Before and After Your Varicose Vein Treatment
To achieve optimal results after your varicose vein procedure, we recommend you follow these pre- and post-operation tips.
Today’s minimally invasive varicose vein treatments are quick, nearly painless, and permit you to return to normal activities within days. Yet, to achieve the excellent, long-lasting results you’re hoping for, there are certain pre- and post-op protocols you should follow.
Your vein specialist will discuss which treatment option is right for your specific situation. Smaller varicose veins require different therapies than larger ones, for example. What you do before and after the treatment varies depending upon the recommended treatment. In general, here’s what you’ll be asked to do prior to the surgery and afterwards.
To treat varicose veins, your vein specialist may recommend laser ablation, radiofrequency ablation, or sclerotherapy. Laser and radiofrequency ablation use the heat of a laser or radio waves to collapse the damaged vein. In sclerotherapy, a liquid foam irritates the vein walls so they’ll close up, forcing blood to flow to healthier veins. We also can perform newer procedures such as VenaSeal and Varithena that use a medical adhesive and foam, respectively, to cut off the damaged vein. Depending upon the nature of your varicose veins, we may recommend more than one treatment type.
Prior to either procedure, your doctor will review your medical history. If you take blood thinners, you may have to stop taking the medication before the surgery.
Before laser or radiofrequency ablation, you’ll need to be hydrated, so be sure to drink plenty of water. Since your doctor will have prescribed a sedative, which should be taken an hour before the procedure, you must have a friend or relative drive you to the office.
On the day of the procedure, wear loose fitting clothing and bring along your compression stockings. You can buy a pair in a drugstore, medical supply outlet, or be specially fitted with prescription compression stockings. For more detailed information, reference our patient handbook.
Those same instructions apply to pre-op sclerotherapy, with the addition of one more rule: do not shave or put lotion on the area to be treated.
Your doctor will detail your after-care guidelines. Although the procedure itself may take only an hour or so, your recovery period extends a bit longer. These seven tips ensure you’ll heal properly.
- Monitor the Incision. It’s normal to have a bit of bleeding and bruising from the incision. If you notice bleeding through the bandages, elevate your legs and apply pressure to the incision. Contact your doctor anytime the bleeding becomes excessive and cannot be stopped. To counteract swelling, ice the incision for 15 minutes. An over-the-counter pain medication may be taken to reduce discomfort. Never clean the wound with hydrogen peroxide or alcohol, as they can hamper healing. Swab the incision with soap and water.
- Avoid Strenuous Activities. Don’t do any strenuous exercise or heavy lifting for two weeks after the procedure. Instead, take a brisk, 20-minute walk each day to promote blood flow and healing.
- Take Showers. Instead of soaking in a tub, take a shower the first week after treatment. The water temperature should be warm, but not hot.
- Don’t Sit or Stand for Long Periods. While you may return to work the day after the procedure, you should be careful not to stay seated or stand for prolonged periods. Moving around frequently aids in maintaining blood flow and prevents clotting.
- Wear Compression Stockings. Compression stockings put pressure on the leg veins so blood moves upward to the heart rather than pooling within the vein — the main cause of varicose veins. Wear the garments for three days after the surgery, taking them off to bathe and sleep.
- Make a Follow-up Appointment. You’ll need to make an appointment for an ultrasound three to seven days after the procedure. This gives the doctor a chance to monitor your progress and see if you need additional treatments.
Thinking About Varicose Vein Treatment?
Once you’ve made the decision to treat your varicose veins, you’ll likely have a lot of questions about your recovery. You’ll be surprised to learn how quick and easy the procedure and the healing process is. The specialists at the Center for Vein Restoration will recommend the most suitable procedure and provide detailed pre- and post-op instructions. Schedule an appointment today to finally eliminate your varicose veins.