5 Reasons Fall is the Favorite Time for Varicose Vein Treatment
Source: La Jolla Light, Dr. Van Cheng, October 1, 2019
The first day of fall has arrived and so has cooler weather. Now is a perfect time to seek treatment for varicose veins. Beginning treatment in the fall or winter months prepares your legs for summer when you want to wear shorts again, spend time at the beach and feel confident about how your legs look.
Below are five reasons to seek varicose vein treatment in the Fall:
1. Life slows down
Generally, for the first couple of weeks after varicose vein treatment, there are some restrictions regarding exercise and movement. This is because strenuous activity can result in the treated veins reopening. Everyone tends to be more active in the spring and summer, so it makes sense to undergo the procedure when the weather can be inclement, and you are more likely to take it easy. Cooler weather also means there is more time to spend inside, which gives your legs more time to heal. Plus, there is less pressure for you to wear clothes that expose your legs.
2. Approval from your insurance company can take time
Although most insurance plans approve treatment for varicose veins due to venous insufficiency, many insurance companies will not approve treatment until specific requirements have been met. This approval can take 6-12 weeks. When a patient begins the process in the fall, treatment is ready to begin around the first of the year. Speaking of the first of the year, insurance coverage typically starts anew in January. Some patients prefer to seek the procedure and follow-up care in the same year due to meeting deductibles and co-pays.
3. Compression socks are more comfortable
Compression stockings are made to fit snugly around your legs to help maintain blood flow, which can lessen the pain and swelling associated with varicose veins. These stockings are not particularly comfortable or attractive, especially in the warmer months.
Often insurance companies require treatment to include a period of wearing medical grade compression stockings to meet the requirement for conservative treatment.
After treatment, compression stockings are worn for up to a month to reduce pain, bruising or swelling.
4. Your skin needs to heal
Warm weather is all about shorts, skirts and dresses, but following a varicose vein procedure, you can expect bruising in the thighs that can last up to a week. There can be skin discoloration, as the blood byproducts of the treated vein can stain the area for up to a couple months. Swelling will still be visible for about a month after the procedure, and it can take up to another 3 to 6 months for the swelling to resolve completely.
5. Optimal time for healing
UV rays from the sun can cause varicose veins as well as slow the recovery process after treatment. During the post-operative period, it is best to avoid UV rays for 3 to 4 weeks, because sunlight can cause skin discoloration in your healing legs.