Varicose Vein Removal

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Varicose Vein Removal

Varicose veins are swollen and enlarged veins – usually blue or dark purple – that usually occur on the legs. They may also be lumpy, bulging or twisted in appearance.

A technique called ligation and stripping is a known surgical method for varicose vein removal that involves tying off the vein in the affected leg and then removing it.

Benefits of varicose vein removal

  • To improve the symptoms relating to your varicose veins.
  • To allow any leg ulcers to heal more quickly and help to prevent future recurrence of the ulcers. 
  • To improve the appearance of the veins

What does the procedure involve?

Varicose vein surgery is usually carried out under a general anaesthetic, so you will be asleep during the surgery. The most common operation is where the superficial vein (long saphenous vein) is faulty and has leaking valves. This vein is the longest in the body and runs the length of your lower limb (leg).

The vein will be disconnected through a small groin cut and removed or stripped out using a small plastic wire to below the level of the knee.

Varicose veins are removed through small cuts over the swollen veins. Less often, when the faulty vein at the back of the knee (short saphenous vein) has a leaking valve, it too needs disconnecting; this is performed through a cut at the back of the knee. The wounds are dressed, and the leg is bandaged.

After the procedure, you can go home the same day, but an overnight stay in the hospital is sometimes necessary, particularly if you’re having surgery on both legs.

What are the risks involved with the procedure?

  • Bleeding, discharge or infection
  • Numbness on the skin around the wounds (improve with time)
  • Burning or altered skin sensation in the leg (settle down with time)
  • Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT, blood clot) in the leg (rare)
  • Pulmonary Embolism (extremely rare)