How to Prepare for Radiofrequency Ablation Therapy

Blog Post
By BASS Vein Center
How to Prepare for Radiofrequency Ablation Therapy
July 21, 2021

Are you scheduled for or looking to get Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA) for varicose veins? This can be a great form of treatment for those who have issues with varicose veins, especially if they cause a lot of pain. Before you head to your treatment, there are some ways to prepare that can help your treatment be as smooth as possible. We have created a guide to help you best prepare for your ablation procedure.

Informing Your Healthcare Provider

Before ablative procedures, there are several things that you should inform your provider of, including whether you:

● Smoke

● Drink alcohol regularly

● Are pregnant, think you may be pregnant, or are breastfeeding

● Have allergies to any types of medications

In addition, you should inform your care provider of any medications that you are currently taking, such as:

● Any prescription medications

● Blood thinners or anticoagulants

● Street drugs

● Supplements or vitamins

● Over-the-counter medications

Your doctor must have all of this information in case they need to provide additional recommendations. You may not qualify for the treatment if you have certain conditions or you may need to stop taking some medications before the treatment. Remember, providing more information to your doctor is always better than less.

How the Day of Treatment Will Go

The entire treatment will take around 1 to 3 hours, which includes the treatment and recovery time. You will be able to head home the same day after finishing your treatment. When you arrive, you will lie down on a hospital bed. Your leg will be numbed and then the provider will make a small puncture in the vein to be treated. They will then insert a catheter with the radiofrequency source and use ultrasound to guide the catheter up the vein. Once the catheter reaches the optimal location, the provider will draw it slowly backward while sending out the RF heat. As the catheter is pulled backward, it will close off the vein behind it. The catheter will then be removed and the incision site will be bandaged up.

Home Recovery

After getting RFA, there are some important steps to follow for home recovery. First and foremost, be sure to follow all of your care provider’s recommendations to a T. Part of your home recovery will include taking it easy and not engaging in strenuous exercising or standing too long. You will also need to take any medications as prescribed and make sure that your incision site is properly cared for. You should continue to walk a few times a day, as this helps with recovery.

Watching for Signs of Risk or Complications

The potential for risk or complications from radiofrequency ablation is quite low, but you still need to be on the lookout. Be sure to contact your care providers if you experience any of the below:

● Trouble breathing

● Chest pain

● Severe numbness, tingling, pain, or swelling in the leg that was treated

● Fever of 100.4°F or higher

Complications from RF can include:

● Infection

● Blood clots

● Bleeding

● Nerve damage

● Burning or irritated skin

Once again, just make sure to keep your care provider aware of any warning signs that you may be experiencing.

Looking to Get Radiofrequency Ablation Treatment?

If you are dealing with difficult varicose veins, contact us here at BASS Vein Center. We are experts when it comes to varicose veins and offer several forms of treatment to help. Give us a call today at (925) 281-5912 so that we can help treat your varicose veins, whether they are only a cosmetic issue or are painful as well.

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