After Surgery Care

Questions on Varicose Vein Surgery

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“Is it going to be painful?”

The day after your procedure – the local anaesthetic will have worn off, so don’t be surprised if your bandaged leg are a little more uncomfortable than usual. They will also be slightly more swollen and tender. Patients have different experience in pain; taking regular pain killers (Paracetamol four times a day, Ibuprofen, Cocodamol) is therefore essential for the first few days. They do ease off the pain and make you feel much better.

Most patients recover from Radiofrequency Ablation and Foam Sclerotherapy without any problems. Feeling tightening sensation, cramping, bruising and swelling in your leg after a couple of days is expected, and this may last for a few days (occasionally for 2-4 weeks).

“What should I do/don’t do in the first few days?”

DO: leave your bandage for 24 hours then remove. DON’T remove the stockings for one week (ideally days and nights as they are difficult to apply).

DO: Keep active and run your daily activities. DON’T be overactive, however, and avoid heavy exercises .

DO: Take shower if you wish on the upper part of your body. DON’T shower the stockings!.

DO: contact us or your GP if you have any concerns. DON’T be panic; everything will be fine with good after care.

“I have seen significant bruising in my legs after surgery. Is it normal/expected?”

Yes it is indeed! Surgery to veins, including key hole surgery, treats vessels full of blood. The healing process will be associated with bruise here and there. You might feel feverish as well during the process of absorbing remnant blood. Don’t worry: Once this process finish, you will have much better quality of life and your legs will improve quite well.

“When can I return to work?”

You can return to work when you feel comfortable and well enough. We advise taking off work for 2-7 days. For jobs involving prolonged standing or driving, or if you’ve had both legs treated at the same time, you might need to take longer off work but all depends on how you feel in yourself.

“When can I drive?”

Don’t drive for 48 hours after your procedure. You can then drive again when you are free of pain and able to perform an emergency stop comfortably. Please check with your insurance company if you are in doubt. If you are stronger painkillers (such as codeine) then please check with a pharmacist if it is safe for you to drive.

“How soon can I fly?”

You should avoid flying long haul (any flight over four hours long) for at least few weeks after your procedure as sitting down with the knee bent for long increases the risk of DVT.

“Will all my visible veins disappear?”

the answer is NO! Your treatment has been for symptoms mainly, with additional benefit of improving the overall appearance. The cosmetic result is not guaranteed, however, as it is not the main reason to offer you the treatment.

“WHEN SHOULD I SEEK IMMEDIATE HELP AFTER MY OPERATION?”

Please seek help immediately (call 999 or go to A+E) if the following occurs:
• You have difficulty breathing, especially if it gets worse when you take deep breath.
• You have chest pain.
• You have a significant cough, or you cough up blood.
• You are not able to put your foot down due to the pain.

Questions on Hernia Surgery

Display Questions

“Is it going to be painful?”

As with any surgical procedure, there will be some pain during recovery. Your pain will be most severe the first few days following your surgery, and then it should subside gradually. You will be given a prescription for paracetamol+Codeine for the pain – 1 to 2 tablets every 6-8 hours. You should avoid driving while taking Codeine because it can make you drowsy. Once the pain improves, you may substitute the codeine with Paracetamol only.

The intermittent use of an ice pack on the wound for the first 48 hours will also help to reduce the pain and prevent swelling. All the aches and pains associated with a hernia repair will take several weeks to months to fully resolve, but you should see a gradual improvement on a daily basis.

“What should I do/don’t do in the first few days?”

You may shower at any time but no bathing until 2 weeks after surgery. When you shower, you can wash over the dressing with soap and water providing they are water-proof. Please check with nurses.

If you had a standard/open inguinal (groin) repair or umbilical hernia repair (not laparoscopic), you should avoid lifting anything greater than 10 pounds and any form of activity that puts strain on your abdominal muscles for 2-4 weeks.

If you had a laparoscopic inguinal (groin) repair, you should avoid lifting anything greater than 10 pounds and any form of activity that puts strain on your abdominal muscles for 1 week.

DIET: There are no dietary restrictions after surgery. You may become constipated after surgery, so it is best to include fiber (ex. Bran, grains, vegetables) in your diet along with plenty of water. In addition, you should take the some laxatives until your bowel function return to normal. If you do not have a bowel movement in 48 hours, please consult your GP.

DO: contact us or your GP if you have any concerns. DON’T be panic; everything will be fine with good after care.

“When can I return to work?”

Patients generally leave the hospital the same day of surgery, but may need an overnight stay depending on their pain and level of discomfort. When you return home, try to return to your normal daily activities as much as possible. As your pain resolves, you may resume regular activities as tolerated. As you increase your activity, your discomfort will undoubtedly increase, but this is not harmful. Simply use common sense. When you start experiencing soreness or pain, it’s time to slow down or stop what you are doing. Walking will be the best form of exercise.

“When can I drive?”

You may begin driving after 48 hours or when you are no longer taking strong pain killers. You can return to work when your pain level allows that, except if your job requires heavy lifting. Typically, patients stay off work for an average of one week, but this is variable of course.

Laparoscopic incisional hernia will not have huge physical activity limitations. Just be sensible when holding heavy objects.

“How soon can I fly?”

You should avoid flying long haul (any flight over four hours long) for at least 4 weeks after your procedure as sitting down with the knee bent for long increases the risk of DVT.

“WHEN SHOULD I SEEK IMMEDIATE HELP AFTER MY OPERATION?”

Please seek help immediately (call 999 or go to A+E) if the following occurs:
• You have difficulty breathing, especially if it gets worse when you take deep breath.
• You have chest pain.
• You have a significant cough, or you cough up blood.
• You have redness around the wound, or discharge from the wound itself.
• You have severe painful swelling in the wound.