When the valves inside the veins carrying blood to the heart no longer function properly, it can cause a condition doctors call venous insufficiency. Occurring most often in the legs, venous insufficiency causes blood to pool, making the veins expand, lose form, and protrude from under the skin. The condition often develops into varicose veins.
Previously, the treatment options for chronic venous insufficiency were vein stripping or vein ligation with a recovery period of up to four weeks. The ClosureFast procedure offers varicose vein treatment with minimal discomfort and scarring and a rapid recovery.
What Is RF ClosureFAST?
The RF ClosureFast procedure uses radiofrequency energy to treat varicose veins and other chronic venous insufficiencies. It is an outpatient procedure that is safer for patients since it does not require major surgery nor a general anesthetic, as do some other varicose vein treatments.
The treatment consists of inserting a thin tube into the varicose vein with the aid of ultrasound guidance. A catheter is then inserted into the tube and positioned within the area of the vein needing treatment.
Next, an anesthetic is delivered to the area surrounding the targeted vein segment, which provides a protective cushion for the surrounding tissue and improves contact between the vein wall and the catheter during treatment.
The ClosureFast catheter is then energized, and an intense burst of heat destroys a short segment of the varicose vein. The procedure is repeated until the entire varicose vein is closed. The heat precisely and effectively destroys the interior wall of the vein by shrinking and collapsing the treated vein. The heat treatment creates a seal that closes off the vein. The blood that previously flowed through the treated vein is redirected to surrounding healthy veins. The body slowly absorbs the treated vein.
A head-to-head post-procedure study found that patients treated with the ClosureFast procedure experienced less pain, less bruising, and a faster recovery period than patients receiving laser ablation treatment.
The ClosureFast procedure is covered by most health insurance plans in the United States and used in over 100 countries worldwide.
What is Radiofrequency Ablation?
Radiofrequency is a type of electrical energy that has been used in various medical procedures for decades. The electrical energy creates heat at a particular temperature in a specific location to cause unwanted tissue to die.
During the procedure, a probe is placed directly into the target tissue. The radiofrequency causes the probe to heat and kill the target tissue within a few seconds. The heat is very concentrated to limit the area affected by the heat.
The radiofrequency energy operates at 120 degrees Celsius (248 degrees Fahrenheit). In comparison, some laser medical treatments operate at more than 700 degrees Celsius (1,292 degrees Fahrenheit). Laser ablation can lead to both bruising and post-procedure pain. Studies have found that laser treatments for venous insufficiency have the potential to cause complications.
Some Frequently Asked Questions about the ClosureFast Procedure
Some questions patients ask about the RF ClosureFast Procedure include:
Is the Procedure Suitable for Everyone?
Many patients with varicose veins and chronic venous insufficiency can be treated with the ClosureFast procedure. Novus Spine & Pain Center’s vein clinic works with each patient individually to determine the best treatment option.
How Long Does the Procedure Take?
Most patients can expect to typically spend two to three hours at the doctor’s office to allow time for standard pre- and post-treatment procedures. The actual RF ClosureFast procedure typically takes about an hour.
How is ClosureFast Different from Vein Ligation and Stripping?
In vein ligation, the vein is tied off through a small incision in the skin. The procedure alleviates the pressure from the backflow of blood. Vein stripping is the removal of the vein and is often done in conjunction with vein ligation.
With vein stripping, the physician makes an incision in the groin and ties off the vein. A tool is then threaded into the vein to pull it out through a second incision above the calf. The procedure is typically performed in an operating room under general anesthesia.
The ClosureFast procedure, in comparison, is a minimally invasive procedure with a catheter inserted through a small incision below the knee. The procedure is performed in an outpatient setting, generally with only local or regional anesthesia.
How is ClosureFast Different from Laser Ablation?
Laser ablation uses laser heat to contract and seal the vein. Unlike the ClosureFast procedure, peak laser temperatures can reach over 700 degrees Celsius (almost 1300 degrees Fahrenheit). The treatment can potentially lead to more bruising and post-procedure pain for patients.
The ClosureFast procedure utilizes radiofrequency energy in 20-second bursts at 120 degrees Celsius (248 degrees Fahrenheit). It delivers controlled heat to collapse and seal the vein.
How Quickly Can I Return to Normal Activities?
Most patients will experience a quick return to normal activities, typically within a few days with few restrictions. Each patient is different. Some are given a regular walking regimen following the procedure. While some may have only a few restrictions, others may need to follow specific restrictions.
How Soon Will Symptoms Improve After the Procedure?
Most patients say there is a noticeable improvement in their symptoms one to two weeks following the procedure.
Will There Be Any Tenderness or Pain Following the Procedure?
Many patients report minimal to no scarring, bruising, or swelling following the procedure. However, it is possible to experience pain, bruising, or tenderness following treatment.
Are There Risks with the ClosureFast Procedure?
As with any medical procedure, there are potential risks and complications with the ClosureFast procedure. The vein clinic at Novus Spine & Pain Center consults with each patient to determine individual risks and review any possible complications associated with the procedure.
What Are the Benefits of the ClosureFast Procedure?
Most patients report a noticeable improvement within 1-2 weeks after the ClosureFast procedure. Studies find that the ClosureFast procedure patients have lower rates of pain, bruising, and complications. Patients also generally experience a faster improvement in quality of life in comparison to laser ablation. One study of over 200 patients found the number of ClosureFast procedure patients who reported being free of pain increased from 41.1% before treatment to 98% following treatment.
Novus Spine & Pain Center
Dr. Torres established Novus Spine & Pain Center in Lakeland, Florida, with the goal of providing the highest quality pain management care to every patient. Whether pain is the result of an injury or from another condition, Dr. Torres offers many different treatment options.
Novus Spine & Pain Center utilizes a comprehensive approach and cutting-edge therapies to restore normal function and allow patients to regain an active lifestyle while minimizing the need for opiates. As our patient, you are our top priority. Our goal is to help you achieve the best possible quality of life.
Our Mission Statement:To provide the best quality of life to people suffering from pain by providing state-of-the-art treatments, knowledge and skill, compassion, and respect for all.