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What to expect before and after your procedure

You first visit to Susquehanna Valley Vein Center will be to meet with Dr. McGary for an exam and to talk about the issues you may be having with your legs.

Whether the problem is a clinical one or cosmetic in nature, you will need to have an ultrasound examination. The ultrasound is a painless test which uses sound waves to visualize the veins and how blood flows within them. This test is necessary to determine the health of the valves in the vein and provides a road map for treatment. It is required by insurance companies to document medical necessity for treatment.

Some insurance carriers require a period of therapy with compression stockings – typically 3 months before granting permission for further treatment, but each company has its own rules. Compression stockings do not reverse varicose veins, but should improve symptoms such as tiredness and swelling. The stockings give both you and your doctor an idea of how you might respond to further treatment.

Laser ablation of the Great Saphenous Vein is typically the first step in treatment of any leg vein problem since it “feeds” the varicose and spider veins that are visible on the skin.

When you arrive for your ablation, wear loose, comfortable clothing – preferably shorts or a loose skirt. Your procedure will typically take about an hour for a laser, or a little less for spider or small vein injections. You may drive yourself to and from your appointment since all our procedures are performed with local anesthetic only.

Once the treatment is complete, you will have bandages in place that need to stay on overnight. In most cases, you can remove them the next morning and resume your usual activities. You will be instructed to avoid strenuous exercise (like weight lifting or running) for about a week, but then you may resume those as well. You will be encouraged to do as much walking as possible!

You will also be required to wear a knee high compression stocking after your procedure for at least a week. This stocking helps lower the pressure in the treated vein and increases the chances of a successful outcome.

An ultrasound of the treated leg will be done within 72 hours to make sure the vein has closed and no clot has formed.

Need for additional treatments depends on the response of the remaining veins and may include additional laser treatments, injection of a chemical sclerosant (scarring agent), or removal of larger veins. Dr. McGary and her staff will work with you to determine the best way to get the results you want.