What Is Recovery Like After Radiofrequency Ablation of the Great Saphenous Vein?

Recovery from a radiofrequency ablation of the great saphenous vein usually takes only several days to a few weeks, with minimal discomfort and pain from this non-invasive procedure, according to Medscape. The procedure is performed on an outpatient basis, typically with few complications.

Prior to the use of endovenous ablation, which includes radiofrequency ablation, endovenous laser therapy and endovenous foam sclerotherapy, treatment for venous reflux disease was stripping and ligation, explains Medscape. Since radiofrequency ablation is less invasive than stripping and ligation surgery, complications and associated risks can be avoided.

One of the most significant factors in fast and easy recovery is compression, which typically consists of wearing a class II compression stocking on the leg that received the endovenous ablation, notes Medscape. Compression eliminates the patient’s risk of developing bruises and tenderness. Most importantly, compression is done to prevent venous thromboembolism, or blood clotting. In some cases, venous thromboembolism occurs even on the untreated leg, so doctors recommend that both legs wear class II compression stockings. Preventing venous thromboembolism is therefore dependent on the patient, since many patients are not willing to wear the stockings on both legs.

Following the procedure, patients are advised to go about their normal lives. This is very important in avoiding problems and complications such as venous thromboembolism. In fact, patients are not allowed to do bed rests following the procedure in order to prevent deep-vein thrombosis, which is one of the concerns in the radiofrequency ablation procedure. Similarly, heavy lifting is prohibited.