With winter almost upon us in Nelson, many people are jetting off on overseas trips. So, in this month’s article, we thought we’d share some thoughts on flying and varicose veins.
Flying and Varicose Veins:
When you fly with varicose veins, the change in cabin pressure and the reduced oxygen levels in the aeroplane can cause your leg veins to dilate. This dilation can make any symptoms associated with your varicose veins worse. As a result, you may suffer discomfort, swelling, and pain in your legs.
Unfortunately, if you have varicose veins, there is also an increased risk of developing deep vein thrombosis, DVT; this condition can be severe and potentially life-threatening. This increase is more prevalent in certain groups of people, including seniors, pregnant women, those who are obese and people who already suffer from certain medical conditions, such as heart disease.
If you have varicose veins and you are worried about flying, it’s essential to consult your medical practitioner before you jet off.
What you can do on your flight:
Plan ahead – Choose your seat:
If your airline allows you to book seats with extra legroom (front row or emergency exit rows), these are a good option on longer flights.
Wearing compression stockings during your flight can help improve circulation and prevent blood from pooling in your legs, which can worsen varicose veins and increase the risk of DVT. Compression stockings should be worn during the entire flight and several hours afterwards.
Try to move around and stretch your legs as much as possible during the flight. This can help improve blood flow and reduce swelling. You can also exercise while seated, such as flexing and extending your ankles.
Avoid alcohol and drink plenty of water during the flight to stay hydrated. Dehydration makes the blood thicker and more likely to clot, which in turn, increases the risk of complications in people with varicose veins.
Treat your varicose veins before travel:
The best way to ensure your comfort and well-being is to treat your varicose veins before you jet off on holiday. All of our treatments are minimally invasive walk-in / walk-out procedures and are easy to fit in before your next holiday. We recommend waiting two weeks pre- or post-treatment before you travel internationally.
We also offer Venaseal treatment. If this treatment is suitable for you, it may please you to know there are no restrictions on travel; you can hop on a plane immediately after treatment.
Remember, we offer an initial no-obligation Varicose Vein Assessments with Ultrasound Mapping to determine the best treatment for you; this can be at our Nelson clinic or the Churchill Private Hospital in Blenheim. Contact us HERE to book yours.