Planning Your Visit
Modern treatment to eradicate varicose veins is quick, minimally invasive, and no longer causes extreme pain or disruption to the patient's daily routine. We understand that you will have concerns, however, so here is what happens at the clinic, both during the procedure and afterward.
Before We Begin
During your initial consultation, we’ll discuss your medical history and maybe that of your family.
The doctor will examine your legs, and we may take photographs so we (and you) can track your progress. Venous insufficiency is a complex condition, with no two people having exactly similar vein patterns. For this reason, the doctor may not be able to say exactly which treatment would best suit you just by physically examining the area where spider or varicose veins are causing problems. Diagnostic testing is often needed as well as visual examination in order to determine the exact cause.
We use ultrasound to look beneath the surface of the skin and determine the direction and rate of blood flow, along with the exact location of the leaky valves in the vein that are causing the pooling and swelling.
This is non-invasive and not painful, so it’s nothing to be apprehensive about. Most people are familiar with ultrasound testing through its widespread use during pregnancy. It is a safe and effective way to peer beneath the skin.
Following thorough investigation and diagnosis, we’ll have a clear idea of which treatment will eradicate your varicose veins. We’ll talk to you about your options for sclerotherapy, EVLT (Endovenous Laser Therapy) or RFA (Radiofrequency Ablation) procedures.
Your specialist will explain exactly what each procedure involves, and give you the opportunity to ask questions.
What Happens During EVLT or RFA Procedures?
On the day of your treatment, please bring along your personal and insurance information. We will provide any additional forms that need your signature, such as consent forms and any other relevant documents.
You should wear loose clothing and flat shoes. It may help if you bring along a pair of shorts.
Both EVLT and RFA are non-invasive procedures that use heat to seal the faulty vein, and you can go home immediately afterward. We advise you to avoid driving for 24 hours following the procedure, so please bring a friend or family member who can take you home.
We numb the skin on a level with the knee and then make a very small incision. Through this, we insert a fine catheter that contains a laser into the vein. The laser provides the heat for sealing the vein, and the surgeon uses ultrasound to guide it precisely where it's needed. The energy used by the catheter is very powerful, so the process takes just a few minutes.
Once the vein is sealed, the catheter is withdrawn and the small cut covered with a bandage or ace wrap. Compression stockings are not always needed.
What to Expect After Treatment
You can go home as soon as your treatment is finished. If your journey home takes longer than an hour, we advise that you sit in the back seat with your leg up. It will also help your circulation if you take a break every hour and walk around a little. Before you leave, we will discuss with you the type of dressings you should use, and how often you should change them. For the first 24 hours, leave the ace wrap on, including when you sleep, and avoid showering.
You may resume normal activity, including going to work, as soon as you feel able, but should avoid vigorous exercise. This includes swimming or contact sports that may knock or bump your legs.
Some bruising or hardening of the skin is normal, and will soon subside. You may have some discomfort, which can be treated with regular, over-the-counter pain relievers such as Ibuprofen or Acetaminophen.
We will schedule a follow-up appointment for around two weeks following your procedure. This is necessary for us to check your progress and make sure no varicose veins remain. If there are any small veins left, we can treat these cosmetically on an outpatient basis, using a simple injection procedure.
All our patients receive the utmost care and attention, and we will spend as much time as needed to explain the processes or to reassure you regarding your treatment.