Patient Information

Advice following varicose vein surgery with local anaesthetic


This information is for anyone having varicose veins removed with a local anaesthetic. It explains what to expect after the procedure and what to do in the first days and weeks afterwards.

In hospital

After your procedure you will return to a rest-room for a few minutes. Do not get up without a nurse being there to help. 

You will have bandages over the wounds and a compression stocking on top.

Going home

You will be told when you can go home. This is usually a few minutes after the procedure.

Preferably, you should arrange for another adult to go home with you. This is in case you feel a bit wobbly or sore.

At home

If you are concerned about any part of your recovery:

call the vascular department at Kingston (during office hours)

call NHS 111

go to Kingston Hospital Emergency Department (A&E) if you need urgent help when the vascular department or your GP practice is closed.

For the first 2 days

  • Keep the bandages and compression stocking on for the first 48 hours.
  • Do not have a bath or shower because the bandages must be kept dry.
  • If your leg is sore, you can take take paracetamol or ibuprofen tablets.
  • If any of the wounds bleed, apply pressure with a bandage or towel and sit with the leg raised for 30 minutes. The bleeding should stop. If it does not stop, call NHS 111 for more advice.
  • Aim to go for a 20 minute walk, twice a day. If you can’t manage this, do as much as you can. You can do more if you feel comfortable.
  • Avoid standing still for more than 30 minutes, or sitting with your feet down.
  • When resting, sit with your legs raised. Wiggle your feet every 20 minutes or so to encourage blood flow.
  • Drink fluids to prevent dehydration. What you usually drink should be enough unless it is a very hot day.

2 days afterwards

  • Two days after the procedure, the stocking and bandages should be removed. You can do this yourself or get someone else to help you. If you cannot manage, make an appointment with your practice nurse for help.
  • Any cotton rolls over the injections sites can be removed. You can take the plasters off if you wish, or leave them on until they fall off.
  • Leave any stitches (sutures) alone. These will dissolve on their own. If the wounds become very red, hot or swollen, call NHS 111 for advice.
  • You can have a quick bath or shower. You do not need to clean the wounds. Dry them gently. Then put the stocking back on (but not the bandages).

For the next two weeks

  • Continue to follow the advice in the bullets above about resting and walking.
  • Wear the stocking all day. You can take it off for washing or when you go to bed. 
  • It is normal to have lumpy bruising in the thigh and around the incisions. This will fade over the next 4 weeks.
  • The inside thigh can feel stiff after the first week. This usually settles by itself but you may need ibuprofen tablets to help the process.

Activities and exercise

  • After around 3 days, if you are not too sore, you can take light exercise. For example, this could be a brisk walk, using a treadmill, or gentle swimming.
  • After about 1 week, you can try more vigorous exercise, such as aerobics or running. Only do this if you are not in pain, not bleeding and if the exercise is not uncomfortable. Make sure you drink plenty while exercising to prevent dehydration. There are no internal stitches so you are unlikely to damage yourself by excess activity.
  • You may drive when you can perform an emergency stop without hesitation or pain. This is usually around 7 to 10 days after the procedure.
  • You can return to work as soon as you feel able and can keep to the advice about standing and resting.


Vascular department (9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday) 020 8934 6041

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Please contact the Patient Experience Team on 020 893 3850 if you need this information in a different format.
For detailed information on accessibility at Kingston Hospital visit Kingston Hospital AccessAble (https://www.accessable.co.uk/kingston-hospital-nhs-foundation-trust).

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