Have you noticed the appearance of enlarged, twisted veins that are dark in color? This condition, called varicose veins, varicoses are extremely common. Fortunately, it is treatable! At Commonwealth Vein Center in Colonial Heights, VA, we offer radiofrequency ablation treatment to patients who want to improve their circulation and say goodbye to varicose veins.
RFA is a highly effective treatment that can give you greater comfort and improve the health of your veins. It uses ultrasound to detect problem veins that are deep under the surface of the skin, and it uses radiofrequency to treat them. These two technologies make the process fast, comfortable, and effective.
So, what is this treatment and how does it work?
What Happens During Radiofrequency Ablation Treatment (RFA)?
Does the name make this treatment sound high-tech and complicated? The truth is that it is actually straightforward, quick, and effective. Basically, RFA uses energy waves to help your body eliminate damaged veins, redirecting blood flow to healthy ones. It is one of the most beneficial, minimally invasive treatments for varicose veins.
A Quick Overview
During RFA, your doctor will gently insert a small tube into the vein you want to treat. The tube is covered with a catheter. Once inserted, radiofrequency is used to heat up the vein, allowing your body to collapse it.
Length of RFA and Recovery Period
The whole process of RFA usually takes less than an hour. You will be able to resume most of your normal activities immediately. Within a few days, you will notice an improvement in the appearance of the vein. Most patients enjoy full results in just a few weeks.
Now, let’s get into some of the details.
The Problem: Varicose Veins
Why do some veins become visible in the first place? Are they a health concern? Are they something you just have to live with? Here is everything you need to know:
More Common Than You Might Think
Did you know that over 25% of all adults have some visible veins, usually around their legs or ankles. In America, as many as 40 million people are suffering from poor vein health. While more common in women than men, anyone can develop this condition.
What It Looks and Feels Like
Varicose veins are dark and twisted in appearance. Some people call them spider veins and describe them as being rope-like. They have a bluish-purple color, and some are raised above the surface of the skin. This can cause your legs to have an uneven texture and appearance.
You might not feel your varicose veins, or you could experience some discomfort. Aching, itching, and even swelling are associated with the condition. Eventually, it can even lead to skin rashes and sores.
What Happens When Your Blood Flow Is Interrupted
In healthy veins, blood is channeled from one part of the body to the next, getting oxygenated along the way. This oxygen allows your skin to have a healthy color and your veins to remain invisible.
Varicose veins appear when a vein that was once healthy stops working properly. This means that blood that would normally flow to other parts of the body gets trapped and pools inside.
Understanding Vein Anatomy
In what way do the veins become damaged? To understand this, you should know how a vein works. Inside every vein, there is a little door that can only open in one direction. The door is responsible for your circulation. When that door becomes damaged, it is no longer able to channel blood out of the vein.
While the human body is amazingly good at healing itself, the little doors in the veins are not something that it can repair on its own. Rather than going away with time, varicose veins will stick around and possibly worsen until they are treated.
What causes so many people to experience varicose veins? Usually, force and pressure on the veins are what cause the little doors to break. There are a number of factors that can lead to this including:
- Age (especially if you are over 50)
- Body weight
- Long periods of standing
To Treat or Not to Treat?
While not life-threatening, varicose veins are uncomfortable and can worsen over time. The good news is that they are not something you have to just walk around with. Radiofrequency ablation is a gentle treatment that we recommend to anyone who wants to improve this condition. Following RFA, patients usually feel more comfortable, have greater confidence about their appearance, and enjoy better circulation.
There are several treatments available for varicose veins. Some use lasers; others involve surgery. RFA uses radiofrequency because it offers a gentle way to heat up broken veins from the inside, making them easy for your body to clear out and eliminate. It is one of the least invasive options, and also one of the most effective.
Since the radiofrequency technology is gentle, there is no need for hospitalization. You can go home just a few hours after you get treated.
The Benefits of RFA
RFA is a highly effective treatment that can benefit your health and make you feel more comfortable. Here are some of the benefits:
Because of their dark color, varicose veins are highly visible. Unfortunately, not everyone wants to show them off. If you don’t like the way they look on your legs or on other parts of your body, RFA can help significantly reduce their appearance.
Freedom to Wear What You Want
On that note, many people feel restricted in what they wear because of their veins. Have you opted out of putting on shorts or a skirt because of your veins? After RFA, that won’t be a concern anymore.
Even more importantly, RFA has benefits for your health. When a varicose vein becomes visible, it is because pooled blood is trapped inside. When your body cannot circulate that blood, it does not get exposed to oxygen. That is the reason behind the dark color.
Your body has no way of resolving this problem on its own. However, the radiofrequency technology used in RFA releases trapped blood from problem veins, allowing your body to circulate it in a healthy way.
Greater Comfort Throughout Your Day
After your healthy circulation is restored, many of the unpleasant effects of having varicose veins will improve. You will experience less swelling, aching and itching. If your broken veins caused any raised skin, that will get better too.
The Ability to Target the Tough Veins
RFA is a highly advanced option for the treatment of varicose veins. With the help of ultrasound technology used for imaging prior to the ablation, it can address veins that are deep under the surface of your skin. Where older treatments fell short, RFA is effective.
RFA: A Straightforward Solution to Varicose Veins
Not only is RFA beneficial, but it is also quick and convenient. While the process might sound complicated, it is actually very simple. There is minimal preparation, virtually no recovery period, and only a short amount of time in the office.
To get ready for this treatment, you should check with your doctor for a list of things to do. Most patients are instructed to stop eating 6 hours in advance. If you need to take medicine, you can do so with a small sip of water. Your doctor might advise you to stop taking certain medications before coming in. Some patients are also instructed to shower with antibacterial soap.
When planning the day of your treatment, you should choose loose, comfortable clothes. It is better not to wear jewelry during RFA. You should also arrange for someone to drive you home.
Speedy Treatment Time
The actual treatment time for RFA is typically less than one hour!
While treatments and procedures for varicose veins used to take a long time and involved a lengthy recovery, RFA is an advanced alternative! With our new, highly developed technology, you will be out of the office within hours and fully healed soon after.
Are you worried that getting RFA might interrupt your weekly schedule? You should know that most patients are able to resume their normal activities almost immediately after they are treated. The only exception is physical activity, which should be light for a few days following RFA. Your doctor will give you more specifics on how you should adjust your workout routine.
After your treatment, we will give you some compression stockings. Wearing them will help your veins recover and maximize the effectiveness of the treatment. It is also helpful to do some light walking.
You will begin to see and feel the results of RFA just a few days after your treatment. The targeted veins will continue to improve over the next weeks until the full benefits are achieved. Wearing your compression stockings and following the other aftercare instructions will help you get the most out of your treatment and speed up this process even more.
RFA is known as being one of the most comfortable treatments for varicose veins. Your doctor will desensitize the area being targeted, and a numbing agent might be inserted into the veins themselves. For most patients, there is no need to worry about discomfort interfering with daily activities during recovery.
Schedule a Consultation
Are you wondering if RFA is right for you? Schedule a consultation with Commonwealth Vein Center, and we will work to address your specific needs. We will assess your condition and help you understand all the treatment options. You can contact our Colonial Heights office at 804-376-8383, or our Richmond office at 804-376-8383.
During your consultation, feel free to ask anything you might be wondering. We will take a look at your veins and let you know how our treatments can improve them. Every body is different, so we will make a treatment plan that specifically addresses your needs.
Choose Radiofrequency Ablation for Healthy Veins
If you have been thinking about getting your varicose veins treated, now is a great time to do so. Radiofrequency ablation offers a solution that uses advanced technology to deliver powerful results quickly, conveniently, and comfortably. It can target tough veins that were once inaccessible, and it will have you on your feet again in just a few hours.
Our patients love the improvements they see after their treatment. You don’t need to live with veins that are causing you to feel uncomfortable. Contact Commonwealth Vein Center in Colonial Heights, VA today to learn more about this treatment!