Information for patients
This leaflet can be made available in other formats including large print, CD and Braille and in languages other than English, upon request.
You have had radiofrequency ablation, a foam injection or multiple stab avulsions for varicose veins. You have been given this leaflet to guide you through what happens after your procedure(s).
Following your procedure, the leg wounds will be dressed with simple dressings and the leg will be bandaged from the foot up to the top of the treated vein. We also supply compression stockings on top of the compression bandaging.
When can I leave hospital?
You will be able to walk out of hospital up to an hour following the procedure, after we have checked your blood pressure and bandages.
You should NOT drive home yourself.
How will I feel after leaving hospital?
During the first day, if you have had local anaesthetic, the leg may feel quite numb and heavy. Sometimes, the numbness and tingling may continue for a few days. On some occasions, the treated vein in the thigh can become tender and lumpy and the skin may appear bruised or inflamed.
Do not be alarmed if this happens as this is a possible, normal and expected reaction.
Using an anti-inflammatory cream (for example Heparinoid, Brufen Gel or similar) rather than antibiotics often help to relieve the inflammation and discomfort.
The leg is usually a little more uncomfortable the morning after the procedure, as the local anaesthetic has worn off and your leg will be slightly swollen. We advise that if this is the case, that you take simple painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen for a few days.
Some patients may find this unnecessary. It is important to follow the instructions on the painkiller packet.
How can I help myself?
Leave the compression stocking and compression bandage for 48 hours (day and night). You will be provided with a shower proof over-stocking to be used during that time to enable you to have a shower.
You can take both the compression stockings and bandaging off after 48 hours and only wear the compression stockings for a further 5 days (day and night).
Please do not dispose of the stocking immediately as if bruising, swelling and discomfort has not subsided we would advise to continue wearing the stocking for up to another week if required.
The stockings will help to reduce swelling and bruising. You will be provided with a green sleeve to help you apply the compression stockings.
If any of the wounds start to bleed during the first week, press firmly and keep your foot elevated. Apply a simple plaster over the wound and wear compression stocking.
It is very important that you continue to walk normally after the surgery. Walking improves blood flow within the deep veins in the leg and reduces risk of clots in the deep veins (deep vein thrombosis, DVT).
When can I return to normal activities?
We recommend that you do not drive for the first 5 days after the operation in case the pain may stop you from safely doing an emergency brake.
You can commence driving once you feel that you are free of pain and you can safely perform an emergency brake.
Most people find they can return to normal activities 1 to 2 weeks after surgery. This can vary between individuals and depends if your work involves a lot of standing or manual work. You can self-certify for up to 7 days, following this you can obtain a sick note from your GP if required.
You should avoid any long haul flights for at least 4 weeks after your procedure.
Will I need any follow-up?
You will be given either:
- an outpatient appointment to be reviewed
- a repeat Ultrasound Scan approximately 6 to 8 weeks after your procedure.
Minor Ops Room, Main Out Patients Department
University Hospital of Hartlepool
Telephone: 01429 22570 or 01429 522563
James Cook University Hospital, Middlesbrough
Telephone: 01642 282832
Out of office hours:
Contact your local out-of-hours services or dial 111 for advice.
Comments, concerns, compliments or complaints
Patient Experience Team (PET)
We are continually trying to improve the services we provide. We want to know what we’re doing well or if there’s anything which we can improve, that’s why the Patient Experience Team (PET) is here to help. Our Patient Experience Team is here to try to resolve your concerns as quickly as possible. The office is based on the ground floor at the University Hospital of North Tees if you wish to discuss concerns in person. If you would like to contact or request a copy of our PET leaflet, please contact:
Telephone: 01642 624719
Freephone: 0800 092 0084
Opening hours: Monday to Friday, 9:30am to 4:00pm
Email: [email protected]
Out of hours
Out of hours if you wish to speak to a senior member of Trust staff, please contact the hospital switchboard who will bleep the appropriate person.
Telephone: 01642 617617
Data protection and use of patient information
The Trust has developed Data Protection policies in accordance with Data Protection Legislation (UK General Data Protection Regulations and Data Protection Act 2018) and the Freedom of Information Act 2000. All of our staff respect these policies and confidentiality is adhered to at all times. If you require further information on how we process your information please see our Privacy Notices.
Telephone: 01642 383551
Email: [email protected]Privacy Notices
This leaflet has been produced in partnership with patients and carers. All patient leaflets are regularly reviewed, and any suggestions you have as to how it may be improved are extremely valuable. Please write to the Clinical Governance team, North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, University Hospital of North Tees, TS19 8PE or:
Email: [email protected]
Leaflet reference: PIL1292
Date for review: 10 February 2024