With advances in minimally invasive varicose vein treatments, stripping and ligation has become less common. This is a surgical procedure which is performed under general anesthesia. Although Dr. Muasher rarely performs stripping and ligation at this time, it’s important to be informed about the procedure steps. In some cases, this procedure may be the best treatment option for severe varicose veins. We strive to educate our patients on all available treatments so that they can engage with their treatment plans.
When Surgery is Necessary for Varicose Veins
There are a variety of reasons why surgery can be the best treatment option. Dr. Muasher performs a thorough, comprehensive evaluation before recommending any treatment plan. Your reasons for ligation and stripping will be unique to your veins and overall health. Like other varicose vein treatments, surgery is meant to treat existing veins and prevent them from recurring. Surgery is recommended over other treatments when
- There is evidence of valvular insufficiency (leaky valves) within primary veins that cause varicose veins
- Blood pools due to venous insufficiency and patients suffer from associated symptoms like swelling, changes to the skin, heaviness, pain, bleeding or ulcers
- There is superficial venous thrombosis or phlebitis (blood clots or inflammation)
- Varicose veins are especially large or tortuous (curvy)
- Overall, if multiple valves in a vein, as well as the vein itself are severely damaged, surgery may be recommended.
Patients with both large and small varicose veins may benefit from several different types of treatments. After receiving ligation and stripping, sclerotherapy or laser vein therapy may be appropriate from smaller varicose veins.
Ligation and Stripping Procedure
- Vein surgery is typically performed with the patient under general anesthesia in a surgical center, rather than in an office setting.
- One or more incisions are made below the vein. An instrument is threaded up the vein to grasp and remove it through the incisions.
- The diseased part of the vein (or the entire vein) is removed.
- Most patients return home the day of surgery.
- Patients are typically able to return to work within a few days, and able to resume regular exercise / physical activities within several weeks.