After-treatment instructions

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Updated: 4/11/2007 2:49 pm
Proper care after treatment of vein problems can speed your recovery and reduce your risk of complications like blood clots. Your instructions may vary depending on the procedure involved. In general, however, your leg will be wrapped with sterile bandages after treatment and a compression stocking should be worn for at least a week. The physician will give you directions on how to change your bandage after bathing or showering and how to care for any incisions or stitches. Typically, bathing is allowed 24 to 48 hours after surgery. As soon as the doctor says it's okay, you'll be encouraged to walk on a regular basis. Exercise stimulates healthy blood flow, discourages clotting, and reduces swelling. After simpler procedures like sclerotherapy (sklair-oh-THAIR-uh-pee) or phlebectomy (fluh-BEHK-toh-mee), most people rest for one day, then go back to work. To control pain and swelling, the doctor may recommend using an ice pack during the first 24 hours. In addition, you'll probably be advised to elevate your feet once or twice a day. During recovery, try to avoid smoking, since this interferes with healing and can contribute to the formation of blood clots. Pain medication or antibiotics may be prescribed; take any such medicines as directed.

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