Endovenous Vein Therapy

Endovenous Vein Therapy and Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA) are both short, minimally invasive alternatives to more invasive vein stripping procedures. These procedures are performed under local anesthesia. With Endovenous Vein Theraphy, a thin fiber or catheter is inserted into the vein and heat energy is applied to the vein. With RFA, a thin catheter is inserted into the vein and radiofrequency energy is applied to the vein. Delivered in short pulses, the heat or radiofrequency energy heats the vein from within, causing it to shrink, collapse and seal shut.


You will experience some discomfort, along with possible bruising, after the procedure for up to 2 weeks. Walking, compression stockings, and non-aspirin anti-inflammatories are recommended to help with the discomfort during the healing process.


The procedure takes about an hour, and you can resume your normal activities immediately. Vigorous workouts, running and other such activity should be avoided for 1-2 weeks.

Pre-Procedure Care

Pre-Procedure Instructions

Please consider and follow these pre-procedural instructions prior to your procedure at MercyOne Iowa Heart Vein Center.


Endovenous Vein Therapy/RFA is performed in our office under local anesthesia. You will receive medication to help you relax, so please make arrangements for a responsible adult driver to drive you home.

Food and Medication

Minimal food or drink is recommended the morning of the procedure to enhance absorption of the medication. A light breakfast or snack is acceptable. Take your normal medications. If your procedure is scheduled in the afternoon, a light lunch is acceptable.

If you are on a blood thinner, please notify us immediately so that if needed, we may speak with your primary physician and determine a course of action. Endovenous Vein Therapy/RFA may be performed while on blood thinners, but it is important that we are aware of this.

What to Wear

Do not wear your compression stockings the morning of the procedure, but please bring them with you. They must be thigh-high 20-30mm Hg or 30-40mm Hg compression strength. If you forget your compression hose, we have them to purchase.

Wear loose fitting, comfortable clothing.


Please check with your insurance company prior to your procedure to assure that your Endovenous Vein Theraphy/RFA procedure is a covered benefit with your individual plan. This will be billed as an outpatient hospital procedure. Please ask that they quote your financial responsibilities.

Other Instructions

In preparation for the procedure, we request that you maintain a standing position as much as possible for 2 hours prior to arrival. This will help to increase the circulation to your legs, thus increasing the ease of the procedure.

Post-Procedure Instructions

Post-Procedure Instructions

Now that your procedure is complete, you may resume normal activities with the following exceptions and suggestions.


You are encouraged to walk at least 20 minutes every few hours during the day. Walking will help the leg’s recovery process.

  • When not walking, you are encouraged to elevate your leg.
  • Refrain from weight lifting or high impact activity with legs for one week.
  • Do not fly for one week following your procedure.

Pain Management

You may or may not experience discomfort or pain after the procedure for up to several weeks. An over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication is recommended. You will also be given a prescription for a pain medication if indicated.

Starting roughly on the 3rd to 4th day after the procedure, you may experience a pulling or tugging sensation in the affected leg. You may have redness, bruising, and tenderness. You may also experience hard, lumpy, or cord-like areas in the treated leg. These are all normal effects and part of the healing process. Do not use heating pads or ice to affected leg.


You may shower after the procedure. Remove your dressing and do not replace. No baths or soaking in water for 1 week. This includes swimming pools, hot tubs, and lake or river water exposure.

Other Instructions

Wear the compression stockings at all times (24hrs daily) until your ultrasound appointment or otherwise instructed. You may remove them to shower then replace. After that, you will need to wear your compression stockings for 2-3 additional weeks during the day.

Questions or Concerns?

Contact MercyOne Iowa Heart Vein Center office at 515-633-3666 or 877-413-VEIN.

West Des Moines Office Hours 8:00 am – 4:30 pm, Monday – Friday

As a courtesy to our staff and other patients, if you need to cancel or reschedule your procedure for any reason, please do so at least one week prior to your scheduled appointment.

Am I a Candidate?

Determine if you are at risk for developing or already have symptoms for venous disease.