Radio Frequency Ablation system also known as the closure procedure is a minimally invasive varicose vein treatment. This procedure uses radiofrequency energy to close off the targeted blood vessels, this is done by heating, collapsing and sealing off the varicose vein.
The process uses the inside map acquired with the help of ultrasound to decide upon the course of treatment for the varicose vein. A small cut is made on the skin above the diseased varicose vein, and then the physician inserts a catheter tube through that incision, moving it through the blood vessels onto the area. Heat is then provided in 20 second pulses to the affected area, this is done until the vein shrink and later shut down. The whole process is called ablation. The process is done in parts; as the catheter tube is gradually sent down towards the incision. When the entire damaged varicose vein is ablated the whole blood flow is automatically diverted to the more efficient adjacent veins, this ensures healthy circulation of blood and avoid swelling. These ablated veins are reduced to scar tissues and they are later absorbed by the body.
The VNUS RF Ablation is an alternative to the EVLT procedure which makes use of laser to ablate the affected varicose veins. It is a good alternative treatment for more invasive leg stripping strategy. It is known to treat saphenous veins (GSV), small saphenous vein (SSV) and may other such superficial veins in the legs. The Varicose veins that branch off from the blood vessels are treated with Sclerotherapy or phlebotomy.
The VNUS RF is an approved process by the Food and Drug Administration in the year 1999, the whole process is performed with the use of local anesthesia. The VNUS RF treatment is performed in the doctor’s office, hospitals or ambulatory surgical center. The patients are asked to start walking immediately after the procedure. They are even able to go back to their normal days working on the same day without wasting any time. However, just to be safe and avoid swelling or any issues a use of Compression stocking suiting the situation is generally prescribed for a week or two.
However, the process has overtime shown some side effects also, the success rate of the VNUS RF treatment is known to be slightly lower than the EVLT procedure. There are also risk of developing DVT or deep vein thrombosis, or a pulmonary embolism commonly known as blood clots. Other known side effects of VNUS RF treatment are known to include temporary numbness, swelling or bruising of the area that was affected and treated, the numbness can come and go and could be felt for longer time, thermal skin burns, and also there are potential allergic reaction to anesthesia.
Like EVLT, the VNUS radiofrequency ablation is generally covered by a lot of private insurer and Medicare. It is when the patients is able to provide proof of medical necessity and previous conservative therapy. It is advisable that the patients consult their insurance provider to check on their eligibility for the insurance.