Recovery from vein surgery... slow and painful

Posted , 96 users are following.

I've never been on a forum before, but thought it might be good to get other's experiences on vein surgery. Unfortunately both my parents had bad vericose veins and both had them stripped (both legs). Luckily for me, it wasn't until I had my son 14 yrs ago that mine started becoming a problem. Only on one leg and not nearly as unsightly as my parents had. However, still problematic, and ugly. I had my surgery in June 08, again fortunately for me, the surgeon is labelled as one of the best. However, 5 months on, I have found recovery to be very painful and slow. Unlike the last thread I read, I was not able to walk properly without pain and without wanting to faint until 3 weeks later. My appetite decreased significant, and panadol did not manage the pain well. I was bed ridden and nauseas, with postural hypertension because of lowering of blood pressure. Showering, my only 'feel good', was terribly traumatic. I passed out hitting my head on my stone tile flooring, still experiencing pain from possible cheak fracture, which my GP didn't diagnose properly or treat. Pain was unbearable for some time. I could not drive, am a mother recently separated with a huge mortgage and was unable to work for 3 weeks. This time unpaid. The stockings were distressing, (I had no support or home help) swelling and bruising horrendous. It wasn't until I saw my physio some 2 months later, she encouraged massage of incision points and exercise to stop scar tissue. Again, 5 months on, I feel deep tissue, nerve pain when I try to exercise. I feel the cold much more, and foot still turns purple at times. I am frustrated that I am unable to use my gym membership and at times feel depressed about the lenghth of recovery. This has been a long journey. I was hoping to learn how to surf with my boyfriend at New Years. But, I think I'll be saving that til 2010. Bumma sad

6 likes, 138 replies

138 Replies

  • Posted

    Sorry you seem to be having a bad time of it, I've just had second leg done a month ago. It was much more bruised than the first one, and I have been feeling a bit faint if I stand too long, but have been back at work full time for a week now. My surgeon insists we have to get up post op and walk continuously for half an hour a day from the first day post op (beleive me you dont get far the first few days) as he beleives its the best thing to get the blood flowing the right way.

    My first leg was done in may and now has only faint scars, even the groin scar is vanishing fast, so trust me it does get better, you just seem to be taking a little longer.

    As for the evil stockings it sounds like you were given the wrong size as I had to leave mine on day and night for 3 days then could take it off at night, I had no problems removing it and replacing it in the morning. Are you still having follow up appointments?

  • Posted

    :D Hello. I had my surgery done last Thursday 13th November 2008. It went well. It was my right leg. Had bandage removed on Friday and TED elastic stockings put on. I am very sore and bruised and am taking pain-killers for that. I am walking 2 miles a day and have to gradually build up to 3 miles a day.

    My stockings fall down to my ankles when I walk so when I get home the first bthing I have to do is pull them up. They are very tight once pulled up and stay up when I walk around the house. Has this happened to anyone else?

    Does anyone know how long the pain from the bruising will last? That is the worst area of pain.

    Instead of stitches, strips have been used over the wounds. Can anyone tell me how long they stay in place for please?

    I wish all users of this forum well and hopefully we will all be looking back on our surgery and painfree soon.

    Take care. Keep smiling!


  • Posted

    I had EVLT surgery at the beginning of May, so about 6 weeks ago and I found the whole process really traumatic and it hurt like hell! I had EVLT on my right leg and a foam sclerotherapy injection in some veins on the back of my left knee.

    But I comforted myself with the thought that in a couple of months or so I’d have the flawless legs I’d dreamt about, not the ugly, veiny ones I had (at age 26 I don’t think it’s an unreasonable dream – they first started appearing at age just 14).

    The chaps-style stockings were terribly uncomfortable, digging in at the tops of the thighs so it was a relief to take them off after the 2 weeks. I was really upset when I took off the bandages to see that my legs looked mangled, but the bruising has gradually died down, although there still remains a brown one just above my knee, and the original bulging veins have not faded away one bit, which they say happens in about half of patients. They just don’t bulge as much. Where I had the foam injection it looks really dark green and pronounced and I can see quite a bit of skin staining starting to appear, but no sign of them disappearing, even after 6 weeks! At £400 a pop it looks like I’m going to have to remortgage my home to get rid of it completely.

    The worst thing, however, is that I’ve developed a huge, thick, long green vein that runs halfway down the length of my thigh where I had the EVLT which feels hot to the touch and I can just about feel the shape of it through my skin with my fingers when I stand up – I’m really worried that the EVLT has failed, even though I had the classic recovery signs of that taut feeling when you walk.

    Has anyone else had a similar experience, where veins that weren’t showing before have suddenly appeared? I’ve got my follow-up in a week and a half but am beside myself with worry that it’s failed and there’s a big new varicose vein forming on my thigh sad

    • Posted

      Well this was from 8 years ago so I’m hoping it has gotten better for you! I’m 9monthsout of treatment and yeah noticed larger vein appearing where it hasn’t before on top of my thigh! But the tingling and twitching is the worst.. I get the ehbgeeb’s when I can feel my own veins. 
  • Posted

    Hi LG2323

    Did you recover from you EVLT? How long did it take? I hope you will write back.

    • Posted

      Had evlt 3/24. Had burning feeling and pain.Dr. said nerve damage. can take 12 mos.Now leg feels numb and tight.Burning at ankle.Leg looks no better. Hoping not permanent.Will not have ambulatory ablation to remove veins from leg.
    • Posted

      3LittleBirds, I had my procedure about 8 days ago, and I'm already recovered. There are 3 tiny incisions on my leg, that still have small scabs, and there is some bruising, but no discomfort, at all. For 3 or 4 days, there was some itching, but that has disappeared, and it's back to business as usual. However, I will wear my support hose constantly for a while to make sure there's no relapse! lol

    • Posted

      Margot, I've been searching for a while of others that may have symptoms similar to mine and you're the only other one.  I had my procedure done on both legs in the winter 2017.  My right leg has been numb on the front side of my shin ever since and it's finally starting to get better.  I was told I had nerve damage.  In the past few months, I've noticed that I'd have very random sharp pains in my right lower leg like in the shin area.  Out of the blue, it'd feel like I was zapped or stabbed and it'd sometimes make me stop in my tracks b/c it'd be a sharp pain and then go away. Sometimes there'd be several, sporadic sharp zap pains and then just magically go away.  I never had any idea what caused it and why it was happening.. I wonder if it's related to the never damage?  But just a few days ago I noticed that I had a small vein area that was green and had 2 bumps like there was something stuck... I thought it might be blood that is having trouble passing but after smoothing it out and pushing hard it will not budge.  I hope it's not a blood clot. I'm finally meeting with the doctor for a checkup.

    • Posted

      Hi, I also had laser ablation winter 2017. How are you doing? Do you have any pain now? I have sharp pain in my inner thigh and groin area, so worried
  • Posted

    Hey guys,

    I'm glad I found this forum. I live in California (not that it matters) and have had this surgery twice.

    I'll start by saying that this surgery has always been easy to do. I barely feel a thing during the actual surgery.

    The recovery is where the fun stops. It has been very painful both times. I get major bruising and swelling oon my inner thigh. I barely can walk and the pain at times takes my breath away. I consider myself to having a high pain threshold. This is no joke. It makes me laugh to think that the little post-op info says "resume normal activity right away. I wish.

    Long story short, I share your company. It's tough. good luck all


    • Posted

      i hear you. EVLT 3 1/2 wks. ago. Burning, sticking pain ankle, calf,upper calf and thigh. Had ultrasound week later. Assure ok. Had 3 daughters natural childbirth. Pain horrific. Annoyed when they say minimally invasive procedure. They neglect to inform of aftermath. They want to perform ambulatory phlebotomy next. Going to dr. end of week. Leaning toward not having done.. Hope leg gets back to normal for both of us.
    • Posted

      lol I agree it was no way I could resume regular activities the same day. My veins was the worse the doctor have ever seen and I'm recovering good now but it's been a long process of 3 months

    • Posted

      The actual procedures (foam and laser of lower left calf) didn't hurt, the incisions (2 and the iV) hurt like hell. I had a high pain threshold at one time Went through procedure with no painkiller or medicine. It's been 8 hours I feel like my leg has been stabbed. I had a long ride home (3 hours) and had to walk every hour and that whole trip was excruiating. Trying  to sleep with legs elevated....I'm a side sleeper so it's very uncomfortable.

      They said I could resume normal activiities tomorrow (no lifitng, exercise, etc) but I could work--secretary. I can barely freaking walk. 

      I literally feel as if I've been stabbed in the calf, I hope it's worth it. I did the procedures because of pain, throbbing and inability to walk for long periods due to the vein(s)....I hope I can recover and at least get some REST.

    • Posted

      I first had a "low-tie" (back of knee and 3 incisions lower down the calf/leg) back in 1978.

      I was in a military hospital and after a recovery night the next day I was told I had to walk 5 minutes in every hour while awake then rest with leg raised. The next day it was 10 minutes every hour. It didn't go over 15 minutes in every hour however, I was in recovery for 8 days before I was allowed to go back to my unit.

      When I had a "full-strip" at an NHS hospital in 1991 I was out within 2-3 days and just told to walk when I could -- a bit of a difference in recovery procedures but I think you should have been gently walking for at least a working week before going back full time.

      When I have the foam sclerotherapy I'm okay within hours of the procedure a hell of a difference and no pain at all.

      I think you should only walk in small amounts and get a stool/poof to raise your leg at work.


    • Posted

      Hey , how long untill your veins started so fade - disappeared?? I'm 1 week post evlt and in so much pain and no veins have gone sad

    • Posted

      Hey, you seem to be the most recent post here and I am going out of my mind in pain ... unsure if I'm over doing it - or not doing enough ?!! It's only day 7 but I'm really gutted all my veins are still very much on show sad

    • Posted

      Hi Megan.  I had EVLT and phlemectomy last June.  I get the impression everyone’s experience is different. I still suffer from nerve damage and sad to report that the veins, except the one that was a cord type of vein, are no better.  I paid privately for this procedure and I still want to cry.  I still have numbness in parts of my foot and shocks going through the lower portion of my leg where lots of “plucking” of veins was done. I went to my post-op appointment and the surgeon looked at me like I was on crack.  I was to go back last week and cancelled.  This has changed a lot of what I do.  I was told in two weeks I would be back to my active self and I’m just starting to get back and it’s been months.  I hope you recover far quicker. I now feel this is just a money grab, at least in my case, and would warn anyone who asks against this. Keep compression stocking on as much as you can.  Best of luck.  - Jane
    • Posted

      Interesting !! What's so ironic about this is I done so so much research before hand and only ever read great posts lol however now I'm up all hours of the night (in pain) I google the life out of it and only see negative reviews sad

      Mine was on the NHS after a 10 year fight as I'm 28 now and couldn't even walk or work without crying in agony . Starting to regret it 

    • Posted

      Hi.  I can say with the utmost confidence this is the worst decision I’ve ever made for myself.  I still have awful days all this time later.  I really hope you do better than I have. Your much younger and maybe that will work in your favour.  
    • Posted

      Sh!t this is scary stuff as I'm only on day 7 snd can't even get up off the sofa without someone helping me .. or lift my leg to step out the door !!! The surgeon did say they can do the "foam" treatment if this fails ... although the thought of going back into surgery is killing me it was horrendous and I've given birth to 2 children lol 

    • Posted

      I know!!!  I’ve had three and the recover from giving birth was far easier!!!  No one ever even insinuated this is what would happen. I’m so p****d and paid cash for this.  That’s why I never want to see the surgeon again.  Go to your post-op.  They will check for clots which is so important.  I was so mad at his reaction to me I would only let his nurse touch me.  This whole mess is so stupid. 
    • Posted

      Bless you I'd be so upset if I had paid - As I know it's a fortune !!! Surely they owe it to you to care and put it right!! I pictured having legs of a goddess by xmas and in black and blue lol 

    • Posted

      And you still may have goddess legs!  

      I don’t think they can make something right if they don’t acknowledge what I’m going through and to be honest, he will never touch my legs ever again!   Keep me posted!!!

    • Posted

      My legs are still discolored like bruises. My post op and 3 month went fine. I only had issues for about 72 hours but I felt better after that, the pain was gone. I have had great success. I had a very good doctor, after the first one told me the wrong veins and wanted to do it right away. While I should've taken pain medication the day of. 

      Megan, it sounds like they might've not done the whole vein or the right one. The vein the first doctor told me was refluxing into the problem vein and the vein the 1st doctor wanted to "kill" can't even be done! I was glad for the 2nd opinion. My vein in my leg was corkscrewed and 9mm in diameter. My leg doesn't look "great" like in pictures yet but I don't care, I"m pain-free. 

      I would seek a second opinion, insurance covered everything but procedure and I was very blessed by a family member who heard of our situation, we didn't have the cash on hand. So we're very fortunate!

      I hope you can find some relief, the compression hose, while uncomfortable and hard to manage really help if they are tight enough (not TOO tight) and take some pressure off. I hate them but they did work while I was having to prove to my insurance that i needed the procedure (still denied). I'm 31, doc says my right leg is going to have to have it sometime in the next few years (you can see the varicose veins) but no pain yet. 

      Take care of yourself.

    • Posted

      Oh geez ladies! I've had this procedure done twice.. Never again.. but I never exprienced pain to the extent you both described.. hopefully you have seen/spoken to your doctor.  

    • Posted

      Hi, how are you know, do you feel better. Please tell me that it gets better. I had EVLT winter 2017 and in so much pain afterrolleyes

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