Having endovenous thermal ablation for the treatment of your varicose veins? Follow Dr Melanie’s instructions on how to best prepare for your procedure, and how to care for your leg post ablation for a smooth recovery and optimal results.
- Prior to your treatment, you will first see our sonographer who will carefully mark out the areas to be treated using ultrasound, and you will also see our nurse who will take measurement of your legs to determine the size of your medical grade compression stocking
- Avoid taking iron supplement or blood thinner two weeks before your treatment
- Shower and remove any hair on the operative leg from ankle to around 3 finger widths into pubic hair the night before
- Bring your prescribed thigh high compression stocking to be put on after the procedure. If we order one for you, it will be here ready to be given to wear afterwards
- Your doctor will numb the area where the catheter will enter with local anaesthetic
- Ultrasound will be used to reveal the problem vein and its path.
- A catheter will be inserted into the vein through a tiny incision and carefully advance to the problem veins using ultrasound guidance
- Thermal energy will be released to heat the vin and seal it shut, as the catheter is slowly removed
- The incision will be covered with a bandage and medical grade compression stocking will be applied (no suture or stitches needed)
- The procedure usually takes approximately 60 minutes
- We ask all patients to go for a 30-minute walk immediately after the procedure – please stay around the clinic so you are close by if you need to return to see us for any reason.
- Wear compression stocking 24 hours a day for 7 days. This step is extremely important. Your compression stocking will help reduce bruises, swelling, pain and reduce DVT.
- Dressings – Any tape, gauze, dressings can be removed the next day
- Ideally do not take off the stocking while showering. To shower cover your stocking with a plastic cover. These can be purchased from your local chemist, if we provided stockings for you these will be included.
- Your stocking should be worn to bed. If, however, you experience pain in the foot or heel at night, especially if this pain wakes you up, you MUST remove the stocking while laying down in bed and put it back on again in the morning BEFORE you get up
- Work – you can return to work as soon as you feel able to do so
- You will also need to walk a minimum of 30 minutes each day for 2 weeks after treatment
- Two weeks after your treatment you will return for a follow-up ultrasound scan so that we can remove your compression stocking, see how your recovery is progressing, and exclude the very small risk of deep vein thrombosis
What to expect post treatment?
Some patients feel a tight, pulling sensation which they describe as a cord-like sensation. This can develop 1-4 weeks after treatment and resolves over time. It is common that patients may also experience slight discomfort and bruising along the course of the treated vein. If bruising occurs, it should improve in 1 to 2 weeks.
The varicose veins will take some time to fully disappear, depending on the severity of the disease and how long you have left them untreated. It is possible to eliminate varicose veins, but complete clearance is unlikely for spider veins. Treatment should restore an even and uniform appearance to the leg. An improvement of up to 80% can be expected within 6 months. Some patients may require additional treatment to further improve results.