Many times it is the patient who says, “It’s time to treat my varicose veins.”
She might be frustrated with how the varicose veins affect the look of her legs. He might be ready to remove the source of pain in his legs.
There are times your doctor, too, will suggest you might be ready for advanced treatment to remove the diseased veins so you can get on with your life without discomfort or more serious issues. If blood clots are forming, phlebitis is diagnosed, or ulcers appear on your lower leg, for example, a physician will probably recommend one of the safe and relatively quick treatments available today.
When you decide you are ready for one of the procedures, make sure you talk to your doctor about what recovery entails – how long it will take, what you should do to heal quickly and what you shouldn’t do.
Your contributions to healing your legs
During the recovery period for any of the non-invasive procedures, which are done in the offices of a vein specialist, you will be able to quickly return to work and resume most normal activities.
But you will be advised to do a few things:
No matter which procedure you choose, you will be told to wear compression stockings for up to several days. They will speed up healing and prevent some pain, and your doctor will tell you which grade to buy. Sometimes you will wear them for the first 24 hours, even in the shower.
No enjoying the hot tub, soaking in the bath or steaming in the sauna for as many as four weeks. The extra-hot water or steam might induce bleeding. Quick daily showers are OK.
Ibuprofen or similar over-the-counter pain tablets are enough to deaden whatever minor pain you might experience after the procedure. After sclerotherapy, you may experience inflammation from the chemical used to collapse the vein. Arnica gel often relieves swelling and bruising.
The right kind of exercise
You should walk for at least 15 minutes twice a day for two weeks after your treatment. Walking helps keep the blood flowing and lessens the chance of blood clots. Do not run, lift weights or engage in other intense exercise like tennis or soccer for a week or two.
Rare side effects
Deep vein thrombosis, or a clot in a deep vein, occurs only rarely after varicose vein treatments. But if you experience tenderness in your calf, pain, swelling, redness or a warm feeling in your leg, call your doctor immediately.
If you follow the recommendations of your physician, you will be able to rid yourself of unsightly and unhealthy varicose veins and return to your normal activities within days.
If you are considering treatment of your varicose veins, or just have questions, schedule a consultation with the Vein Institute of Connecticut.