Once you’ve had your endovenous ablation (laser or radiofrequency), as with any medical procedure, you will want to understand the post-procedure expectations and recommendations. Because venous ablation treatments are minimally invasive and performed in the Minnesota Vein Center office setting, there is minimal down time. In most cases, those with ablation treatment can return to their regular activities immediately. Many patients may return to work the day after their procedure, provided the job is not physically strenuous.
Immediately post-procedure, the patients treated leg is cleansed of the antiseptic prep and then the staff easily will don a fitted compression stocking. For the ablation procedure, patients are asked to wear the provided compressing stocking for approximately 12 days, depending upon patient circumstances. We share great tips (and sometimes devices) for self-donning of your stocking!
Your leg will be numb for approximately six hours post-procedure, however, this does not affect your motor skills, flexion or the extension of your joints nor does it limit your ambulation. Because of this long numbing effect you may feel well enough to grab a bite to eat, shop, or visit friends before traveling home. If you did not take oral sedation you may drive home.
Once home, you may resume normal activities. As a rule of thumb, if activities do not cause discomfort they are acceptable (within reason) and will not affect the treatment. Some patients feel like resting or elevating their legs. This is not required, but it is fine to do so. When the anesthesia wears off, Tylenol or Extra-Strength Tylenol is recommended if needed the first day. About 45% of our patients do not need analgesics, but those who do usually only require one or two separate doses. Later, Ibuprofen (Advil) may be used if needed.
We request that our patients do intermittent walking for seven to ten minutes every two hours for the first three days during waking hours. This is a guideline as most people intermittently pump their calf muscles throughout the day. If you are required to sit, we suggest flexing and extending the foot/ankle ten to twelve times every two hours. High impact exercises and leg weight lifting are to be avoided for one week, as well as core tightening activities that may increase downward leg pressure. You may continue long walks, but we still require the frequent intermittent movement to avoid problems such as phlebitis.
Of great importance is to schedule your follow-up visit with Dr. Pal at approximately one week out. A second follow-up will be scheduled two to three months post-procedure. These follow-up appointments are to ensure procedure outcome success and to evaluate your concerns and satisfaction level. We do like, optimally, to follow our patients at six months and one year when possible. We like seeing the happy faces and hearing the surprised patients as they describe their symptom relief at these exams. Contact our staff if questions regarding your procedures.