Some people hesitate to have their varicose veins evaluated and treated because they are concerned about pain, recovery times, possible scarring and the expense. Fortunately, many of those concerns can be alleviated for most people.

One of the most innovative treatments available to treat varicose veins is the minimally invasive Venefit (Radiofrequency Ablation of the Vein)*, formerly known as the VNUS Closure technique. Not only are pain and scarring minimized, but recovery times are typically much faster. Patients usually walk out the door shortly after the surgery. In fact, 98% of Venefit patients would recommend the treatment to a friend or family member with similar leg vein problems. As far as cost is concerned, if an individual has varicose veins severe enough to need surgical treatment, it is usually considered to be a medical condition – in many cases, this means that Medicare or insurance will cover the cost.

Venefit is a minimally invasive procedure that uses RF ablation to heat and shrink the vein in a controlled manner. Once the area is numb, a thin catheter (a tube even smaller than a coffee stirrer) is threaded into the damaged or diseased vein using a single needlestick. Proper placement of the catheter is assisted by the use of duplex ultrasound (similar to that used for obstetrical ultrasounds). The catheter delivers radiofrequency or microwave energy to the vein wall, causing the vein to heat up, collapse and seal shut.

After the diseased vein is closed, nearby healthy veins take over and empty the blood from your legs. Once normal blood flow is re-established, symptoms quickly improve. The procedure is less painful than some options and usually leaves the patient with little (if any) bruising, scarring or swelling, and most patients can return to normal activities almost immediately.

This is just one of many options available to patients today. Fortunately, the vascular specialists of Peoria Vein Center are experienced in many different procedures and can recommend the most appropriate treatment for each patient.

Individuals with a pacemaker, internal defibrillator or other active implanted device should have the vascular surgeon consult with the patient’s cardiologist and the implant’s manufacturer to determine if this procedure is a safe course of action.


* Disclaimer: The information contained in this site is for informational purposes only. It does not take the place of, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for individual medical advice, diagnosis or treatment from your physician.

  • Summary

    Type of anesthesia

    • Usually local, occasionally regional

    Length of procedure

    • 40-60 minutes

    Before the procedure

    • Let your PVC physician know what medicines and herbs you are taking
    • Avoid aspirin, ibuprofen and other NSAIDs for at least 72 hours before procedure; acetaminophen (Tylenol) is usually safe to take
    • Don't put lotion or cream on your legs the day of the procedure
    • Plan to avoid vacation / travel for two weeks after treatment

    After the procedure

    • Wear compression stockings or an elastic bandage on your leg as directed by your physician
    • Return to work and most activities in a few days (depending on your occupation)
    • Contact PVC if you have any concerns

    Side effects

    Side effects are similar to those of any surgery, including risks associated with anesthesia.

    • Bruising
    • Scarring
    • Bleeding
    • Infection
    • Nerve damage

    Insurance coverage

    • If done for cosmetic reasons, usually not covered
    • If done for medical reasons, may be covered