The solution is the VNUS close system. The surgeon inserts a catheter into the ineffective veins and irradiates them and as he pulls the catheter out they seal shut. That's procedure #1. On the second day he fixes the smaller swollen veins that possibly can be fixed and cuts out the others. They don't use general anesthesia, so there is less risk (and cost) to the patient. Just a Valium, a Keflex, a Percocet and some Lidocaine. (Although I still fell asleep half way through each surgery.) Each procedure takes less than an hour and has a pretty short recovery time overall. (It used to be that surgical intervention involved 'vein stripping', where the vein is literally removed through incisions in the groin and knee areas. It required general anesthesia and involved a long and painful recovery. Currently there are other options besides the VNUS procedure, but this is the one my surgeon prefers because it has the best outcomes.)
So that's what I was doing Tuesday on my husband's lunch break. When I laid down on the table the tech said "Now there is proof positive that nurses don't just sit on their butts." (That's right!) I felt very loopy for the rest of each day, but I was functioning fairly well by Thursday.
So here are some tips and lessons I learned from the experience:
- If your varicose veins are causing you pain, you don't have to wait until you're done having kids to get relief. And you don't need an extended recovery time either.
- Choose the surgeon that is hardest to get in to see and pray that someone cancels. He's the guy who knows what he's doing. I've heard scary stories of people who went to surgeons with less experience because they were easier to get into.
- If your baby has reflux and you're having surgery, live it up and eat what you want. You have to pump and dump anyway, why not enjoy what you are eating for a couple days? (Although don't go to overboard, small amounts of those irritating foods will stay in your system for more than a few days.)
- My surgeries on my leg didn't hurt nearly as much smashing my toe this weekend did. That's the real reason I walk with a limp.