Vein Care 101

What to Expect After Vein Treatment

May 9, 2024

We can’t say it enough: Minimally invasive vein treatments are a gentle solution to the painful and uncomfortable symptoms of chronic venous insufficiency.

After a vein evaluation and a customized treatment plan with our vein specialists, many patients naturally have questions regarding “what comes next?” following their vein treatment: “When will I feel relief from my symptoms (such as restless legs, swelling/edema in the legs, aching, itching or burning sensations, and more)?” “When will I notice a visible difference?” “What do I need to do at home to get the best possible results?” and “When can I return to my normal activities?”

Reclaiming comfort in your day-to-day life and reestablishing confidence in your appearance are among the biggest rewards following vein treatment. That said, we also want you to understand exactly what lies ahead in the post-treatment phase. In this article, we’ll walk you through what to expect after your varicose vein and spider vein treatments — from a few easy aftercare practices to those eagerly anticipated cosmetic results.

Immediately After Cosmetic and Medical Treatments

We offer a variety of minimally invasive vein treatments to treat chronic venous insufficiency, (also known as vein disease) including treatments for both varicose veins and spider veins. Aftercare depends on the type of treatment performed and the type of vein treated.

Some basics to remember for any type of vein treatment:

  • Wear compression stockings: Compression helps with the healing process after treatment and reduces the risk of post-procedural complications. The use of compression can also help to alleviate swelling post-treatment, which decreases discomfort after your appointment. In general, regularly wearing compression stockings is known to improve circulation by supporting healthy blood flow, thereby minimizing the symptomatic effects of vein disease.

  • Prioritize rest and elevation: Elevating your legs whenever possible helps to minimize swelling and discomfort. Ample rest allows your body to divert energy towards the healing process. Additionally, because veins in the legs have a difficult job moving blood up toward the lungs and heart (against the force of gravity), elevating your legs actually does some of that work for your veins! Give them a hand and kick up your feet!

  • Stay hydrated and nourished: Adequate hydration and a balanced diet rich in nutrients play a pivotal role in supporting healing after treatment. Ensure you're consuming plenty of water and nutrient-dense foods to fuel the healing process!

  • Follow medication guidelines: Your vein doctor may prescribe medications such as an anti-inflammatory to manage post-treatment symptoms like minor discomfort and inflammation. Adhering to the prescribed medication regimen is essential for managing discomfort and promoting a smooth recovery.

Spider Veins

There are two treatments we offer for the removal of spider veins: sclerotherapy and laser vein removal. Aftercare instructions will vary slightly depending on which treatment option is performed.

Sclerotherapy treats spider veins through the injection of a medicinal foam, which encourages the visible veins on the legs to gently close and be reabsorbed by the body. Light bruising can occur after this treatment, and arnica cream may be prescribed to help hasten the healing of any bruises. Additionally, our vein specialists may recommend that you wear graduated, thigh-high compression stockings with a compression gradient of 20–30 mmHg after the treatment. Compression stockings are often recommended to be worn for an average of three days to help with healing.

For laser vein removal, aftercare is slightly different. This is a 100% non-invasive vein treatment that requires patients to protect the treated skin’s surface immediately after treatment. Laser treatments make your skin more susceptible to UV damage. Wearing protective clothing (those compression stockings come in handy for this!) and avoiding sun exposure for at least 2 weeks will ensure that your skin remains protected, and that your best possible results are safeguarded. Though you may be tempted to show off your legs at the beach immediately after laser treatment, we advise keeping comfortable in the shade for some time first!

Varicose Veins

Aftercare for varicose vein treatments can vary slightly between treatment types. For most, we recommend using compression stockings to encourage healing and healthy blood flow. We also encourage most patients to return to their day-to-day activities immediately following treatment, as it helps with the healing process. For those who participate in regular, strenuous exercise, we recommend slight modifications: change to low-impact exercises like yoga or walking (or take some days off!), and avoid heavy lifting or difficult, laborious tasks. (This doesn’t mean you are confined to your bed! Because treatment is minimally invasive, there is no need for bed rest or hospital stays following your appointment.)

We also recommend putting a pause on any air travel plans for at least two weeks. Airplane cabin pressure and confinement to your seat can negatively impact your circulation, so we recommend giving your body time to adjust to vein treatment before hopping on any red-eye flights or family vacations. If you’re planning to fly in the near future, double-check with your vein doctor to ensure you’ll be clear for takeoff!

When You’ll Feel Results

While individual experiences vary, many patients typically start to notice improvement in discomfort and pain within a few days or weeks following the procedure. For some symptoms like heaviness or aching, a difference can often be felt soon after treatment. Other symptoms, such as cramping or restless legs, may not be noticeable — until you realize one day that you slept through the night without tossing or turning! Many factors can affect the speed at which relief is felt, such as the severity of the vein disease and your body's unique healing process.

It's essential to follow post-treatment care instructions provided by your vein specialist, and to communicate any concerns promptly. Remember, patience is key as your body adjusts and the benefits of vein treatment gradually unfold, restoring comfort and enhancing overall well-being. You often feel results before you see them when it comes to varicose vein treatment!

When You’ll See Results

While relief from symptoms such as pain, swelling, and discomfort may be immediate or noticeable shortly after treatment, the full extent of cosmetic improvement may take time. Here's what to keep in mind as you eagerly anticipate the transformation of your veins:

  • Be patient: Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither are lasting cosmetic results. Minimally invasive vein treatment is a gradual process, typically needing multiple appointments, with visible improvements unfolding over time. The type of veins being treated, the quantity of veins needing treatment, and your body's individual healing time are just a few factors that affect the number of appointments and the time it takes to get your best end results. Take deeply pigmented spider veins, for example, which take longer to fade than light spider veins.

  • Allow your body time to heal: You may notice temporary bruising, hyperpigmentation and darkening immediately after treatment. As you begin to heal after treatment, your body will naturally absorb the treated veins and reroute blood flow to healthier vessels, with cosmetic improvement to follow. A great way to track your success is by taking before-and-after photos during your vein treatment journey. Sometimes, a comparison will open our eyes to how much change has taken place on the bodies we see every day.

  • Celebrate milestones: Although it's essential to maintain realistic expectations regarding the timeline for cosmetic improvement, don't hesitate to celebrate small victories along the way. Noticeable reduction in vein visibility, lessened ankle swelling, or an enhanced overall appearance serve as tangible reminders of your progress and perseverance.

  • Communicate with your vein doctor: Your vein specialist will work with you on your journey towards achieving your desired aesthetic outcomes. Schedule regular follow-up appointments to track your progress, address any concerns, and receive personalized guidance on optimizing your results. When in doubt, give us a call! We’re happy to help.

  • Potential side effects: The beauty of minimally invasive techniques is that they create very little strain on the body and have minimal side effects such as bruising, redness, or temporary tenderness to the treated area. Vein treatments are no longer massive surgical events requiring an extensive recovery period and overnight hospital stay. Modern medical advancements have enabled safe and effective vein treatments with reduced risk of complications and side effects, while also allowing quick recovery so you can get back to your daily activities.

When we say you can return to your normal daily routine after treatment, we mean it!

The Journey Starts With You

Healthy legs feel better, and great results are waiting! The truth of the matter is that the road from lasting relief from painful and uncomfortable symptoms to aesthetic improvements begins with you… and a quick phone call to your local Metro Vein Centers vein clinic. Our vein specialists are happy to consult with prospective patients in all of our New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Michigan, Texas, and Arizona vein clinics. The best part? Vein evaluation is free!

Our state-of-the-art vein treatments are performed in under 30 minutes (on average), in our nationally accredited vein clinics, by certified vein doctors. Our board-certified team of vein specialists provides FDA-approved, minimally invasive vein treatments for both varicose veins and spider veins.

We accept over 200 insurance plans for our varicose vein treatments, and we’re happy to discuss your insurance coverage options with you and your insurance provider directly. Give us a call at 866-353-5558 to get started on the journey to healthy, happy legs!

Trusted insight from the nationally accredited, board-certified vein doctors at Metro Vein Centers.

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