FAQs

  1. Am I a candidate for treatment?
  2. What is RF Endovenous Therapy?
  3. What is MOCA Ablation Therapy?
  4. What is Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI)?
  5. How do you treat varicose veins and CVI?
  6. How are the RF or ClariVein Ablation procedures different from vein stripping?
  7. How is the RF Ablation procedure different from the laser ablation treatment?
  8. How long does the RF or ClariVein Ablation procedure take?
  9. Are the RF or ClariVein Ablation procedures painful?
  10. Do they require anesthesia?
  11. How quickly after treatment can I return to normal activities?
  12. How soon after treatment will my symptoms improve?
  13. Is there any scarring, bruising or swelling after these procedures?
  14. What potential risks and complications are associated with RF or ClariVein Ablation procedure?
  15. Is the RF or ClariVein Ablation procedure suitable for everyone?
  16. How effective is the RF Ablation procedure?
  17. How effective is the ClariVein Procedure?
  18. What happens to the treated vein left behind in the leg?
  19. Is the RF Ablation procedure covered by my insurance?
  20. Is the ClariVein Ablation procedure covered by my insurance?

Am I a candidate for treatment?

a) Have you ever been diagnosed with varicose veins, venous reflux or venous insufficiency?

b) Do you have any of the following symptoms?

  • Varicose Veins
  • Restless Legs
  • Heaviness and Fatigue
  • Leg or Ankle Swelling
  • Pain, Aching, or Cramping
  • Burning or Itching of the Skin
  • Skin Changes
  • Ulcers

c) Has anyone in your family been diagnosed with vein disease?

d) Do your legs feel achy after prolonged periods of sitting or standing?

If you answered YES to any of these questions, you may be a candidate for the Closure procedure. To schedule a formal venous evaluation, please contact our office. There is a treatment option for you.

What is  RF Endovenous Therapy?

The RF Endovenous Therapy procedure is a minimally invasive treatment that uses radiofrequency (RF) energy to effectively treat patients suffering from varicose veins or Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI). A vein specialist inserts a catheter into a diseased vein to provide consistent and uniform heat to contract the collagen in the vein walls, causing them to collapse and close. After the vein is sealed shut, blood is then naturally redirected to healthy veins.

The 2009 RECOVERY Study confirms that patients experience less bruising and pain, and fewer complications with the Covidien ClosureFast™Endovenous Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA) Catheter in comparison to 980 nm laser ablation.1,2

The Venefit procedure also results in little to no scarring and it is performed using local anesthesia in our office .

What is MOCA Ablation Therapy?

MOCA (Mechanochemical Ablation) uses mechanical agitation of the lining of the vein together with a sclerosing chemical  and the ClariVein catheter to glue the vessel closed. In this new technique there is no need for the use of tumescent anesthetic.

What is Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI)?

CVI is a progressive medical condition in which the valves that carry blood from the legs to the heart no longer function, causing blood to pool in the legs and veins to swell. This incorrect blood flow (or reflux) causes veins to expand, lose form and protrude from beneath the skin. Common symptoms include pain, leg swelling, leg heaviness and fatigue as well as skin changes and ulcers in more severe cases.

Varicose veins are often thick, bulging veins that can protrude well beyond the skin’s surface. Often misunderstood as a cosmetic issue, varicose veins can progress to CVI, which is a more serious condition.

How do you treat varicose veins and CVI?

Since the valves in the legs cannot be repaired, the only alternative is to re-route blood flow from the diseased veins to healthy veins. Traditionally, this has been done by surgically removing (stripping) the troublesome vein from your leg. The RF or ClariVein Ablation procedures, however, provide a less invasive alternative to vein stripping by simply closing the diseased vein. Once the diseased vein is closed, it becomes scar tissue and is eventually absorbed by the body.

How are the RF or ClariVein Ablation procedures different from vein stripping?

Vein stripping is a surgical procedure, where the surgeon makes an incision in your groin and ties off the vein, after which a “stripper” tool is threaded through the leg vein in order to pull it out through a second incision just above the calf.

The RF or Clarivein Ablation procedures are minimally invasive. In contrast to vein stripping, the vein remains in place and is closed using a special catheter inserted through a small incision below the knee.

Vein stripping is usually performed in an operating room under a general anesthetic, while RF or Clarivein Ablation procedures are performed on an outpatient basis, typically using local or regional anesthesia.

How is the RF Ablation procedure different from the laser ablation treatment?

The RF Ablation procedure utilizes radiofrequency energy to provide consistent and controlled heat to contract the collagen in the vein walls, causing them to gently collapse and seal. Once a leg vein is closed, blood flow is redirected to healthy veins.

Laser ablation, on the other hand, uses laser heat to collapse and seal the affected vein. The laser targets the blood in the vein, which causes the blood to boil. This heat creates a steam bubble inside the vein, creating damage to the vein so that the vein collapses. Unlike the RF Ablation procedure, laser temperatures can reach over 700 °C. Animal studies have shown that laser can potentially lead to perforation and destruction of the vein walls, causing significantly more bruising and post-procedure pain for patients.

The 2009 RECOVERY Study compared the experience of patients treated with the RF Ablation procedure and those treated with 980 nm laser ablation. The findings clearly demonstrated that:

  • The RF Ablation procedure resulted in less pain, less bruising and fewer complications.
  • The RF Ablation procedure proved to be up to four times faster in improving patients’ quality of life.

How long does the RF or ClariVein Ablation procedure take?

The RF Ablation procedure takes approximately 45-60 minutes and the ClariVein Ablation Procedure takes between 30-40 minutes. The patients though may spend 2-3 hours at the medical facility due to normal pre- and post-treatment procedures.

Are the RF or ClariVein Ablation procedures painful?

Most patients report feeling little, if any, pain during the RF Ablation procedure and rarely any pain during the ClariVein Ablation. Your physician will give you a local or regional anesthetic to numb the treatment area.

Do they require anesthesia?

Both RF and ClariVein Ablation procedures can be performed under local, regional or general anesthesia. They are generally performed using local anesthesia in our Vein Clinic.

How quickly after treatment can I return to normal activities?

Many patients experience a quicker return to normal activities. For a few weeks following the treatment, we may recommend a regular walking regimen and suggest you refrain from very strenuous activities (heavy lifting, for example) or prolonged periods of standing.

How soon after treatment will my symptoms improve?

Most patients report a noticeable improvement in their symptoms within one to two weeks following the procedure.

Is there any scarring, bruising or swelling after these procedures?

Patients report minimal to no scarring, bruising or swelling following either procedures.

What potential risks and complications are associated with RF or ClariVein Ablation procedure?

As with any medical intervention, potential risks and complications exist with the procedure. All patients should consult their vein specialist to determine if their conditions present any special risks. Dr. Kaveh will review potential complications of either procedure at the consultation, which can include vessel perforation, thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, phlebitis, hematoma, infection, paresthesia (numbness or tingling) and/or skin burn.

Is the RF or ClariVein Ablation procedure suitable for everyone?

The most important step in determining whether or not these procedures are appropriate for you is a complete ultrasound examination by your vein specialist. Age alone is not a factor in determining whether or not these procedures are appropriate for you. These procedures have been used to treat both women and men across a wide range of ages.

How effective is the RF Ablation procedure?

The RF Ablation procedure has been shown in a large international, multi-center study to be 93% effective over three years.

How effective is the ClariVein procedure?

Although, there is currently no significant data available beyond one year for MOCA technique which uses ClariVein catheter, all evidence suggest that the results would be as good as RF Ablation procedure.This procedure is highly effective. In our experience, there is rarely any recurrence of venous reflux or any of the symptoms in the treated veins.

What happens to the treated vein left behind in the leg?

The vein simply becomes fibrous tissue after treatment. Over time, the vein will gradually be completely absorbed into surrounding tissue.

Is the RF Ablation procedure covered by my insurance?

Many insurance companies pay for the RF Ablation procedure in part or in full. The RF Ablation procedure has coverage policies with major health insurers.

Is the ClariVein Ablation procedure covered by my insurance?

Currently all patients who have straight Medicare, United Health Care, Aetna, BCBS or Coventry( Mail Handlers) as their primary insurance can enjoy the benefits of treatment using MOCA technique with ClariVein catheter. Increasingly more and more insurances are covering this new technique.

Here at Alpha Vein Clinic, we will discuss your insurance coverage further at the time of consultation

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