What to Expect from a Vein Procedure
While all modern vein procedures are safe and effective, patients should understand what they entail before receiving treatment.
Many patients regard varicose veins as an unsightly hassle, but when left untreated, they can lead to serious complications. If your symptoms worsen, your doctor may recommend a laser or surgical procedure to relieve pressure on the affected veins and promote circulation within them.
The good news is that you're not alone. Over 20 million Americans suffer from varicose veins, but with knowledge of today's available treatments, you'll be free from venous pain in no time. Here’s what to expect before and after your vein procedure.
Preparing for Your Procedure
Venous conditions can be treated with a variety of procedures, most of which are minimally invasive. Before choosing a course of treatment, however, it's important to know which one will best suit your specific condition.
Radiofrequency and Laser Ablation: A thin catheter is inserted into the vein, emitting heat from radio waves or laser. When the catheter is withdrawn, the healing process begins instantly.
Ambulatory Phlebectomy: This is a minor surgical procedure involving the extraction of the bulging vein through tiny incisions.
Sclerotherapy: The doctor injects a medicine into the problematic vein to prompt the vein's closure.
Once you and your doctor determine an appropriate course of treatment, follow their specific instructions leading up to the day of the procedure. You’ll likely need to bring compression stockings to wear after the treatment and avoid blood-thinning medication to prevent excessive bruising.
While most vein procedures have few complications, most patients needs to take some precautions to ensure complete recovery. In general, you can resume daily activities as soon as you’re discharged, but you should avoid stress for at least two days. We also recommend waiting at least one day before showering.
Since exercise places stress on the circulatory system, we advise that you waiting seven to ten days before working out. You should also avoid soaking in pools, hot tubs, and bathtubs during this time to minimize the chance of infection.
If your pain begins to affect your ability to function, we suggest taking 400mg of Ibuprofen every six to eight hours or 500mg of Tylenol every twelve hours along with a meal. If new symptoms appear or current symptoms progress, you should make an appointment with your doctor.
Potential Side Effects and Complications
Many patients notice bruising, tightness, swelling, and skin discoloration around the treated area shortly after surgery. While these symptoms are common, they may persist for as long as a month before subsiding. Any numbness in the affected vein will also gradually resolve itself. As you recover, you’ll follow up with your vein specialist after the first month and once more after six months. All side effects should subside by your second follow up appointment.
As with any medical procedure, treatments for your venous conditions vary with the patient’s needs and the severity of the condition. If you’re struggling with a venous condition, contact a vein specialist today to discuss which course of treatment is right for you.