Preparation for Procedure
Welcome and thank you for choosing Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center for your procedure. Our physicians, nurses and technologists are dedicated to providing highly skilled and compassionate care for you and your family. We understand that you may be apprehensive about your procedure. We hope the following information will be helpful to you as you prepare for the procedure and during your recovery.
The Interventional Radiology Unit is on the 3rd floor of Memorial’s Main Building.
We want to make your experience as comfortable as possible. If you have any questions or concerns that are not answered here, please do not hesitate to call your physician or the Interventional Radiology Unit at (814) 534-9583 or the Interventional Radiology Clinic at (814) 534-3199 between 7 AM and 3 PM Monday through Friday.
Before Your Procedure
Your physician’s office will schedule the date and time of your procedure with Central Scheduling. If you can’t remember when you are scheduled please call your physician or the Radiology Department at (814) 534-9166 between 7:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. weekdays.
Your physician may also order laboratory tests which will be done the day of the procedure.
If you develop a cough, cold, abnormal temperature, sore throat, flu-like symptoms; or come in contact with anyone suffering from measles, chickenpox or any other communicable disease within 2 weeks prior to your procedure please call your physician. It may be necessary to reschedule your procedure for a time when you are feeling better.
You will need to stop taking all of your blood thinners 5 days prior to your procedure. This includes Coumadin, Plavix and Aspirin. Please contact your Interventional Radiologist at (814) 534-9583 for further instructions or any questions you may have.
You will not be allowed to eat or drink after midnight.
On the Morning of Your Procedure
Do not take any medication on the morning of your procedure unless instructed to take it by the physician or nurse. If they instruct you to take any medications the morning of your procedure; you may take them with a sip of water. If you are taking diabetic medications please check with your physician.
Wear loose fitting, clean, comfortable clothing and flat shoes. Do not bring any valuables with you.
You may be accompanied by one adult family member or friend. Children should not accompany adults having a procedure. Because you are not permitted to drive after your procedure, an adult must accompany you to take you home.
If you were not contacted by pre-certification please bring your identification and insurance cards. If you have questions about your insurance coverage or pre-certification, call your insurance company. If you are not covered by insurance, please make arrangements for payment by calling the business office at (814) 410-8470.
Day of the Procedure
When you arrive at the hospital on the day of your procedure, check in at the Outpatient Registration Desk. It is located on the first floor of Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center. As you arrive through the main entrance on Franklin Street, turn left just before you enter the Atrium. You will be registered for your procedure and escorted to the Ambulatory Surgery Department.
You will sign in at registration desk and be taken back to your room. You will be given a hospital gown to wear. Healthcare professionals will be available in this area to make you comfortable and to answer your questions. Your safety is our number one priority.
The staff may ask you the same questions several times; they will ask your name, birth date, what procedure you are having done, your medications and your allergies. By repeating our questions, we are verifying and re-verifying very important information to ensure that your time with us is as safe as possible. A registered nurse will do an assessment and you will have intravenous fluids started. Please be prepared to tell your nurse when you last took each of your medications.
During the Procedure
You will be taken into the procedure room in a stretcher. You will have to stand for 15 minutes prior to the procedure and will be helped onto a procedure table onto your back, stomach or side depending on the location of the veins we are working on. The people around you in the room will be preparing for your procedure. The nurse will stay by your side and will explain everything that is happening.
Your vital signs will be monitored - blood pressure will be taken. You may have an oxygen mask or oxygen prongs in your nose.
You will be seen by your Interventional Radiologist. Your physician will ask you to sign a consent form, which legally permits your physician to perform your procedure.
You will be given medication at this time to sedate you and may be given a local anesthetic that numbs the treated area.
Varicose vein removal is minimally invasive. If you are having an ambulatory phlebectomy, your leg will be marked prior to the procedure with a marker. Following this, a small hole using a needle will be made at the sites marked and the vein will be pulled out gently through the needle holes. It requires no stitches. This may generally take between 30 minutes to 2 hours, depending on the extent of your varicose veins.
With an Endovenous laser treatment the physician inserts a thin catheter into the vein through a tiny hole, no bigger than the size of a pencil, and the laser light is emitted through the catheter. The entry point through which the physician gets the laser fiber to the target area is extremely small, not even requiring stitches. The light energy is delivered with extreme precision and does not affect the surrounding tissue. There may be some mild discomfort. The procedure takes approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour, including preparation, procedure and recovery.
The physician will speak with you or your family about the results immediately after procedure is finished.
After Your Procedure
After your procedure you will be taken to an Ambulatory Surgery Room. During this time you will awaken from sedation. The nurse will monitor your blood pressure, pulse, temperature, your breathing and the injection site until you are fully awake. If you have received local anesthesia only, you may be discharged in 1 hour. Your time in Ambulatory Surgery will vary depending on the procedure you had done, how well you are doing, how comfortable you are.
Once you are stable your physician will be contacted to order your discharge. Your intravenous fluids will be removed.
The nurse will give you instructions and you will be discharged to the care of a friend or family member – you will need an adult available to drive you home. Your written discharge instructions will include information on post procedural care. This will include restrictions on activity such as driving and exercising. You generally will be up walking as soon as it's over, able to return to full normal activity.
You will also be instructed on when to resume your medication. They will also include a list of symptoms that would require you to notify your physician. This includes fever over 101 degrees.
Rest for the remainder of the day after your procedure. Drink liquids as tolerated and eat a light meal. Avoid alcohol for at least 24 hours following your procedure.
Thank-you for allowing us to take care of you during your varicose vein removal.