and this must be worn for a period of at least two weeks, although it may be removed in the evening when retiring to bed.
Frequently Asked Questions:
How soon will I notice an improvement in my symptoms?
Many patients notice an immediate improvement and relief of symptoms such as leg heaviness, pain and fatigue, afte RF ablation, however the full benefits of this procedure may take 1-2 weeks to be seen.
Is there any swelling, bruising or scarring after this procedure?
Patients report minimal to no scarring, swelling or bruising following this treatment. The compression stocking must be worn as advised to aid this.
How does RF ablation treatment differ to vein stripping?
In vein stripping, incisions are made in both the groin and calf on the affected leg, and a tool is threaded through the diseased vein before it is then pulled (stripped) out of the leg. During RF ablation, only one small puncture is made in to the skin to access the affected vein, before the vein is closed and left in place within the leg. Using this minimally invasive approach eliminates the bruising and pain which is normally associated with vein stripping surgery.
What if I need the vein for bypass surgery in the future?
This procedure is only used for treating diseased and problematic veins, which would not be appropriate to be used for bypass surgery. Should bypass surgery ever be required, physicians can use other healthy vessels.
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