RadioFrequency Ablation (RFA)
If the vein morphology is suitable, a Laser or Radiofrequency fibre is passed inside the abnormal vein to close it. This is a minimally invasive treatment, with smaller wound size & less pain. It can be done under local anaesthesia in the clinic, or as a day procedure in the hospital. Patient can go home on the same day. (Subject to patient’s preference and condition.)
1. What is the Radiofrequency Ablation of Varicose Vein?
RFA a minimally invasive treatment alternative to the traditional vein stripping surgery for varicose veins and gives better cosmetic results with less scarring. The principle is that by removing the abnormal vein by applying radiofrequency energy inside the vein (‘endovenous’) to destroy (‘ablate’) it.
2. How is RFA done?
The procedure is performed on an outpatient basis with the patient awake. The entire procedure is done under ultrasound visualisation. After a local anaesthetic is injected into the thigh area, the laser fibre is threaded into the vein through a small puncture hole. Then radiofrequency energy is released which heats up the wall of vein and causes it to collapse. Radiofrequency energy is released continuously as the fibre moves along the whole length of the diseased vein, resulting in the collapse and ablation of the varicose vein. Following the procedure, a bandage is placed over the entry site, and additional compression is applied. Patients are then encouraged to walk and resume all normal activities
3. How is RFA of varicose vein different from conventional surgery?
RFA does not require general anaesthesia and is a less invasive procedure than vein stripping. The recovery period is also shorter than surgery. Patients usually have less post-operative pain, less bruising, faster recovery, fewer overall complications and smaller scars.
4. How soon after RFA can I return to normal activity?
Walking immediately following the procedure is encouraged and normal daily activity can be resumed immediately. For those into sports and heavy lifting, a delay of 5-7 days is recommended.
5. What are the key benefits of RFA?
RFA can be performed entirely under local anaesthesia in most cases. It is applicable to the majority of patients including those with pre-existing medical conditions or medications preventing the administration of a general anaesthetic. Cosmetic outcomes from RFA are far superior to stripping. Patients report minimal bruising, swelling or pain following the procedure. Many return to normal activities immediately.
6. Is RFA suitable for all varicose veins?
The majority of varicose vein can be treated with RFA. However, the procedure is mainly for large varicose veins. It is not suitable for veins which are too small or too tortuous, or with an atypical anatomy. There are many other alternatives for treating varicose or spider veins. Our specialists can help you choose the best option.
The information provided on this website is for educational purposes only. Please consult your physicians before considering treatment or for detailed medical advice. (Information provided by Dr. Chad TSE Cheuk-Wa)