Both laser and radiofrequency ablation are minimally invasive techniques that rely on heat to seal large varicose veins.
The procedure can be done under local anaesthetic or a general anaesthetic if preferred.
A tiny wire and probe are inserted into the varicose vein using ultrasound guidance. Anaesthetic solution is injected around the vein, and then heat is applied via the probe. This damages the vein wall and seals the vessel. Treatment of smaller veins with sclerotherapy or surgical removal may be done at the same procedure.
Very good long-term results are achieved with these techniques. There is less pain, little to no scars and a faster return to work compared with traditional surgery.
Laser and Radiofrequency procedures are covered by Medicare and health insurance when done in a hospital setting. This can save patients thousands of dollars compared to commercial ‘vein clinics’.