After a comprehensive evaluation, our vein specialists will determine the optimal treatment for each patient’s needs. Treatments of vein disorders and conditions vary from person to person and depend on the results of a color duplex ultrasound exam. An estimated 40% of women and 25% of men will experience the symptoms of spider veins and varicose veins.
Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is an alternative treatment option to traditional vein stripping surgery, bringing state-of-the-art technology to an age-old disease. The Radio Frequency Ablation treats leg veins in the superficial and perforating systems that have venous reflux, the underlying cause of varicose veins. Individual results may vary based on each patient’s condition. As with all medical procedures, potential risk and complications exist including vessel perforation (when the catheter punctures the vein wall), thrombosis, pulmonary embolism (when a blood clot travels to the lungs), phlebitis (inflammation of the vein), infection, nerve damage, arteriovenous fistula (an abnormal connection between an artery and a vein), hematoma (bruising), and skin burn. Consult with one of our physicians to receive more information.
RFA is performed on an outpatient basis. Using ultrasound guidance, your physician will position the catheter into the diseased vein through a small opening in the skin. The slender catheter delivers radiofrequency (RF) energy to the catheter, which heats the vein wall. As the vein wall is heated and the catheter withdrawn, the collagen in the wall shrinks and the vein closes. Once the diseased vein is closed, blood is re-routed to other healthy veins. Following the procedure, a simple bandage is placed over the insertion site, and additional compression will be provided to aid healing. Your doctor may encourage you to walk at frequent intervals and to refrain from prolonged standing and strenuous activities for a period of time. Patients who undergo RFA typically resume normal activities within a day.
Pre and Post Procedure Instructions
Highlights of the Radiofrequency Ablation
- Relief of symptoms
- Resume normal activity within a day
- Outpatient procedure
- Local anesthesia
- Good cosmetic outcome with minimal to no scarring, bruising or swelling
Microphlebectomy is a method of surgical removal of surface veins. This is usually completed in our office using local anesthesia. Incisions are tiny (stitches are generally not necessary) and typically leave imperceptible puncture mark scars. Post-operative discomfort is minimal. After the vein has been removed by phlebectomy, a bandage and/or compression stocking is worn for a short period.
Sclerotherapy is the most common treatment of spider veins. The spider veins are injected with a solution, which cause an irritation of the lining of the vein resulting in disappearance of the spider vein. Depending on the severity of the spider veins, multiple sessions may be required to achieve the greatest result. The fading of the spider veins is gradual and the complete disappearance may take several weeks. Often, total resolution may be accomplished. At Brazos Vein Institute, we utilize special instruments including Veinlight(TM) and a Syris polarized headlamp that allows us to see the veins, known as reticular veins, that feed the spider veins. By injecting reticular, as well as spider veins, with the sclerosing agent, we provide a better and more effective cosmetic result.