Treating Varicose Veins with Radiofrequency Ablation

Chronic venous disease is an incredibly common condition that may affect up to 40% of the US population according to the Society for Vascular Surgery. The physicians at Vascular & Vein Institute of Siouxland specialize in treating chronic venous disease and varicose veins, a common symptom of the condition.

This condition occurs when weak or damaged valves in the veins of your legs are unable to efficiently pump the blood to the rest of your body. These valves allow the blood to flow backward and pool in the veins, increasing the pressure on the walls of the veins. This valve dysfunction can be hereditary or due to prior damage.

The following factors put you more at risk of developing this condition:

  • Women
  • Older adults
  • Multiple pregnancies
  • Family history

According to the Office on Women’s Health, “In one small study, more than half of women with varicose veins had a parent with varicose veins too.”


The majority of patients with chronic venous disease experience mild symptoms. The most common symptoms of this condition include:

  • Varicose veins
  • Swelling
  • Aching pain or heaviness in one or both legs

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Radiofrequency ablation is one of the treatment methods the physicians at Vascular & Vein Institute of Siouxland use to treat varicose veins. It is a minimally invasive procedure that allows patients to return to their normal activity level immediately following the procedure.

While treating varicose veins with radiofrequency ablation, your physician will insert a catheter into the diseased vein. Using image guidance, your physician will position the catheter before releasing a local anesthesia to collapse the vein around the catheter. Then, using a fiber or electrode tip, they will heat the vein which causes it to seal. Since symptoms are caused by the diseased vein, they begin to improve as soon as the vein is sealed.