Coverage provided by insurance
The gold standard of varicose vein treatment
Only local anesthesia
No fasting is required
No sutures or scalpels

Endovenous Ablation with Radiofrequency

Whаt іѕ Radiofrequency Ablаtіоn?

Radiofrequency ablation (RFA), also known as VNUS,  is the preferred treatment option at the Princeton Vascular Center.  It is the minimally invasive solution to traditional vein stripping surgery of the past.   The procedure addresses the root cause of spider and varicose veins that are symptomatic.

How is RFA performed?

The procedure is simple and effectively done within an office-based setting.  Using ultrasound guidance and small IV line, a thin catheter is inserted into the target, feeder vein.  Once the catheter is accurately positioned, the surrounding area is given local anesthetic solution (tumescence).   The catheter then is activated to deliver radiofrequency (RF) energy to the vein wall for heating and collapse of the diseased vein.

Once the diseased vein is closed, blood is redirected to healthy veins similar to other techniques. The entire procedure takes no more than 30 minutes and patients can return to their usual activities right after.  Most important to our patients is that you can eat and drink as normal up to the minute of the procedure. No fasting is required.


EVLT and Radiofrequency Ablation have replaced surgical stripping as the standards of treatment for varicose veins

Pros and Cons

Here are some of the key pros of RFA and possible alternative treatments


  • Highly effective for long term cure
  • Minimally-invasive and GOLD STANDARD of symptomatic venous disease
  • Non-surgical technique with no scars
  • Resume daily activities immediately


  • Best avoided in areas close to the nerves or skin
  • Cannot be used within tortuous varicose veins.  
  • Needs to be combined with either sclerotherapy or micro-phlebectomy for optimal cosmetic and symptomatic relief

Frequently Asked Questions

What does RFA do to the faulty vein?

Ablation treats the vein from within by heating thе vein wаll and collapsing the targeted, unhealthy segments. Circulation is then redirected to numerous other healthy veins within legs to relieve symptoms and prevent further complications.

I am concerned about feeling pain with the procedure

Ablation does not require any sedatives or general anesthesia. Your doctor should feel comfortable doing the procedure under local anesthesia. If your skin is very sensitive, ask the doctor for any preparations that can be used to make the process even smoother.

What is similar between RFA and EVLA?

Both are endovenous techniques that have become the standard of care for vein treatment. Both are highly effective with proven long term success and low risk of recurrences.

Are EVLA and RF ablation the same thing?

The preferred technique at the Princeton Vascular Center has been radio frequency ablation (RFA). However this is mostly due to physician preferences and comfort level.

How much time does it take to see the results after RF Ablation

Within one week patients can begin to notice a considerable difference in the way their legs feel. In particular, the heaviness, restless legs and cramps may completely disappear.

What is the risk of recurrence of varicose veins after endovenous ablation treatment?

Varicose veins are the result of a progressive disease, and while we can treat what is occuring now, it is up to the individual patient, their genetics, and their lifestyle that will determine whether other spider veins and varicose veins will develop over time.

How does laser/RF treatment compare with traditional “vein stripping?”

Many patients recall “vein stripping” as being a difficult procedure to endure in which the entire saphenous vein would be removed through large skin incisions. Fortunately, “vein stripping” is in the past and new technologies have made the procedure now minimally-invasive. With the current endovenous techniques, there is no need for skin incisions or anesthesia to treat varicose veins.

Am I a саndіdаtе fоr RFA trеаtmеnt?

RFA is a minimally invasive technique that is suited for almost all patients.   Your vein specialist will take a careful history to be certain that any individual circumstances are addressed.

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