Your Care at Home after Varicose Vein Ligation And Stripping or Radiofrequency Ablation for Dr Hoch
This handout will review your care at home. Your nurse will go over it with you. We hope it makes your return home go smoothly. If you have questions, please call.
Care of the Incision
For the first 3 days after surgery, the dressings should be kept dry. You may want to take a sponge bath unless you cover the dressing completely with a plastic bag while you shower. You will have an elastic bandage (either an ace wrap or Cobain) on your leg(s). This bandage should be wrapped snugly so you feel support to the leg, but not so tight that it causes swelling or pain in your foot. Leave the bandages on day and night until you are seen in the clinic.
After 3 days, your bandages will be removed in the clinic. You may then shower. You have been prescribed compression stockings to be worn during the day and taken off at night.
To reduce swelling, keep your leg(s) raised as much as you can for the first 48 hours. After that, you may resume normal routine, but avoid prolonged standing or sitting with your feet in a dependent position. Walk as much as possible. Do not plan to work a full work day for at least 5 days.
Pain medicine will be prescribed for you. It is unusual to have severe pain that is not controlled by rest, elevation, and taking pain pills. There may be bruising and small vein pieces that form tender lump's. You may apply warm moist soaks for pain care and take ibuprofen as needed. Call your doctor if the tenderness moves up your thigh.
You should not drive or use alcohol for 24 hours or while you are taking prescription pain pills.
You will need to return to the Peripheral Vascular Surgery (PVS) Clinic at UW Health West Clinic on Junction Road in 3 days to have the bandages removed. You may also have an ultrasound of the leg. You should make your appointment at the time of your work-up.
When to Call Your Doctor
After your bandages have been removed, look at your incision daily for signs of infection. Call if you notice:
- Red and/or warm incision site.
- Foul smelling or pus-like drainage (green or yellow).
- Temperature over 100.4°F.
- Increased swelling, swelling, firmness, or tenderness.
- Opening of the incision.
- Changes in the circulation in your leg – unusual coolness, swelling, pale or blue color, numbness, or tingling.
Peripheral Vascular Clinic (at UW Health West Clinic) (608) 263-8915.
Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
After hours, weekends, and holidays, this number will give you the paging operator at the hospital. Ask for the PVS (Peripheral Vascular Clinic) doctor on call. Be sure to leave your name and phone number with the area code. The doctor will call you back.
If you live out of the area, call 1-800-323-8942.
The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Last Updated: 02/19/2013
Copyright © 02/19/2013 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#5359
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