There’s still time to treat your veins and be healed in time for the summer season. Many private clinics are able to offer you a swift turnaround from initial enquiry to consultation to the procedure, if desired. And all minimally invasive varicose vein treatments can allow you to achieve quick recovery and results.
One of the most respected varicose vein treatment centres in the UK, The Private Clinic provides useful information regarding the downtime and healing time involved, as well as the most effective treatment options.
Best treatment options
NICE (National Institute of Clinical Excellence), a non-departmental public organisation, endeavouring to encourage the best healthcare practices country-wide, recommend EVLA (Endovenous Laser Ablation) as the Gold Standard varicose veins treatment. NICE advise that patients ineligible for EVLA should then be recommended other options such as Foam Sclerotherapy if suitable (a procedure best for smaller veins), or Phlebectomy treatment. Offered at The Private Varicose Vein Clinic, these are all minimally-invasive, walk-in-walk out procedures performed under local anaesthetic. Please see what each procedure entails below:
EVLA: The popular procedure use ultrasound technology to locate the damaged vein, prior to collapsing the vein wall using laser heat technology, destroying the route of the problem
Sclerotherapy: This treatment is usually used for thread veins; however, large varicose veins may sometimes by corrected through foam sclerotherapy, and small veins, liquid sclerotherapy. In this procedure, an irritant is injected, causing inflammation, pushing blood away from the area and resulting in the vein finally shrinking and disappearing
Phlebectomy: In this treatment, the surgeon will make small incisions to remove the varicose veins. No stitches are required
Although not offered at The Private Clinic, the surgical stripping method is still used by many clinics. NICE advise that this method should not be used apart from in exceptional circumstances, and minimally-invasive solutions far outperform the technique. Surgical stripping in fact has a varicose vein recurrence rate after five years, of 41%, and 70% after 10 years. Whereas, NICE findings show that the Gold Standard Treatment, EVLA’s success rate after five years is 95.4%.
What’s the downtime and healing time involved?
After walk-in-walk-out treatments such as EVLA, Sclerotherapy and Phlebectomy procedures, patients typically can resume normal activities immediately. Regarding returning to work, EVLA and Sclerotherapy patients are able to resume work the day after treatment, while Phlebectomy patients may require a delay of 2 to 3 days before returning. Regarding continuing exercise, it is usually advised to wait till 5 days post procedure, in order to avoid any injury. Although, The Private Clinic do recommend that you stay active during your recovery.
Your surgeon should also advise you to wear compression stockings for a minimum of a week after treatment, in order to minimise pain, swelling and discomfort. These should not interrupt daily activities too much, however, and can be removed for showering. When you finally remove the stockings you will notice a significant difference in the treated leg, with some bruising and visible veins disappeared.
All post treatment bruising can take from a few weeks to a couple of months to disappear completely, but this depends on your body. Usually, final results from treatment can be seen at approximately six weeks post procedure.
Surgical vein stripping, on the other hand would require longer downtime and much longer recovery. Any exercise must be postponed for a couple of weeks, and returning to work should be delayed approximately 3-7 days depending on your case.
When can I fly?
Your surgeon will give you a more accurate indication of when flying is appropriate in your case. However, when you can fly depends on the severity of the varicose veins removed, method that has been used and the duration of the flight. Although, The Private Clinic, typically advise that you avoid flying for 1-6 weeks.
How long do I need to avoid sun exposure?
Sun exposure must be avoided for a few weeks post treatment, depending on the individual case. For EVLA procedures at The Private Clinic, for example, we usually recommend avoiding exposure for 2 weeks post treatment.
So, covering your legs and or using sun cream of a high factor is advisable for this duration.
At your consultation, your surgeon will assess your veins in order to recommend the most suitable treatment for you. Reputable varicose vein clinics should use ultrasound technology to ensure your veins are examined with the highest accuracy and your treatment is tailored to your unique needs. Following these steps, your surgeon will be able to advise the accurate downtime, recovery and precautionary measures to take in your case.
The Private Clinic
The Private Clinic have over 30 years of experience in providing the most advanced and minimally invasive vein treatments, offering first class support and aftercare to every patient. The cosmetic group offer only highly qualified Consultant Vascular Surgeons for the procedure, who represent pioneers in EVLA and have treated thousands of patients. For more information about their varicose vein procedures, please visit The Private Clinic website. To book a consultation at one of The Private Clinic’s nationwide locations, please call 0333 920 9135.