Similar to endovenous laser therapy (EVLA or EVLT™), radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is a method of closing the refluxing vein as an alternative to more traditional surgery for the treatment of varicose veins.
It is now accepted by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) as a safe and effective treatment for varicose veins.
The procedure is very similar to laser ablation and is also performed under a local anaesthetic which means you will be awake throughout.
A small amount of local anaesthetic is used to allow the surgeon to access your vein using a special needle. Once the surgeon has placed the access needle into the vein, the radiofrequency fibre is positioned accurately at the required point near the top of the vein.
Once the radiofrequency fibre has been positioned, more local anaesthetic will be used along the length of the vessel to be treated. The radiofrequency fibre will now be activated and the vein will be closed.
After the procedure, your leg will be bandaged and a compression stocking will be placed over the bandages. Most patients are able to return to work within a day or two. Many patients do not suffer any discomfort or bruising from the procedure.
The results of radiofrequency ablation are not as well established as endovenous laser ablation although it appears that less than 15% of patients will suffer from recurrent varicose veins.