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When Can I Fly After Varicose Vein Treatment?

One of the most frequent questions I get asked is when can I fly after my varicose vein treatment?

Well I am going to tell you firstly the medical answer and then I am going to tell you some of the other issues you might wish to consider before flying.

Medical Evidence

From a medical point of view there is in fact very little restriction on your ability to fly after modern varicose vein treatments. You see modern varicose vein treatments are performed unde a local anesthetic usually as a walk in walk out procedure and as general anesthesia is avoided and as you get back to normal activities very quickly the risk of deep vein thrombosis is very small indeed. For fit healthy people even after a long haul flight the risk of deep vein thrombosis even after varicose vein treatment is very low. And although this is the main worry that people have when flying after varicose vein treatment from a medical point of view it isn’t really much of an issue.

However there are other issues you may wish to consider. The first is your travel insurance. If you were in the very unlikely event to have a medical complication from your vein treatment or indeed if you were to have any other problem whilst you were abroad or on holiday would your travel insurance still be valid and would it cover your for treatment which may be quite expensive? It is worth checking with your travel insurance company before having your veins treatment and then going abroad. The second issue you might wish to consider is that if you fly soon after your varicose vein treatment you will of course be “not-very-close” to the place where you had your vein treatment. Now as I have already said complications are very rare after modern vein treatments under local anaesthetic but you may have a minor niggling issue that you wish some advice about. And often people wish to be seen and have an ultrasound scan just to be sure that the healing process is going on normally and that there are no major problems. This can be very reassuring. Now of course if you are very remote from the place where you had your treatment you can’t be seen and that may be an issue you wish to consider. The third issue that you may wish to consider is that although we don’t have any evidence that having your veins treated under local anesthetic and going on a long haul flight even raises the risk of a deep vein thrombosis very substantially in reality we have we very little evidence to either support or refute the idea of travel after vein treatment.

In most cases people can schedule their treatment around trips abroad and my own view is that if you can avoid travelling soon after your varicose vein treatment you should do so and I usually advise against air travel within 4 weeks of varicose vein treatment.