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Varicose veins are enlarged, sometimes twisted veins that most often develop in the leg. They can be hereditary, tending to run in families. They can be worse during or after pregnancy, or if you are overweight. While they can be uncomfortable and unsightly, they don’t usually cause any serious health problems.

Veins carry blood to the heart. Along the length of all veins are valves, which only let the blood flow in one direction. The valves in the legs have to work harder to pump the blood that extra distance and problems occur when these valves become weak and don’t close properly. The blood flows backwards and pools in the veins. This causes the valves to weaken under the pressure and become enlarged and bulging in appearance- what we call varicose veins.

Left untreated varicose veins can result in leg pain and cramping, leg and ankle swelling and unsightly bulging veins.

What happens during radiofrequency ablation for varicose veins?

Radio frequency ablation is a minimally invasive procedure to eliminate your varicose veins. It is usually done under local anaesthetic and takes 45 - 60 minutes. You surgeon will insert a tiny catheter through a small puncture in your lower leg. They will heat the enlarged vein causing it to shrink and close. Don’t worry, once the vein is closed blood will naturally reroute to other healthy veins. The puncture site will be bandaged and compression may be applied.

Going home after radiofrequency ablation

Radiofrequency ablation is usually performed on an outpatient basis meaning you will be able to go home the day of your procedure.

Many patients notice immediate relief but you should allow 1-2 weeks before you see the full benefit. Your surgeon may encourage you to walk frequently and avoid standing or sitting for long periods immediately after your procedure. You can usually return to normal activities the day after your radiofrequency ablation. 

Most patients are very pleased with the results of their radiofrequency ablation for varicose veins. As with any procedure there can be complications:

  • Vein puncture
  • Blood clots
  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Phlebitis (leg inflammation)
  • Hematoma (collection of blood)
  • Infection
  • Burning of the skin

This procedure may not be appropriate for patients with cardiovascular problems. Be sure and discuss radiofrequency ablation with your Consultant Cardiovascular Surgeon before investigating this procedure.

Find your nearest hospital that provides this treatment
Brentwood  

Shenfield Road, Brentwood, CM15 8EH

01277 695695
Overall rating Good
Brighton  

Warren Road, Brighton, BN2 6DX

01273 624488
Overall rating Good
Cambridge  

4 Trumpington Road, Cambridge, CB2 8AF

01223 370 922
Overall rating Outstanding
Cardiff and Vale  

Cardiff Bay Hospital, Dunleavey Drive, Cardiff, CF11 0SN

02920 836700
Chichester  

78 Broyle Road, Chichester, PO19 6WB

01243 530600
Overall rating Good
Derby  

Rykneld Road, Derby, DE23 4SN

01332 540100
Overall rating Good
Exeter  

Wonford Road, Exeter, EX2 4UG

01392 276 591
Overall rating Good
Glasgow  

25 Beaconsfield Road, Glasgow, G12 0PJ

01413349441
Haywards Heath  

Burrell Road, Haywards Heath, RH16 1UD

01444 456999
Overall rating Good
Hereford  

Venns Lane, Hereford, HR1 1DF

01432 355 131
Overall rating Good
Ipswich  

Foxhall Road, Ipswich, IP4 5SW

01473 279100
Overall rating Good
Leeds  

2 Leighton Street, Leeds, LS1 3EB

01133 882 067
Overall rating Outstanding
Newcastle upon Tyne  

Clayton Road, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, NE2 1JP

0191 281 6131
Overall rating Good
North Staffordshire  

Clayton Road, Newcastle-under-Lyme, ST5 4DB

01782 625431
Overall rating Good
Oxford  

Beech Road, Headington, Oxford, OX3 7RP

01865 307777
Overall rating Good
Plymouth  

Derriford Road, Plymouth, PL6 8BG

01752 775861
Overall rating View rating
Shrewsbury  

Longden Road, Shrewsbury, SY3 9DP

01743 282628
Overall rating Good
Tees  

Junction Road, Norton, Stockton on Tees, TS20 1PX

01642 367439
Overall rating Outstanding
Tunbridge Wells  

Kingswood Road, Tunbridge Wells, TN2 4UL

01892 531111
Overall rating Good
Warwickshire  

The Chase, Old Milverton Lane, Leamington Spa, CV32 6RW

01926 427971
Overall rating Good
Wessex  

Winchester Road, Chandlers Ford, Eastleigh, SO53 2DW

02380 266 377
Overall rating Good
Woking  

Shores Road, Woking, GU21 4BY

Switchboard 01483 227800
Overall rating Good
Wolverhampton  

Wood Road, Tettenhall, Wolverhampton, WV6 8LE

01902 793 269
Overall rating Good

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