Cape Town:  021 201 1119  


How is the RFA Procedure done?

The procedure is performed on an outpatient basis.  Using ultrasound, we will position the catheter into the diseased vein through a small opening in the skin.  The tiny catheter powered by radio frequency energy delivers heat to the vein wall.  As the thermal energy is delivered, the vein wall shrinks and the vein is sealed closed.  Once the diseased vein is closed, blood is re-routed to other health veins.

What happens after the Procedure?

Following the Procedure, a simple bandage is placed over the insertion point, and additional compression may be provided to aid your healing.  We will encourage you to walk and to refrain from extended standing and strenuous actives for a short period of time.  Most patients who undergo the closure procedure typically resume normal activities within 1 to 2 days.

Is the Radio Frequency Ablation (RFA) Procedure painful?

Patients generally report feeling little, if any, pain during and after the procedure

How quickly can I resume normal activity?

Patients are encouraged to walk immediately following the procedure, and most patients resume normal activities within 1 to 2 days.

How soon after treatment will my symptoms improve?

Most patients report a noticeable improvement in their symptoms within 1 to 2 weeks following the procedure.

Is there any scarring, bruising, or swelling after the procedure?

Most patients report minimal to no scarring, bruising, or swelling following the RFA procedure.

How is the RFA Procedure different from endogenous laser?

In the only head-to-head trial of its kind, the catheter showed statistical superiority over 980nm endogenous laser.  Patients treated with the catheter experienced less pain, less bruising, fewer complications and relaxed quality of life improvement up to four times faster than those treated with endogenous laser ablation.

How is the RFA different from vein stripping?

During vein stripping, incisions are made in the groin and calf, and a stripper tool is threaded through the diseased vein, to pull the vein out of the leg.  With the RFA procedure, only one small incision is made at the insertion site and the vein is then closed and left in place.  This minimally invasive approach virtually eliminates pain and bruising associated with vein stripping surgery.

Is the RFA Procedure covered by Medical Aid?

The RFA Procedure is covered by most Medical Aids for patients diagnosed with venous reflux.


Room 1521 Christiaan Barnard Hospital, Cape Town, 8001.

  Cape Town Switchboard:  021 201 1119