What is Radiofrequency Ablation?
Radiofrequency is a technology which uses high-frequency radio waves to seal the affected varicose vein in a process known as radiofrequency ablation.
The radiofrequency energy is delivered using a special machine. The surgeon makes an incision to access the vein, usually above the knee, and inserts a catheter (tiny tube) through which a probe is inserted. The probe delivers radiofrequency energy which heats the varicose vein walls to destroy them. The result is that the veins collapse and close.
Does it Work?
Yes, radiofrequency treatment for varicose veins has a similar success rate to that of laser, around 95%.
Once the vein has been destroyed, the blood will flow through other, healthier veins.
However, there are a number of downsides to radiofrequency treatment compared to laser, which is why the option is not offered at Cosmedics’ London Vein Centre.
What are the Disadvantages?
Dr Ross Perry advises that the main disadvantage to radiofrequency treatment is that it is not as comfortable as laser. He explains:
“…radio-frequency can be used to create the same result as EVLA laser treatment, by heating and sealing the inside of the vein. However, we don’t offer this treatment as it can be more uncomfortable and there are no compelling advantages for the patient when comparing the treatment results and experience to those of laser varicose vein removal.”
In addition to the discomfort, radiofrequency also has the potential of short-term side effects such as pins and needles (paraesthesia). These should wear off eventually, but are annoying in the short term.
EVLA Laser Varicose Vein Treatment
Dr Ross Perry favours EVLA – Endovenous Laser Ablation – for treating varicose veins; an advanced procedure which is available at The London Vein Centre in Harley Street and Putney.
EVLA treatment destroys the vein in as little as 30 minutes, leaving clearer skin. A major advantage of this treatment is that it can be performed on a ‘walk in walk out’ basis, so patients can leave the clinic same day and walk unaided. There is no need for wheelchairs or overnight stays, treatment is quick, effective and easily tolerated.
The treatment is performed under local anaesthetic, so is completely comfortable throughout without any of the unpleasantness associated with general anaesthetic.
More Varicose Vein Treatment Options
Cosmedics’ London Vein Treatment Centres also offer a selection of other carefully chosen treatments, so that each patient can be provided with the most appropriate solution to their veins which also suits their lifestyle and recovery requirements, enabling them to get ‘back on their feet’ almost straightaway after vein removal:
- ClariVein® treatment, which combines a mechanical action causing the vein to spasm with a special chemical to seal the vein
- Foam sclerotherapy uses a chemical to block and thus destroy smaller varicose and larger thread veins, so that blood flows through other, healthier veins
- Micro surgery is also available at the London Vein Treatment Centres, to complement other treatments by physically removing the troublesome veins to minimise any chance of recurrence
London Vein Treatment Centre
Varicose & Thread Vein Treatment
Cosmedics Skin Clinics offer private treatment for thread veins and varicose veins at their London Vein Treatment Centre. They also offer varicose vein ultrasound scanning for proper diagnosis of any ‘underlying’ vein problems.
For more information or to book a consultation, please complete the form on this web page or call 020 7386 0464.