When Can I Start Exercising After Varicose Vein Surgery?

Written By Center for Vein Restoration
Senior man and woman jogging

Maintaining a consistent level of activity is important for reducing or preventing varicose veins. So how soon after vein surgery is it safe to start exercising?

Have you recently had surgical treatment for your varicose veins and are now wondering how soon you can start exercising? The timeline depends on your individual health status and the procedure you underwent. Although modern varicose vein treatments are minimally invasive and require very little downtime, you should follow your doctor's instructions. In most cases, you will be encouraged to ease slowly back into your routine to ensure a full recovery and lasting positive result.

When Can I Start Working Out Again After Which Procedure?

The general timeline for resuming exercise ranges from a few days to a week, depending on the procedure. For example, ambulatory phlebectomy requires stitches to close tiny incisions. In this case, strenuous exercise could reopen the wound, which could delay your healing process.

During sclerotherapy, another common procedure to eliminate spider and varicose veins, your vein specialist would have injected a safe solution into the vein. The solution causes the vein to scar, close, and be reabsorbed into local tissue while blood diverts to healthier veins. Although sclerotherapy does not involve incisions, it requires applying pressure to the vein during the healing process. You’ll need to wear compression stockings following sclerotherapy, and you’ll likely need to avoid exercising for five days to a week.

Suppose you had endovenous laser ablation or radiofrequency ablation procedures, both of which use heat to seal the vein. In that case, you should wait to resume exercise for a few days to a week, as there may be bruising or slight swelling.

The best rule of thumb is to speak to your doctor about your recovery timeline. They can recommend your best course of action based on your health history and procedures. They might do a follow-up ultrasound to determine if the vein has healed and there is no risk of a blood clot.

What Exercises Can I Do After Varicose Vein Surgery?

That said, staying completely immobile is never advisable after any surgery. Although you should avoid strenuous movement, light exercise at home can actually help with the recovery process.

To slowly ease back into your workout routine after surgery, start with low-impact aerobic exercises. Walking and pedaling an elliptical bike will engage the calf muscles to help pump blood through the leg veins. Low impact exercise can reduce post-surgery pain while reducing the risk of blood clots. In fact, immediately after the procedure, your doctor may recommend that you take a 30-minute walk and continue walking for an hour a day as you recover.

Avoid high-impact aerobics such as running, weight lifting, cross-training, squatting, and lunging until a postoperative ultrasound finds no blood clot. Once the vein heals, your doctor can clear you to resume more high-intensity workouts.

Your doctor will monitor your progress closely in the weeks following your operation. Although varicose vein procedures generally cause few, if any, side effects, you may experience minor bruising and swelling, as mentioned earlier. Over-the-counter pain medications, ice packs, or elevating your legs can relieve temporary soreness.

To further help with recovery, wear compression stockings when you walk and when you resume exercise. Compression stockings are made of highly elastic fiber that gently squeezes the leg veins to promote more efficient blood flow, supporting healing.

Each person’s recovery depends on a number of individual factors, and your doctor will consider those and advise you when to resume your workouts. After a brief timeout, you can restart your normal exercise routine following varicose vein surgery. Not only will it support your healing, but it will also prevent new varicose veins from forming.

From Start to Finish

The physicians at Center for Vein Restoration follow each patient’s progress from the day of the surgery to full recovery. We will guide you each step of the way toward a successful outcome. Contact us today for a consultation.

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