Surgery for varicose veins is generally considered a minor operation and patients are generally able to get back to their normal way of doing things rather quickly. In order for the area to heal correctly, it is important that the following six steps be taken.
- After the patient gets home, it is important that you do not engage in long periods of sitting. Walking is strongly encouraged and should be done frequently in order to heal faster and help prevent blood clots. In between walking, the legs should be elevated.
- Heavy lifting should be avoided for a minimum of 48 hours. This is defined as 20 pounds or more, but a young child can be lifted carefully. Activities requiring heavy exertion such as running or straining should be avoided for two weeks or more.
- The compression bandages or stockings need to be worn for at least 48 hours after the surgery. This includes wearing them around the clock, but they may be removed in order to shower. The compression stockings should be worn for 7 days after following the procedure in order to help the healing process. The steri-strips should be left in place until the follow-up visit.
- In order to help relieve swelling, discomfort, and pain, ice packs may be used over the area. Do not leave the ice packs on one place for longer than 20 minutes. You will probably only need to use them for 3 or 4 times per day for the first 24 hours.
- Three future appointments will need to be made. They are important. The first one needs to be at the office in one week. Following that, appointments will need to be made for one month later, and then at six months. In order to ensure proper healing, an ultrasound will need to be taken at each of these appointments.
- For pain and in order to reduce inflammation, you should take some over-the-counter medications such as Ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil) 800 mg three times per day; or naproxen (Aleve, Anaprox) 500 mg twice a day. Prescription pain medication can be given if needed. You will also need to take an antibiotic, which will be prescribed.
Once you are treated for varicose veins, you can look and feel better. Following the above directions should be considered part of the treatment and it will help to ensure that you heal properly.