Most significant risk of varicose veins treatment is a blood clot forming in the veins

Just like with any other varicose veins procedure, there are some risks and side effects associated with the radiofrequency ablation and Clarivein treatments.

“The most significant risk is that of a blood clot forming in the veins. This can break off and travel to the lung veins, causing deep venous thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism,” says Dr Chong Tze Tec, Head and Senior Consultant, Department of Vascular Surgery, Singapore General Hospital (SGH), a member of the SingHealth group.

“Fortunately, this risk is very small and it is further minimised because we use ultrasound guidance to help us visualise the veins during the procedures. Furthermore, patients are able to be up and about much faster in the post-procedure period,” he adds.

The possible side effects of these treatments are:

  • Slight soreness
  • A tingling sensation or numbness over the thighs and calves. These sensations are often temporary and can be relieved by medication.​
  • In rare cases, patients may develop some darkening (pigmentation) in the area of the skin which has been treated. This darkening can be effectively treated with skin creams.

Treatment care after radiofrequency ablation and Clarivein

Varicose veins patients can resume physical activity immediately after both radiofrequency ablation and Clarivein. However, Dr Chong advises that they wear compression stockings for about two weeks after the procedures.

As a precaution, he advises patients to avoid long periods of standing and to practice leg elevation when possible to prevent a recurrence of varicose veins. There are no food or activity limitations, which makes it convenient for patients from all walks of life, especially those with busy schedules that do not allow for much downtime.

SGH to get new one-stop ambulatory varicose veins treatment clinic

To further speed up and streamline the treatment process for patients of varicose veins, SGH will soon open a one-stop ambulatory varicose veins clinic. This new clinic, which should be operational by the end of 2015, will drastically cut down the entire consultation-to-surgery process from the current one to two months to just one day.

Presently, at the SGH veins clinic, patients have a consultation, which may be followed by diagnostic ultrasound scans. A second consultation may be required before surgery is scheduled. This whole process can take up to two months.

“With the new one-stop clinic, we hope to be able to see patients and get the ultrasound scan results within the same consult in the clinic. For selected patients, the surgery could be done on the same day in either the clinic or in the day surgery suite,” says Dr Chong. “The whole process could be completed in as little as six hours. Our new specialist outpatient clnincs at the Diabetes and Metabolism Centre are euipped with a procedure room, which allows for endovenous procedures to be performed.”

Will patients have to pay more for this streamlined varicose veins treatment procedure at the new clinic?

Dr Chong assures that costs will be contained and the clinic will be cost-effective for patients.

Ref: Q15