This minimally-invasive keyhole operation involves treating the varicose veins via a small (1cm) incision. The procedure is usually performed with the use of sedation administered by a consultant anaesthetist ensuring that the patient remains comfortable and relaxed during the procedure. Further pain relief is achieved by administering local anaesthesia during the procedure.
Radiofrequency Ablation involves introducing a laser-type tube into the vein. Using ultrasound guidance the tube is carefully advanced into close proximity of the leaking vein that is causing the varicose veins. This tube then delivers a heat energy which causes the vein to clot and shrivel up thereby stopping the blood refluxing back down the leg.
The main benefit of this revolutionary technology is that it can be performed without the need for a large scar in the groin or behind the knee. This has been clearly demonstrated to have a number of advantages for patients compared to traditional open surgery. Firstly, significantly less pain is experienced. Secondly, return to normal lifestyle activities, exercise and work is significant quicker.
Who Is Suitable for Radiofrequency Ablation?
The duplex ultrasound before the first operation is the main determinant about the suitability of the patient for radiofrequency ablation. The vast majority of patients are fit for this procedure. It is particularly appropriate for two groups of patients. Firstly, those who live a busy, active lifestyle who want a quick return to activity and work. Secondly, patients who are unsuitable for large, open operations maybe suitable for this key-hole technique