9 Things You Should Be Doing After a Varicose Vein Treatment

May 6, 2022
Enquire NOW
May 6, 2022 The Vein Institute

As with many operations, a varicose vein treatment has a few extra steps you’ll need to take after leaving the doctor’s office. So to ensure you’re taking the best care of yourself and your veins, here’s our 9-step post-op care guide. 

1. Wear compression stockings

Compression stockings are designed to help you maintain healthy blood flow through gentle pressure. Wearing them after your varicose vein treatment (whether it was ablation, medical superglue, surgery, or sclerotherapy) is helpful as the stockings will reduce discomfort and bruising.

You may need to wear the stockings for anywhere between 3 days and 2 weeks, depending on how long the veins take to heal and on the type of treatment procedure you received. VenaSeal operations, for example, generally require less compression time than ablations. 

During the compression period, we recommend only taking them off if they become too uncomfortable or if you feel them cutting off your blood supply. In these cases, it’s likely the stockings got wrinkled or pulled too tight, so be sure to adjust them. 

You can also take the stockings off before going to bed. Just make sure to put the stockings back on in the morning before your feet touch the ground. You can shop for your compression stockings here.

2. Walk

Similarly, walking helps maintain healthy blood flow and prevent blood clots, which is why you should take the time to go for a 30-minute walk daily for 2 weeks, including right after your procedure. 

When you walk, you might be inclined to keep the weight off your treated leg due to discomfort. However, we advise that you continue walking as normally as possible. Varicose vein treatments don’t affect muscles, bones, or joints, so the pressure won’t damage them. And you want to make sure that the limb receives all the benefits of the improved circulation during your walks.

3. Avoid strenuous exercise

While walking is good, more strenuous exercise causes heavier blood flow, which risks reopening the varicose vein. 

So, you should also avoid activities like jogging, weightlifting, and aerobics for at least 1 week after your treatment. 

4. Depressurise 

It’s also beneficial to elevate the site for around ten minutes a day, every day, for a week after your procedure. This will help your blood flow back to the heart and reduce the pressure on the healing veins. 

5. Avoid sitting or standing for long periods

Remaining static for too long, especially when sitting or standing, can reduce your circulation and force your veins to do some serious heavy lifting to maintain a healthy blood flow as they strain against the gravitational pull. So, keep it to a minimum for at least the first week after the varicose vein treatment. Or at the very least, take brakes to wander around, lay down, or elevate the site at regular intervals. 

6. Avoid waxing/shaving

Generally, this rule only applies to the treatment site. You can still wax or shave around your compression sock. Or even under it, provided you’re not putting pressure on the limb while the stocking is off and provided there is no scabbing around the site. 

Once you can stop wearing your compression socks and there’s no damaged skin left around the site, you are free to resume your regular grooming routine. 

7. Keep an eye out

Some staining and oozing around the treatment site is normal, as is some post-treatment pain, bruising, swelling, redness, and in the case of endovenous laser ablation, some patches of numbness. Your compression socks will help alleviate some of the discomfort, and we would recommend taking Paracetamol as needed to help manage it further. 

You should, however, avoid anti-inflammatory pain relief medications like Neurofen and Aspirin unless your doctor tells you otherwise, as these medications could compromise the vein seal. 

In the unlikely event of uncontrolled bleeding, fever, pus, or pain that won’t go away even with pain medications, contact your doctor as soon as possible. 

8. Keep the site clean and dry

Your doctor will apply gauze to the treatment site, which needs to stay on for 24-48 hours. Once you take the gauze off, apply antibiotic ointment to the site and use bandaids as needed until the site heals. 

You also need to avoid lakes, pools, and hot tubs for 1 week as you may never know what may be swimming around there. You should also avoid baths for at least 3 days and showering for the first 24 hours. 

9. Eat what you eat

Lastly, we think you’ll be happy to know that there are generally no strict dietary restrictions after varicose vein treatment. You are free to eat sweets, bread, and meats. 

But, keep in mind, there are certain food items that, in large enough quantities, increase water retention (salt) and reduce circulation (grease and alcohol), and so might increase the likelihood of you developing varicose veins again. So if your doctor advises you to eat or drink less of such food items, do so. 

So, there you have it, our varicose vein post-op care guide. You should note that while these guidelines are good rules of thumb, varicose veins are never identical from patient to patient, and everyone responds differently to treatments. Hence, your doctor may recommend additional care steps or extended/reduced time frames, depending on your condition. 

If you have any other questions about post-op care, feel free to contact us. 

And if you want to learn more about varicose vein causes, prevention, and treatments, explore the resources on our site and be sure to follow us on Facebook or Instagram