Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA)
Most often used for varicose veins like the EVLT procedure, the RFA technique uses radiofrequency energy (instead of laser energy) to heat up and damage the wall inside an incompetent vein.
During an RFA procedure, a local anesthetic is used to make a numb spot at the skins surface and an IV is started in the incompetent vein. Under ultrasound guidance, the RFA catheter is placed into the vein and a small amount of fluid is placed around the vein to isolate the vein and protect the tissue.
By passing an electrical current through the catheter inside the vein – heat is generated. The heat produced destroys the incompetent vein.
Once the vein is closed, the blood is then rerouted over to your good healthy veins. Over time, the closed vein will shrink and becomes absorbed by the body.
The discomfort usually peaks around 3-10 days after your procedure and then decreases during the second week post RFA. Soreness, bruising, redness, tenderness and even some numbness is expected post RFA and can last several weeks.
You DO NOT need to fast or stop any of your current medications prior to any procedures. Xanax may be prescribed to help relax the muscle around the vein to prevent venous spasm during the RFA treatment.
A compression wrap must be worn for 72 hours post procedure. On the day of your procedure, you are required to walk for a minimum of 10 minutes every hour on the hour until bedtime. It is important to take any medication you are prescribed ONE hour prior to your procedure. You are required to have a driver. This procedure takes 1 hour.