Vein stripping with ligation, avulsion, or ablation; Saphenous vein ligation
Vein stripping is surgery to remove varicose veins in the legs.
Varicose veins are swollen, painful veins that have filled with blood. They usually develop in the legs.
Vein stripping is usually done when a large vein in the leg called the superficial saphenous vein is thick and rope-like.
Vein stripping usually takes about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Most people receive either:
Your surgeon will make two small surgical cuts in your leg.
If you have other damaged veins, your surgeon may also make small cuts over them to remove them or tie them off.
The doctor will close the cuts with stitches (sutures). You will have bandages and compression stockings on your leg after the procedure.
Vein stripping may be recommended for:
Today, doctors are doing fewer vein stripping surgeries because there are newer, non-surgical ways to treat varicose veins. These other treatments are less painful and have a much faster recovery time.
See also: Varicose Vein - noninvasive treatment
Brar R, Nordon IM, Hinchliffe RJ, Loftus IM, Thompson MM. Surgical management of varicose veins: meta-analysis. Vascular. 2010;18(4):205-220.
Freischlag JA, Heller JA. Venous disease. In: Townsend CM, Beauchamp RD, Evers BM, Mattox KL, eds. Sabiston Textbook of Surgery. 18th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 68.
Nijsten T, van den Bos RR, Goldman MP, et al. Minimally invasive techniques in the treatment of saphenous varicose veins. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2009;60(1):110-119.
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