Most modern treatments for varicose veins are much less invasive than the traditional treatments you may have heard of, and the recovery period is also faster and less painful than in the past. You do need to follow some practices that will help you recover as quickly as possible so you may return to your normal lifestyle.
Immediately after the procedure, whether it is ambulatory phlebectomy, radiofrequency ablation or sclerotherapy, your legs will be washed and you will be helped to put compression stockings on the leg or legs that received treatment. Compression stockings apply increasing pressure from your foot up to the top of your leg, if necessary, which helps move your blood back toward your heart. You might wear these stockings for up to several weeks during waking hours. You don’t have to wear them while you sleep. (Do not use Ace bandages in place of compression stockings. They do not work as well.)
Exercise speeds the healing after a varicose vein treatment
You will be able to walk out of the office shortly after the procedure and return to work within a day or two. You should make sure you do 30 minutes of walking every day for the next two weeks, at least. You can put together your 30 minutes in several shorter spurts or get it all done at once, whichever fits your schedule best. And when you sit again, try to keep your leg elevated.
But don’t exercise too much
Leave the heavy lifting to others until your doctor gives you the OK. Also avoid running and other strenuous activity. And hot tubs are out, too, until the doctor says so – probably in a couple of weeks.
Manage the pain
Every patient experiences pain differently – some may feel mild discomfort while others do not feel the pain at all after treatment of their varicose veins. Our advice includes taking ibuprofen, applying heat and elevating your legs.
Talk to your doctor
Most important, you should contact your doctor any time you have a question or concern, including about whether the pain you are feeling is normal. At the Vein Institute of Connecticut, we monitor our patients until we – and they – are satisfied that they are fully recovered.