VNUS® RF (radiofrequency) Ablation system is a minimally invasive varicose vein treatment procedure that uses radiofrequency energy (electricity) to heat, collapse and seal off the targeted blood vessels. After using ultrasound to map the course of the vein to be treated, the physician guides a catheter (thin tube) through a small incision into the diseased vein, threading it through the blood vessel into the groin area. Electricity is delivered to a heating element in 20-second pulses, heating and contracting the collagen within the walls of the vein until they shrink and shut down. This process is called ablation. The vein is treated in segments as the catheter is gradually inched back down towards the incision. When the entire vein has been ablated, the blood flow is automatically rerouted through healthier adjacent veins, restoring healthy circulation and reducing swelling. The ablated vein becomes scar tissue and is absorbed by the body.
VNUS RF treatment is an alternative to more invasive leg stripping surgery. It is used primarily to treat the great saphenous veins (GSV), small saphenous vein (SSV), and other superficial veins in the legs.
The VNUS RF treatment procedure is performed under local anesthesia in our office. Patients are encouraged to walk immediately following the procedure, and are usually able to resume their normal activities within a day. The use of compression stockings is generally prescribed for a week or two.