About Your Procedure: A Patient’s Guide


If you have questions, please call us at (804) 828-2600 for more information.

If you are scheduled for a procedure at VCU Baird Vascular Institute, we strongly recommend reading these pre-procedure instructions. We want to ensure that your procedure is as safe, comfortable and successful as possible. A doctor or nurse may have already given you instructions on preparing for your procedure, but it’s a good idea to look them over again.

You should not eat for at least six hours before most of the procedures performed at the VCU Baird Vascular Institute. It is very important to have an empty stomach before any procedure for which you may receive sedation. If you are unsure if your procedure will require sedation, please call us at (804) 828-2600.

You can take most medications the morning of your procedure with a small amount of water. Please be sure to make a list of all your medications and bring it with you for your first appointment and on the day of the procedure. Be sure to include OTC (over-the-counter) medications, vitamins and supplements, as well as any you take only occasionally, like aspirin or Tylenol®.

Some medications need to be temporarily stopped prior to some procedure. Please tell us in advance if you are taking any of the following medications:

  • Oral medications for diabetes, including metformin or any medication containing metformin. Metformin is available in many brand names including Glucophage®, Metaglip® and Janumet®. However, if you take any oral medication for diabetes, please contact us in advance.
  • Blood thinners, including Coumadin®, Pradaxa®, Xarelto®, Lovenox®, Plavix®, Eliquis® or any other blood thinner. If you are taking any medication to thin your blood, or to prevent blood clots, please tell us at your first appointment. We will have to determine the best course of action in each individual case. If you have not already told us that you are taking a blood thinner, please contact us immediately.

For most procedures, you will need to arrange for someone to drive you home. You will not be able to drive home after any procedure for which you may receive sedation, or any procedure involving your right leg. If you are unsure if your procedure will require sedation or you will need someone to drive you home, please call us at (804) 828-2600.

You should wear loose-fitting clothes for any procedures. If you are having a varicose vein procedure, your clothing will have to accommodate bandages, dressings and compression stockings.

There are several items that you should not wear, or you can leave at home. You will be asked to remove these items prior to the procedure. If you do bring them, you can leave them with the person accompanying you to the procedure:

  • Glasses
  • Contact Lenses
  • Dentures
  • Hearing Aids
  • Jewelry

Compression Stockings – If you are having a varicose vein procedure, you will need to bring Class 2 (30 to 40 mm Hg) compression stockings with you the day of the procedure. If you have questions about the necessary compression stockings, please call us at (804) 828-2600. We will ask you to wear the stockings continuously for one night and the following day after the procedure, and then during the daytime hours for an additional two weeks.

Medications – Bring a list of all your medications, or bring your labeled medication bottles to your first appointment and to the procedure. If you bring a list, include the dosage (i.e., 10 mg), and the number of times each day that the medication is taken. Do not bring the medication in a “pill caddy” or other container that does not include the drug labels. Be sure to include OTC (over-the-counter) medications, vitamins and those you may take only occasionally, like aspirin.

Insurance Information – Bring your insurance information to the first appointment, and to the procedure. Insurance plans differ; patients are responsible for determining if a physician referral is needed.

Many procedures require blood tests. We will tell you during your scheduled appointment if your procedure will require blood tests, and we can refer you to a local lab with an order for the tests. Common blood tests we require include:

  • Basic metabolic panel, including serum creatinine
  • CBC (complete blood count)
  • PT (prothrombin time)

These tests tell us about your kidney function, risk of bleeding and overall health.

If you are having a varicose vein procedure, wear loose-fitting clothes.

If you are having an endovenous thermal ablation or ambulatory phlebectomy procedure, please shave the affected leg. Do not apply any type of moisturizer to your leg on the day of the procedure.

If you are having an ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy procedure, you do not need to shave your legs the morning of the treatment.

It is important that you resume active walking after a varicose vein procedure. If you have an illness or injury that would interfere with normal walking, please contact us to postpone the procedure.


If you have questions, please call us at (804) 828-2600 for more information.