Radiofrequency or Laser? Which Vein Treatment is Right for You?

Varicose vein treatment no longer involves painfully invasive surgery that left patients laid up for an extended period of time after the procedure. Today, minimally-invasive options have replaced vein stripping surgery, giving patients the opportunity to eliminate unsightly, uncomfortable varicose veins without a major disruption to their daily lives. With a variety of options to choose from, it can be difficult to know which treatment will meet your needs best. If your choice comes down to laser or radiofrequency (RF) treatment, we have a few facts to help you make your choice.

Explaining Varicose Vein Ablation
RF and laser treatments both fall under the category of varicose vein ablation. During these treatments, energy is delivered directly into the affected vein, which heats the vein and causes the walls of the vessel to seal closed. The collapsed vein is eventually reabsorbed by the body, while blood is rerouted to healthy veins nearby.

Both laser and RF energy provide effective varicose vein ablation, with the ability to treat even larger varicose veins. Both procedures are minimally-invasive, allowing patients to return to regular activities by the day after the procedure. Patients are typically advised to wear compression stockings for approximately two weeks after either procedure. The procedures even boast similar success rates, which are close to 95 percent.

Differences in RF and Laser Treatments
Despite the many similarities, there are some subtle differences between endovenous laser ablation (EVLT) and RF ablation, known as Venefit Closure. EVLT may be more effective in treating smaller veins due to the size of the fiber used to deliver the laser energy. At the same time, Venefit Closure has been shown in some studies to cause less discomfort during the procedure and less bruising after. Some patients may also experience faster recovery after Venefit than after EVLT.

In addition, some vein doctors tend to prefer one treatment over the other because of their personal success with a specific treatment. Some doctors may also bring more experience in one of the procedures, increasing the odds for a safe and successful procedure overall. Other doctors are equally skilled in both treatments, giving patients an even choice between the two.

At PCI Vein Center, we offer a broad range of treatment options to our patients so that they have more choice in their vein treatments. Either of these procedures can be performed in our office with the same degree of safety and success. To learn more about these treatments, or find out which procedure is the right one for you, contact Dr. Lawrence at PCI Vein Center at 319-774-8432.


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