How Radiofrequency Vein Ablation Works

Varicose veins are a common problem for which a variety of treatments exist. So many, in fact, that you may find it difficult to determine which vein treatment you should consider.

Dr. Michael F. Gioscia, of the Vein Institute of Westchester in White Plains, New York, is a top-level vascular surgeon who is well-versed in all methods of varicose and spider vein treatment. He explains radiofrequency vein ablation and its effectiveness.

The basics of varicose vein treatment

Most common in the legs, varicose veins occur when one-way valves inside the vein lose function due to increased pressure and other physiologic changes. This allows blood to pool within the vein and leads to the cosmetic concerns as well as the swelling, discomfort, and other physical symptoms related to varicose veins.

The only effective remedy for symptomatic varicose veins is to close off or surgically remove the damaged blood vessel. This causes your body to reroute blood flow to a nearby healthy vein, restores normal circulation, and eliminates the appearance of varicose veins and/or spider veins.

What happens during radiofrequency vein ablation?

During radiofrequency vein ablation, after applying a local anesthetic (numbing agent) to the treatment area, Dr. Gioscia makes a miniscule incision or nick over the targeted vein. 

Using ultrasound imaging for guidance, he then inserts a small tube (catheter) about the size of a pencil lead into the blood vessel.  

A tiny electrode threaded through the catheter delivers heat via radiofrequency energy to the abnormal vein. The thermal energy closes off the vein, and your body reroutes blood flow to another vein. 

Over the next several weeks, as the treated vein dies, the discoloration, and other cosmetic effects of the varicosity fade.

Am I a good candidate for radiofrequency vein ablation?

Radiofrequency vein ablation is highly effective and essentially painless. Compared to surgical vein stripping, it typically offers an immediate return to normal activity and fewer risks of postsurgical complications such as scarring or infection.  

But Dr. Gioscia explains that the key to successful treatment lies in a specialist’s ability to fully evaluate your veins and devise the most effective plan for your situation.

Rather than taking a one-size-fits-all approach to vein treatment, Dr. Gioscia carefully considers skin tone, vein coloration, the size and type of the veins targeted for treatment, and many other details to create a customized treatment strategy that offers you the best possible result.

Thus, radiofrequency ablation may be his choice for tackling large varicose veins. But Dr. Gioscia notes that smaller veins, including spider veins, may respond better to a combination of therapies, such as:

Before scheduling your procedure, Dr. Gioscia carefully explains his strategy and what you can expect during and after your treatment at the Vein Institute of Westchester.

For expert results and treatment customized to fit your needs, schedule a vein evaluation with Dr. Gioscia today.

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