Frequently Asked Questions
How will my varicose veins be treated?Each patient will meet with Dr. Frasca individually, with a comprehensive plan developed and presented to you prior to any treatment. Your physical examination, an ultrasound duplex study and your personal lifestyle all will be considered. Every attempt will be made to ensure that your care experience is as comprehensive as possible, while being mindful of your busy schedule.
If recommended, what is Radiofrequency Endovenous Ablation therapy?The Venefit™ Radiofrequency Endovenous Ablation procedure is a minimally invasive treatment option that uses radiofrequency (RF) energy to effectively treat patients suffering from varicose veins or chronic venous insufficiency (CVI). Also known as the Venefit™ or VNUS procedure, a treatment catheter is inserted into the diseased vein to provide consistent and uniform heat to contract the collagen in the vein walls, causing them to shrink and seal closed. Once the diseased vein is closed, blood will re-route itself to other healthy veins.
How is the Venefit™ procedure different from the VNUS Closure procedure?The Venefit™ procedure is just a new name for the VNUS Closure procedure, providing the same clinically proven results with the same great patient recovery profile.
How is the Venefit™ procedure different from vein stripping?During vein stripping, incisions are made in the groin and calf, and a tool is threaded through the diseased vein to pull the vein out of the leg. With the Venefit™ procedure, only one small incision is made at the insertion site and the vein is then treated and left in place. This minimally invasive approach reduces the likelihood of pain and bruising.1,2
How is the Venefit™ procedure different from endovenous laser?Although the Venefit™ procedure and endovenous laser ablation are both minimally invasive procedures, a comparative, multi-center study showed that the Venefit™ procedure was associated with statistically significant lower rates of pain, bruising and complications. Patients undergoing the Venefit™ procedure also reported improvements in quality of life measures up to four times faster than patients treated with endovenous laser ablation (the study was conducted with a 980nm laser). 3
How long does the Venefit™ procedure take?The Venefit™ procedure takes approximately 45-60 minutes, although patients may spend up to 2 hours at Dr. Frasca’s office due to normal pre- and post-treatment procedures.
Is the Venefit™ procedure painful?Most patients report feeling little, if any, pain during the Venefit™ procedure.3 Dr. Frasca will give you a local anesthetic to numb the treatment area.
Does the Venefit™ procedure require anesthesia?The Venefit™ procedure is usually performed under local anesthesia in Dr. Frasca’s office.
How quickly after treatment can I return to normal activities?Patients treated with the Venefit™ procedure may resume normal activities more quickly than patients who undergo surgical vein stripping or endovenous laser ablation. With the Venefit™ procedure, the average patient typically resumes normal daily activities within 24 hours. For a few weeks following the treatment, Dr. Frasca will 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 1-2 weeks following the procedure.3
Is there any scarring, bruising or swelling after the Venefit™ procedure?Patients report limited to no scarring, bruising or swelling following the Venefit™ procedure. 3
What potential risks and complications are associated with the Venefit™ procedure?As with all medical procedures, potential risks and complications exist including vessel perforation (when the catheter punctures the vein wall), thrombosis, pulmonary embolism (when a blood clot travels to the lungs), phlebitis (inflammation of the vein), infection, nerve damage, arteriovenous fistula (an abnormal connection between an artery and a vein), hematoma (bruising), and skin burn. As with all medical procedures, consult with Dr. Frasca to understand the risks and benefits of the procedure.
Is the Venefit™ procedure suitable for everyone?Dr. Frasca can discuss with you whether the Venefit™ procedure is the right option for your vein problem. Experience has shown that many patients with varicose veins or CVI can be treated with the Venefit™ procedure.
Is age an important consideration for the Venefit™ procedure?As an important component of your comprehensive evaluation, a duplex ultrasound examination probably will be required to determine whether or not the Venefit™ procedure is appropriate for you. Age alone is not a factor in determining whether or not the Venefit™ procedure is recommended. The Venefit™ procedure has been used to treat both women and men across a wide range of ages.
How effective is the Venefit™ procedure?The Venefit™ procedure has been shown in a large international, multi-center study to be 93% effective over three years.5
Is the Venefit™ procedure covered by my insurance?Most insurance companies will pay for your recommended vein treatment plan, including the Venefit procedure. Dr. Frasca's office staff will confer with your insurance company and obtain authorization prior to all vein care. You will be made aware of any authorization issues ahead of time. Please feel free to discuss any questions you have about coverage with the office staff. References:
- LurieF, Creton D, Eklof B, Kabnick LS, Kistner RL, Pichot O, et al. Prospective randomized study of endovenous radiofrequency obliteration. (Closure procedure) versus ligation and stripping in a selected patient population (EVOLVeS Study). J Vasc Surg 2003;38;2:207-14
- Hinchliffe RJ, et al. A prospective randomized controlled trial of VNUS Closure versus Surgery for the treatment of recurrent long saphenous varicose veins. Eur J Vasc Endovasc Surg 2006 Feb;31;2:212-218
- Almeida JI, Kaufman J, Göckeritz O, et al. Radiofrequency endovenous ClosureFast versus laser ablation for the treatment of great saphenous reflux: a multicenter, single-blinded, randomized study (RECOVERY Study). J Vasc Interv Radiol. 2009;20:752-759.
- L. H. Rasmussen, M. Lawaetz, L. Bjoern, B. Vennits, A. Blemings and B. Eklof, Randomized Clinical Trial Comparing Endovenous Laser Ablation, Radiofrequency Ablation, Foam Sclerotherapy and Surgical Stripping for Great Saphenous Varicose Veins. British Journal of Surgery Society Ltd., Wiley Online Library, www.bjs.co.uk, March 15, 2011.
- Proebstle T. et al. Three-year European follow-up of endovenous radiofrequency-powered segmental thermal ablation of the great saphenous vein with or without treatment of calf varicosities. JVS; July2011.