Radiofrequency ablation (also known as VNUS Closure) is a varicose vein treatment that is minimally invasive. This is a heat based treatment which is used to damage the surrounding tissue and encourage scar tissue to form. The scar tissue then helps to close the vein.
Is radiofrequency ablation right for me?
The alternative surgical varicose vein treatment requires general anaesthetic and involves the ‘stripping’ of the affected vein. Radiofrequency ablation is an ideal for solution for those looking for a varicose vein treatment that is non-invasive, only uses local anaesthetic and has a quicker recovery period than surgery.
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The surgeon will use local anaesthetic to numb the area and will proceed to make a small cut near your calf or your knee. A narrow catheter will be entered into the affected vein and ultrasound equipment will be used to ensure it is in the correct place. A fine probe passed through the catheter will then administer more local anaesthetic to the vein. The catheter powered by radio frequency will activate and heat will be delivered to the vein wall. As the heat is delivered the vein the walls will begin to shrink and the vein will gradually be sealed.
After the procedure, you will be given dressing and a compression bandage for the leg. The surgeon will also use ultrasound to check the procedure has been successful. Patients are likely to notice swelling during recovery as the tissue is absorbed into the vein. This is perfectly normal and ensures that the vein stays closed permanently.