Frequently asked questions regarding Varicose Vein operation

How frequent are varicose vein operations?
Varicose veins are a widespread sickness. Every year in Germany there are over 320.000 patients that undergo surgery for varicose veins.

When is a varicose vein operation necessary?
This should first be clarified and confirmed by a complete examination by your general practitioner (Phlebologist). In the beginning stage a slight swelling can indicated a problem in the venous function. Without therapy the symptoms will deteriorate and it can lead to a change in the skin or even to open sores (leg ulcers), thrombosis or a life threatening embolism. The earlier one treats varicose veins, the greater the chance that the deep vein system will recover and that congestion doesn´t take place.

Through which vein does the blood flow after a varicose vein operation?

The surface veins transport about 10% of the blood out of the leg, and 90% flow through back the deep vein. When the surface veins change to varicose veins then they don´t have any more transport function. After the varicose vein operation, the deep veins are able to transport back all of the blood out of the leg to the heart.

How long does the anaesthesia last for after a varicose vein operation?
Varicose vein operations can be easily operated on with a local anaesthesia. This protects the heart rhythm system so that the operation is also possible with older patients. If you wish, the operation can also be done under general anaesthesia. The aesthetic lasts, depending on the narcotics, for 2 – 6 hours.

How long after the varicose vein operation do I have to stay in the clinic?
The duration of your stay at the clinic after a varicose vein operation depends on the result that means after both local and general anaesthesia. After local anaesthesia surgery the patient is allowed to leave the clinic on the same day, or if they wish it is possible to spend a night in the clinic. With larger surgical procedures the stay over can take up to 3 days. The inpatient stay could increase when both legs are operated on or after a ulcer treatment, lymphedema treatment or thrombosis.

For how long after the varicose vein operation do I still have to come to the clinic?
In general, the post-operative treatment lays in the hands of the referring physician, that is either the Phlebologist, Dermatologist or you house doctor. Naturally every patient is able to come to us for control or to have their stiches removed. In general we recommend that after 6 months every varicose vein operation patient should visit the clinic for a check-up.

How long after the varicose vein operation can i take part in sport?
Varicose vein patients must move a lot – going for walks or in general walking. After a varicose vein operation you are allowed to do everything, as long as it causes no pain. After 2 weeks jogging and bike riding is possible, and swimming, also in warm water, also after 2 weeks.

Can varicose veins also be operated on in summer?
Without restrictions, yes! There are patients and doctors that have reservations against varicose vein operations in summer. But there is no medical reasons or from a cosmetic point of view that speak against it. The healing phase is short and even sunlight causes no harm.

When can I start work after a varicose vein operation?
That depends on the procedure and your job: After a radio wave therapy for example you are able to start work 2-3 days after the procedure. Most patients can start work after one week. With regards to physical or primary standing occupations you will need at least 2 weeks before you can start work again.

Can varicose veins re-occur?
The Capio Venous Centre has worldwide the lowest rate of the High Rate of Recurrence (new formation of varicose veins), which lies under 5 percent. Which means there is an absolute minimal chance that you will need to have a second varicose vein operation. A most frequent cause why varicose veins reappear is that they are not fully removed during the first operation. Therefore we recommended that only phlebologists, who perform thousands of operations per year, perform varicose vein operations in Venous Centres.

How can you prevent varicose veins?

Predisposition plays a major role in occurrence of varicose veins. One has very little influence. A lot of movement and healthy eating (avoid overweight) plays an important role. Wearing light compression stockings (or special travel stockings e.g. before flights or long road trips) can reduce problems.

Which sports are particularly favourable?
Regular exercise makes sense. Sports, such as swimming, jogging, vein walking, walks and bike riding are good for the veins. Endurance sport and other kinds of sports that are excessive in abrupt and short movements, such as tennis or squash are not so good.