What is varicose vein stripping?

Varicose vein stripping is a complex procedure that surgically removes varicose veins from the legs, thighs, and other parts of the body. Varicose veins are large, bulging, twisted, and tangled blood vessels that protrude out of the skin’s surface, often resembling a mass of tangled ropes. They usually appear in the lower extremities of the body, such as the legs and thighs, but they can also appear elsewhere. Varicose vein stripping is a surgical procedure that involves removing the varicose veins from the legs, helping you achieve beautiful legs.

It’s worth mentioning that varicose vein stripping is considered to be an outdated procedure. It has largely been replaced by minimally invasive varicose vein treatments, such as endovenous laser ablation, radiofrequency ablation, and venaseal. Minimally invasive procedures are in-office and outpatient procedures that conclude within an hour, involve a negligible risk of complications, and have no downtime. Unlike traditional varicose vein stripping, minimally invasive procedures don’t involve hospitalization or downtime, making them more convenient. Minimally invasive procedures are also safer and more reliable than vascular surgeries.

Long Island Vein Centers is a group of state-of-the-art vein centers in Long Island. We specialize in cutting-edge minimally invasive spider vein and varicose vein treatments that address the root cause of your vein problems and improve your legs’ appearance without harsh side effects, complications, surgeries, or downtime. You can find our vein centers throughout Long Island — we have state-of-the-art offices in West Islip, Jericho, and Hampton Bays. Please schedule an appointment to explore your minimally invasive vein treatment options.

Varicose vein stripping is a surgical procedure to remove varicose veins from legs. This article describes the varicose vein stripping steps, purpose, risks, and more.

What does varicose vein stripping treat?

Varicose vein stripping treats varicose veins and the underlying chronic venous insufficiency. Most people assume that varicose veins are purely cosmetic, but that’s not true. Varicose veins are usually symptomatic of chronic venous insufficiency, a circulatory disorder caused by the collapse of vein valves. Healthy veins contain valves that act as one-way doors that ensure smooth blood circulation to the heart. When your vein valves collapse, blood flows backward and accumulates in the leg veins, eventually leading to spider veins and varicose veins.

Varicose vein stripping isn’t one procedure — it refers to a combination of surgical procedures for varicose veins and venous insufficiency, including vein ligation, vein avulsion, and venous bypass surgery. During vascular surgeries, the vein doctor administers general anesthesia and makes large incisions on the skin’s surface to access the underlying venous structure. The vascular surgeon physically removes the unhealthy varicose veins and diseased saphenous veins from the legs using numerous techniques. Once the diseased vein is removed, the accumulated blood reroutes into healthier leg veins and restores optimal blood flow.

How do you prepare for varicose vein stripping?

Your vein doctor will perform a physical examination before varicose vein stripping to identify the size and location of varicose veins. The vein doctor will also perform a venous ultrasound test to visualize the blood flow in your leg veins and identify the location of the damaged vein valves. After a thorough evaluation, the vein doctor will discuss your vein treatment options. You should avoid vein doctors who recommend varicose vein stripping as the first treatment.

Varicose vein stripping is more complex and dangerous than minimally invasive procedures. If your vein doctor recommends varicose vein stripping, you should get a second opinion from another vein doctor. Vein stripping should only be attempted as a last resort treatment if all minimally invasive procedures fail, which is unlikely to happen. If you consult a reliable vein doctor, they will discuss your minimally invasive vein treatment options, such as endovenous laser ablation, radiofrequency ablation, and venaseal.

What are the varicose vein stripping steps?

The following is an overview of the varicose vein stripping steps:

  • The vein doctor will administer general anesthesia or spinal anesthesia
  • You will receive anti-anxiety medication to alleviate your anxieties
  • The vascular surgeon will make small incisions near the top and bottom of the damaged vein
  • One incision will be made in your groin
  • Another incision will be made near your calf or ankle
  • A flexible plastic wire will be inserted into the vein through the groin incision
  • The wire will be extracted through the incision in the lower leg
  • The incisions will be sutured and bandaged

As you can probably tell from the varicose vein stripping steps mentioned above, this is a fairly complex surgical procedure. That’s why you should only find vein doctors specializing in minimally invasive vein treatments that can be performed via small incisions on the skin’s surface, such as endovenous laser ablation, radiofrequency ablation, and venaseal. Varicose vein stripping hasn’t been the treatment of choice for vein disease for over a decade.

Varicose vein stripping vs. ablation: what’s better?

Varicose vein ablation is significantly safer, more effective, and more convenient than varicose vein stripping. There’s absolutely no reason for you to undergo varicose vein stripping — not until your vein doctor has exhausted all other minimally invasive vein treatment options. The following are the advantages of endovenous ablation over vein stripping:

  • Vein ablation only involves one small incision on the skin’s surface
  • Vein ablation is painless and comfortable
  • Vein ablation doesn’t involve general anesthesia — only topical or local anesthesia
  • Vein ablation doesn’t involve harsh side effects
  • Vein ablation has a nearly perfect success rate
  • Vein ablation involves a negligible risk of complications, such as infections
  • Vein ablation doesn’t involve any downtime or recovery period

Our vein doctors in Long Island only provide minimally invasive spider vein and varicose vein treatments. Furthermore, we perform a thorough evaluation and physical examination, following which we curate a personalized treatment plan for chronic venous insufficiency and visible varicose veins, ensuring long-lasting and consistent results. Please schedule an appointment at your nearest vein center in Long Island.