In hospital: After your operation you will return to the ward/room to rest. You should not get up without the help/presence of a nurse. When resting move both feet at regular intervals to aid the circulation and drink fluids to prevent dehydration. You will be told when you can go home and should be accompanied by another adult.
At home: The day after surgery the bandages can be removed to allow inspection or cleaning of the small wounds. You can have a light bath or shower and then reapply the stockings you have been given.
For the next two weeks you should aim to go for a 20 minute walk at least twice a day, avoid standing still for periods over 20 minutes, and elevate the legs when sitting. You should wear the stockings when up on your feet but can remove them for bathing or at night. It is normal to have lumpy bruising in the thigh and around the incisions and this will fade over a four week period. Following keyhole vein surgery the inside thigh can feel stiff after the first week. This usually settles by itself but you may need anti-inflammatory tablets (eg Brufen, Voltarol) to help the process. You may remove the butterfly strips during your first bath or else wait for them to come off themselves. Occasionally one of the wounds may bleed a little and should be treated by compression with a bandage and elevating the leg, followed by application of an elastoplast.
If you are concerned about any part of your recovery please call Cathy Taylor Spencer or the ward you were admitted to. They can contact Mr Ray directly if necessary. In any case you will usually be reviewed by Mr Ray about two weeks later, and you may need a follow-up ultrasound scan (please check with your insurance company).
You can undertake light exercise (treadmill, gentle swimming) after around 3 days, depending on the extent of soreness. More vigorous exercise (aerobics, running, cycling) should be delayed for approximately a week, assuming all is well. Try and stay well-hydrated during exercise. There are no internal stitches so you are unlikely to damage yourself by excess activity.
You may drive when you can perform an emergency stop without hesitation or pain, usually around 7-10 days after treatment.
Revised by Mr Sudip Ray – Oct 2013