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Saturday, May 22, 2010

RF Ablation - Vein Stripping

image taken from public domain

It was 2-3 years ago when I came across a new innovative procedure in stripping varicose veins. It must have been in the market for quite sometimes but it was the first time I've actually saw and assisted one.

I've scrubbed and assisted many traditional vein stripping in my career, which expands 2 decades and counting. It is messy as you are stripping a Greater Saphenous vein, the large (subcutaneous) superficial vein of the leg and thigh. It takes about three quarter's of an hour a leg, depending on how many small veins to ablate and how skillful the surgeon is. Patient needs to be put to sleep during the procedure and it may take few days until the patient gets back to activity of daily living.

Now, come the RF( Radio Frequency) Ablation. WOW !! I cannot contain my excitement to be the first to scrub in such procedure in my workplace. It is done under local anesthetic to begin with - patient is fully awake for the entire operation.NO SEDATION NEEDED. It only requires a catheter inserted into the vein and by used of thermal energy shrink it. This procedure is guided by an ultrasound all the way from start to finish. The patient can move to varied position on the course of the procedure and can even walk straight to recovery room. They can resume activity of daily living in short time. How fantastic is that!

My husband went to have his vein stripped a year after my experienced with RF ABLATION. He was under the care of the same surgeon but unfortunately the hospital he was in does not provide the said treatment. Most of new innovation always carries a certain tag with it being the newest in the market, the price doesn't come cheap. But, nevertheless, i think its the way to go if you want your varicose veins removed.


this article does not intend to diagnose. it is to share useful information of author's experiences as an operating room nurse/perioperative nurse.

6 comments:

  1. This sounds to me an absolutely painful experience, Eng. But I'm glad to know more about it.

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  2. Wow! This is something new. I've heard about the RF ablation but for Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome during my stay in the Philippine Heart Center. I've actually took care of a pediatric patient with Ebstien's anomaly post RF ablation.

    This is great considering that no sedation is needed but on contrary, it sounds painful.

    Thanks for sharing Ms. Eng.

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  3. I always get some good information from here.

    Thanks.

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  4. eng, i found it interesting to read about this milestone in medicine. i, myself, have a few varicose veins, but none so huge that i am in dire need of having them surgically stripped. i'm sure the introduction of RF Ablation was warmly welcomed though by the throng of patients with problematic varicose veins. any procedure that dramatically cuts recovery time and guarantees that a patient can safely and comfortably return to work and other ADL at the soonest time possible is always good news. and, eng, you are so lucky to have assisted when this procedure was first introduced at your workplace. thanks for sharing the details with us! this is something for me to keep in mind in case my varicose veins swell up in a few years and i need to have them stripped:)

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  5. Any time they can make surgery less intrusive, I am all for it. Thanks for the info.

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  6. Hi very great sound and all is very affected able.

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