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Pre-op Patient Information: Endo Thermal Ablation (EVLA/RFA)

If you are planning an appointment at the Vein Healthcare Center for Endovenous Laser Ablation Therapy (EVLA) or a Radio frequency Ablation (RFA), it is important to be informed. Being fully prepared for your appointment and following recommendations for care before your appointment will help ensure successful, comfortable treatment.

Exceptional patient care is our first priority.
If you have any questions about treatment or about your upcoming appointment, please call the Vein Healthcare Center at 207-221-7799. We are available to answer questions and address any concerns you may have.

Understanding Your Thermal Ablation Visit
Thermal Ablations are outpatient procedures that involve using a heat generator such as laser/radio frequency energy to seal the dysfunctional vein shut. Stopping the flow of blood at the site of the broken valve. As a result of this procedure, the vein will be reabsorbed by your body and eventually disappear, allowing blood to divert to healthy veins in the leg.

An appointment for EVLA/RFA therapy takes approximately one hour, though it may require more or less time. A local anesthetic is used, and for most patients, the ablation causes no pain. You are encouraged to tell the doctor if any pain occurs.

Preparing for your Thermal Ablation
Please read all instructions in preparation for your appointment:

  • Purchase your stockings and immediately wear them for at least 3-4 days to be sure they are a proper fit. Your insurance carrier will dictate you try these stockings for at least six weeks prior to the procedure. Please bring them with you the day of the procedure. They will be used immediately following treatment and during the following 2 weeks.
  • Refrain from shaving your legs the morning of the procedure. This will reduce the risk of razor burn irritation from the sterilizing wash.
  • Take all regular medications the day of the procedure.
  • Fasting is not required; eat a normal breakfast or lunch.
  • You may bring an iPod or headset if you’d like to listen to music during the procedure.
  • Prepare to bring or wear high-cut underwear that you are willing to have stained by iodine solution. You will likely want a second pair to change into after the procedure is over.
  • Inform the Vein Healthcare Center of any seafood or iodine allergies.
  • You will be scheduled for a post-op appointment within 1 week of your procedure; this is a very important appointment.

The Procedure
Once you arrive for your appointment at the Vein Healthcare Center, you will change into exam shorts and photos of your legs will be taken. Photos are used only for your personal medical chart.

Your leg will be rechecked using ultrasound. Your vital signs will be checked, and you’ll be asked to relax on the table. There are pillows and blankets available for your comfort, and if you brought a listening device, you can begin listening to music. Your leg will be cleansed with an iodine solution to the groin. Please make us aware of any iodine or seafood allergies. An IV will be placed in the problematic vein, usually at or around the level of your knee, or in the middle section of the back of your calf. You will feel a small pinch of local anesthetic during this part of the procedure.

Under ultrasound guidance, a radio frequency catheter or laser fiber will be positioned in the vein at the highest point of venous insufficiency. There should be little or no discomfort. The area to be treated will then be fully anesthetized. You will then be asked to wear special safety glasses for laser procedures. The laser or radio frequency generator will then be turned on, and the ablation of the vein will begin. This entire process should take approximately 40 minutes.

Please follow Post-op Patient Information: Thermal Ablation guidelines following your appointment.

If you have any questions or concerns about your appointment, call our office at 207-221-7799 or email us at info@veinhealthcare.com.

Your care and comfort are our priority!

Post-op Patient Information: Endo Thermal Ablation (EVLA/RFA)

If you have undergone Endovenous Laser Ablation Therapy (EVLA) or Radio frequency Ablation (RFA) at the Vein Healthcare Center, it is important to be informed about post-operative requirements. Following guidelines for care after your treatment will help promote the most effective healing so you can return to your daily routine and start experiencing a comfortable, symptom-free life as soon as possible.

Exceptional patient care is our first priority. If you have any questions following your appointment, please call the Vein Healthcare Center at 207-221-7799. We are available to answer questions and address any concerns you may have.

After Your Procedure
Immediately after the procedure, your leg will be washed with warm water to remove any remaining betadine/sterilizing wash. You will be asked to put on your compression stockings. Compression stockings should be worn for the first two weeks following treatment any time you are on your feet. They do not need to be worn during sleep.

You may return to your daily activities following your procedure. It is recommended that you return to work the day after your appointment, provided you have a non-physically strenuous job.

After You Leave Our Office
Knowing what to expect after your appointment and understanding all recommendations and restrictions is important following EVLA/RFA.

What to Expect: Following EVLA/RFA, the treated leg may drain fluid for the first 24 hours, making your compression stocking feel damp. Patients can expect a moderate amount of bruising, swelling, and a bruise like tenderness. Post-procedure discomfort is highly variable from patient to patient, and while some patients may experience pain, some may feel no discomfort at all following the procedure. Elevating your legs, applying heat, and taking ibuprofen as needed are all effective ways to ease most post-operative pain. If pain is persistent or becomes intolerable, call the Vein Healthcare Center at 207-221-7799.

Rx: Elevating your legs as much as possible is recommended following your procedure. It is very important to walk for 30 minutes each day for the first 2 weeks after your procedure. Walking can be done in short increments throughout the day that add up to 30 minutes, or it can be done all at once, whatever works best for your schedule.

Restrictions: Restrictions during the first five - seven days following your procedure include avoiding the following:

  • Heavy lifting
  • Hot tubs
  • Strenuous physical activity while standing

Patients should feel free to exercise as long as their feet remain at or above the level of their heart, or not to a point where you are breathing hard. Slowly return to your full activity 5-7 days after your procedure.

Your Return Visit
It is important that you make a return visit to the Vein Healthcare Center within a week, following your procedure.

Your care and comfort is our number one priority. If you have any questions or concerns following your procedure or before your return appointment, please call our office at 207-221-7799 or email us at info@veinhealthcare.com.