Are There Risks and Complications with Radiofrequency Occlusion?

Varicose veins may be troubling for those suffering from this venous condition in the Albuquerque, New Mexico area as well as in other parts of the country. Not only do many consider these bulging, purplish or bluish veins embarrassing, but many may also experience pain and heaviness in the legs as a result. This, consequently, leads many to seek relief from this condition in a safe, effective manner. There are several minimally-invasive treatment options available, one of which is called radiofrequency occlusion.

As with just about any medical procedure, there are certain risks involved of which patients should be aware before receiving treatment. Radiofrequency occlusion involves a small tube or catheter being threaded along the length of the vein using ultrasound guidance. Local anesthetic is injected along the way for patient comfort. With the leg canalized, sound waves are then applied which heat and collapse the vein from the top, down. The vein, now collapsed and unable to carry blood, eventually results in a thin scar tissue which is later absorbed by the body.

Because of the method of occlusion used with this procedure, one unique complication associated with this procedure is skin burn. When patients receive treatment from an experienced professional, these complications are rare. The chance of bleeding, infection or blood clots is present with this procedure as with others, but immediate and long-term results may be improved because of the lack of incisions and trauma caused by the procedure when compared to traditional vein stripping and surgical procedures. It is important that patients discuss the risks and complications associated with radiofrequency occlusion with an Albuquerque vein specialist before undergoing treatment.

The recovery following radiofrequency occlusion involves the use of a compression bandage for about two days after the treatment. Once this bandage is removed, compression stockings are worn for about two to three weeks to continue to aid in the healing process. Patients may be allowed to walk shortly after the recovery period that takes place at the physician's office. Patients may be allowed to return to work or other normal activities after a few days, but should avoid heavy lifting and should wear their compression stockings. As always, patients should follow any recovery instructions given to them by their doctor.

Insurance companies may cover the cost of this treatment as long as the patient first tries more conservative means of treatment for varicose veins. This may include exercise, weight loss and wearing compression stockings. Patients should be aware, however, that these treatments will not get rid of varicose veins, but may reduce their symptoms. The only way to get rid of these veins is by removing or destroying them. What's more, radiofrequency occlusion is not used to treat all types of varicose veins, and patients may require additional types of treatment to reach optimal results. This is another item that should be discussed thoroughly with a specialist in the Albuquerque area.

Learn more about radiofrequency occlusion in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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