Your Care at Home after Ligation and Stripping of Varicose Veins Dr. Turnipseed and Dr. Acher
This handout will review your care at home after treatment for your bulging veins. 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, the dressing should be kept dry. You may want to take a sponge bath unless you cover the dressing with a plastic bag while you shower. You will have an elastic bandage (ace wrap) on your leg(s). If the ace wrap feels too tight, you may loosen it slightly and re-wrap it. Do not disturb the dressings. The ace wrap should be wrapped snugly so you feel support to the leg, but not so tight that it causes swelling or pain in the foot. Leave the ace wrap on day and night. Wrap the ace snugly, starting at the toe and going to the top of the dressing.
After 3 days, remove the ace wrap and dressings. You may shower briefly, but do not soak or scrub the incisions. Cover the incisions with Band-Aids® or small dressings, then wrap the ace wraps. You may wear compression stockings if the incisions are not too uncomfortable. You should wear these stockings or ace wraps during the day until you are seen in the clinic.
To reduce swelling, keep your leg(s) raised as much as you can for the first 48 hours. After that, you may resume your normal routine, but avoid prolonged standing or sitting with your feet in a dependent position. No full workdays for 5 days.
You will be given prescription pills for pain relief. It is not common 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 lumps. You can 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 for 3 to 5 days or while you are taking prescription pain pills.
You will need to return to the Peripheral Vascular Surgery Clinic in 1 week to have the sutures removed and checked. Please call your local doctor for a referral, if needed.
When to Call Your Doctor
After the first 3 days, you should 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) from the incisions.
- Temperature over 100.4° F.
- Increased swelling, firmness, or tenderness around the incisions.
- An opening in the incision.
- Change in circulation – unusual coolness, swelling, pale or blue color, numbness, or tingling.
- Severe pain.
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. 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: 06/22/2012
Copyright © 02/05/2010 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#4625
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