Care at Home after Varicose Vein
Ligation or Radiofrequency Ablation
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 2- 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 Coban) 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. Continue
to wear ace bandages until sutures are
removed. 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 lumps. 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
You will need to return to the Peripheral
Vascular Surgery (PVS) Clinic at UW
Health West Clinic on Junction Road in 2
days for ultrasound of the leg. You will have
the bandages removed at that time. If you
have sutures, you will need to see a provider
in approximately 1 week to have them
removed. These appointments have been
made for you. Please refer to your after visit
summary for specific time and date.
Continue to wear compression stockings to
aid in healing and prevent further
When to Call Your Doctor
After your bandages have been removed, look
at your incision daily for signs of infection.
Call if you notice:
ξ Red and/or warm incision site.
ξ Foul smelling or pus-like drainage
(green or yellow).
ξ Temperature over 100.4 θ F.
ξ Increased swelling, firmness, or
ξ Opening of the incision.
ξ 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:
Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if you
have any questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor. This
is not medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each
person’s health needs are different, you should talk with your doctor or others on your health care team when using
this information. If you have an emergency, please call 911. Copyright © 8/2016 University of Wisconsin Hospitals
and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing HF#5359.