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Varicose Veins Surgery: What To Expect
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Varicose Veins Surgery: What To Expect

by | Feb 21, 2023

What Is Varicose Veins Surgery?

Varicose veins surgery, also known as varicose vein ablation, is a treatment for varicose veins, which are bulging, twisted veins visible just under the skin’s surface. Commonly affecting the lower body, varicose veins are brought on by venous valve dysfunction, which causes blood to pool in the veins.

There are various methods for treating varicose veins, including:

  • Sclerotherapy: A non-surgical treatment for varicose veins that involves injecting a solution into the vein to close it  and stop blood flow.
  • Endovenous laser treatment: This is a process in which a laser is used to close off the varicose vein.
  • Venous stripping: A surgical procedure to remove the main truncal vein just below the skin surface of the inner thigh..
  • Ambulatory phlebectomy: A treatment in which the varicose vein is removed through tiny incisions in the skin.

What Is the Purpose of Varicose Veins Surgery?

The primary purpose of varicose veins surgery is medical – to improve the symptoms of varicose veins and alleviate any cosmetic concerns. These symptoms include aching or pain, swelling, skin irritation and redness, and ulcers. In some cases, varicose veins can also increase the risk of blood clots and lead to chronic venous insufficiency, a condition in which the veins are unable to circulate blood from the legs back to the heart effectively.

Varicose veins surgery can help to alleviate these symptoms by sealing off or removing the varicose veins. This can improve blood flow through the normal veins and reduce the risk of complications associated with varicose veins.

What to Expect on the Day of Your Varicose Veins Surgery

On the day of your varicose veins surgery, you can expect the following:

  1. Pre-surgery preparation: Before the surgery, you will be asked to remove any jewellery or other personal items you may also be asked to remove all makeup or nail polish. 
  2. Anaesthesia: Some varicose veins treatment can be performed under local anaesthesia, which means you will be awake during the procedure, but the area being treated will be numb. In other cases anaesthesia may be used, which means that you will be put to sleep during the procedure.
  3. Procedure: The specifics of the procedure will depend on the type of surgery being performed. 
  4. Recovery: After the procedure, you will be taken to a recovery room, where you will be monitored until the effects of the anaesthesia have worn off. You can walk immediately with minimal pain and go back to normal daily activities within the next day. You may be given compression stockings to wear to help reduce swelling and promote healing.

It is essential to follow all post-surgery instructions given by your vascular surgeon, including any activity restrictions and wound care instructions. Within a day or two, most individuals feel well enough to resume their regular routines. However, it may take several weeks for the incisions to heal fully. You cannot safely fly for at least a week after varicose vein surgery.

General Risks of Surgery

Varicose veins surgery is generally a safe and effective procedure for treating varicose veins.There are, however, potential complications, albeit low risk, as with any surgical procedure. Some of the potential risks and complications of varicose veins surgery include the following:

    • Infection
    • Bleeding
    • bruising
    • Nerve injury
    • Allergic reactions
    • Recurrence of varicose veins
    • Deep vein thrombosis (<1%)

    How Should You Prepare for a Varicose Vein Operation?

    Suppose you are planning to undergo varicose veins surgery,there are a few steps you can take to prepare yourself for the procedure:

    1. Discuss the procedure with your vascular surgeon: It is crucial to fully understand the procedure and what to expect during and after surgery. If you have any concerns or questions, be sure to bring them up with your doctor.
    2. Follow pre-surgery instructions: Your surgeon will give you specific instructions on preparing for the surgery, including any necessary tests or other preparations. It is essential to follow these instructions carefully.
    3. Arrange for transportation: You will need someone to drive you home after the surgery, as you will not be able to drive yourself.
    4. Plan for post-surgery recovery: You will need to rest and elevate your legs after the surgery to promote healing. Make sure you have any equipment available in advance, such as compression stockings or a comfortable place to rest.
    5. Avoid certain medications: Some medications, including blood thinners, may need to be stopped or adjusted before the surgery. Discuss any drugs you are taking with your vascular surgeon.

    Before deciding which treatment is best for you, it is important to have a discussion with your vascular surgeon about the potential risks and benefits of each treatment.

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