For many individuals, planning a surgery depends on work schedules, vacations, holidays, and other important events. Have you ever thought about how the body reacts to surgery during different seasons of the year? Central Florida Vein & Vascular Center, your varicose vein treatment center in Orlando, shares the following information to help you decide when to schedule your procedure.
How Do You Treat Varicose Veins?
Treatment of varicose veins depends on a myriad of factors, including your physical well-being, the severity and number of your varicose veins, the location and diameter of the veins, and, surprisingly, when you treat varicose veins.
Many patients find their varicose veins can be treated with compression stockings and lifestyle changes, such as exercising more frequently, losing weight, stopping smoking, and not standing or sitting for extended periods of time. Others may find their varicose veins need more drastic treatment, often in the form of surgery. Surgical procedures include laser ablation, microphlebectomy, sclerotherapy, and vein stripping. These procedures are also dependent on the location and severity of the varicose veins.
The question of when to treat varicose veins is often a personal choice. If you have recently begun a new job and insurance covers surgery only after you have been employed a set amount of time, you may choose to delay surgery. You may decide to schedule surgery a few months before a planned vacation or postpone surgery until wintertime since you realize most after-care involves wearing heavy compression stockings.
Varicose Veins in Summer
Most people find their activity level increases in the summertime and decreases in the shorter winter days. Patients with varicose veins note less pain and swelling in summer months because they are more active with walking and swimming and shopping. The pressure of leg muscles contracting and relaxing causes blood vessels to contract and relax as well, which helps blood flow more easily through the veins and back to the heart. This decreases edema (swelling) in the legs and the endorphins (feel-good hormones) your body releases reduce pain felt with varicose veins.
Patients with varicose veins find relief in summertime swimming. While ambient summer temperatures cause veins to dilate, the cooler water in swimming pools, the Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic Ocean, or the local creek tends to constrict blood vessels, especially affecting those nearer the skin’s surface: veins. Your body is much more buoyant in water, so less weight is placed on your legs as you move through the water, which relieves pressure on your legs. Also, exercise of any form strengthens muscles and helps veins pump blood back up to the heart more easily. Patients who are prone to edema find simply walking in the shallow end of a swimming pool or bouncing up and down on the balls of your feet doing calf raises later in the day, when swelling is at its worst, eliminates some of the edema and the pain that accompanies it.
Varicose Veins in Fall
In some climates, fall brings cooler temperatures, which is a great advantage for healing after surgery. Summer’s intense heat causes veins to expand a little. This expansion may deter proper closing of the tiny valves inside veins, and gravity is then able to pull blood to the lowest point possible: the ankles and feet, which you experience as swelling. The shortening autumn days bring relief from the sun’s ultraviolet rays as well, which are a bane to healing. While Florida does not experience a long fall season, planning surgery in the fall will give ample time to completely heal before the hot summer days begin and you find yourself wearing shorts every day.
Fall has another advantage that may be beyond your control: insurance companies often renew coverage at the beginning of the calendar year. Planning your surgery for winter means preparing in the fall by losing weight, exercising more, and choosing a lifestyle that will expedite healing. You will also have consultations before surgery, so planning in advance will keep you on track for surgery nearer the end of the year. Another consideration you may have more control over is your deductible. As the end of the year closes in, most patients have met their deductibles, so out-of-pocket expenses are below what patients anticipate when they schedule their varicose vein surgery.
Varicose Veins in Winter
Scheduling varicose vein surgery during the colder winter months definitely has its advantages. Most post-surgical care involves wearing compression stockings to reduce swelling and stimulate healing. Compression stockings are thick and not conducive to Florida’s sweltering summer months. When surgery is scheduled in wintertime, the extra layer of thick stockings under your pants will keep you warmer. Depending on the severity of your varicose veins, post-surgery you may notice discoloration, which is easily hidden under winter’s thicker — and longer — clothing.
Waiting until winter has another advantage that you may not consider as an advantage at all: your varicose veins are more pronounced. Because the amount you exercise is generally less than in the summer, your circulatory system is as sedentary as you are and your varicose veins tend to show more easily. Doctors find this quite advantageous since it is easier to treat varicose veins when they are more prominent.
When to Treat Varicose Veins
If some of the information presented above seems contradictory, it may be because any time is the best time to schedule varicose vein treatment. Whether you want to showcase your legs in the summer or wear compression stockings in the colder winter months, the ultimate decision on when to schedule your procedure is up to you. To speak with the varicose vein treatment experts in Orlando and schedule your appointment, call Central Florida Vein & Vascular Center at 407-293-5944 or 352-658-5547 and visit our website to learn about our procedures and what to expect before, during, and after surgery.