Venous Radiofrequency Ablation
Venous reflux disease, affecting 25 million people, is the underlying cause for most varicose veins. Venous reflux disease is twice as prevalent as coronary heart disease and five times more common than peripheral arterial disease. Left untreated, it may worsen over time, leading to swollen legs and skin ulcers.
Venous radiofrequency ablation is an outpatient procedure that uses radiofrequency energy, delivered through a catheter, to close and eliminate varicose veins. Radiofrequency energy is a form of electrical energy that can penetrate the body and be absorbed without any heat sensation, making it virtually painless. Blood that would normally return toward the heart through the treated vein will travel through other veins instead. Over time the treated vein shrinks and is absorbed by the body. Compared with surgical options like ligation and vein stripping, venous radiofrequency ablation can result in less pain and quicker recovery time.
Who Can Benefit
Venous radiofrequency ablation may be able to help patients with these symptoms:
- Varicose veins
- Burning or itching of the skin
- Color and texture changes of the skin
- Aching, tired or weak legs, especially after long periods of standing or sitting
- Swollen legs and/or ankles
- Poorly healing wounds, such as skin ulcers commonly located above the inside of the ankle
A physician referral is required for evaluation and treatment.
How It Works
Your first visit includes a consultation with our interventional radiologist, which lasts about 15 minutes, and a Doppler ultrasound to evaluate blood flow through the veins.
You’ll return for the venous radiofrequency ablation procedure, which lasts about an hour. In an outpatient procedure in the Women’s Center, the physician inserts a catheter (a long, thin tube) into the vein. Radiofrequency energy, introduced through the catheter, causes the vein to heat and collapse. The catheter is withdrawn and the vein seals itself. Blood that would normally return toward the heart through the vein will travel through other veins instead. Over time the treated vein shrinks and is absorbed by the body.
We offer venous radiofrequency ablation in the Wilbur and Mary Jean Cohen Women’s Center on the fourth floor of the Professional Building at Atrium Medical Center. Free parking is located in Lot C or D.
If you think venous radiofrequency ablation could help you or someone you know, please call us to schedule an appointment:
(513) 420-5755, extension 6486 (Interventional Radiology Department)
Office hours and appointments:
Monday – Friday, 8:00 am – 4:00 pm