Many people considering varicose vein treatment, such as EVLT or sclerotherapy, want to know what pain medication is given after the procedure(s). Fortunately, the post-treatment pain associated with modern varicose vein treatment is minimal because there aren’t any major surgical cuts or tissue invasion, only tiny incisions and very little tissue disruption.
So, the pain after varicose vein treatment in a vein clinic like Metro Vein Centers would be expected to be minor as long as the patient follows his or her vein doctor’s instructions. In most cases, vein doctors tell their patients to wear compression stockings and walk as much as possible. Both reduce pain and speed recovery. However, in some cases, patients do need medication after varicose vein treatment, especially if their pain sensitivity is high.
Over the County Pain Medications
In most cases of minimally invasive varicose vein treatment, if the patient experiences pain, his or her doctor will recommend an over the counter pain reducer rather than a prescription medication. Honestly, you’re far more likely to have pain serious enough to warrant prescription medication after a trip to the dentist than after undergoing varicose vein treatment in an outpatient vein clinic like Metro Vein Centers.
The most common recommendation vein doctors give for an over the counter pain medication is ibuprofen, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication (NSAID), which is sold in just about any drug store or department store in generic form or under the brand names Advil or Motrin. Usually, the dosage recommended is 400 milligrams every six to eight hours as needed (three to four times in a 24 hour period). For those who may be allergic to ibuprofen, a good alternative is an acetaminophen which is also sold in most drug stores as a generic medication or under the brand name of Tylenol.
In the rare cases, when pain is substantial after outpatient varicose vein treatment, like EVLT or sclerotherapy, a vein doctor may recommend increasing the ibuprofen to 600-1000 milligrams every six to eight hours, just until the pain subsides. When the patient takes this high a dose, it is important they make sure they eat something substantial with every dose of ibuprofen because it can easily upset their gastrointestinal system if they don’t.
Also, no patient should ever take this much ibuprofen without first consulting with their vein doctor. A vein doctor may also recommend alternating doses of ibuprofen with acetaminophen. Everyone’s body responds differently to medication, and in some people, this combination has better pain reducing capabilities than either medication alone.
You might not expect a medical doctor at a varicose vein treatment center to recommend the use of an over the counter ancient folk remedy but many do recommend Arnica montana cream. Arnica is a member of the daisy family of plants (sunflower family). It has been used for at least hundreds of years, perhaps thousands, as a medicine to heal bruises and wounds, reduce swelling, and alleviate pain. It’s something that many families keep in the medicine cabinet for a “cure all” rub for just about any type of “boo boo.”
Scientific studies have shown that Arnica does help heal bruises over a blind placebo test. Some vein doctors recommend it highly while others may be neutral to it. If you and your doctor decide to use it, you need to be especially careful not to allow children to accidentally ingest this cream as it contains a toxin called helenalin. Dogs and cats should be watched as well to ensure they do not lick an area of skin with Arnica cream applied.
Aspiration of the Thrombosed (clotted) Vein
Varicose vein treatment procedures, like EVLT and sclerotherapy, “ablate” the vein(s) causing the problem either with laser energy or chemicals injected into the vein(s). This causes the vein to close and the blood within the ablated vein to thrombose (clot). In most cases, this tissue will simply be reabsorbed into the body. However, in some causes, the area becomes inflamed to the point that excess fluid accumulates. If this happens, your vein doctor may need to have you go back into the varicose vein treatment clinic so he or she can aspirate some of this fluid out of the area. If the fluid is the source of the pain, this simple procedure will reduce the pain significantly.
It may seem counterintuitive but any time there is the pain after varicose vein treatment, the first course of action, even before taking pain medications, should be walking a bit. It truly helps the pain subside. It’s one of those things that you may not feel like starting, but once you do, you’re very glad you did!
Above All, Talk To Your Vein Doctor
If you experience any significant pain after varicose vein treatment, it is always important to contact your vein doctor. It’s a good idea to make sure you have your varicose vein treatment center’s phone number handy, including their after hours number.