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Endoluminal Thermal Ablation

Endoluminal thermal ablation seals the vein from within, and involves heating the wall of the vein by means of one of two different heat sources: either radiofrequency waves or laser. In Dr. Plaza-Ponte’s experience, radiofrequency ablation has proven to have far fewer side-effects, and can be administered with greater accuracy. The VNUS® Closure Procedure is utilized by the Pittsburgh Vein Center. Using ultrasound, the Closure catheter will be positioned into the diseased vein through a small opening in the skin. The tiny catheter then delivers radiofrequency (RF) energy to the vein wall. As the RF energy is delivered and the catheter is withdrawn, the vein wall is heated causing the collagen in the wall to shrink and the vein to close. Once the diseased vein is closed, blood is automatically re-routed to other healthy veins. The Closure procedure is performed on an outpatient basis. Following the procedure, a simple bandage is placed over the insertion site. Additional compression is provided to aid healing. Patients are encouraged to walk and refrain from extended standing and strenuous activities for a period of time. The post-operative period is usually very well-tolerated with minimal discomfort and the patient may return to most normal activities right away.