What to Expect from Varicose Veins Surgery

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Well-known radio host, Chris Evans, shed some forced light on varicose veins after sharing the video of his recovery after vein surgery. The host, who has a history of sharing intimate details of his life, went to social media to provide somewhat gruesome updates after undergoing a mildly invasive varicose vein procedure this year. With bloody bandages and visible cuts covering his legs, Evans shared that he hadn’t felt better and was still on track for his upcoming marathon scheduled for March 2020.

Varicose veins impact nearly 30 percent of the population, resulting in cosmetic problems as well as health issues among men and women alike. According to a vein surgeon with a leading varicose veins clinic in London, dealing with varicose veins often requires professional treatment. However, the extent of treatment and the level of invasiveness of surgery depends substantially on the severity of the varicose veins themselves. Although the bulging and twisting of broken vein walls can be unsightly, treatment is often recommended for those who suffer from ongoing pain or discomfort due to varicose veins. This can mean feeling heaviness in the legs or feet, experiencing the symptoms of poor circulation, or having constant swelling or itching where the vein issues occur.

When surgery is required to help eliminate varicose veins, the most common procedure is endovenous laser treatment or EVLT. The varicose veins treatment is minimally invasive, for individuals with less severe vein issues than those described by Evans, and it is typically performed in less than an hour. If varicose veins treatment is on the docket, here’s what to expect both before and after the procedure.

Preparing for the Procedure

Before stepping foot into a surgery theatre for a varicose vein procedure, a veins specialist must first take a close look at the vein issues causing pain or discomfort. The reason varicose veins appear is not fully known, but for many, vein problems occur due to weakened vein walls that are unable to support the healthy flow of blood throughout the body. When this takes place, varicose veins appear as bulging and twisting threads just beneath the skin’s surface. The severity of these veins must be examined by a medical professional to determine the best treatment available.

When EVLT is the recommended treatment, preparation prior to the procedure is minimal. As a minimally-invasive treatment, there are no substantial cuts made into the leg. Instead, a local anesthetic is administered at the site of the impacted vein, and a laser is then inserted to seal the vein within the leg. Once sealed, blood is able to flow to surrounding, healthy veins, reducing the look and feel of varicose veins. Patients undergoing this treatment for varicose veins do not need to take any advance precautions before the procedure begins, but there are several recommendations for ensuring recovery is smooth upon heading home.

Aftercare at Home

Even though varicose vein treatment does not require undergoing full anesthesia, nor does it mean staying in a hospital bed for several hours or days after the surgery, aftercare is crucial to recovering successfully and minimal downtime. Once home, vein specialists suggest wearing compression stockings to help encourage healthy circulation throughout the legs. This reduces the chance of blood pooling over time, which may lead to other health concerns.

Additionally, taking enough time to rest after the procedure is recommended. Evans, who underwent microwave ablation for his varicose veins treatment, completed a nine-kilometre run shortly after the procedure. Although his doctor was impressed by his willingness and ability to exercise right after treatment, he said it was far from recommended. Planning to get some form of movement in the days following varicose vein surgery is vital to recovery, but this should be limited to walking around for a few minutes at a time, going up and downstairs, and stretching. Taking it easy on the legs after vein surgery allows the body to recover fully, and it reduces the severity of bruising and achiness after treatment is complete.

Tips for Success

For those planning to undergo varicose vein treatment in the near future, having an idea of what to expect for the procedure beforehand is helpful. Know that even for severe vein issues, surgery does not require hospital admittance, nor does it mean a long, painful recovery. However, paying close attention to aftercare instructions, from wearing compression stockings to limiting vigorous exercise shortly after the procedure, provides the best path toward recovery after varicose vein treatment.

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