Endovenous Varicose Vein Surgery

Modern varicose vein treatment uses keyhole techniques which has reduced the complications associated with traditional vein surgery.

Please do not hesitate to ask your surgeon or nurse if you have any further questions.

Post procedure

Your procedure may have been performed under general anaesthetic, light sedation or local anaesthetic. Whichever anaesthetic technique you have chosen you should be able to go home an hour to two hours after the procedure.
It is advisable that you have someone to accompany you home and to be with you for the first 24 hours following the procedure.

Dressings and Stockings

Following the procedure your leg/s will be bandaged in a light wool and crepe bandage. This is to help with post operative bruising and apply pressure to the area from which the veins have been removed.

You can remove the bandages and replace them with the stockings you have been provided with the morning following the procedure. You should wear the stockings during the day and night for the first week after the procedure and only during the day for the second week.

If the bandages become loose do not worry. Simply remove them and change to the stockings earlier.

Bruising

Bruising is unpredictable and everyone is different. The extent of bruising is dependent on the extent of your veins to a degree. You should expect bruising particularly over the area where the larger bulgy veins on your leg used to be. Occasionally the bruising may follow the line of where your veins were on your leg. You may also feel a lump or cord-like hard area in the distribution of the removed veins. Both the bruising and this lumpy feeling will resolve in a few weeks. If you have extensive bruising continue to wear the stockings for longer than the prescribed two weeks.

Wounds and Stitches

You will have a few small cuts in your leg which are all smaller than a few millimetres in size. All are too small to require stitches. Instead the wounds are sealed with a type of white plaster called a steri-strip. If these come off your leg when changing the bandages or putting the stockings on do not worry. If you still have some steri-strips on your legs after two weeks remove these by soaking them off in the bath or shower.

Pain and Pain Relief

Pain is variable post this procedure with most patients only experiencing a mild discomfort similar to a muscle strain. The degree of pain is usually easily controlled by simple analgesia such as Paracetamol and Ibuprofen. Some patients, particularly those who have had extensive treatment, may have more pain.
Many patients experience slightly more discomfort in the second week following the procedure. Again this should respond to simple analgesia.

If you experience more severe pain that has not started resolving in the week after your procedure please contact your surgeon for further advice.

Residual Veins

It is not always possible to remove all the veins on your legs and you may notice some residual veins following your treatment. In addition the thread and spider veins on your legs may remain. Your surgeon will discuss this with you prior to your procedure and you may occasionally require extra treatment to deal with these.

Generally flare and spider veins do not improve following the procedure and will require additional treatment to remove. Again your surgeon will explain this to you prior to your procedure.

Showering and Bathing

You can generally bath and shower after 48 hours. Avoid soaking your leg in the bath and make sure you dry thoroughly afterwards. Damp the small plasters down with a towel until they are ready to be removed.

Mobility and Exercise

You are actively encouraged to resume normal activity as soon as possible after the procedure. Resuming normal activity and exercising reduces the risk of post operative complications like deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism.

You can exercise as normal as soon as you feel comfortable. Swimming should be avoided for 48 hours post the procedure.

Driving

You should be able to drive as long as you are able to control your vehicle and perform an emergency stop. You should however always check with your vehicle insurer before resuming driving.

Work

You can return to work as soon as you feel comfortable. There is no prescribed period of time off and this is entirely at your own discretion. Most patients are able to return to work within 24 to 48 hours.

Flying

You are able to fly short haul approximately 2 weeks hours after the procedure. Long haul flights are a greater risk and should be avoided for 4 to 6 weeks following the procedure. There is an increased risk of deep vein thrombosis after varicose vein surgery. If you fly you should make sure that you wear your stockings, drink plenty of fluid and ensure you get up from your seat at regular intervals. If you have no contra-indications you should consider taking low dose aspirin from before your flight. Please take note of the in flight exercises that most airlines recommend.

Follow up

You will be given an appointment to see your surgeon 6 weeks after the procedure.

When to Contact the Hospital

If you are concerned about anything that is not explained above please contact the hospital.

Infection is very uncommon following endovenous vein treatment. However, if you do develop a high temperature, notice redness or swelling around any of the incisions or pus (a yellow/green discharge) then please contact the hospital on 01372 221442.