Performed under local or regional anesthesia on an out-patient basis, radiofrequency closure was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in March of 1999. During the procedure a tiny puncture is made and a small catheter is inserted into the defective vein. The catheter then delivers radio frequency energy to the vein wall, causing the vein to shrink and seal shut. Once the vein is closed, neighboring healthy veins take over to restore normal circulation.
Once the procedure is completed, external compression is applied to the treated areas and patients are encouraged to wear elastic bandages and support stockings for a few days. Patients normally return home the same day of surgery and can return to work within a few days.
BENEFITS OF RADIOFREQUENCY CLOSURE:
With less bruising and pain radiofrequency closure, is known to produce better cosmetic results than surgical procedures like ligation and stripping.
- Outpatient treatment in office with local or general anesthesia.
- Up to 90% of the treated veins remain closed and free from reflux.
- Relief of symptoms.
- Return to normal activity within 1-2 days – with little or no pain.
- Good cosmetic outcome with minimal or no scarring, bruising or swelling.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT RADIOFREQUENCY CLOSURE:
What is the recovery time for radiofrequency closure treatment? Many patients can resume normal activities immediately. A regular walking regimen is suggested though strenuous activities like heavy lifting and prolonged periods of sitting/standing should be avoided. For those into sports and heavy lifting, a delay of 5-7 days is suggested.
Are there any potential risks and complications associated with radiofrequency closure? As with any medical intervention, potential risks and complications exist with the Closure procedure. All patients should consult their doctors to determine if their conditions present any special risks. Your physician will review potential complications of the Closure procedure at the consultation , and can be reviewed in the safety summary. Potential complications can include: vessel perforation, thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, phlebitis, hematoma, infection, paresthesia (numbness or tingling) and/or skin burn.
How long does radiofrequency closure take? Radiofrequency closure procedure takes approximately 45-60 minutes. After the procedure, patients are observed for an 1 hour and then discharged home.
POSSIBLE RISKS AND COMPLICATIONS OF RADIOFREQUENCY CLOSURE:
Numbness due to nerve injury can occur and though the condition is usually temporary, it can be irreversible. Published results show a high early success rate with very low recurrence rates. Patient satisfaction is high with 95% of patients reporting that they would recommend the procedure to a friend. Like any removal of the larger veins, if the deep vein system is damaged, removal of the problem vein may worsen existing conditions.
Radiofrequency closure should not be performed on those who are pregnant, have poor circulation or abnormalities in leg arteries, those who suffer from lymphedema, skin infections, or blood clotting defects, or older individuals that are at high risk for surgery.