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Consumer Warning: Resterilized Radiofrequency Catheters

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One of the techniques for treating superficial veins with abnormal functioning valves is Radiofrequency Thermal Ablation. Essentially, the vein is welded together from the inside inducing a process where the patient’s body will auto-digest the vein. Patients needing endovenous thermal ablation of their superficial veins should be aware that some vein clinics are using Radiofrequency catheters that have been re-sterilized, even though the companies that produce these catheters have declared that they are made for “single use only ” application.

How Are Vein Clinics Obtaining Resterilized Catheters?

Vein clinics are able to obtain these catheters that have been used inside another patient’s body at substantially discounted prices, although insurance reimbursement does not take into account if a new or “resterilized” catheter is being used. Therefore the only reason to use these catheters is to increase profit by the physician. In most cases, the patient is not informed that a less expensive “resterilized” catheter is being used on them, and certainly, no discount is passed on to the patient. Patients should inquire if “resterilized” Radiofrequency devices are being used at any vein center they are seeking treatment and make their own decision as to their willingness to participate in this practice.

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