Endovenous Radio-frequency Ablation

ClosureFast in action


Pasted GraphicVein Remedies is one of the few centres in Australia to offer a choice of EVLA or Endovenous radio-frequency ablation using the Covidien Radiofrequency Generator. Like EVLA is a minimally invasive procedure performed to seal varicose veins, in this case with heat generated from radiofrequency energy. After the varicose veins are sealed, blood starts flowing immediately through healthy veins.


Endovenous radio-frequency ablation is most commonly used to relieve symptoms of varicose veins. Symptoms include swelling, inflamed veins, discolouration, pain, skin irritation or ulceration. It is an alternative to EVLA or surgical stripping.


During the procedure, a catheter insertion site is numbed with local anaesthetic. Then, under the guidance of ultrasound, a access cannula is inserted through a small incision in the skin and is positioned into the abnormal vein. A single use radiofrequency catheter is then moved through the catheter exposing the tip of the electrode at the site to be treated. After injecting the area of abnormal vein with local anaesthetic, radiofrequency energy is applied at the site to seal the vein. The incised access opening is covered with a bandage.

Post-procedural Care

Following the procedure, you will wear compression stockings to reduce bruising and tenderness and to keep the veins compressed to prevent refilling with blood that your body must then break down as the vessel is resorbed by the body. You can resume normal activities immediately. Avoid air travel and sitting for long periods during the healing phase. Ultrasound examination may be recommended during follow-ups for monitoring the treated veins and its results.

Risks & Complications

Similar to EVLA, risks and complications include:

  • Unwanted blood vessel damage
  • Infection, bleeding and bruising at the site of incision
  • Inflamed veins (thrombophlebitis)
  • Rarely, nerve damage or DVT


Advantages of endovenous radio-frequency ablation include:

  • Minimally invasive procedure
  • No visible scars
  • Immediate relief from symptoms
  • Fast recovery
  • The least post operative discomfort for any procedure targeting major venous reflux
  • Requires no hospital admission
  • HIGH success rate measured at five years

It is difficult to treat twisted veins with endovenous techniques. The procedure is useful in treating large varicose veins. Additional procedures such as phlebectomy or sclerotherapy may be used to treat small branched veins after ablation.

* Unfortunately, unlike EVLA – RF treatment does not at this time attract a Medicare Benefit in Australia.