Endovascular Laser vs. Radiofrequency Ablation

Effective treatment for conditions linked to problematic veins and arteries once required hospitalization, intricate surgery, and long weeks of sometimes painful recovery. Today, many of these issues are tackled via minimally invasive in-office procedures that offer superior results compared with those surgeries of old.

The providers at Premier Vein & Vascular are greatly appreciated in their Florida communities of Tampa and Largo for providing highly effective, minimally invasive treatment for carotid artery disease, varicose and spider veins, venous insufficiency, peripheral artery disease, and other conditions that compromise your circulatory health.

Our team is happy to provide insight regarding the differences between endovascular laser ablation (EVLA) and radiofrequency ablation (RFA) procedures and the benefits they offer.

Understanding endovascular ablation?

Medically speaking, the term “vascular” refers to the vessels (arteries, veins, capillaries) that transport blood throughout your body. The prefix endo means “within.” Ablation is the medical term used to denote destruction of tissue.

Put them together and you have endovascular ablation, which vein specialists use to destroy diseased or dysfunctional veins from within. 

How does endovascular ablation compare with traditional surgery?

The vein targeted for treatment during ablation is accessed through a tiny nick or needle-size puncture in the skin. Depending on the ablation method selected, a chemical (sclerotherapy) substance or thermal (heat) energy is then introduced to the vein via a needle or small tube (catheter). 

This action closes the vein and triggers your body to bypass the sealed vessel and reroute blood to nearby healthy veins. Without blood flow, the treated vein dies, and your body removes the cellular debris.

Traditional or open surgery, on the other hand, requires larger incisions that travel through several layers of skin and other soft tissue to reveal the targeted vessel, which is then pulled or stripped away.

Benefits of endovascular ablation

Benefits of endovascular ablation compared with vein stripping include:

Your Premier Vein & Vascular specialist may recommend endovascular ablation as an effective treatment for venous insufficiency.

What is the difference between EVLA and RFA?

Both radiofrequency and laser ablation use heat to close the targeted vein rather than the chemical substances used for sclerotherapy.

The major difference in EVLA versus RFA is the source of the heat. EVLA uses laser energy while RFA relies on heat produced by radio wave technology.

Which treatment is best?

Effective treatments for varicose and spider veins vary and often depend on the size, shape, and location of the problematic veins. EVLA and RFA are generally reserved for larger varicose veins. Smaller veins may respond best to treatments such as VenaSeal™, which uses a specially formulated adhesive rather than thermal energy to seal a vein.

Your Premier specialist designs a customized treatment strategy based on the results of your initial evaluation.

For highly effective, minimally invasive treatments that solve the health and cosmetic issues associated with varicose and spider veins, schedule a visit at Premier Vein & Vascular today.   


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