08 Apr Answers for Ablation: What Is It & Why Should I Consider It?
Venous disease management has made many strides in recent decades. Doctors and researchers have worked tirelessly to find the safest and most efficient methods for alleviating patients’ pain and discomfort, as well as treating the underlying causes that ultimately lead to such symptoms.
Ablation, in specific, is one modern treatment that has paved the way to permanent relief. With a high patient satisfaction rate and an increasing number of physicians that recommend the procedure, it continues to be a widely preferred method for venous treatment.
But what, exactly, is the difference between laser ablation and radiofrequency ablation? And what benefits might a patient find with ablation processes?
How Does Ablation Works?
Ablation is the process by which diseased veins are cauterized from the inside via catheter insertion. When the catheter is pressed against the vein, energy is conducted to the wall of the vein, prompting the closure.
Once closed, the blood is rerouted to nearby veins that are still healthy and functioning optimally. The cauterized vein(s), on the other hand, will simply be reabsorbed into the body.
Both radiofrequency ablation and laser ablation achieve such results, albeit the energy they use to complete the process differs. Additionally, both ablation options require less pain and downtime in comparison to surgical vein-stripping.
What Is The Difference Between Laser & Radiofrequency Ablation?
Radiofrequency ablation, also referred to as RF ablation, targets collagen within the vein walls using short bursts of radiofrequency energy. Minimally-invasive in nature, this treatment only requires a small incision in which to insert the required catheter.
Laser ablation, on the other hand, is also known as endovenous laser therapy or EVLT ablation. As implied by the name, a small laser fiber is inserted to ablate the veins while doing minimal damage to surrounding tissue. As with RF ablation, only a small incision for insertion is required to complete this procedure.
Both procedures involve the use of ultrasound guidance for the physician to monitor the progress of the catheter, as well as guide it along the mapped veins.
How Do I Know Which Is Best For Me?
As both procedures function similarly and achieve the same results, it is best to consult your physician to determine which treatment is best suited to your body’s unique needs.
In any case, patients will find that ablation involves the following benefits:
- Non-surgical and minimally-invasive processes
- Fewer complications than other surgical options
- Minimal (if any) scarring
- Long-lasting results
- Little to no downtime with relatively immediate symptom relief
If you’re ready to free yourself of the pain, swelling, itching, and other symptoms that manifest as a result of venous diseases, it’s time to contact Duval Vascular Center. Our team is ready to schedule your FREE vein screening, answer all of your questions, and help you determine the best course of action! Call us today at (904) 518-1398 to schedule your appointment.