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Varicose Vein Ligation and Stripping, Removing Varicose Veins- MGH

Varicose Vein Ligation and Stripping

In cases in which varicose veins are particularly large or severe, in which they are accompanied by leaking of valves in large veins in the groin, or in which they have not responded to other treatments, surgical treatment using ligation and stripping may be recommended. This procedure has good to excellent results in 85% of people who undergo it.

Surgical ligation and stripping of varicose veins is generally done using local anaesthesia. The surgery requires many short incisions to be made in the skin along the leg. The vein is first tied off (ligated) by tying a small stitch around it to block blood flow. If only one valve in the ligated region is damaged, the ligated vein may be left in place. However, if numerous valves in that vein are damaged, the vein is stripped, or removed. An incision is made below the diseased vein, and a special instrument is used to grasp the vein and remove it. In general, the other veins remaining in the leg take over the work of the vein(s) removed.

The procedure takes approximately an hour, and patients who undergo it are able to go home the same day after a short period in the recovery room. After the surgery, the leg may be wrapped with an elastic bandage or support stocking that is worn for a few days following surgery to control swelling and bruising.


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