What is surgical ligation and stripping of varicose veins?

Conventional 'vein stripping' is usually performed in an operating room, under a general (or regional) anesthetic. During a stripping procedure, the surgeon makes an 3-4cm incision in the groin and ties off the vein, after which a stripper tool (metal or plastic) is threaded through the saphenous vein and used to pull the vein out of the leg through a second incision (1cm small) just above the calf.

The procedure may be combined with tying up of incompetent leg perforators (veins conduits connecting the superficial with the deep veins) or with multiple phlebectomies (small incisions to tie or excise the leg veins at multiple points).

What are the results of stripping of varicose veins?

This procedure had been the standard conventional surgical option for several decades. Clinical data shows overall recurrence rates in excess of eighty percent with a five year follow up period, making is less popular than the minimally invasive endovenous treatment options like laser, radiofrequency or sclerotherapy.

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