Radiofrequency Ablation

Radiofrequency ablation is a minimally invasive procedure used to treat varicose veins by using radio waves to close the vein.

Free Consultation & Vein Screening*

*A valid GP referral is required to claim this offer

0 s
endovascular procedures
transformed patients
0 %
cure rate for varicose veins
4 major hospitals

Feeling embarrassed with what you wear? Low self-confidence during summertime? Constant leg pain? Why put up with it when you don’t have to? With over 500 procedures a year, we are your Northern Beaches and North Shore vein specialists.

Endovenous radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is a minimally invasive procedure performed to treat varicose veins and venous insufficiency within the legs. RFA along with endovenous laser ablation (EVLA) is the gold standard treatment, with high success rates, short recovery times and minimal procedural discomfort.

How does it work?

Radiofrequency energy emitted from an electrode generates heat, damaging the walls of the diseased vein and effectively closing the refluxing vein. Over time, the body will reabsorb the treated vein, causing it to disappear.


Endovenous RFA is most commonly performed to relieve the symptoms of varicose veins. Symptoms may include leg swelling, leg pain/heaviness, skin discoloration/irritation or ulceration. The procedure is best suited to varicose veins that are straight and not close to the skin surface. An venous ultrasound performed during an initial consultation will help determine whether RFA is the best treatment option for your varicose veins.

Venclose RFA catheter

Get Your Free Consultation And
Vein Screening Today

Before the RFA procedure

Prior to your procedure, you will receive specific instructions on how to prepare, including any changes that need to be made to your regular medication schedule. Any possible complications associated with the procedure and the cost involved will be discussed with you as part of the informed consent procedure.

On the day of the procedure, the treatment area will be marked with the use of ultrasound. You will be given the opportunity to listen to your favourite music or simply chat with our friendly nurse throughout the procedure.

The RFA procedure

  1. Local anaesthetic is administered at the vein puncture site.
  2. A catheter is inserted into the diseased vein and advanced to the desired position under ultrasound guidance.
  3. A radiofrequency fibre is inserted through the catheter to the desired initial treatment position.
  4. Tumescent anaesthetic solution is administered around the diseased vein compressing the vein walls against the RFA catheter.
  5. The RFA catheter is activated and heat energy is applied to the vein wall, causing it to shut down.
  6. The catheter is withdrawn and activated in sequential continuous segments, shutting down the diseased vein.

The procedure takes approximately 45-60 minutes.

Risks and complications

Endovenous radiofrequency ablation is a very low-risk procedure. It is common for patients to have some minor bruising after the procedure which resolves within a fortnight. Minimal post-procedural pain is managed with simple analgesia.

Rare complications include:

  • Infection – is reported as an extremely rare complication. If you experience redness involving the treated region with associated pain, swelling and fevers it is important that you contact Vein Doctors Sydney.
  • Allergies – to local anaesthetic are rare.
  • Nerve damage – leg skin numbness is reported as an extremely rare complication of this procedure. This usually resolves within a few months.
  • Skin burns
  • Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) – occurs in less than 1 in 300 patients. Regular walking and the use of compression stockings helps minimize the risk of DVT. If DVT does occur it is treated with blood thinners.
rfa process

1. Catheter inserted into the vein

rfa process

2. Controlled heat collapses the vein

rfa process

3. Catheter withdrawn, closing the vein


Following the procedure, our team will apply a compression stocking to the treated leg to avoid the formation of blood clots and minimize bruising. You will be advised to go for a 30 minute walk immediately after the procedure. You can immediately resume most normal activities. Long distance travel is not permitted for 4 weeks after the procedure.

An ultrasound will be performed approximately 2 weeks after the procedure to exclude the very small risk of deep vein thrombosis.

Some patients may require subsequent treatment of residual varicosities with sclerotherapy. This is usually performed approximately 2-4 weeks after the RFA procedure.

Advantages of RFA

  • RFA is considered the gold standard treatment for varicose veins.
  • It is an extremely safe procedure with a high success rate
  • It is a fast minimally invasive procedure performed in the outpatient setting with minimal discomfort.
  • Fast recovery – patients are able to immediately return to most normal activities.

If you have varicose veins and want to learn more about the best treatment options for your particular condition, our vein specialists at Vein Doctors Sydney are here to help.

Book an appointment or call us on (02) 9023 9970.

Why Choose Us

  • Minimally Invasive Treatments with a Higher Success Rate
    Our minimally invasive procedures offer fewer risks, a quicker recovery, and higher success rates than open surgery.
  • 98% Cure Rate
    Following our non-surgical treatments patients are recovering much quicker with a cure rate of 98%.
  • Vascular Ultrasound Technology
    Onsite ultrasound service is available. It is a safe and effective way to assess the blood flow in the arteries or veins.
  • Experience Proven by 1000s of Patients
    We’ve performed 1000s of endovascular procedures and transformed the lives of over 2500 patients
  • Expert Assistance by our Friendly and Trained Specialists
    Our practice promotes a relaxed and friendly atmosphere where patients are provided with accurate information based on the latest research and technology
  • Everything Under One Roof
    At Vein Doctors we’re committed to providing complete, integrated care under one roof. From diagnosis and treatment to prevention.
Dr. Ryan McConnell

Less Covering Up. More Showing Off.
Regain the Comfort and Confidence in Your Legs


Grab Our New Patient Offer

Free Consultation and Vein Screening*

This consultation is the perfect way for you to learn about what we can do to help you become free of the pain and discomfort of your varicose veins. From start to finish a consultation takes about 45 minutes and the valuable information you will receive will enable you to make important healthcare decisions about your varicose veins.

  • A comprehensive venous ultrasound will be performed
  • A vascular doctor will discuss the results with you, answer any questions you may have and present various treatment options
  • A personalised treatment plan will be provided based on the results of your vein assessment.
  • After your consultation, it is important to know that our team are on hand to answer any further questions and to support you through your journey
*A valid GP referral is required to claim this offer