TREATMENT CENTRE. Please follow the fasting instructions in your appointment letter

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1 TREATMENT CENTRE Please follow the fasting instructions in your appointment letter Please bring this information leaflet on the day of your operation On the day of your operation, please bring: THIS INFORMATION PACK Dressing gown and slippers Contact telephone number for a lift home Something to read or to pass the time All medication in original containers Please do not: Bring any valuables Wear face make-up or lipstick Wear any nail varnish or false nails Wear jewellery Chew gum on the morning of your operation If you have any worries or queries prior to your procedure please contact: Pre-assessment on Day Case Ward on Geddington Ward Monday to Friday 9am to noon Monday to Friday 8am to 5 pm Monday to Friday 24 hours and Saturday mornings Information checked and adjusted by: Date: Information for patients KGH is a nonsmoking environment If you wish to make any comments or require a copy of this information in another format or language, please contact the PALS Office: Telephone or Page 1 of 5

2 INSTRUCTIONS FOR PATIENTS WHO HAVE HAD A GENERAL ANAESTHETIC Anaesthetic drugs may remain in the body for 24 hours gradually wearing off over this time. During the 24 hours following your anaesthetic you are under the influence of these drugs, therefore it is very important to follow these instructions: 1. You must be taken home in a car or taxi. You must be accompanied by a responsible adult (18 years or over) who will stay with you all the time for 24 hours following surgery. 2. Do not operate machinery and avoid using appliances such as cookers and kettles. 3. Avoid alcohol. 4. Smoking may cause you to feel sick and dizzy. 5. It is advisable not to lock the bathroom or toilet door, or to make yourself inaccessible to the person looking after you in any other way. 6. Drink plenty of fluids (at least 2 litres per day) and avoid heavy or greasy foods. You may return to your normal diet gradually as you feel able. 7. Do not make important decisions, or sign important documents. 8. Take things easy the day after your operation and do not work with machinery or take strenuous exercise. 9. You should not be caring for young children alone. Some people may be slightly nauseated, tired or light-headed following a general anaesthetic, but this should wear off after a few days. Ref: 10.PI.0050 Varicose veins (TC) Point of issue: pre-op Page 2 of 5

3 WHAT ARE VARICOSE VEINS? OPERATION: VARICOSE VEINS When the superficial veins in the leg become enlarged and distorted they are said to be varicosed. They are often found in people who need to stand for long periods at a time and where there is a family history. The operation consists of either division at the junction in the groin (high tie) or behind the knee where the superficial veins drain into the deep veins. In some cases the vein may be stripped and in many cases, segments of the vein above and below the knee will be tied off or pulled out (phlebectomies). This is done under a general anaesthetic. ALTERNATIVE OPTIONS FOR TREATMENT Any suitable alternative treatment should have been discussed with you at your outpatient appointment. If this was not the case, please do not hesitate to ask for further information. PREPARATION REQUIRED BEFORE SURGERY On the day of your operation it would be helpful if you could have a bath or shower. You need to bring loose fitting clothes to wear home, for example shorts/skirt/jogging trousers, as the dressings on your leg may be bulky. Please wear flat supportive shoes to travel home. WHAT WILL HAPPEN WHEN YOU ARRIVE ON THE UNIT? The surgeon will ask you to sign a consent form for the operation, and will mark the leg, which is to be operated on. The anaesthetist (a doctor who sends you off to sleep and helps with pain control) will ask you some questions about your general health. You may be given graduated compression stockings to wear on your legs prior to the operation to prevent a deep vein thrombosis (DVT). FOLLOWING SURGERY You must stay in bed for at least 2 hours. You will gradually be allowed to sit up and then offered something to eat and drink. You may experience some pain or discomfort following the surgery. If so, please inform the nurse who will offer you painkillers. Before you are discharged, you will be encouraged to walk a short distance with a nurse to observe for post surgery bleeding, which is fairly common with this procedure. The nurse will change the dressings if necessary. You will stay in hospital for a minimum of 2-4 hours following the operation. Ref: 10.PI.0050 Varicose veins (TC) Point of issue: pre-op Page 3 of 5

4 GOING HOME You must be taken home in a car or taxi. You must be accompanied by a responsible adult (18 years or over) who will stay with you all the time for 24 hours following surgery It is anticipated that your length of stay will be approximately half a day. Please ensure that your lift /carer is able to collect you promptly when you are ready as you need to rest and your recovery will be more comfortable at home. Please give the Carer s Leaflet with the map on, to your lift /carer. WHAT ARE THE RISKS? After varicose vein surgery there is often bruising under the skin. This will be worst in the first 10 days, but should subside in approximately 6 weeks. There is a small risk of bleeding from the wound sites. This risk may be reduced if you rest with your leg elevated on the day of the operation. Small patches of numbness, burning or altered skin sensation is common. This is unavoidable when veins are operated on and is due to injury to small nerves. The operation will not necessarily eliminate all visible varicose veins. Patients who have successful vein surgery may develop recurrent varicose veins. There is a slight risk of the wound becoming infected. If the wound becomes red, hot to the touch, painful, swollen, or you feel unwell, you must seek medical advice. There is a risk of blood clots forming in your legs (deep vein thrombosis). This risk is reduced by you wearing the graduated compression stockings as instructed. Risks related to a general anaesthetic are summarised in the leaflet You and your anaesthetic. WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS? The aim of this operation is to reduce the discomfort in your legs and also to reduce the risk of leg ulcers. There may be some improvement in the appearance of your legs. POST SURGERY INSTRUCTIONS After you get home from hospital, you need to rest completely with your feet up for the rest of the day. The day after your operation you may start to get up and gently walk about, increasing your activities, as you feel able. Walking is encouraged up to your normal level. It is important to rest in between activity with your feet elevated. Ref: 10.PI.0050 Varicose veins (TC) Point of issue: pre-op Page 4 of 5

5 You may experience pain or discomfort. It is advisable to take the painkillers provided regularly. Do not exceed the recommended dose as written on the packet. Keep the wound dressings clean, dry and intact, until the day after your operation when the district nurse will visit you. The nurse will remove the bandages, assess the wounds and help you to apply the graduated compression stocking(s). These stockings must be worn day and night for 2 weeks (even longer if you are not back to being fully mobile by 2 weeks postoperatively). Groin wound: If you have stitches in the groin area, these are usually dissolvable. They will dissolve within 3-6 weeks. Keep the dressings clean and dry for 2 days. If the stitches are non - dissolvable, they need to be kept clean and dry until they are removed in 7-10 days at your GP surgery. You will need to arrange the appointment. Leg wounds: the stitches or steristrips (surgical sellotape) on the leg wounds will need to be removed after 4-5 days at your GP surgery. You will need to arrange the appointment. If you are happy to remove these yourself, you may do so. If the area around the stitches or steristrips becomes red, painful or hot to touch please see your GP or practice nurse for advice. You should avoid driving for a minimum of 10 days. Before driving again please ensure that you feel competent and safe to drive and are able to perform an emergency stop. Please check with your motor insurance company before resuming driving, as certain companies will not cover you for a certain length of time after your operation. Usually you will be back to your normal level of activity by approximately 2-3 weeks. If you have any worries or queries, please contact the Day Case Unit between the hours of 8am 5pm, Monday to Friday Outside of these hours please contact your GP Ref: 10.PI.0050 Varicose veins (TC) Point of issue: pre-op Page 5 of 5

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