5 Ways to Prepare for Your Vein Procedures
1. Get to know and love your stockings!
We strongly recommend you buy your compression stockings well ahead of your treatment to iron out any issues you may have wearing them. Many of our treatments require the wearing of stockings day and night for 14 days straight.
Stockings can be purchased either from us or another supplier of medical grade compression stockings. If you have large thighs your stockings may roll down and become uncomfortable. Some patients with sensitive skin may react to the silicone dots that hold up the stockings. Often wearing a pair of bike shorts underneath the stockings can help with these two problems.
It’s very important to sort out any stocking issues well ahead of your treatment so alternative plans can be made, should you not tolerate our off-the-shelf stockings. If you are morbidly obese (BMI >40), have lipoedema, or an uncommon body shape, it may be necessary to have custom stockings made by another supplier. This process can take up to 6 weeks so you need to plan ahead.
You should trial a Class II full length compression stocking wearing 24/7 for at least a few days to ensure your stocking fits properly and that you will be able to tolerate wearing it after treatment. The longer you can trial prior to your procedure allows more time to make any adjustments needed to ensure your compliance.
Finally, it is a good idea to wear your stockings each day for several weeks prior to your treatment to reduce swelling and inflammation which will improve your recovery.
2. Get in shape & develop healthy habits
Maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, and eating nutritious foods will make your recovery much smoother, especially if you’re having a phlebectomy with skin wounds that need to heal. In the lead-up to your treatment you should prepare for the walking you will need to do post-treatment. If you are not used to walking, it’s best to get into the habit ahead of time. Make sure you have comfortable clothes and pair of good walking shoes. Pre-plan a walking circuit that you can do daily to get 20-30 minutes of constant movement at a relaxed medium pace.
We will want you to walk once and, if possible, twice a day for 20-30 minutes continuously for at least two weeks following treatment. This is to reduce the risk of blood clots (DVT) and to help the body open up new pathways for blood to return to the heart from your legs. Once you are fully recovered, we recommend you increase your walking to hit the recommended 10,000 steps a day as this is the best thing you can do to maintain your overall health as well as vein health.
Patients often report to us they have lost weight as a result of the walking and this has inspired them to make more healthy lifestyle choices and continue with their weight loss.
In addition to regular walking, eating well and getting a good amount of regular sleep will reduce the degree of inflammation in your body and increase your chances of a smooth recovery after treatment. Reducing alcohol intake and cigarette use is also recommended.
3. Calm your farm!
Fear of the unknown is powerful and can be debilitating. Rest assured, in our experienced and capable hands, the procedures we offer are very safe and extremely well-tolerated.
We have calmed and dealt with thousands of patients undergoing vein treatments. Time and time again we hear patients say “that was nowhere near as bad as I thought it would be”. Often patients are thinking about horror stories others have told them, often related to stripping or various other procedures quite different to what we offer.
If you have particular concerns please raise them with us ahead of time so we can address them and help eliminate them from your worry list. If you are particularly anxious about having your procedure, we recommend you call and organize a time for one of our nurses to speak with you in detail about the process and what to expect.
Practice self-help for maximal success. We will do what we can to help but it is your responsibility to be honest with yourself and work with us to make things as pleasant for everyone as possible.
Bring a support person: Having a support person to drive you to and from the appointment is often very helpful for anxious patients.
Arrange transport: If you don’t have anyone available to drive you, getting an Uber will take away the stress of worrying about parking, driving etc.
Go with the flow: Accept that your treatment is a necessary part of your healing journey. You’re in good hands and Dr Matar is one of the most experienced vein experts in the country, treating every patient in the way he would wish to be treated himself.
Take it one step at a time: The laser procedure is often the first and most important step in treating your veins, but it is likely other steps will also be required. Don’t set unrealistic expectations that all your vein issues will be magically fixed with one treatment. Trust in the process and the experts treating you, and that you need to follow the advice you are given to get the best possible outcome.
Additional help we can offer
- Pre-med (painkiller and light sedative): We often recommend an oral pre-med to further reduce discomfort and anxiety. If having this, you will not be able to drive.
- Music: Is there particular music you like to hear to help you relax, such as classical music, chill beats, etc? We have a premium Spotify and Sonos sound system to entertain you, so let us know what you would like to listen to.
- Conversation: Tell us if you would prefer silence or chatting during your procedure.
- Movie: You can opt to have a movie on in the treatment room for additional distraction.
- Aromatherapy: We have an aromatherapy diffuser so if you find any particular scents calming, please let us know and we will try to accommodate.
- IV Sedation: In a small percentage of patients with high level anxiety or needle phobia we will recommend IV sedation, this will make the procedure less stressful for you and us. In such an instance we will arrange for a specialist anesthetist to be present, and this will need to be coordinated in advance and additional payment direct to the anaesthetist prior to treatment will be required.
4. Get your finances in order
Go online to MyGov and make sure you are registered for the Medicare safety net and know what bank account is linked to your Medicare account for receiving refunds.
Ensure you have paid your deposit at least 14 days prior to treatment and understand that the rest of the balance will be required on the day of treatment.
If you do not have the full cash amount on hand, credit cards may be useful allowing you to pay for your treatment upfront. Your Medicare rebate is usually received within 24-48 hours of us lodging the claim for you and at times is refunded on the spot to your nominated account.
Payment plans are not currently offered in-house, but third-party medical finance is another option you may wish to consider if financial constraints are preventing you from accessing treatment.
If your veins are medically significant and causing pain that is impacting your daily activities, you may be eligible to early release from superannuation on compassionate grounds. We generally only recommend this if there is no other way for you to access funds to go ahead with treatment. Ask our reception team for more information on this process.
5. Think long-term
Nothing in life of value comes without some sacrifice, some short-term pain is always required for long term gain.
Recognise that you are making an investment in your health and happiness, and rejoice that you are finally doing something for yourself. There is no need to feel guilty for looking after yourself!
Rather than focus on the short term discomfort of treatment and recovery, focus on the outcome and how good it will feel to be symptom-free and having your legs look the best they can.
Understand that the treatment process occurs in stages. Medical treatment always comes first and cosmetic treatment will not occur until all underlying vein issues are addressed. Understand that, similar to dental treatment, the follow-up process is also very important to maintain results.