What is a radiofrequency ablation for varicose veins?
Radiofrequency ablation is a non-surgical treatment option for patients with large varicose veins who have not found symptoms relief from medications and conservative treatments.
If left untreated, varicose veins can lead to serious complications such as open sores, tissue loss or blood clots.
Mercy Health vein specialists have vast experience treating varicose veins using radiofrequency ablation.
Who is a candidate for radiofrequency ablation for varicose veins?
Patients who should not be treated include:
- Pregnant or breastfeeding patients (wait three months after the baby is born)
- Patients who have had major surgery within three months of radiofrequency ablation
- Patients who have deep vein thrombosis
What to expect during radiofrequency ablation for varicose veins?
The procedure takes approximately 60 minutes to perform. It is an outpatient procedure, so you will go home the same day as your procedure.
Please plan to have someone drive you home from the clinic after your surgery and avoid doing any strenuous activity until your doctor give you clearance — typically one week. Avoid hot tubs or hot baths for two weeks or more after surgery.
What are benefits of having radiofrequency ablation to treat varicose veins?
- Immediate symptom relief
- Less pain
- No scars
- Can be performed in an outpatient setting
- Local anesthesia can be used
What are risks associated with having radiofrequency ablation to treat varicose veins?
Although radiofrequency ablation is relatively safe, complications can occur. Possible complications include:
- Skin burns
- Blood clots
Recovery from radiofrequency ablation for varicose veins?
Recovery time after radiofrequency ablation to treat varicose veins is relatively short. Patients will go home the same day of the procedure and can walk shortly after the treatment is finished.
Patients are advised to avoid driving and avoid doing any strenuous activities right after the procedure.
Your doctor will encourage you to wear compression socks for at least one week. You will have a follow-up appointment within a few weeks of the procedure to determine if the vein is closed.
Is radiofrequency ablation for varicose veins covered by insurance?
Radiofrequency ablation to treat varicose veins is covered if your varicose veins are a medical condition that has been diagnosed by your physician and you have failed on other conservative treatments. Some insurance companies limit what treatments are covered, so check with your insurance company before undergoing the procedure.
If you are seeking radiofrequency ablation for cosmetic varicose veins, insurance companies typically will not pay for the treatment.