Varicose veins? Eliminate them with radiofrequency

The technique of radiofrequency is a technique that began its development in the last decade and nowadays we have a great experience in its management, so it is considered one of the best techniques for the treatment of varicose veins for its safety, minimal aggression and without the need for sick leave, in most cases.

What does the radiofrequency technique consist of?

The treatment of varicose veins with radiofrequency is a minimally invasive technique, which is performed through a small puncture in the saphenous vein. Through it we introduce a thin catheter with a heat-emitting terminal at its tip, thanks to which the vein is sealed along its entire length and thus eliminate the need for removal of the vein as was done during traditional surgery (striping or saphenectomy). In addition, surgery at the groin level is avoided, since we access this area through this device, always under ultrasound control.

This treatment is performed on an outpatient basis, with local anesthesia, with patients going to the medical center and once the treatment is performed, they return home after two hours. In most cases with an elastic compression stocking and can perform a completely normal life.

Advantages and disadvantages compared to other techniques

Currently we have different techniques for the management of varicose veins. The classic surgery and its evolution with the CHIVA method, a less aggressive form of surgery, have been joined by the so-called thermoablative techniques such as Radiofrequency and Endolaser, as well as treatments with foam. In addition, new techniques are constantly flourishing in search of reducing the aggression that produced the surgery and will demonstrate their effectiveness over time.

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The main advantage of Radiofrequency over other techniques is the good long-term result, being one of the procedures with the lowest rate of appearance of new varicose veins. Especially if we compare it with techniques such as those based on foam.

In addition to this good long-term result, the minimal aggression is added, avoiding having to operate at groin level in addition to the removal of the saphenous vein, which minimizes almost to zero the risks of bleeding, hematomas or infections inherent in any surgical procedure. This minimal aggression translates into minimal or no time off work.

Radiofrequency technique has few drawbacks, although there are a number of patients who, due to the type of varicose veins or the shape of their veins, do not allow technically “navigate” with the catheter inside them, having to resort in these cases to other therapeutic options. That is why it is essential to always be assessed by a Vascular Surgeon who will perform, prior to treatment, a Doppler ultrasound and a thorough study of our circulatory system with an analysis of our varicose veins, as there may be multiple varieties among each person, and will offer us individually the best therapeutic option for our particular case.

What would you advise a patient who has varicose veins and wants to undergo this treatment?

The main thing when we have varicose veins, do not forget that varicose veins are a chronic disease of our circulatory system and not only an aesthetic alteration, is to be evaluated by a specialist in Angiology and Vascular Surgery, a specialty that is responsible for the study of all diseases of our circulatory system.

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This specialist will perform a Doppler Ultrasound, an essential test for the study of our venous system. Through this procedure and a clinical study will indicate what type of varicose veins we have, its degree of development and where the failure occurs in our circulatory system.

We must know that varicose veins are a system of vessels that carry blood back from our feet to the heart. For which these veins are equipped with valves. It is the failure of one of these valves that causes the blood to reverse direction and instead of going to the heart, it returns in a harmful way back to the feet, which causes the veins to dilate giving pain, discomfort and the appearance of varicose veins.

Once these varicose veins have appeared, they will progressively advance, being practically impossible to return the veins to a healthy state if we do not act.

This overloading of the venous system will eventually lead to the complications of Chronic Venous Insufficiency (the technical name for varicose veins), such as leg ulcers, varicose vein bleeding, or thrombosis.

Therefore, the objective of the treatment is not only aesthetic but also to prevent varicose veins from generating such complications in the future, which can become serious or very disabling.

Recommendations before and after radiofrequency

Before undergoing a radiofrequency procedure, patients can lead a completely normal life.

After the procedure, which lasts one hour, an elastic compression stocking or, in some cases, a bandage will be placed on the treated leg. Within two hours of treatment you will return home and can resume your life as normal within a few hours.

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The return to work varies depending on the age of each patient, the type of varicose vein and its volume and the type of work to be performed, although in most cases it can be done 24-72 hours after the treatment.