Vascular Surgery – Treatment of the Superficial Veins of the Leg including: Radiofrequency Ablation, Laser Ablation, Foam Sclerotherapy, Surgical Ligation and Stripping, Phlebectomy, Endovenous Glue

Patient Experience

  • Reference Number: HEY-1365-2023
  • Departments: Day Surgery (DSC) (CHH), Vascular Surgery
  • Last Updated: 1 May 2023


This advice sheet has been produced to give you information following your treatment. It is not meant to replace discussion between you and the healthcare team. If after reading it, you require further explanation please discuss this with a member of the healthcare team.

Your Consultant is ………………………………………………………

Your Surgeon is …………………………………………………………

If you have any problems or need further advice please contact the Day Surgery Centre, Castle Hill Hospital,  Monday to Friday 08.00am to 18.00pm (01482) 468103 / 468173 / 468174. At other times contact Ward 7 (01482) 675007

 Special Instructions: 


Follow-up clinic

You will receive a follow-up appointment for approximately 12 weeks.  An appointment will be made for you if required and will follow in the post.


After your treatment an adhesive bandage will be applied to your leg.

This should be left in place for one week.  The bandage can then be removed.

If the bandage is too tight you may develop swelling of the foot, numbness of the toes or a blue discolouration of the toes.  These symptoms may appear 2 – 4 hours after the bandage has been applied.  If you develop any of these problems you MUST telephone the contact numbers provided and seek advice immediately.


You may experience some mild pain following your operation. Paracetamol or Ibuprofen should give adequate pain relief if required. Please follow the instructions provided with the medications.

Work and exercise

It is important that you are as active as possible following your treatment.  Avoid sitting with your legs hanging below you or prolonged standing still for the next 7 days. You may return to work and normal activities as soon as you feel able, including the day of your treatment.  You should refrain from sport, vigorous activity and swimming for 10 – 14 days.


We advise that you do not drive for at least 48 hours after your procedure. You should only drive again when you are free of pain and able to perform an emergency stop comfortably. You should check with your insurance company to make sure you are covered to start driving again. If you are taking pain relief medication please check with a pharmacist whether it is safe for you to drive.


Sitting down for long periods with the knees bent, increases the risk of a DVT. You should avoid long journeys such as flying, train or coach travel (over four hours long) for at least four weeks after your procedure.


There are potential complications with any medical procedure, some of the most common problems are listed below:


You may notice some pink or red fluid leaking through your dressings.  The majority of such leakage is usually local anaesthetic which was injected to remove pain during or following the procedure.  In a small number of cases there is frank bleeding. In this case, elevate the bleeding leg as high as possible and apply pressure directly to the bleeding point. Removing your dressings can make bleeding worse so we would advise that you leave them in place.  Significant bleeding is very uncommon.


Some bruising is normal and occasionally the leg will become very bruised. This may occur during the first few days following the procedure but will disappear after a few weeks. If you do experience bruising, walking or using an exercise bike can help reduce this.

Change in sensation

The nerves run close to the veins so can get damaged by the procedure. This may cause numbness, tingling and paraesthesia (pins and needles). This reduced sensation may be very noticeable at first but normally diminishes with time.

Brown pigmentation of the skin

Usually this fades over time but can be permanent.

Recurrent varicose veins

No treatment for varicose veins can be completely guaranteed against it recurring. Some people can still grow new veins even when all previous veins have been treated correctly. It is important that you to understand that not every visible vein will disappear as a result of your treatment. Your treatment has been for symptoms, not overall appearance. There is usually an improved cosmetic result but this is not guaranteed nor is it the main reason for treatment.

Superficial Vein Thrombosis

This is an inflammation of the superficial veins.  They become hard, red and tender. Most patients will experience some lumps and this is nothing to worry about although these lumps may be inflamed and uncomfortable. If this occurs, anti-inflammatory drugs such as Ibuprofen will help. The lumps will eventually subside and disappear but it may take several months to do so. Usually when there is inflammation, the leg will be painful and this pain may last for up to a month. Also, severe twinges of pain may occur in some patients and may persist for some months, again you can take pain relief medication as prescribed.

Regular daily exercise such as walking or using an exercise bike and massage may help with the pain. Although this may be uncomfortable try not to rest your leg as this increases the risk of developing blood clots in the deep veins (DVT).

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)

This is a rare complication of any operation to the legs. A clot forms in the deep veins in the legs. To lower this risk the most important advice is to move around when you can and avoid long periods of not moving. Rarely this can lead to a pulmonary embolus (PE) where some of the clot can break off and go to the lungs.


Please seek help immediately (call an ambulance or go to the Emergency department) if the following occurs:

  • You have significant bleeding which does not stop with simple pressure or elevation.
  • You have difficulty breathing, which gets worse when you take a deep breath.
  • You have a sudden cough, or you cough up blood.
  • You have sudden chest pain.
  • You have pain in your calf and you are not able to put your foot down

After your operation

Should you need to visit your doctor with a problem related to the operation within three weeks of the surgery, we would appreciate you contacting the Day Surgery Centre, Telephone: (01482) 468103 / 468173 / 468174.  Please ask to speak to one of the nursing staff.

The Day Surgery Centre is continually striving to improve Patient information and we would be pleased to hear from you should you have any comments.

Should you require further advice on the issues contained in this advice sheet, please do not hesitate to contact the Day Surgery Centre.

This leaflet was produced by the Day Surgery Department, Castle Hill Hospital, Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and will be reviewed in May 2026.

General Advice and Consent

Most of your questions should have been answered by this leaflet, but remember that this is only a starting point for discussion with the healthcare team.

Consent to treatment

Before any doctor, nurse or therapist examines or treats you, they must seek your consent or permission. In order to make a decision, you need to have information from health professionals about the treatment or investigation which is being offered to you. You should always ask them more questions if you do not understand or if you want more information.

The information you receive should be about your condition, the alternatives available to you, and whether it carries risks as well as the benefits. What is important is that your consent is genuine or valid. That means:

  • you must be able to give your consent
  • you must be given enough information to enable you to make a decision
  • you must be acting under your own free will and not under the strong influence of another person

Information about you

We collect and use your information to provide you with care and treatment. As part of your care, information about you will be shared between members of a healthcare team, some of whom you may not meet. Your information may also be used to help train staff, to check the quality of our care, to manage and plan the health service, and to help with research. Wherever possible we use anonymous data.

We may pass on relevant information to other health organisations that provide you with care. All information is treated as strictly confidential and is not given to anyone who does not need it. If you have any concerns please ask your doctor, or the person caring for you.

Under the General Data Protection Regulation and the Data Protection Act 2018 we are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of any information we hold about you. For further information visit the following page: Confidential Information about You.

If you or your carer needs information about your health and wellbeing and about your care and treatment in a different format, such as large print, braille or audio, due to disability, impairment or sensory loss, please advise a member of staff and this can be arranged.

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