Travel Medical Insurance Canada

Post Operative Information For Varicose Veins

This is the relatively short period of time following treatment. In most cases patients do not need any pain killers. While you may be aware that you have had something done, it must not be agony. Therefore we routinely offer post operative analgesia (pain killers) and anti-inflammatory medication and encourage you to make use of this. It is desirable to prevent you from getting uncomfortable.

However it has never been necessary to give morphine or pethidine type medication. So we are talking more tender and uncomfortable than agony, especially for the first three to four days after the procedure. And certainly much better after the sutures (buttons) are removed. Since it is quite difficult to fall, and stay asleep with compression stockings on, we routinely prescribe a sleeping tablet for a few days after the procedure.

Compression stockings are perhaps the worst part of the post operative phase for some patients. While they are not essential, the post operative and healing phase is very much more painful and prolonged without them. They also prevent the pigmentation changes mentioned above. They are well worth the trouble and discomfort they cause. We use them routinely.

By necessity they are tight. This keeps the superficial vessels closed and the venous return through the deep and normal circulation. Their pressure may be enhanced by the use of foam pads over extensively treated areas. Once you take off the stockings for the first time yourself, the foam pads are discarded and when you put on the stocking the next day, do so without the foam pads. For compression stockings to work, we need a compression value of around 30 mmHg pressure against the skin. This makes them quite cozy! Stocking are machine washable.

Initially, for the first three days we request that you avoid sitting and standing. Either you are walking around, or you are lying down with your legs up. Do not be in a hurry to get back to gym for the first week, and especially not weight bearing leg exercises, like squats. However aerobic walking, jogging and cycling are all fine from day one post op. Swimming is obviously not possible with stocking on, but once they are off this is excellent exercise.

Massage therapy is offered by physiotherapists, massage therapists and beauticians. It promotes the clearing of healing varicose veins and bruises. It requires a variety of manipulative techniques on the skin, with firm pressure especially to healing areas, which may be a little tender, but enormously relieving afterward. You are encouraged to make use of this in the post operative phase for anything from one to six sessions at weekly intervals starting three weeks after treatment. Circular movements over tender areas with a thumb or two finger tips are the action required.

Leg and ankle swelling is often a feature of large treatments. It may persist for a few weeks. Leg elevation, stockings being worn for longer periods of time and massage therapy all help enormously. However the commonest reason is that a vein has some trapped old blood that cannot easily drain away, and it keeps a low grade inflammation with leg swelling on the go. In these cases your doctor will drain the offending vein. This can be tender, and your doctor will again offer you intravenous analgesia and local anaesthetic if you so require.

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