According to the American Heart Association, varicose veins affect approximately 11 million men in the United States. Despite the high number, fewer men than women seek treatment for varicose veins and believe that the condition is normal. Fortunately, vascular specialists consistently disseminate credible information to encourage men to pursue various treatment options.
Most people need help with what to do after varicose vein treatment. A lack of knowledge can undermine your recovery progress and undo any gains. So here are a few post-operative care tips for varicose veins.
1. Take Daily Slow Walks
Why would one put weight on a leg that has undergone a treatment procedure? For most people, walking as post-op care would be the last thing on their minds. However, vascular specialists advise that the best thing you can do for your varicose veins is to cultivate a walking habit right after the procedure. Notably, you should start walking immediately after treatment only if the procedure was non-invasive. If you underwent an invasive treatment, you should take up walking after a couple of days under a physician’s guidance.
Exercise is crucial because it encourages blood flow through your veins, preventing blood from pooling. A 10-15 minute walk daily is considered adequate for healthy recovery. Most importantly, try walking as normally as possible, even if you feel discomfort on the affected leg. Since varicose vein procedures do not affect the skeletal system, the pressure from a step is unlikely to damage the veins.
2. Depressurize Your Legs
Sustained pressure on treated varicose veins can cause them to reopen, which is the last thing you want to happen. In most cases, sustained pressure results from standing longer than necessary or simply the impact of jogging. Your veins are still recovering and cannot effectively pump blood back to your heart from your legs in these situations. The best thing you can do is depressurize the veins.
The most effective way to take undue pressure off your veins is to elevate your legs. The best way to do it is to lie on a couch and raise the affected leg higher than your heart level. The position allows blood to flow back to your heart from your legs easily, which accelerates healing. Remember to prioritize comfort as you elevate your legs.
3. Wear Compression Stockings
Non-invasive varicose treatments allow you to move your legs freely and comfortably. However, you might need to stay off your feet for a few days if you have undergone a surgical procedure. During the recovery time, a physician will advise that you wear compression stockings for a while.
Compression stockings are custom-made, tight-fitting, stretchy socks that help improve blood circulation. The activation of inflammatory blood pathways during surgical varicose vein treatment can hurt your vascular system. These special stockings compress the affected area to minimize swelling, prevent bruising, and promote blood flow.
4. Plan for Pain Management
Surgical treatment is the best option for severe varicose vein conditions. However, as with other surgical procedures, pain is inevitable after varicose vein surgery. In addition, surgical stitches will feel sore, and you might be tempted to gently massage the affected areas to relieve the pain. Unfortunately, massaging a surgical wound increases the chances of undoing the sutures.
Vascular specialists advise patients to plan for pain management before the procedure for comfort and effective healing. Thus, a physician will prescribe appropriate pain medication, which you should take according to the recommended schedule. The use of an ice pack is also an option, but remember to place a cloth between the ice pack and your skin to avoid irritation and skin damage.
The highlighted pointers are effective for comfort and quick recovery after varicose vein treatment. However, you might need additional care tips based on your response to treatment. Contact us for varicose veins treatment or post-op care.