Surgery

Vascular Surgery FAQs

Do Veins Grow Back After Treatment?

Veins do not grow back after treatment. At Mount Sinai, we have two common ways to treat varicose veins. The first is a minimally invasive laser treatment where we treat the vein through just a needle and a catheter. The second treatment option is open surgery where we make small cuts in the leg to physically remove the veins. Both of these procedures are very effective. More often than not, if veins do come back, they typically present years later and these are new varicose veins from alternate pathways since the initial vein was removed.

Can I Exercise After Varicose Vein Surgery?

After a venous ablation procedure—varicose vein removal surgery—we recommend that patients refrain from any heavy exercise for the first 24 hours after the procedure. But after that, generally, we recommend that you do what feels comfortable. For most patients, their leg feels back to normal after roughly one week and they can go about doing their regular exercise.

Can I Fly After Varicose Vein Surgery?

The most common procedure for varicose veins is endovenous laser ablation or radio frequency ablation, which is done in the office setting. Patients generally go home on the same day of the procedure. We do recommend that the patient returns a week later for a repeat ultrasound. Once we see that the procedure is healing appropriately, we will clear the patient to fly. We do recommend wearing compression socks if flying after surgery as well as walking around as much as possible while on the flight.

What Are The Benefits of Minimally Invasive Surgery?

At Mount Sinai, we use minimally invasive techniques to open blood vessels using a simple needle stick with catheters and guidewires. Patients typically feel better right away and can go from walking less than one block to being able to walk an unlimited distance without pain by the next day.

What Is The Most Common Vascular Disease?

One of the most common conditions that we see at Mount Sinai is peripheral arterial disease. Patients with this condition present with cramping in their legs when they walk further, but subsides when at rest. The first course of treatment is medical management and exercise therapy. If the condition progresses,  there are minimally invasive options such as an angiogram catheter-based procedure or bypass surgery.

What Happens If I Don’t Treat My Varicose Veins

The symptoms of varicose veins can fluctuate over time. But without treatment, varicose veins typically will not go away on their own. Complications from varicose veins include phlebitis, where the vein becomes inflamed and in more serious conditions, a patient may experience bleeding or ulceration. Most of these complications, however, are not life-threatening. For patients who are hesitant about getting treatment, we recommend that they speak with a vascular surgeon who can discuss the conservative options available at Mount Sinai that will help alleviate symptoms and, potentially, avoid any invasive treatments.

Is Vascular Surgery High Risk?

The seriousness of vascular surgery depends on a few things, including: the procedure being performed, the medical problem, and the patient’s underlying health issues. The good news is, at Mount Sinai we use minimally invasive, endovascular treatments for vascular issues, where we are able to insert a needle and a catheter through a blood vessel to treat the problem. We recommend speaking with one of our vascular surgeons for a complete overview of the risks associated with your surgery.

What Are the Treatment Options for Vascular Conditions?

Generally, there are three ways we treat vascular problems. The first is through minimally invasive, endovascular treatments where we are able to insert a needle and catheter into a blood vessel to treat the issue without making any large incisions. The second option is a traditional, open surgical approach in which we make larger incisions to physically remove the blood vessel and fix it from the inside. Finally, your surgeon may recommend a more conservative, no-intervention approach. Generally, we recommend this for patients whose condition may not worsen or severely affect quality of life. Your vascular surgeon will decide which approach is best for you based on your specific conditions and health history.