Endovenous Ablation for Varicose Veins: What to Expect at Home

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Your Recovery

You've had a treatment for varicose veins. You may have a bandage and some bruising along the vein that was treated.

You may need to wear compression bandages or stockings. Your doctor will tell you how long to wear them. Avoid heavy lifting and vigorous exercise until your doctor says it's okay. This may be for at least a few days.

Most people can get back to their normal routine after a couple of days. But avoid standing or sitting for long periods.

This care sheet gives you a general idea about how long it will take for you to recover. But each person recovers at a different pace. Follow the steps below to feel better as quickly as possible.

How can you care for yourself at home?

Activity

 
  • Rest when you feel tired. Getting enough sleep will help you recover.
  • Try to take short walks several times a day. Walking boosts blood flow and helps prevent swelling and blood clots.
  • Avoid strenuous activities, such as bicycle riding, jogging, weight lifting, or aerobic exercise, until your doctor says it is okay. This may be for at least a few days.
  • Avoid standing in place or sitting for long periods of time.
  • Most people are able to return to work and normal activities after a couple of days.
  • Ask your doctor when you can drive again.

Diet

 
  • You can eat your normal diet.

Medicines

 
  • Your doctor will tell you if and when you can restart your medicines. The doctor will also give you instructions about taking any new medicines.
  • If you stopped taking aspirin or some other blood thinner, your doctor will tell you when to start taking it again.
 
  • Take pain medicines exactly as directed.
    • If the doctor gave you a prescription medicine for pain, take it as prescribed.
    • If you are not taking a prescription pain medicine, ask your doctor if you can take an over-the-counter medicine.

Incision care

 
  • You may have a bandage where the catheter was put in. Your doctor will tell you how to take care of this.

Ice and elevation

 
  • Prop up the sore leg on a pillow when you ice it or anytime you sit or lie down during the next 3 days. Try to keep it above the level of your heart. This will help reduce swelling.
  • Wear your compression bandages or stockings 24 hours a day for as long as your doctor says. This may be for 2 or 3 days. Then wear them while you are awake for as long as your doctor says.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

When should you call for help?

Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:

  • You passed out (lost consciousness).
  • You have severe trouble breathing.
  • You have sudden chest pain and shortness of breath, or you cough up blood.

Call your doctor now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • You have pain that does not get better after you take pain medicine.
  • You have bleeding where the catheter was inserted.
  • You have swelling in your leg, calf, or foot.
  • Your lower leg, foot, or toes are numb, tingly, or blue.
  • You have symptoms of a blood clot in your leg (called deep vein thrombosis), such as:
    • Pain in the calf, back of the knee, thigh, or groin.
    • Swelling in the leg or groin.
    • A color change on the leg or groin. The skin may be reddish or purplish, depending on your usual skin color.
  • You have problems with your vision or balance.
  • You have signs of infection, such as:
    • Increasing pain, swelling, warmth, or redness.
    • Red streaks leading from where the catheter was inserted.
    • Pus draining from where the catheter was inserted.
    • A fever.

Watch closely for any changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor if you have any problems.

Where can you learn more?

Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd

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The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.