Varicose veins are not just a cosmetic concern. When untreated, they can cause pain and discomfort that interfere with your daily activities. Having varicose veins also means that you are at an increased risk for leg ulcers, sores, and even dangerous blood clots. This is why it is crucial to treat them as early as possible.
While smaller varicose veins can be treated with laser therapy and a few changes to your lifestyle, larger varicose veins may require surgery or radiofrequency ablation (RFA) treatment. In this blog post, you’ll find some more information about RFA treatment, including what to expect from the procedure and the precautions you should take.
RFA is an effective alternative to traditional methods of treating varicose veins
RFA is a preferred minimally invasive treatment that involves heating and damaging the vein walls. When this happens, the diseased vein collapses and can then be broken down and absorbed by the body. Blood flow is redirected to other veins that function well.
Instead of laser energy, RFA uses radiofrequency energy to treat varicose veins. This is often recommended when the veins are considered medium-to-large and cause bothersome symptoms.
Following are some more facts about RFA:
- The treatment can work for a vein up to 30 inches long while still being minimally invasive
- The nonsurgical procedure takes only around 30 to 45 minutes
- Your healthcare provider will treat the affected area with local anesthesia, which will help substantially lower the risk of pain
- There is no need for general anesthesia if treating varicose veins with this procedure
You must get in touch with an expert to determine if the procedure is right for you, especially if you take multiple prescription medications. Below, you can read more about what you can expect before, during, and after RFA treatment.
Before RFA Treatment
Before you go to the clinic or hospital for your treatment, your healthcare provider will likely give you a few suggestions. Doctors often recommend the following tips in order to be fully prepared for RFA:
- Drink lots of water before the treatment.
- If your healthcare provider has prescribed a sedative medication, you should ideally take it one hour prior to receiving the treatment.
- If you are taking a sedative, you should arrange for transportation to and from the facility.
- Avoid wearing tight clothing to your appointment.
Before the treatment, your healthcare provider will also conduct a physical examination to determine your exact condition. Be sure to inform your healthcare provider about the medications you take, as it will help them evaluate whether the treatment is right for you. If you have any specific questions or concerns, consult your healthcare provider for input before scheduling the treatment.
After RFA Treatment
As mentioned above, RFA is quick and minimally invasive. Most people experience little to no discomfort after the varicose vein surgery, with benefits seen shortly after the procedure. However, if you are undergoing this treatment there are a few things you should keep in mind afterward. Follow these tips for better results after RFA:
- Do not sit or stand for long periods of time. Keep moving and keep yourself physically active for better results.
- Do not perform any strenuous activity for about two weeks after the treatment. Avoid all heavy lifting.
- Try to walk more frequently after the procedure.
- Avoid swimming and taking hot baths for a few weeks.
- Wear compression stockings for at least two to three days after the treatment.
After the treatment, you should try to walk every hour and avoid being completely still for longer than a few minutes. If you are experiencing any pain or discomfort, you must get in touch with your vein specialist. Most doctors will recommend baby aspirin in the case of mild pain.
You must schedule all recommended follow-up appointments with your healthcare provider to ensure your safety and best treatment results. If you are located in the Delaware Valley and are considering RFA for your varicose veins, consider visiting a reputable vein clinic in Philadelphia so that a qualified physician can evaluate your condition before taking any next steps.
If your vein specialist determines that RFA is right for you and you follow all recommended protocols, you will likely be extremely happy with your treatment results.