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Endovenous Ablation for Varicose Veins: Before Your Procedure

What is endovenous ablation?

Endovenous ablation is a procedure to close off varicose veins. Endovenous means that the procedure is done inside the vein. Ablation means a doctor uses heat to damage and close off the vein. Varicose veins are twisted, enlarged veins near the surface of the skin.

Your doctor will put a needle and wire into the vein. A thin tube (catheter) is placed over the wire and moved into the vein. Your doctor will use the catheter and special tools to send energy into the vein. The energy damages the tissue inside the vein. The energy and heat come from a laser or from radio waves called radiofrequency energy.

The procedure is usually done in your doctor's office. You may wear some type of eye protection. You'll be given medicine so you will not feel anything or you will feel relaxed. The procedure takes less than 1 hour.

After this treatment, you may have a few bruises along the length of the treated vein. Your doctor may put a bandage on the area.

Most people go home the same day of the procedure. You can continue your usual activities, but avoid vigorous exercise for about 1 week. You will need to wear compression stockings for 1 week or more.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

How do you prepare for the procedure?

Procedures can be stressful. This information will help you understand what you can expect. And it will help you safely prepare for your procedure.

Preparing for the procedure

  • Be sure you have someone to take you home. Anesthesia and pain medicine will make it unsafe for you to drive or get home on your own.
  • Understand exactly what procedure is planned, along with the risks, benefits, and other options.
  • If you take aspirin or some other blood thinner, ask your doctor if you should stop taking it before your procedure. Make sure that you understand exactly what your doctor wants you to do. These medicines increase the risk of bleeding.
  • Tell your doctor ALL the medicines and natural health products you take. Some may increase the risk of problems during your procedure. Your doctor will tell you if you should stop taking any of them before the procedure and how soon to do it.
  • Make sure your doctor and the hospital have a copy of your advance care plan. If you don't have one, you may want to prepare one. It lets others know your health care wishes. It's a good thing to have before any type of surgery or procedure.

What happens on the day of the procedure?

  • Follow the instructions exactly about when to stop eating and drinking. If you don't, your procedure may be cancelled. If your doctor told you to take your medicines on the day of the procedure, take them with only a sip of water.
  • Take a bath or shower before you come in for your procedure. Do not apply lotions, perfumes, deodorants, or nail polish.
  • Remove all jewellery, piercings, and contact lenses.
  • Leave your valuables at home.

At the doctor's office

  • Bring a picture ID.
  • A small tube (IV) may be placed in a vein, to give you fluids and medicine to help you relax.
  • Your doctor may numb the area with an anesthetic cream.

When should you call your doctor?

  • You have questions or concerns.
  • You don't understand how to prepare for your procedure.
  • You become ill before the procedure (such as fever, flu, or a cold).
  • You need to reschedule or have changed your mind about having the procedure.

Where can you learn more?

Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd

Enter B900 in the search box to learn more about "Endovenous Ablation for Varicose Veins: Before Your Procedure".

Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.