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How will varicose vein removal affect athletic mobility?

I am a triathlete and I have really noticeable varicose veins on my legs. I finally decided to schedule an appointment in a few days to see about getting them removed. However, I will also be competing again in three weeks. How long will I be unable to exercise strenuously for after treatment for the varicose veins? Are the after-effects long-term? Will there be any problems with swimming after treatment?

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Doctors Answers (3)

This depends on what vein treatments you are having, how many incisions they are making, etc. Removing varicose veins is not emergent in this case and I would recommend doing your triathlon and then after, when you are recovering and not competing, doing the procedures. It is hard to gauge without knowing if you are having lasers, phlebectomies, foam sclerotherapy, radio frequency closure or stripping. I would say if it is a minimally invasive procedure then recovery is just a few days. I like to say that incisions should be closed before swimming. The waters where we live are warm this time of year and often have bacterial outbreaks. I would be very careful if you are swimming in this type of water or water that could be contaminated.

Aerobic exercise is highly beneficial for veins and is recommended. Following a vein procedure, you may need to wear compression hose on your legs for a few weeks and lower impact exercise for several weeks is also preferred, but aerobic exercise has no limits following most vein treatments. You may swim in a pool immediately after your treatment with or without your hose, but should wear the hose the rest of the time while out of bed. Compression hose will improve venous return and will not limit your strenuous routines. The hose are light, very porous and do not significantly retain either heat or sweat, but may feel tight. The improvements in venous circulation and appearance are typically long-term or permanent for most individuals.

Depending upon the operation selected for treatment, you would probably be back in action in two weeks.

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