Dr. Lawrence J. Markovitz MD is the Medical Director of Virginia Vein Care. Virginia Vein Care, which has three clinics all in the Greater Washington D.C. area, is focused on providing treatment for a range of vein diseases including the treatment of varicose and spider veins. Among the procedures that Dr. Lawrence J. Markovitz performs in order to treat varicose veins is radiofrequency ablation.
Until fairly recently most of the treatments for varicose veins were invasive, requiring the surgical removal of vein segments. These procedures carried the risk of surgical complications and patients recovered slowly from the procedures. More recently, however, there has been a move away from invasive treatments of varicose veins towards non-invasive treatments.
Radiofrequency ablation is the use of radiofrequency waves in order to close varicose veins. Due to the size of the catheter that holds the emitting device, radiofrequency ablation is not appropriate for thread veins, but is used to treat the underlying cause of venous disease. Before the procedure an ultrasound is taken of the leg in order to map the varicose segments; the patient is then given a local anesthetic. The catheter is then inserted and guided to the appropriate point in the vein with the help of the ultrasound. When the vein has been closed, the catheter is removed. Patients resume normal activities immediately after radiofrequency ablation procedures though a patient will need to wear a compression stocking for a week afterwards.