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Consultant Vascular Surgeon - Varicose and Thread Vein Expert
 

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Post-operative information regarding Endovenous Laser/VNUS Closure varicose vein surgery - once at home

For general information on Endovenous Laser varicose vein surgery visit here


When do I remove the compression bandages?

The bandages applied to the leg(s) at the end of the operation should be removed after two days. At this point, you can have a bath or shower and then apply your compression stockings.


How long do I wear the compression stockings for?

Compression stockings should be worn for two weeks.


Do I have to wear the compression stockings day and night?

No. Wearing them during the day is the most important. You can take them off at night if you wish.


If the compression bandages become loose and do not seem to be supporting the leg(s), can they be removed and the stockings put on earlier?

Yes. Removing the bandages earlier if they become loose is the correct thing to do. The compression stockings can be put on earlier than the two days recommended without this causing a problem.


What should I do if I feel my stockings do not fit correctly?

Please contact the ward at the hospital where you had your operation so that the nurses can arrange for the stockings to be changed.


What should I do regarding exercise?

You should go for a good walk twice a day to keep the blood flowing in the legs and help disperse any bruising. You should aim to build up to a mile in the morning and a mile in the evening as soon as possible. Exercise can be increased as long as it feels comfortable. But heavy gym work should be avoided for about two to four weeks to allow healing.


Is it normal to have more pain in the second week?

With Endovenous easer and VNUS closure, patients can experience more pain and discomfort in the second week following their surgery compared to the first week. This is perfectly normal and represents the treated vein breaking down and setting up an inflammatory response within the body. People vary in the degree of inflammatory response they develop. But unfortunately, those patients who have a vigorous inflammatory response tend to suffer more pain. Any pain and discomfort should settle with anti-inflammatories and simple analgesics such as Paracetamol.


Will I get bruising and discomfort following Endovenous Laser/VNUS Closure?

Treating varicose veins inevitably produces some bruising and soreness, even though the newer methods are associated with much less pain and discomfort than traditional stripping. The severity of symptoms depends on how severe your varicose veins were and sometimes it takes several weeks for all the bruising to completely settle. Every patient undergoing varicose vein surgery under the care of Michael Gaunt receives a blood-thinning injection (Heparin) prior to surgery to help prevent deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Inevitably, this policy is associated with some bruising, but we know that this is much less of a complication than a DVT. That said, more than 70% of patients returning for their post-operative visit report minimal symptoms of discomfort and bruising.


Is it normal to feel lumps beneath the skin post-operatively?

Yes as this is a normal part of the healing process and represents scar tissue forming where the veins were treated. This softens up and disappears with time. Some patients report what feels like a firm, tender ‘cord’ running underneath the skin of the thigh from the knee to the groin. Again this is perfectly normal and will resolve with time.


Will I get any numbness post-operatively?

Patches of numb skin are very common after varicose vein surgery and represent damage to the very small nerves in the skin which run close to the treated veins. This tends to resolve over a number of weeks or months. Permanent numbness can occur but is uncommon.


Is it normal to get phlebitis after varicose vein surgery using Endovenous Laser/VNUS Closure?

Thrombosis in the superficial veins under the skin can occur in the veins not treated by surgery. The skin over the phlebitis is red and hot and gives the appearance of infection. But, in fact, this represents inflammation caused by the underlying thrombosis.


Is it normal for the avulsion wounds (tiny incisions) to discharge fluid?

The avulsion wounds are closed with tissue glue. This may feel hard initially, but it gradually flakes off leaving the healed wounds underneath. If any of the avulsion wounds discharge clear fluid in the weeks after surgery, this may be because some of the glue has entered inside the wound and caused irritation. If this does occur, please tell your surgeon at your follow up appointment as it is relatively simple to remove the glue and stop fluid at this stage.


When can I drive following my varicose vein surgery?

After one week, as long as you are pain free and have full control of your vehicle.


When can I fly following my varicose vein surgery?

Six weeks long haul or four weeks if it is a short haul flight.


When can I go swimming after my varicose vein surgery?

After four weeks to allow the scars time to heal.