Radiofrequency Ablation

Radiofrequency ablation, or RFA, is a minimally invasive alternative to eliminate abnormal veins, redirect blood flow to healthy veins, and relieve discomfort.


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Radiofrequency ablation, or RFA, is a minimally invasive alternative to previous methods to eliminate abnormal veins, redirect blood flow to healthy veins, and relieve discomfort. Ultrasound imaging guide the doctor in precise insertion of a thin catheter.

The incision is so small that it requires only a dose of local anesthetic to ensure comfort. After the catheter is in position, the radio frequency heating element at the end of the probe is activated, which causes the surrounding vessel to contract, forcing the blood to reroute through healthier veins instead.

The procedure is performed on an outpatient basis, and typically takes an hour or less. You may get back to normal activities the same day. Patients wear compression stockings for the following two weeks to help ensure the best cosmetic outcome and prevent formation of small clots.

RFA Benefits

  • Safe
  • Little discomfort
  • Covered by most medical insurance plans
  • Very small incision
  • Little to no down time
  • Combinable with other vein procedures for maximum results
Before & After
Before After
Before After
Before After

Radiofrequency Ablation treats the following conditions

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Spider Veins

Spider veins are small veins that are red, purple or blue and resemble spider webs.

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Varicose Veins

Varicose veins are twisted, enlarged veins. Any veins in the body may become varicose, but the veins most commonly affected are those in your legs and feet.

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Chronic Vein Insufficiency

Chronic vein insufficiency occurs the valves in the veins are not working properly.

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Leg Pain

Sometimes venous insufficiency can lead to leg swelling, pain and cramping (also known as restless leg syndrome).


Patients with varicose veins are the best candidates. Patients who experience spider veins, leg pain, swelling, cramps or discomfort may also benefit from radiofrequency ablation.

Patient will lie down on bed, and an ultrasound is used to guide procedure. The leg being treated will be injected with a local anesthetic, and a small needle punctures the vein to be treated. The catheter will be inserted into the vein and more numbing medication will be injected around the vein. Once the numbing medication is placed around the catheter and vein, the catheter will slowly be pulled back. During the time the catheter generates heat, the vein is closed off. This is completely safe and the expected result.

Most patients report feeling little, if any, pain during the procedure. You will receive local anesthetic to numb the treatment area.

It is possible that you will notice a dramatic improvement in the way your legs feel within a few days. Depending on how large and long left untreated, varicose veins may take time to fully disappear. Typically patients have 1 to 4 veins that need treatment, so depending on how severe your case is, it will determine how soon will you see results.

You may resume normal activities immediately. Rarely, the patient may also experience slight discomfort and bruising along the course of the treated vein. If bruising occurs, it should improve in 1 to 2 weeks.

Many return to work the same day.

Some patients feel a tight, pulling sensation which they describe as a cord-like sensation. This can develop 1-4 weeks after treatment and resolves over time. Areas of light inflammation can be common after treatment. The areas can become red, swollen, tender and can sometimes feel warm. When the vein that is being treated lies closer to the surface, skin discoloration may occur.