Varicose veins are twisted, enlarged, swollen, bluish-purple veins commonly seen affecting your lower legs. These usually occur due to disturbance in the one-way valve system of the veins that pass blood to the heart from your lower legs for oxygenation. Factors like aging, family history, pregnancy, obesity (being overweight), and prolonged standing or sitting can strain your lower legs, causing the vein walls to stretch abnormally. This leads to the pooling of blood in the affected veins, which increases the pressure within them. As a result, the veins bulge or swell, giving a spider web appearance that is unaesthetic.
Several conservative and surgical treatments help get rid of varicose veins. As with any surgical procedure, there are certain guidelines that you need to follow to prepare yourself. This helps to ease your anxiety before the procedure, which is important to prepare your body for proper healing and quick recovery.
Let us discuss the things to do before varicose veins treatment.
What are the Types of Varicose Vein Treatment?
- Your doctor may provide you with compression socks or stockings, that put pressure on your veins to reduce discomfort, prevent stretching of the veins and improve blood flow.
- Vein ligation and stripping
- Is a conventional surgery, where the affected vein is stripped through incisions (cuts) and tied off which forms a scar that fades away gradually.
- Your doctor may inject a chemical solution into the affected vein, that causes the vein walls to stick together and form scar tissue which eventually fades away.
- Endovenous Thermal Ablation (Laser Ablation)
- This is an alternative procedure to surgical vein stripping and ligating.
- It uses a catheter (a thin, long tube) and a laser (light beam) to close off the damaged vein.
- Radiofrequency Ablation
- It is an ultrasound-guided procedure that uses thermal energy (heat) that is delivered inside the affected vein and causes the vein to collapse and seal shut.
Endoscopic vein surgery
- Here an endoscope (a medical device that consists of a tiny camera and light source) is inserted through a key-hole-sized incision (cut) to block off a vein.
Things to do Before Varicose Vein Treatment
Surgery always comes with a set of queries, anxiety and a sense of fear. To ensure you have a successful outcome post varicose veins treatment with minimal distress, we offer the following suggestions on how to prepare for varicose veins treatment.
One week before the surgery
- Discuss your vein condition and symptoms with your healthcare professional, and review your medical history about pre-existing diseases like diabetes (increased blood sugar levels), hypertension (high blood pressure), etc.
- You must inform your provider about the medications being taken which include blood thinner, herbal supplements, and vitamin supplements.
- Any history of trauma, allergies, disease, or surgery must be informed to your provider to ensure quick recovery with minimum post-op complications.
- Increase hydration and consume a healthy, nutritious diet to improve your immunity to accelerate your body’s healing ability, leading to a faster recovery.
- You are likely to discontinue using medications like aspirin, blood thinners and other herbal supplements a week before your surgery so that they do not interfere with your surgical outcome and healing process.
- Do no overexert yourself and get adequate rest, because exertion can impair your ability to tolerate and heal from varicose veins treatment.
- If your job demands heavy lifting, prolonged standing or sitting, make arrangements to take some time off your work, generally for 2 to 3 weeks.
- Stop smoking since tobacco can affect the healing process, hence it is advisable to quit smoking before and after the treatment.
- You must get all your pre-operative tests done at least 3 days before the procedure that includes:
- Blood tests (complete blood count, bleeding time, clotting time)
- Venous Doppler ultrasound scan to check the blood flow within the vein valves
On the day of the surgery
- You need to fast a few hours before your surgery especially if your surgery is performed under general anesthesia.
- Avoid exfoliating and shaving your leg or using any hair removal creams.
- You need to dress in loose and comfortable clothes.
- Carry appropriate footwear such as sneakers or flats that are comfortable.
- Do not wear any jewellery or contact lenses on the day of your surgery.
- Inform your care team of any dental prostheses or removable oral appliances like bridges, crowns, etc.
- Bring your compression stockings because you need to wear them immediately after your surgery.
- Arrange someone to drive you back home after the surgery since you are prohibited from driving post varicose veins surgery.
Preparation for varicose veins treatment is highly dependent on the type of procedure chosen according to your vein condition. Even though most procedures are safe, and minimally invasive (involve less trauma with quick recovery), they can be equally stressful. So you must be aware of all the things you need to do to be well prepared.
Surgery is always accompanied by anxiety and the fear of the unknown. This may usually occur due to the fear of anesthesia, experiencing pain post-surgery, post-op complications or having a long recovery process. It is important you discuss your fears and expectations with your healthcare provider to help reduce your anxiety and fear. Preparing yourself before the surgery will help you face any untoward situation or complication that may come as a surprise to you during or post-surgery.
Our expert team at Medfin can help overcome your fears and help you sail through your surgical journey and recovery process smoothly.
The content on this site is the copyright of Medfin and is intended for informational and educational purposes only. This should not be considered as a substitute for medical and surgical expertise. Results from any treatments or surgeries are subjective to an individual patient and the type of procedure/ surgery performed. Please seek professional help regarding any medical concerns. Medfin will not be responsible for any act or omission arising from the interpretation of the content present on this page.