Endovenous Ablation (RFA)







Radio Frequency Ablation: Vein Closure

Disagreeable spider veins, bulging varicose veins and leg swelling are common issues that our patients experience. As varicose veins progress, you may notice dark, thick skin and possibly skin breakdown around your ankles.

Leg pain, the most common physical symptom, is often attributed to aging or other conditions. Common complaints include heavy, tired, achy, swelling, itching, burning and stinging leg cramps at night in addition to restless legs. If any of these symptoms sound familiar, you may have underlying vein disease even if you have no physical signs such as spider veins, leg veins or swelling.

Why do varicose veins and spider veins occur?

Three parts of the venous system efficiently pump blood from your legs back to your heart. There are pipes (veins), pumps (the calf muscle) and one-way valves. Vein disease occurs when one or more of these systems don’t work as designed.

Failure of the one-way valves in the Great Saphenous Vein (GSV) or Short Saphenous Vein (SSV) is the most common cause of vein disease. When the valves don’t work properly, blood flow reverses, falling down the veins (called reflux) and it pools or settles in the superficial veins. This settling of blood leads to varicose veins and resulting symptoms.

How does endovenous ablation (RFA) work?

Endovenous ablation (RFA) uses heat energy to treat GSV and SSV reflux. RFA is an outpatient procedure performed at VVC; you walk in for the procedure and walk out after it is done. There is little to no downtime.

Your physician vein expert uses an ultrasound to help guide a tiny catheter into the unhealthy saphenous vein. Local anesthetic is instilled, and the catheter is activated and slowly withdrawn, treating the diseased vein. The heat welds or shrink wraps the diseased vein to rid it of reflux.


A follow up ultrasound done three to seven days after your procedure will show collapsed saphenous vein walls in over 95% of patients. Many patients report immediate improvement in their tired, achy legs after RFA. For others, healing is a more gradual process that can take several weeks.

At VVC, we can treat your visible bulging veins with microambulatory phlebectomy at the time of RFA. If you are a candidate, your bulging veins are gone immediately.

In cases where medical conditions do not allow a combined procedure, the varicose veins may become less noticeable, with symptoms subsiding over weeks to months. For persistent symptoms, microambulatory phlebectomy may be considered later.

At VVC, our physician vein experts are here to help guide you through the entire procedure to get your legs feeling decades younger. Take the first step and call today to schedule an appointment. It’s never about vanity, it’s about vitality.


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