Tips on Varicose Veins Surgery Recovery
Treating your varicose veins by whatever means appropriate can be life-changing. Your life can be much more comfortable and enjoyable since you don’t have to deal with the aches and pains that these veins can bring. Most importantly, vein surgery can actually save your life because if left untreated, serious varicose vein problems can become venous insufficiency or worse, a life-threatening condition.
So what are the tips on varicose veins surgery recovery? Vein surgery is a sure way to deal with the thick and tangled varicose veins on your legs. If other treatments won’t work, the best course is to remove the veins altogether via surgery or varicose veins stripping. The best way to recover from the varicose vein treatment is to prepare in advance to ensure your smooth healing afterward.
Why Is Varicose Vein Surgery Done
First, it's important to establish that the term "surgery" can be misleading to patients since most treatments used are minimally invasive in nature, such as sclerotherapy and radiofrequency ablation. From here, you’ll encounter other forms of varicose veins treatment: endovenous laser ablation, radiofrequency ablation, endovenous ablation, foam sclerotherapy, endovenous laser ablation, and endovenous laser treatment.
Varicose vein stripping makes use of the following methods: methods of vein ligation, avulsion, or vein ablation to treat the varicose veins and prevent them from coming back. There are other less invasive alternatives, but your doctor may recommend vein stripping instead due to several conditions.
You may benefit from more invasive surgery if you’re in constant pain, tenderness, and throbbing in your legs. Surgery is also best for your vein disease if you have skin sores and ulcers, blood clots, and bleeding from the veins.
Learn More: What Are The Options For Varicose Vein Surgery?
How to Prepare for Varicose Vein Surgery
You’ll have to undergo a physical examination before the varicose veins treatment in order for your doctor to find the non-working valves in your legs. He may use a handheld ultrasound device to get the best view of your veins and valves. If this isn’t sufficient, you may have to undergo a duplex scan, which produces clearer images of your diseased vein and shows how much blood flow is involved. The test is also good for ruling out any clots or thromboses in your deep vein.
You’ll be asked about medications that you’re currently taking, be it prescribed or over the counter. This is necessary because as a patient, you may have to stop taking certain medications before undergoing surgery to avoid possible heavy bleeding during the stripping process. Varicose vein stripping requires you to be put under general anesthesia, so you’ll probably be drowsy for several hours after the surgery.
Learn More: When To Worry About Varicose Veins?
Risks Associated With Varicose Vein Surgery
Although varicose vein stripping is a safe and low-risk treatment, it comes with a set of risks, just like any other surgical procedure. You may have an allergic reaction to the anesthesia of getting an infection at the incision sites. Stripping can also cause heavy bleeding, blood clot, bruising, and nerve injury.
There are certain people with vein problems who are more at risk of experiencing these risks. These include pregnant women, overweight people, those with poor leg circulation and skin infections, and those with blood-clotting issues. But keep in mind that these risks are indeed rare and your doctor will make sure that you’re good enough to be able to undergo vein surgery.
What Happens During Varicose Veins Surgery
Varicose vein stripping is an outpatient procedure so you’ll be able to go home within the day of the surgery. It only lasts around 60 to 90 minutes, although some cases can take a little longer to finish. You get either general or spinal anesthesia, depending on your doctor’s recommendation.
If it’s the latter, only the lower part of your body will get numb and you’ll be able to stay awake during the surgery. You can ask for an anti-anxiety medication if you’re feeling nervous before your spinal anesthesia.
The stripping involves making several small cuts or incisions near the top and bottom of the affected vein. One of the incisions will be in your groin and another one will be either in your calf or ankle. A thick, flexible plastic wire will be threaded into your vein and go through the incision in your groin. The wire will be tied to the treated vein and pulled out, which will pass through the cut in your lower leg.
Afterward, your cuts and stitches will be closed and bandaged. Your doctor will also make you wear compression stockings to control the pressure on your legs.
What to Expect After Varicose Vein Surgery
Recovery from varicose vein stripping usually takes two to four weeks, but this highly depends on how many veins were treated and where these veins are located. Your doctor will give you pain medications to help with the discomfort. You need to stay off your feet as much as possible for three to four days after the procedure. After four days, you can remove the bandages on your legs.
You also need to keep your legs elevated when you’re sitting. Propping your legs with pillows will definitely help with this. You can resume your normal activities four weeks after your surgery.
Learn More: What Are The Best Vitamins For Varicose Veins?
Tips for Recovering From Varicose Vein Surgery
Here’s what you can do to prepare for a smooth recovery after your veins surgery:
- Schedule a Pre-Surgery Office Visit
This is necessary since your doctor needs to go over your medical history and give you a physical exam to make sure you’re healthy enough to undergo surgery. While you’re at the vein clinic, ask your doctor all the questions you have in mind about vein issues and the treatment itself.
- Get to Know the Type of Surgery You're Having
Vein stripping and ligation is the traditional surgery for very severe varicose veins. Another technique to remove varicose veins is ambulatory phlebectomy. Your doctors will make a small incision and get rid of the vein through this cut. There's also a procedure known as PIN stripping, which uses fewer incisions. You also may only need an injection to numb your leg instead of using IV medication that puts you to sleep.
PIN stripping and ambulatory phlebectomy may require a shorter recovery time. Your doctor should be able to recommend the best type of treatment for your case.
- Ask About Necessary Lifestyle Changes
Ask your vein doctor if there are any changes in your lifestyle that you should make before the surgery. For instance, it would be best if you quit smoking to speed up the healing process. Go over all medications, herbs, and supplements that you're taking because some of them could affect how you respond to anesthesia, while some could make bleeding more of a risk. You may have to stop taking some of the medications the day before your surgery or maybe even sooner. Also, ask when you can start taking them again.
- Arrange for Your Ride Home
You’re likely able to go home on the same day as your vein surgery, but remember that you’ll be groggy so you won’t be able to drive after having anesthesia. You need to make arrangements for someone to drive you home after the surgery. You can also ask your designated person to pick up prescriptions whenever you need them.
Make sure that you have someone who can stay with you for at least the first 24 hours. You may even need someone to stay longer if you have to take it easy for a while as you recover. Arrange for people to do stuff around the house, such as heavy lifting.
Get the Treatment You Need for Spider Veins and Severe Varicose Veins at Vein Center Doctor
Vein Center Doctor is a vein treatment facility will full service that provides easy access to patients in New York and New Jersey. Their clinics offer outpatient vein treatment services — from diagnosis to aftercare — with high success results.
Their team of experts offers multiple minimally invasive and non-invasive procedures featuring the latest in vein and blood vessel treatment technology. Call Vein Center Doctor now and schedule an appointment with a vein specialist for a pain-free vein procedure with zero downtime.