What You Should Know
Vein stripping is the surgery that is required to remove varicose veins from the legs. Varicose veins are enlarged and twisted veins that are usually found closely beneath the skin on the legs. The condition is caused when the small valves in the veins that usually prevent the blood from flowing backwards due to gravity fail to close properly, causing the veins to swell because of the increased blood therein. The condition is most common among people who have jobs that require a lot of standing, though it can also occur during pregnancy. Varicose veins can be painful or itchy, though scratching them can lead to ulceration. Some relief can be obtained with the use of elastic support stockings. There are several other types of therapy, but the traditional cure is to actually remove the veins – the procedure for this is called vein stripping.
Removing a varicose vein does not normally cause a problem since there are other veins deeper in the tissues that can take over the job of blood removal. Vein stripping for this problem is usually carried out clinic or hospital. It is a relatively simple procedure, though most people undergo general anesthesia before surgery. They are usually unconscious during surgery and don’t feel any pain. The procedure takes anything from one to three hours, depending on the individual case. During the procedure, the surgeon makes small incisions in the upper thigh and the area above the varicose vein. An instrument called a stripper is inserted into the incision in the thigh and tunneled to the incision above the vein, which is then pulled out, and the incisions closed with stitches. Today there are newer procedures for tackling the problem of varicose veins, and vein stripping is no longer as common as it once was.
Surgery under a general anesthetic is the usual procedure for varicose veins.
- The removal of unsightly protruding veins
- Relief from pain or itchiness
- Elimination of ulcers or sores that are caused by poor blood flow
- Surgery can cause bleeding, infection or bruising
- There is sometimes a risk of nerve damage
Enlarged and often painful veins in the legs (varicose veins) can often be removed surgically in a procedure called vein stripping. Removal of such veins, which are normally just beneath the surface of the skin, is a fairly simple procedure, and takes between one and three hours. Today this procedure ihas been mostly replaced by newer procedures that do not use invasive surgery, examples of which is laser technology and injection therapy. If you are suffering from the condition known as varicose veins, you should consult your GP.