Dr. Russ
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Varicose veins

Complications

Spider-burst (Capillaries)

Venous leg ulcers

Venous stasis dermatitis

Frequently Asked Questions

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Visit to the jungle


Frequently Asked Questions

Why should one undergo an operation for varicose veins? Under what conditions may varicose veins be operated on?

  1. The time of year (season)
    is of no significance although there is a widespread belief that operations for varicose veins should not be performed in the summer. Patients who visited my office in the summer because they had an intolerably painful open leg ulcer should, of course, have come to my office several months earlier. I operate on these patients immediately. They don’t experience the slightest disadvantage except for the fact that they had suffered pain for an unnecessarily long period of time.
     
  2. The intake of anticoagulants
    such as MARCOUMAR or SINTROM must be stopped for a short period of time, but this has never caused any difficulties. The very day after the operation the patient is allowed to resume his/her intake of these medications, also known as blood-thinning agents.
     
  3. Menstruation
    is of no consequence for planning this operation.
     
  4. Advanced age
    is no hindrance provided the patient is able to walk and is not confined to the bed. Recently a 102-year-old patient was congratulated by our local newspaper. When I operated on him for an open leg ulcer he was 92 years old.
     
  5. A node in the groin
    If a groin vein has been investigated during the operation, one nearly always perceives a kind of node in the fold of the groin for a few days. This is no cause for concern. It is just recently scarred tissue. After six months one is usually unable to palpate anything here.
     
  6. A question I have raised:
    Why do so many callers suppress their telephone number when calling?

    My staff is unable to answer all incoming calls promptly – for instance, in specific situations such as operations, no member of the staff is available to answer phone calls. However, the caller can be called back after just 5 minutes but the caller’s telephone number is not available and the display says “suppressed”. Why such complications?
     
  7. You may have a shower:
    a) if you if you have had an operation, in most cases after one week, sometimes you might have to wait longer if there was a healing disorder.
     
    b) even if you have got a venous leg ulcer. If water, shampoo or soap is running over the wound for a short time it hasn't got an adverse effect, the more so, if the dressing of the wound is done immediately with an antiseptic.
     
  8. What should I do if there is bleeding after I undergo an operation on my leg?
    Haemorrhage, fortunately, is very rare because hemostasis (staunching of blood) is performed very carefully during the operation and the leg is then covered with a pressure bandage. Besides, you will be asked to spend some time in the waiting room and leave the doctor's office only after the surgeon has checked you again. Nevertheless, haemorrhage during the first hours after the operation cannot be entirely ruled out (a little spot of blood on the dressing is of no significance)
     
    However, if blood starts to drip or even flow through the dressing, strictly adhere to the following instruction:
     
    L I E   D O W N   immediately - if necessary on the floor.
     
    This will avert the initial danger and one gains time to think about the situation. The following steps should then be considered:
  • Call me: I am available around the clock.
  • Place a towel on the bleeding site on the leg so that your bed is not unnecessarily soiled
  • Use several folded paper tissues as a pressure pad and wrap a bandage tightly around it as an additional pressure dressing.
Haemorrhage from an operation site in the groin needs special attention. As soon as you lie down the haemorrhage here will cease, especially if you additionally apply pressure on the site. Just a moderate amount of pressure with a tennis ball or an apple will be enough. You may try to stand 3 or 4 hours later - to go to the toilet, for instance, but always ensure someone is watching over you and, to be on the safe side, is continuously pressing the groin while you are taking these steps.
 
In general the following applies for the first night after the operation:
 
N E V E R   B E   A L O N E   I N   Y O U R   A P P A R T M E N T   !!!
 
If this cannot be arranged, the problem could be solved by your staying in a hotel in Leibnitz for one night.

Dr. Russ © 2014