Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is a procedure that uses heat created from radiofrequency (RF) to close varicose veins. It uses heat created by radiofrequency. During treatment, RF head is sent into your vein through a catheter, which closes off blood flow in the main problem vein.
How Long Does Radiofrequency Ablation Take?
Radiofrequency ablation treatment takes 45 to 60 minutes. During the procedure, you will lie down, and an ultrasound will be used to guide the procedure. Numbing medicine will be injected into the vein(s) to be treated, and then a small needle stick will be made to insert the catheter with the RF heat source.
Once the catheter is in the right position, it is then slowly drawn backward. As the catheter sends out heat, the vein is closed off. When treatment is done, the catheter is removed. The pressure is applied to the insertion site to stop any bleeding. An elastic compression stocking or a bandage may then be put on your leg.
How Long is Recovery Time with Radiofrequency Ablation?
Once at home, follow all post-procedure instructions. Be sure to:
- Care for the catheter insertion site as directed
- Wear bandages and elevate your legs as directed
- Walk a few times a day
- Avoid heavy exercise, lifting, and standing for long periods and air travel, hot baths, saunas, or whirlpools as advised