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Radio-frequency Ablation


Radiofrequency  (RF)  Endovenous ablation  (Venefit) is a minimally invasive treatment procedure for treating varicose veins, using radiofrequency to heat and seal diseased veins and address the underlying cause of severe varicose veins.  The  Venefit™ Procedure catheter for the treatment of varicose veins delivers radiofrequ6352ency energy to a heating element to heat and contract the collagen within the vein walls and cause the shrinkage and collapse of the vein.

The procedure involves inserting the catheter into the varicose vein through a tiny incision and threading the device through the vein up to the groin area.  Radiofrequency waves are applied to the heating element in 20-second  intervals to heat and ablate the vein in seven-centimeter increments sequentially.  After each segment is treated,  the  Closure  FAST catheter is manually withdrawn down the vein,  and the process is repeated until the entire length of the vein has been ablated.  The body automatically re-routes blood flow through healthier veins, and the restoration of healthy circulation relieves the distention of the surface veins.  The ablated vein becomes scar tissue and is eventually absorbed by the body.

Why Do I Need This Procedure?

The objectives of the treatment are to improve your leg symptoms and reduce the risk of complications from varicose veins such as skin discoloration,  swelling,  thickening, and ulceration.

Varicose vein patients are selected for the procedure after a thorough clinical exam and ultrasound evaluation.  This office based non-surgical and very convenient procedure has replaced the previous practice of “vein stripping,”  which required extensive in-hospital surgery with prolonged recovery.

Each varicose vein patient is carefully evaluated,  and treatment is individualized for the patient’s symptoms and ultrasound findings.

By Whom And Where Is The Procedure Performed?

This procedure is performed in the comfortable surroundings of our in-office procedure suite.  Dr. Susheel  K Sharma performs all the procedures.  He has extensive experience in dealing with coronary artery disease, peripheral vascular disease,  and vein disease.  The procedure is performed under local anesthesia.  The procedure involves no cutting or surgery.  There are no parts of the vein removed from the body.  There are no foreign bodies left inside the vein.  The procedure is performed with minimal pain and discomfort.  We use vibration anesthesia device to minimize discomfort.

You walk into the procedure suite, and you step out of the procedure suite on your two legs. There is no recovery period involved.  There is no downtime or recovery period required for this procedure.

Are There Any Risks And Complications Of The Procedure?

Dr.  Sharma will discuss the specific risks and potential benefits  of  the  recommended  procedure with you. Endovenous Ablation is a safe procedure.  Complications  after  endovenous  thermal ablation  may  include  bruising  along  the  site  of  ablation,  pain  along  the  section  of  ablation,  a blood  clot  in  the  veins  in  the  treated  leg,  and  nerve  irritation  or  numbness.

Meticulous care is taken to minimize these risks.  When  you  meet  with  Dr. Sharma,  you  will  have plenty  of  time  to ask  questions  to  help  you  understand  the  risks,  benefits,  complications,  and alternatives  to  the  procedure.

Most complications are minor and can be dealt with medications. Swelling and inflammation respond well to 5-7 days of treatment with Motrin.  Rare  formation  of  blood  clot  in  the  vein  is treated  with blood  thinners  for  a  few  days  to  weeks.  An  occasional  case  of  local  infection  is treated  with  oral antibiotics  for  7-10  days.

How Long Does The Procedure Take?

The  procedure  takes  approximately  45-60  minutes;  Actual  procedure  takes  only  15  minutes.  15 to 20 minutes  is  needed  to  prepare  the  leg  and  set  up  the  procedure  tray.  After  the  procedure, additional  15 to  20  minute  is  required  to  wrap  up  the  leg  and  discuss  post-procedure  instructions  with  you.

Will There Be Scarring, Bruising Or Swelling After The Procedure?

Since  there  is  no  surgical  cutting  involved  and  the  procedure  is  performed  using micropuncture technique  no  scarring  results.  There  may  be  minor scattering  or bruising  post procedure  which resolves  in  a  few  days.  Most  patients  report  feeling  little,  if  any,  pain  during  the  ablation procedure.  Dr.  Sharma  will give  you  ample  local  anesthetic  t  numb  the  treatment  area.  We use unique vibration anesthesia device to minimize discomfort during injection.

How Soon Can I Return To Normal Activities?

Patients treated with venous ablation may resume normal activities the day following the procedure.  For a few days following the treatment, we may recommend a regular walking regimen and suggest you avoid strenuous activities (heavy lifting, for example) or prolonged periods of standing.

When do will My Symptoms improve?

Majority of patients report a significant improvement in their symptoms within 2  to  3  days following the procedure.

Is The Cost Of Procedure Covered By My Insurance?

Most insurances cover medically necessary endovenous ablation.  Our experienced billing staff will work with your insurance companies to obtain precertification.  If there are out-of-pocket expenses involved such as co-pay, deductible or coinsurance, we inform you of the procedure and work with you to create affordable monthly payment plans to minimize your financial burden.

How Effective Is The Procedure Long Term?

The RF venous ablation procedure provides durable, long-term results.  In a large international, multi-center study has been shown to be 93% effective for up to three years.

Are These Veins Not Needed Bypass Surgery?

The varicose vein that is ablated is suitable for use during bypass grafting.  Chest wall arteries are nowadays most commonly used.  Not all veins in the leg are ablated.  Other healthy veins in the legs are available for performing bypass surgery.

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