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EVLT Pre-operative Instructions

Endovenous Laser Treatment (EVLT)

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Pre-op Instructions

  • A light meal is allowed 1 hour prior to the procedure
  • Generally, patients do not need sedation for this procedure. However, if you want something to relax you before the procedure, please call our office in advance.
  • We recommend that you arrange for a driver for the first EVLT treatment. If you require a sedative, you will be required to have a driver.
  • Plan to be at the office for 2-3 hours as the procedure itself usually takes approximately 1.5-2 hours.
  • Please purchase your compression hose prior to your procedure. Notify the office if you did not receive a prescription for them. If you wear thigh highs, make sure they have silicone at the top. You will not need your hose the day of your EVLT, but you will need them the next day.
  • Take all of your medications as prescribed, unless directed otherwise. It is okay to remain on any blood thinners you are on (such as Aspiring, Plavix, or Coumadin).
  • Dress in comfortable, loose-fitting clothing. You may wish to wear very loose and short shorts for the procedure; just be aware that these may get ultrasound gel on them during the EVLT.
  • Due to the length of the procedure, some people find it helpful to bring an iPod or CD player to listen to during parts of the procedure.

What to expect at your appointment

  • Upon arrival, you will be brought back to the exam room, presented with the consent form to sign, and asked to undress (waist down to underwear or loose-fitting short shorts) to expose the entire leg to be treated.
  • Dr. Petersen will repeat the ultrasound in order to mark places on your upper and lower leg.
  • You will be positioned lying down with large sterile drapes covering much of your body leaving treatment area exposed.
  • Local anesthesia will be injected to various locations up and down your leg. After this, the leg will be prepped with a cold sterilizing solution.
  • Dr. Petersen will then make small incisions (less than 1/8”) to access the vein. The laser fiber will be placed into the vein by Dr. Petersen using ultrasound guidance and treatment will last a few minutes. After the laser fiber is removed, Dr. Petersen will surgically remove superficial veins as needed for your case. 
  • Following the EVLT a gauze and band wrap will be placed on your entire leg. 

Post-op Instructions

  • Keep wraps on your legs for the first 24 hours. For the following 3 weeks, wear your compression hose continually except while sleeping and bathing. It is possible you may need to wear your hose for an additional period of time; this will be determined individually based on your swelling and healing. Wearing your compression hose as directed post-EVLT is very important and improves the quality and time of healing.
  • Keep your incisions covered while wearing compression hose. Wash the areas with soap and water, allow to dry, then apply Vaseline and band-aids daily. You will schedule a follow-up appointment with the nurse to have your sutures removed. Some people notice a small “knot” under the skin at some suture sites; this will get softer and smaller with time.
  • Resume normal activities the same evening as surgery. We do not want you sitting at home with your leg held in one position – get up and be active. This excludes aerobics, working out, swimming, and other activities that will increase your blood pressure. You may resume aerobic activity in one week. We ask that you do not fly until your sutures have been removed after one week.
  • Recovery from EVLT is usually trouble-free. Bruising, local swelling, and tenderness, are normal. It is normal to feel a ‘tightening’ sensation in your leg after a couple of days which may last for several days. Healing time can depend on your overall health condition and diagnosis.
  • For your mild to moderate post-op pain, you may take Tylenol as recommended. After three days, you may take: Aspirin, Ibuprofen, or Motrin.
  • As with any surgical procedure, although rare with EVLT, problems can develop. If you develop an acute fever (greater than 100 F) or severe/worsening pain/swelling, please call our office.