The diagnosis is in and your procedure is scheduled to finally do something about your unsightly varicose veins. You may have lingering questions as what to expect on the actual day of your treatment. Read on as we walk you through a typical varicose vein procedure at Premier Vein Clinics.
The Morning of:
The morning of the procedure, patients are allowed to have breakfast and/or lunch as well as drink liquids as usual. An alcohol prep is used to clean the leg to reduce the risk of infection. To avoid irritation to the skin, patients are asked to refrain from having freshly shaven legs and to avoid using lotions or cream the day of the procedure. It is best to wear lose clothing to allow sufficient room for the dressing post procedure. Each patient is advised on an individual basis regarding medications to take prior to the procedure. Your instructions should be adhered to strictly to ensure optimal health upon arrival at the office and ease anxieties.
Patients will wait in the relaxing lobby area while the nurse completes the final touches to prepare the room. When the patient enters the treatment area, the procedure table is set with a pillow, draping, and an absorbent pad. Inside the room is the laser used for treatment, the ultrasound unit used to guide the physician, as well as the surgical table holding all of the tools to be used during the procedure. Patients are given a pair of blue paper shorts to put on to allow access to the diseased vein(s) within the leg.
During the procedure:
There are three people in the room during the procedure: physician, nurse and surgical technician. The nurse is at the hands of the physician and surgical technician assisting them with any needs they may have in or outside of the room. The surgical technician is responsible for assisting with instruments such as the laser, ultrasound, and any medical tools needed. Upon entering the room, the physician will ask the patient stand in order to mark the bulging veins and incision sites. The nurse will assist the patient in getting back on the table and set up any draping or final preparations before the procedure begins.
As the procedure beings, the lights are dimmed for better view of the ultrasound. A sterile sleeve is placed over the ultrasound probe used to precisely identify the location of the vein and guide the physician during the laser procedure. Once the physician has properly numbed the area around the diseased vein, the nurse will set up the laser unit and foot pedal used to activate the laser. Once the laser portion of the procedure is complete, the machine is turned off and put up by the nurse. The physician will request the lights to be turned back up for any phlebectomy (vein removal) or stiches if needed.
After the Procedure:
Following any stitches, the doctor will leave the room and the nurse will assist the patient throughout the rest of the visit. The nurse and surgical technician will take away any used instruments and clean up the treatment site. A three-layer dressing is applied to the patient’s leg: Kerlix (gauze), Coban (self-adhering wrap), and an ace bandage. ABD pads, an absorbent dressing, are applied to any incision sites from the stab phlebectomies prior to the first layer of Kerlix. Following the dressing, the patient is encouraged to sit up and allow any nausea to pass. The nurse will assist the patient in getting dressed and lead the patient out to the waiting area to meet with family or friends and review any post procedure instructions.
The nurse will provide the patient with discharge papers, prescriptions for any pain medication, as well as a date for a follow up appointment. Non-Medicare patients will be sent home with a pair of compression stockings to be worn during recovery. Medicare patients will receive a prescription to pick up stockings at the pharmacy of their choice. If stitches are required, they are generally removed about a week after the procedure and most patients experience little to no scarring.
It is an honor to be trusted with the care of your varicose veins. The Premier Vein Clinics staff is committed to making your treatment comfortable while achieving the best possible outcomes. If your procedure is already scheduled we look forward to serving you and if not, schedule your initial consultation today.