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Pre-op Patient Information: Radiofrequency Ablation

If you are planning an appointment at the Vein Healthcare Center for Radiofrequency Ablation Therapy (RFA), it is important to be informed about pre-operative guidelines. Being fully prepared for your appointment and following recommendations for care before your appointment will help ensure successful, comfortable treatment.

Exceptional patient care is our first priority. If you have any questions about treatment or about your upcoming appointment, please call the Vein Healthcare Center at 207-221-7799. We are available to answer questions and address any concerns you may have.

Understanding Your RFA Visit
RFA is an outpatient procedure that involves using radiofrequency energy to stop the flow of blood into a vein that has failed. As a result of this procedure, the vein will close and eventually disappear, allowing blood to divert to healthy veins in the leg. An appointment for RFA therapy takes approximately one hour, though it may require more or less time. A local anesthetic is used, and for most patients, the radiofrequency causes no pain. You are encouraged to tell your doctor if any pain occurs so more local anesthesia can be administered.

Preparing for RFA
Please read all instructions in preparation for your appointment:

  • Purchase your stockings and immediately wear them for at least 3-4 days to be sure they are a proper fit. Your insurance carrier may dictate that you try these stockings for some time prior to the procedure. Please bring them with you the day of the procedure. They will be used immediately following treatment and during the following 2 weeks.
  • Refrain from shaving your legs the morning of the procedure. This will reduce the risk of razor burn irritation from the sterilizing wash.
  • Take all regular medications the day of the procedure.
  • Fasting is not required; eat a normal breakfast or lunch.
  • You may bring an iPod or headset if you'd like to listen to music during the procedure.
  • Prepare to bring or wear high-cut underwear that you are willing to have stained by iodine solution. You will likely want a second pair to change into after the procedure is over.
  • Inform the Vein Healthcare Center of any seafood or iodine allergies.
  • You will be scheduled for a post- op appointment within 1 week of your procedure; this is a very important appointment.

The RFA Procedure
Once you arrive for your appointment at the Vein Healthcare Center, you will change into exam shorts and photos of your legs will be taken. Photos are used only for your personal medical chart. Your leg will be rechecked using Ultrasound. Your vital signs will be checked, and you'll be asked to relax on the table. There are pillows and blankets available for your comfort, and if you brought a listening device, you can begin listening to music.

Your leg will be cleansed with an iodine solution. Please make us aware of any iodine or seafood allergies. An IV will be placed in the problematic vein. You will feel a small pinch of local anesthetic during this part of the procedure.

Under Ultrasound guidance, a radiofrequency catheter will be threaded up to the highest point of venous insufficiency. There should be little or no discomfort. The area to be treated will then be locally anesthetized. The radiofrequency generator will then be turned on, and the ablation of the vein will begin. This process should take approximately 40 minutes.

Please follow Post-op Patient Information: RFA guidelines following your appointment. If you have any questions or concerns about your RFA appointment, call our office at 207-221-7799 or email us at info@veinhealthcare.com.

Your care and comfort are our priority!