The vascular system is composed of both arteries and veins. Arteries supply oxygen rich blood to the organs and body tissues, while veins return the oxygen poor blood to the heart and lungs to restart the cycle of blood flow. Disease can occur in both types of vessels.
- Venous disease is caused by failure of the valves within the vein and accumulation of blood within the veins, leading to venous insufficiency, spider veins, and varicose veins.
- Arterial disease is caused by narrowing of the arteries, usually from atherosclerosis, which reduces blood flow to vital organs and tissues.
Venous disease is more common and less severe than arterial disease. There are procedures to treat both types of disease.
Vein Procedure Recovery
Sclerotherapy and endovascular vein therapy are both office based procedures that treat varicose veins and spider veins. They both cause destruction of the inside of the vein so that the vein scars down and can be removed. Recovery time is within 1-2 weeks.
Bruising and swelling are common, but compression stockings are used for the first 1-2 weeks to help these symptoms.
Walking should be started as soon as possible after the procedure and should slowly return to normal activities with no running or jumping for the first 2 weeks.
Most can return to work the day after the procedure.
Vein stripping is a surgical procedure to remove the saphenous vein, the largest vein in the leg, that is usually responsible for varicose veins. This procedure is performed in the hospital with full recovery in about 2-4 weeks.
Bruising and swelling are common for the first 2 weeks and compression stockings are encouraged during this time.
Walking should be started promptly with slow increase and avoidance of strenuous activities.
Most return to work in the first 1-2 weeks.
Arterial Procedure Recovery
- Balloon angioplasty and stenting is a procedure that uses a balloon device to open the narrowed area of the artery and subsequently place a stent to keep the artery open for blood to continuously flow. This is performed in an operating room with a hospital stay for several days.
- Bruising is common for the first few days before gradually improving.
- Walking is encouraged right away with slow increase.
- Avoidance of sitting or standing for long periods is necessary and when laying, the legs should be elevated.
- Full healing takes about 8 weeks.
- Bypass is a procedure in which a vein or a medical grade plastic device is used to route blood flow around the blockage in the artery. This is performed in an operating room and an inpatient hospital stay for up to 1 week.
- Walking is started within 24 hours of the procedure with slow increases in duration and speed.
- Full recovery takes about 4-8 weeks.
Video: Understanding Treatment Options
Dr. Mackay describes the options for varicose vein surgery.
Video: Meet Dr. Mackay
Meet one of Tampa Bay's most trusted vascular surgeons. Dr. Edward Mackay has been helping clients prevent and treat vascular diseases. Click here to learn more about this board certified vascular surgeon.