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Phlebology. 2009;24 Suppl 1:42-9. doi: 10.1258/phleb.2009.09s005.

Radiofrequency ablation for uncomplicated varicose veins.

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Imperial Vascular Unit, Charing Cross Hospital, London W6 8RF, UK.


In recent years, minimally invasive endovenous treatments have gained popularity in the treatment of superficial venous reflux. The perceived advantages of endovenous therapy include reduced pain, high vein occlusion rates, and early return to work and normal activities. Endovenous radiofrequency ablation (RFA) involves the delivery of thermal energy from a bipolar catheter to the venous segment to be treated. This technique has been available since 1998 and numerous devices and catheters are now produced. Numerous prospective and randomized studies have compared the effectiveness of RFA with traditional and endovenous procedures. In this article, the available evidence for clinical effectiveness, quality of life and cost gains following endovenous RFA is summarized. The scientific principles behind RFA and technical procedural considerations are discussed and standards of care for the delivery of endovenous RFA are proposed.

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