Varicose veins are swollen veins that are seen through the skin in leg. They often look blue, bulging, and twisted. Left untreated, varicose veins may worsen over time. Large varicose veins can cause aching pain, oedema, fatigue, skin discolouration, itching, varicosities and if not treated it may develop non healing ulcers in leg. The leg vein normally contains about 4-5 valves which helps the blood flow in direction of the heart. When these valves are diseased, blood starts pooling in the legs causing swelling in the same and veins becomes thick and engorged.
This is done by general examination and ultrasound Doppler study which can show the exact site of disease in the form of damaged valves & dilatation of veins. Doppler study is very helpful in Non-surgical treatment of varicose vein by Radio-frequency ablation.
Various treatment options for varicose veins
l Conservative Treatment: Elevating the legs can help reduce leg swelling. When standing for a long period of time, flexing legs occasionally help to pump the venous blood.
l Compression Stockings: These are elastic stockings that squeeze the veins and stop excess blood from flowing backward. One may be required to wear compression stockings daily for the rest of life.
l Sclerotherapy: This is only for short segment and spider vein treatment.
l Vein Stripping Surgery: It is a major surgery. The recurrence rate is too high and cause ugly scar in legs.
l Radiofrequency ablation (RFA): Most effective, patient friendly and non-surgical treatment for varicose vein using Multipolar RFA machine. Under ultrasound guidance, a radiofrequency catheter is inserted into the abnormal vein and the vessel treated with radio-energy, resulting is closure of the involved vein.
Ablation uses a thin, flexible tube called a catheter with tiny electrodes at the tip of the catheter, which heats the walls of the varicose vein, and collapses the thick veins.
The vein is then no longer able to carry blood, breaks up naturally, and is absorbed by the body.
Advantages of Treatment with RFA
l No surgical scar on skin.
l It is done under local anaesthesia.
l It may be done as an outpatient (OPD) procedure, or one day hospital stay.
l Most patients can resume normal activities within 2-3 days.
l It is cheaper than traditional surgery.
l The recurrence rate is very low as compare to surgery.
l It can fast relieve pain & symptoms of varicose veins.
l Its safety has been proven over many years in thousands of people.
Treatment of Liver Cancer by RFA
Until recently, systemic treatment was the only option for patients with inoperable liver cancer. Unfortunately, chemotherapy usually cannot be given in doses high enough to control most liver cancers because of their toxic effects. RFA may be the only local treatment option for many cancers that cannot be surgically removed, and it does not have the unpleasant side effects of systemic options. In one study, 98 percent of the tumours were destroyed by RFA. None of the tumours had returned after an average follow up of 15 months and more.
In general, RFA can be used for cancers that cannot be removed by surgeons because of their size or location, or because the patient is not healthy enough to have open surgery. RFA is also used to relieve pain and suffering of patients with a variety of cancers. It is particularly useful in the treatment of cancers of kidney, adrenal gland, lungs and bones.
Besides these non-surgical treatments, Dr. Pradeep Muley, Senior Consultant & Head, Interventional Radiologist, Batra Hospital & Medical Research Centre, M. B. Road, New Delhi has also pioneered the non-surgical treatment of uterine fibroids and adenomyosis and has done maximum number of treatments in entire India by uterine artery embolization.
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