Radio Frequency Ablation (RF)
Endovenous Laser (ELA) and Radio Frequency (RF) are Thermal Ablative Procedures – which means that they both use a source of energy to help heat and permanently seal off veins. Post treatment the vein will gradually be absorbed by the body and dissappear over time.
In addition, both procedures are 'Minimally Invasive' and can be performed safely within an 'office based' medical facilities, that is away from the confines a hospital environment. They can also be performed without the need for a General Anaesthetic (GA) and so can be classed as non-surgical or commonly as walk-in/walk-out procedures.
How does RF work?
Using ultrasound guidance, an RF fibre is placed into the abnormal vein through a small incision in the leg. The vein is then numbed with local anaesthetic, and the Fibre is activated.
The RF Fibre has a unique design and consists of a 7 cm length active tip, through which the energy is released. The Fibre is slowly moved along the segment of vein to be treated. The release of Radiofrequency Energy from the tip of the Fibre, produces a thermal reaction in the vein wall along the treated section, resulting in collapse and sclerosis of the vein wall with minimal discomfort afterwards.
What is the difference between ELA and RA?
RF utilises Radiofrequency Waves rather than Invisible Laser Light to help heat and seal the vein shut. The maximum temperature reached within the vein with RF is 120oC as opposed to temperatures in excess of 1200oC used in ELA This means that RF is much more gentle and refined with respect to the heating of the vein and this translates to less bruising and discomfort following the procedure.
At The Leg Vein Doctor - Dr Nicholas Kemp prescribes the most suitable procedure to the patient on an individual basis. Variables determining the best course of treatment include which vein is affected, extent of venous disease as well as the patient's medical history and lifestyle.