Varicose veins are a painful medical condition in which the veins (particularly of the lower limbs) become enlarged, gnarled, and start to bulge. The exact cause of varicose veins cannot be determined although medical research confirms that excess body weight, long hours of standing and sitting, high pressure activities such as strenuous sports, running, and cycling exacerbate the condition. Some medical studies are also looking into the genetic component in the manifestation of this condition. Whatever the reason, once a patient has been diagnosed with varicose veins, doctors prescribe several lifestyle changes and pain/pressure alleviation techniques in the early stages. Surgery is often recommended for cosmetic reasons and for advanced pain relief or conditions like bleeding, superficial thrombophlebitis etc. These days minimally invasive surgery options are available. Post-surgery care is very important when it comes to recuperation and complete cure if you have opted for surgery as a treatment option. Here are some precautions to be undertaken after varicose veins surgery:
Recovery and rest
The two popular surgery options for varicose veins are ambulatory phlebectomy and endovenous laser surgery. These are typically performed under an hour and you may discharged from hospital care the same day. In some cases, though, the medical team may choose to keep you at the hospital for observation for about 24 hours. A full recovery may take between 2 to 3 weeks. The doctor may ask you to avoid walking or climbing stairs on the day of the surgery. This means it is best to have a friend or a family member stay with you for a day or two. You may also want to stock up on ready to cook meals, groceries, and prescription medicines for a week. About 7 days of rest and ease is highly recommended for optimum healing.
Caring for the surgery site
It is very important to avoid bathing, soaking, showering or wetting the site of the surgery for the first 2 days. You may want to take a sponge bath. Avoid using public pools for at least a fortnight. Do not remove the tapes placed over the incisions for at least a week. Doctors prefer using compression bandages for the initial 24 hours after surgery and then recommend the use of specialized thromboembolic deterrent (TED) hose for at least a fortnight. The surgeon will also give you a detailed list of after surgery precautions that need to be taken.
Exercise and activity
Movement promotes blood circulation and aids faster healing. While you may want to wait a few days before getting back to a strenuous yoga or exercise regime, it is important that you start with slow walking within a couple of days of surgery. It is also highly recommended that you do not get back to driving for at least 3 days following the operation. As you get back to regular activity, take care that you do not pressure your leg so much that the incision site opens. Regularly icing the leg helps healing too. It is important to wear compression stockings for varicose veins even after you have healed completely.
Proper and healthy diet
It is very important to maintain a nutritious and balanced diet. Not only does it help in healing the wound quickly, it also makes it easier for you to maintain optimal weight, reducing the pressure on your lower legs. Surgical procedures sometimes affect bowel function and adding high-fibre foods to your diet can help immensely. Do not forget to stay hydrated always.
Other important precautions
One of the greatest concerns following any surgery is infection of the incision site. While some amount of pain and bruising can be expected in the week following the surgery, you must report to the hospital ER if you notice excessive swelling, pus discharge, or excess pain in the site of the surgery. It is best to avoid blood thinners during the post op days. You may wish to discuss alternatives with your doctor. It is important that your blood glucose levels remain in check for effective healing. Do not forget your medication if you are diabetic. It is also important to order your medical supplies, stockings, and bandages from a reputed store. These days online websites provide you the option to check the STRATAFIX suture price and order just about all necessary supplies. It is important to keep the legs elevated while sleeping or sitting for long hours. Most importantly, it is important to remain patient through the recovery process and take long term precautions to avoid recurrence of varicose veins.
Summary – Varicose veins is a painful medical condition characterized by bulging, twisted veins particularly in the lower legs. If you opt for surgery as a treatment mode, here are certain post-op precautions that must be taken.