If numbing medicine was used, it will wear off in a couple of hours. Take 2 to 3 over-the-counter ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil) tablets with each following meal and at bedtime with food unless you are taking certain blood thinners. Your leg may feel fine the rest of the day, but without taking the pain medication throughout the day, you may awaken in the middle of the night with significant soreness. Taking the pain relievers during the rest of today reduces this problem. Please notify your doctor if you have a history of stomach ulcers, gastric reflux, or allergies to pain relievers.
The Steri-Strip(s) placed over the wound(s) should stay on your leg for two weeks.
The wrap underneath the stocking (also known as the dressing) ideally should stay on your leg until the following day. If the wrap under the stocking starts to slide, or if your foot swells, feels numb, or there is an aching pain or burning sensation in the lower leg, pull the stocking down below the wrap, unwrap it, leaving the steri-strip(s) in place, and throw the wrap and gauze away. Pull the stocking back up over the steri-strip(s). The stocking is to remain on your leg continuously for three days. This includes sleeping with it on and keeping it dry in the shower.
To keep the stocking dry in the shower, fold a bath towel length-wise a few times and wrap the folded towel around the top of your thigh, duct taping one end of the towel to the other. Step your leg into a large trash bag, tucking the top of the bag between the towel and your leg. This allows any water that leaks through the top of the bag to be absorbed by the towel.
Following the first three days after surgery, you no longer need to sleep in the stocking unless it feels better to do so. On the third morning, you may shower without the stocking. At that point, it’s fine if the steri-strip(s) get wet in the shower. Do not soak in a bath tub, swim, fly on an airplane, or lift objects greater than 30 pounds for the following two weeks. If you need to travel far by car, get out of the car every 2 hours and walk 5-10 minutes. After the first 3 days, wear the stocking for at least 7 more days, daytime only.
Begin walking today, and every day after, for at least 30 minutes or 5-10 minutes every hour. You may walk on a treadmill, elliptical cycle, or ride a recumbent bike. Elevate your leg on pillows above your heart when seated if possible to reduce soreness. Avoid strenuous exercise such as high impact aerobics, heavy weight training, and Pilates. These instructions will be the best options to improve muscle circulation and reduce the possibility of developing blood clots. We expect you to resume all of your pre-procedure activities including work. We would like you to continue to keep moving and maintain a normal level of activity.
Over the next week, you may bruise and/or feel a tight, pulling sensation temporarily in the treated area due to the vein scarring down. You should place an ice pack on the groin or bend of the knee area (depending on what was treated ) for 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off repetitively following dinner tonight, keeping a barrier (sheet or towel) between the skin and the icepack to avoid skin injury.
In the unlikely event that you notice blood through the dressing (wrap), do not become alarmed. 1) Elevate your leg above your heart. 2) Apply pressure directly over the bleeding area for 30 minutes. 3) Please contact the office for further instructions. If you notice anything unusual that has not been discussed with you, or if you have any further questions, please call the office, or the on-call doctor after hours immediately.
Our doctors can be reached after hours on the emergency phone line at 336-601-8346. Please bring your stockings and shorts with you to all office visits.