Recovery Process After Varicose Vein Treatment

September 11, 2023 The Vein Institute

With the many varicose vein treatments currently on the market, it can be difficult to determine what your recovery will be like. So, to help you make an informed decision, we’ll be going over the recovery time and process after Endovenous Thermal Ablation (EVLA), ambulatory phlebectomy, and other varicose vein treatment options. 

Recovery time

With a minimally invasive procedure like EVLA or VenaSeal, you can walk out of the clinic and get back to your regular activities right away. The only caveats may be to take some time (usually three days) off work if your role involves a lot of standing, sitting or heavy lifting, and avoiding strenuous activities for at least three days.

What you’ll need to do

woman walking along the beach as part of her varicose vein treatment recovery

Woman walking along the beach

All medical procedures have some aftercare steps for you to follow, and varicose vein treatments are no different. But varicose vein treatment often follows the same post-op processes, with just a few key variations. 

For all procedures, you’ll need to: 

  • Walk 30 minutes a day to boost your circulation without overstraining your veins.
  • Elevate your legs. For minimally invasive procedures, do so for 10 minutes a day for the first couple of weeks. For phlebectomy, you may need to also prop your feet up on a pillow while you sleep. 
  • Avoid showering for 24 hours and baths for at least 3 days. 
  • Stay hydrated. This will help regulate your blood flow and help you avoid clotting. 

For some procedures, you may also need to: 

  • Wear compression socks. This generally isn’t a requirement for sclerotherapy, ClariVein, and VenaSeal. You will need to wear compression socks for around 5 days after EVLA and Radiofrequency Ablation, and up to 2 weeks after phlebectomy.

What you can expect to feel

Pain and discomfort can vary a lot from patient to patient, even if they’ve undergone the same procedure. Here are some side effects you may experience:

  • Bruising: This is pretty common in all varicose vein procedures, though it will take longer to resolve after phlebectomy (typically 3-4 weeks). 
  • Soreness: also a common side effect but varies from patient to patient. Due to phlebectomy requiring multiple surgical incisions, your skin may feel more tender.
  • Swelling: Depending on your body’s reaction, you may also experience some redness and swelling around the treatment site. 

Are there any complications?

As with all medical procedures, yes, there is a risk of complications, though minimally invasive treatments like EVLA are safer than surgical ones. 

  • Thermal ablation: In EVLA and RFA treatments, there is a slight (less than 1%) risk of nerve damage or numbness below the knee if the doctor treats this portion. Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) is an extremely rare risk.
  • Injectable: In Sclerotherapy, ClariVein, and VenaSeal treatments, there is a chance you might have an allergic reaction to the solution. However, the risk is extremely low as we conduct an allergen test during your consultation. They also pose a slight risk of DVT, but again, there’s a less than 0.1% chance of this occurring.
  • Surgery: In ambulatory phlebectomy, there’s a slight risk of one or more of the incision sites becoming infected. You’re also at a higher risk of DVT due to the extensiveness of the procedure. And if you need general anaesthesia, it carries its own risks.

Remember the benefits of treating varicose veins

Confidence: For many varicose vein sufferers, improving the appearance through laser treatment can have an immediate positive impact on self-confidence.

Sleeping well: Sleep can be a very painful time for many varicose vein sufferers as leg aches and pains often get worse during the night when your body is relaxed. Removing the source of aches and pains can help your body get a restful night’s sleep.

Exercise: The throbbing pain caused by varicose veins for many people puts an end to regular exercise routines. Luckily, after a minimally invasive treatment, you can commence a more active lifestyle almost immediately.

In short,

Varicose vein treatments have progressed quite a bit since the days of surgical stripping. Modern treatments (especially minimally invasive ones) boast easier recovery processes and are generally safer than traditional surgical options. Ready to get started on your treatment journey? Call us today at 13 VEINS (that’s 13 83467) or book online now.