Varicose Vein Treatment: What to Expect

Compared to surgical stripping surgeries of earlier years, minimally invasive endovenous laser ablation and chemical ablation for the treatment of vein disease and varicose veins is extremely well tolerated. However, possible risks include, but are not limited to, deep vein bleeding, infection, deep vein thrombosis, skin discoloration, skin ulceration and nerve limitation. It is important to remember that every patient’s recovery is different, but following are some good guidelines on what you can expect on your path to full recovery post-varicose vein treatment.


You may resume normal activities immediately, but keep in mind that you will likely experience discomfort and bruising along the course of the treated vein. Most patients only require ibuprofen or Tylenol. You will have a small incision in your skin about 1/8” long at the point of entry for the laser fiber, which will be covered with a dressing.   Patients are placed in compression stockings as well and sent for a walk immediately following the procedure.  All patients are seen back the following day to remove dressings and in most cases an ultrasound is performed to verify successful closure of the vein.

Next Two Weeks:

The bruising, especially along the thigh, which may have looked extensive, will typically resolve within 1-2 weeks.  The patient will wear compression stockings for 3 weeks total. They should go on a 30 minute walk daily and move regularly throughout the day.  We  advise patients to avoid lifting over 50 lbs and vigorous or high-impact exercise for 2 weeks.  We also advise our patients to avoid sitting in hot water (bathtub/hot tub) for 2 weeks.  Showers are fine.  

Next Four to Six Weeks:

Patients may continue to have some mild soreness.  They may also feel firm closed veins beneath the skin.  These closed veins will be absorbed over the course of several months.

Post Varicose Vein Treatment

Patients typically notice that with each passing month their legs look and feel better.  Visible surface veins referred to as spider veins are likely to remain post-treatment.  If desired, they can be treated with cosmetic sclerotherapy injections, which are not covered by insurance.

Most patients tolerate laser vein treatment very well and are thrilled with how much better their treated legs look and feel.  Venous insufficiency is considered a chronic and progressive disease process and unfortunately cannot be “cured.”  New varicose veins can form and veins that are currently functioning normally can become abnormal in time.  For this reason, we see patients back 6 weeks and 6 months after treatment and others are followed long-term.

For more information on what to expect post-varicose vein treatment, please refer to:

Endovenous Laser Ablation Post-Op Instructions [Download Form]

Endovenous Chemical Ablation Post-Op Instructions [Download Form]