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How Does Radio Frequency Ablation Work?

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How Does Radio Frequency Ablation Work?

Varicose veins are often uncomfortable and aesthetically unappealing. You may be a candidate for radio frequency ablation (RFA) vein closure if you can see dark purple or blue veins beneath your skin’s surface that are gnarled and enlarged. Keep reading to learn how the vein experts at North Texas Vein and Vascular in Flower Mound, TX can help you improve your health and restore youthful beauty by treating varicose veins.

What Do I Need to Know About Radio Frequency Ablation (RFA) Vein Closure?

If you want to make your varicose veins nothing more than a distant memory, look no further than radio frequency ablation vein closure. This innovative treatment method provides you with the opportunity to look younger and more attractive while allowing you to achieve a level of self-confidence you haven’t felt in years. It is also an effective method for minimizing any discomfort or pain caused by varicose veins.

Shortly after your treatment, your skin will look smoother and more youthful. In just a few short months after your treatment, not even an ultrasound will be able to tell that you used to have varicose veins.

How Does This Treatment Work?

RFA vein closure heats up the interior of the varicose veins using radio frequency energy. Unlike invasive vein removal procedures, this treatment only requires a tiny incision so a tiny catheter can be inserted. This heat damages the interior of the venous wall resulting in the formation of scar tissue. After treatment, the entire vein collapses in on itself and becomes scar tissue. Eventually, this scar tissue regresses to the point it is no longer visible.

Will This Treatment Negatively Affect My Circulation?

No, radio frequency ablation vein closure will not affect your circulation negatively. When the vein collapses in on itself, blood will no longer be able to flow through it. However, your circulation will improve after treatment because your blood will be rerouted through healthier veins with stronger valves. Therefore, your blood will have no problem returning to your heart. Furthermore, your blood will stop pooling and causing bruises, tingling and aching.

How Long Does RFA Vein Closure Take?

This vein closure treatment that is minimally invasive can take as few as half of an hour to complete. Thanks to the local anesthesia used, you will never feel any pain, discomfort, or heat. After treatment, you may take prescription analgesics for a day or two to maintain your comfort. If you have several large varicose veins, your treatment can take up to an hour and a half.

What Can I Expect During Treatment?

Before your treatment begins, the treatment area will be sterilized to mitigate the risk of infection. Once it is clean, you will be given a local anesthetic to numb the treatment area so the heat used during treatment won’t cause you pain or discomfort.

Then, your physician will make a very small incision in the treatment area. Through this incision, a very small catheter is inserted. Ultrasound technology is used to ensure we have an accurate picture of your veins while we are performing the treatment so we can accurately target only the varicose veins, leaving your healthy veins undamaged.

What Can I Expect During the 24 Hours Following Treatment?

Once your treatment session is over, the treatment area will be bandaged, your blood pressure will be checked and you will be given prescription-strength compression garments. If your varicose veins were in your legs, you will receive either compression socks or compression stockings. We recommend taking ibuprofen or a prescription painkiller after your treatment so you can remain comfortable once the local anesthetic has worn off.

What Can I Expect During the 48 Hours Following Treatment?

During the 48 hours following your treatment, you must wear your compression garments at all times. After two days have passed, you may remove your bandages and bathe in tepid water. Just be sure you pat down the treatment area gently with a soft towel. Don’t rub it dry aggressively with a scratchy, abrasive towel. Your physical activity should also be extremely limited during this time.

What Can I Expect Two Weeks After Treatment?

Two weeks after your treatment session, you may stop wearing the compression garments. While you do wear them, your compression garments must be put on correctly as soon as you get up in the morning. If you don’t have someone to help you get your compression garments on, we can give you advice on how to get them on by yourself.

After two weeks have passed, there will be no more restrictions on your physical activities. However, if you feel like the treatment area has not healed completely, continue to wear your compression garments during the day for another week or two. If you have any questions about your recovery, feel free to give us a call and schedule a follow-up appointment so we can assess how your recovery is going.

How Quickly Will I See the Results of Treatment?

You will start to enjoy the final results of treatment after approximately seven days. At this point, you’ll see that your varicose veins have begun to fade. Nevertheless, it can take several months for all of your treated varicose veins to fade from view. A few months after your treatment, we will evaluate your progress and determine if you need follow-up treatment or two to achieve your desired results.

How Long Do the Results of RFA Vein Closure Last?

It is important to remember that varicose vein closure benefits your overall health. However, varicose veins occur naturally as you age because venous valves weaken after decades of fighting gravity. Your varicose veins are eliminated permanently, eliminating aches and pains and protecting your health for years. However, if you are obese or sedentary, it is possible that you develop new varicose veins later in life.

What Do I Need to Know About Varicose Veins?

Typically, varicose veins do not pose a significant risk to your health. More commonly, they are the cause of uncomfortable aching and make people feel self-conscious. Your veins are responsible for getting your blood back to your heart so it can keep circulating. Since blood has to fight gravity to get back to your heart from your lower extremities, valves are used to prevent blood from pooling in your lower extremities between the beats of your heart.

Varicose veins occur when the valves used by your veins weaken and blood pools. Varicose veins can form anywhere but they occur most often in the legs. To help your veins push blood back up to your heart, you can wear prescription-strength compression socks or stockings. The stress to the veins in your legs caused by the force of gravity is compounded when you stand or walk, causing uncomfortable aches and cramps.

What Do I Need to Know About Spider Veins?

Spider veins are similar in nature to varicose veins. They are discolored and twisted but they are smaller in size and usually closer to the surface of the skin. Like varicose veins, they can appear anywhere but usually occur on your face. They are most noticeable in areas where the skin is very thin, such as around your nose. These veins, akin to varicose veins, usually pose little risk to your health but affect your aesthetic negatively.

Am I at Risk for Developing Varicose Veins?

Aging is one of the most significant risk factors associated with varicose veins. The valves in your veins weaken as you age and gravity begins to overcome the effort your veins are making to send blood back to your heart. Being pregnant is also a major risk factor for developing varicose veins.

Even women who never become pregnant are more likely to develop varicose veins due to the significant hormonal shifts they go through every month. However, pregnancy is a much larger risk factor than being a woman because it stresses your veins and their valves by increasing the volume of blood in the body.


Obesity is another significant risk factor for developing varicose veins, particularly in the legs. Obese individuals, particularly men, carry a significant amount of excess weight in the abdominal region. This excess abdominal weight places a significant amount of pressure on the veins in the lower legs. It can be so great that the valves weaken to the point that they can no longer prevent blood from pooling.

Being overweight also puts you at a greater risk level for developing varicose veins than being a normal weight. However, obesity is such a high-risk factor for developing varicose veins that if you lose enough weight to no longer be classified as obese, you will greatly reduce your risk of developing varicose veins in the future.

What Are the Dangers of Varicose Veins?

Usually, varicose veins are benign. Nevertheless, you should speak with a vein specialist right away if you feel any discomfort or pain. Sometimes, blood clots develop inside this type of vein. Ulcers and internal bleeding can also occur around the disordered veins on the surface of your skin. These dangers may not become a critical health risk but you should speak with a vein specialist immediately if you notice bruises in the same area as your varicose veins.

How Can I Prevent Varicose Veins?

It is hard to prevent varicose veins because they are a natural result of aging. The best way to mitigate your risk of developing varicose veins is to do your best to manage your weight and keep your circulatory system strong. Besides maintaining your weight and being active, eating nutritious foods will also support a healthy circulatory system.

Other self-care steps include neither standing nor sitting for too long and elevating your legs when you are resting. You should also wear high heels on rare occasions only. Heels strain the veins in your legs and often cause varicose veins.

Discover If This Treatment Is Right for You Today

If you suffer from varicose or spider veins and you are tired of looking at them, radio frequency ablation vein closure may be appropriate for you. This treatment works by using radiofrequency energy to heat disordered veins to the point they collapse in on themselves.

Eventually, the treated veins disappear and you can enjoy smoother, more attractive skin and healthier circulation. Contact us at North Texas Vein and Vascular in Flower Mound, TX to learn more. We look forward to the opportunity to meet you and set you on the path of vein health, comfort and self-confidence.

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