Traveling Safely with Varicose Veins

Traveling Safely with Varicose Veins

With warm weather underway and kids out of school, summer is prime vacation season. Yet for those of us with varicose veins, traveling can be a time of stress and discomfort, especially if you have a history of blood clots.

Why Traveling Can be Dangerous

Varicose veins form as valves that are meant to push blood toward the heart leak and cause pooling. Because sitting for extended periods of time during a flight or car ride can cut off circulation, traveling can lead to an increased risk of developing blood clots and worsening of present varicose veins. While most clots are not serious (causing pain for several weeks but resolving on their own) patients with varicose veins have a greater chance of developing the rare condition called deep vein thrombosis (DVT), which can be potentially life threatening.

Because of this, people who have varicose veins should choose shorter flights and minimize the amount of consecutive time spent sitting if possible. If you have additional risk factors for developing DVT, consult a doctor before traveling long distances. You may be prescribed blood-thinning medication or compression stockings.

Safety Tips

If you are traveling, consider the following recommendations to minimize discomfort and risk of clots while sitting:

  • Wear compression stockings
  • Leave legs uncrossed for better circulation
  • Stay hydrated, but avoid alcohol and caffeine
  • Stand up and move around every hour if possible
  • Massage calf muscles occasionally
  • Wear loose-fitting clothing

These tips will help stimulate circulation and prevent blood pooling that can lead to the worsening of varicose veins and even the development of DVT.

The best way to prevent discomfort and ensure safety when flying, however, is to have a minimally invasive procedure to safely remove varicose veins that could cause health issues. After a removal, you should wait for a few weeks until you travel by air unless approved by a doctor. Once you are fully recovered, you should still practice the tips listed above when traveling to avoid developing new varicose veins.

Our staff at Advanced Vein Treatment and Cosmetic Center is happy to answer any questions you may have about veins. We offer four different treatments at our facility for varicose vein removal: phlebectomy, endovenous laser ablation, sclerotherapy, and laser removal. Call us at (708) 827-5732 to book a consultation today so we can help you stay safe on your journey to a better you.

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