A noninvasive treatment for varicose veins is typically performed in a doctor’s office using local anesthetic.
Before the Procedure
Be sure to tell your doctor if you’re pregnant, are taking any medications, including any herbal supplements, and if you have any allergies. If you are taking aspirin, blood thinners, or any other medicines that make it hard for the blood to clot, the doctor may request you to stop a few days before the procedure.
During the Procedure
You will be awake during the entire procedure. Your doctor will use ultrasound to find and visualize the vein, and your leg will be cleaned and numbed with a local anesthetic. You may feel some slight pressure when the catheter inserts or minor stinging if a sclerosant solution is used in the vein. If a laser is used, you will be required to wear protective glasses during the procedure. Closure of the vein, with radiofrequency or laser, is relatively painless.
After the Procedure
Your legs may be tightly wrapped with bandages to control any swelling and bleeding. Bandages may need to be worn for several days after the procedure. Plan on having a friend or relative available to drive you home after the procedure, and you may need to avoid strenuous exercise for a week or so. Acetaminophen, such as Tylenol, can be used for any discomfort, but asprin or ibuprofen should be avoided as they may disrupt blood clotting.
Your doctor may ask you to avoid hot baths or whirlpools following the procedure. Bathing should be limited to cool showers or sponge baths with lukewarm water.