While many older adults experience varicose veins, they aren't exclusive to seniors; heredity, working on your feet, and pregnancy can all predispose you to these unattractive and uncomfortable blood vessels. People of all ages may elect to have in-office or surgical treatments for their varicose veins. Here are some tips for your recovery from varicose vein intervention.
Whether you undergo injections or surgical treatment, bruising may be a temporary side effect of your procedure. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to minimize bruising, also called ecchymosis in medical lingo.
Immediately after your treatment, whenever possible, elevate your legs. A great way to do this is to utilize the same tricks massage therapists use with pregnant women. Place a wedge-shaped pillow behind your back and a stack of regular pillows under your legs. This simulates a hospital bed, where you can sit up and still have your legs elevated.
Your doctor may prescribe ice packs, but you can also ask about using arnica, either orally or topically. This is a popular herbal supplement and ointment with many surgeons to reduce bruising in their patients. It helps your body clear the old, congested blood cells that initially rushed to the site of your wound when you had treatment.
Be sure to tell your doctor about any aspirin, warfarin, or other anticoagulant you take regularly. You may need to discontinue or adjust it for a short time it after your procedure.
Once any open skin has healed, a bit of self-tanning lotion or bronzer can help cover up any residual bruising as well as any spider veins remaining on your legs.
Dealing with Support Hose or Compression Garments
If you have pain with your varicose veins, or if they are more advanced, your physician may prescribe support hosiery or compression tights for you. These may be temporary, but more than likely, they are garments you should wear permanently.
While gentlemen can hide these under trousers, ladies find it more difficult to disguise them if they like to wear dresses or skirts. Don't be tempted to forgo these garments in summer, as warm weather, with its swelling-inducing heat and humidity, is when your circulatory system may need the most help.
Luckily, some manufacturers of support and compression hosiery are now making models that coordinate better with today's fashion trends. You can select capri-length or open-toe tights that offer the required support for your blood vessels without them being so noticeable under summer styles.
Preventing Future Occurrences
Ideally, you don't want to have to return to your doctor for future treatments, so it's imperative that you focus on prevention as part of your recovery too. In addition to elevating the legs when you sit at your desk or watch TV, you can try the following:
- Use cushioning mats at places where you stand for long periods, like the kitchen sink, the counter at work, or the classroom blackboard.
- Exercise on softer surfaces; choose grass over pavement, for example.
- Learn exercises you can do anywhere that help return blood flow to your upper body, like shoulder stands in yoga.
You want the quickest and most effective recovery possible when you have varicose vein treatment. Try the tips above, and you may not only get better faster; you may also never have to visit a surgeon, such as Premier Surgical Associates, again.