I am often asked by patients if they can travel on a plane after their varicose vein treatment. At Vein Health Medical, there is a very strict protocol in place for plane travel post treatment. This protocol will vary for Overseas Plane Travel (>4 hours on the plane) and Interstate Travel (<4 hours on the plane).
Overseas Travel (>4 hours)
If varicose veins are treated with either Endovenous Laser Ablation (EVLA) or Ultrasound Guided Sclerotherapy (UGS), we recommend that patients do not fly for at least 3 weeks.
There are two major reasons for this:
- There could be an increased risk of Deep Vein Thrombosis (a leg clot) when travelling on long haul overseas trips in patients who have had varicose veins treated. This risk is amplified with smoking, with the Oral Contraceptive Pill or HRT and of course, in patients with overall poor health. It should be noted that there is an inherent, baseline risk of thrombosis that exists for ALL people flying for over 4 hours, irregardless of whether they have had treatment or not.
- Most patients are reviewed within 1-2 weeks following their varicose vein treatment. If there are any major concerns following their treatment, they are more likely to occur during this period and it is therefore much easier to address these concerns before they get on a plane.
If a patient must travel overseas within the first 3 weeks, a careful preventative regime must be adhered to. This includes the wearing of travel socks, regular movement of the feet in the plane whilst sitting, regular walking in the plane, drinking plenty of water (keeps the body hydrated) and avoiding excessive alcohol consumption (which can dehydrate the body). For people who have a high risk of Deep Vein Thrombosis (leg clots), blood thinning injections may be prescribed.
Interstate Travel (<4 hours)
Most patients travelling interstate within 1-2 weeks of their treatment can do so, as long as the preventative regime discussed above is strictly adhered to.