Radio frequency ablation is a treatment for chronic venous insufficiency or varicose veins—veins in the limbs (especially the legs) that have become weakened and enlarged, allowing blood to pool. This pooling can potentially lead to blood clots. Ablation uses radio frequency waves (microwaves) to heat and shrink these damaged veins, reducing or eliminating blood flow through them.
It is performed by inserting a thin tube called a catheter into the affected veins, guided by ultrasound. The catheter delivers a targeted dose of heat and is then removed, allowing the vein to close. A compression bandage is placed around the affected area for about 48 hours to support proper circulation and reduce swelling while the area heals.