Planning a holiday? Then don’t leave varicose vein treatment until the last minute
The weather may be pretty bad at the moment but believe it or not we are now officially in British summertime.
And, inevitably, our thoughts turn to where we might go for our summer holidays and all the preparation that entails.
However, ladies, if you were thinking of getting your varicose veins treated before you jet off, my advice is: “Do it now!”
The problem is that treatment for varicose veins – whether through an operation or otherwise – can be time-intensive and no treatment yields immediate results.
And, if you do leave it too late, it is unlikely that you will be able to travel by aeroplane as there is an increased risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and airline companies will not allow you to fly.
Prior to any decision being made about most appropriate treatment patient’s must attend a consultation where they will be assessed and have a valve check in the groin or behind the knee. If your valves are suitable for the injection therapy this treatment may require a course of injections over a period of several weeks (possibly up to eight weeks) to obtain a good result during which time you may need to wear surgical stockings and you may well be left bruised initially.
If, however, you are not suitable for injection therapy because your valves are not working properly, you might instead be recommended for an operation, which might take a week or two to book, followed by a three-week recovery period, plus you still won’t be allowed on a plane for up to two months because of the increased risk of DVT.
In addition, if you are taking the contraceptive pill or undergoing hormone replacement therapy, you need to stop for a full six weeks before any treatment for varicose veins can even begin!
The key thing here is to give yourself enough time. We offer a full range of varicose vein treatments at Spire Bristol Hospital, but we see so many people in June or July hoping to have the treatment done in time for their holiday – but by then it’s often far too late.