ENDOVENOUS RADIOFREQUENCY ABLATION
The saphenous vein is the largest superficial vein in the lower extremities. Over time, this vein can become unhealthy, resulting in bulging veins, aching, swelling, and fatigue in your legs. These and many other symptoms are due to reflux, or the backflow of blood, in the saphenous vein. At Solon Vein Clinic, we perform ablations utilizing the top technology in the field to destroy the diseased vein and redirect blood flow to healthy veins. Our endovenous radiofrequency ablations have replaced the more invasive vein stripping surgery of the past, which involved a more difficult and painful recovery. Ablations are highly successful in eliminating an unhealthy saphenous vein, with a success rate of approximately ninety eight percent. This treatment may be the key to helping you lead the life you’ve imagined.
How is the endovenous radiofrequency ablation performed?
The ablation is done in the office at Solon Vein Clinic in about ninety minutes. The team at Solon Vein Clinic will be with you throughout the procedure, to walk you through it and answer any questions or concerns you may have. After cleaning your leg and assembling the sterile drapes, the physician will completely numb the area along the vein. We use ultrasound guidance to precisely insert a catheter into the saphenous vein. This catheter will then emit a concentrated beam of radiofrequency energy waves to close and destroy the vein. The procedure is generally very well tolerated and does not require pain medication. However, if you are especially anxious about the procedure, the physician may prescribe a medication to help you relax. This option can be discussed during your consultation. After the ablation, your leg will be wrapped in an ACE bandage and we will provide you with discharge instructions.
What symptoms will an ablation relieve?
Venous reflux can cause cramping, aching, heaviness, and fatigue in your legs. As venous disease slowly progresses, it can lead to swelling, skin changes, and venous ulcers. The provider will discuss your symptoms and treatment options during your consultation to determine if an endovenous radiofrequency ablation will help make your legs look and feel better.
Is there any concern related to closing the vein?
Superficial vein closure will actually help your circulation, not hurt it. Most of the blood in your body is pumped by the deep venous system, which is untouched by the procedures offered at Solon Vein Clinic. We treat unhealthy superficial veins that cause blood to pool in your legs and lead to pesky symptoms. After destroying a diseased vein, circulation in your body will naturally redirect blood flow to healthy veins.
How should I prepare for my ablation?
It may be helpful to have someone drive you to and from your appointment, although it is not necessary. Make sure you eat as you normally would prior to your procedure and drink plenty of water. Please avoid caffeine the day of your procedure as it can constrict your veins and make it more difficult to insert the catheter. Make sure you have compression stockings to wear after the
procedure that are 20-30 mmHg of compression.
What is the recovery after an ablation?
After your ablation, you will be wrapped in an ACE bandage, which you will wear for twenty four hours. For fourteen days following the procedure, you will have to wear compression stockings to ensure that the vein closes completely. Compression also helps with the bruising and tenderness patients may experience after their procedure. If you experience this, you can also apply ice packs to the area or take acetaminophen.
We encourage you to walk immediately after the procedure and throughout your recovery.
During the first two weeks however, you should avoid heavy lifting and strenuous exercise. Following the two week period, you can resume all your normal activities! One week after the procedure, we will have you return to the office for a follow up ultrasound to ensure that the vein is healing properly. A follow up visit will also be scheduled with the provider about a month after your procedure. Please call or text the office if you have any questions or concerns before or after your visit.
Does insurance cover Endovenous Radiofrequency Ablations?
Yes, most insurance companies will cover an ablation after your deductible. The staff at Solon Vein Clinic will help review your insurance plan, receive approval from your insurance company, and discuss payment options prior to your procedure.