Varicose Vein Surgery

Varicose Veins SurgeryHow surgeons remove varicose veins?

Varicose vein surgery, also called “vein stripping” is the number one enemy of vein clinics. They call it barbaric. Why? Because vein stripping is the classic varicose vein treatment. It is the standard onto which every new treatment is compared against. And vein clinics using newer technology hate that. It’s like having an older more famous brother that everyone talks about.

The surgery involves making two incisions, one at the groin and one close to the knee. A small wire is then inserted into the varicose vein. The surgeon attaches this special wire to one end of the vein and then pull the wire out and the vein follows.

Is it effective at removing varicose veins?

Yes it is effective! Varicose vein surgery does not close the vein, it removes it completely. It is also the cheapest way to get rid of your varicose veins. And studies comparing stripping with the more expensive treatments, such as laser treatment and radiofrequency ablation, found no significant difference in the success rate.

But there are some disadvantages that you should be aware of. First of all, general anesthesia may be required. Second, stripping a varicose vein involves two incisions. Most other treatments only require one incision close to the knee. The extra incision at the groin means extra post-operation pain and longer recovery. If you are overweight or obese, incisions at the groin have a higher risk of infection. And third, there is also a small risk of cutting a nerve especially if the surgeon is removing a varicose vein located behind your knee. If a nerve is cut, no recovery is possible.

You need to be aware of those risks if you decide to go with surgery.

Does varicose vein surgery requires a overnight hospital stay?

No. Today, most doctors will want you to walk as soon as possible after the surgery. By gently moving your legs, you improve the recovery speed. If eveything goes well, you should be out of the hospital a hour or two after the surgery.

Is varicose vein surgery covered by insurance?

If you have symptoms of swelling, heaviness and pain caused by a varicose vein, most insurance will cover your surgery. But they will often ask that you try wearing compression stockings for a few months first, as this an inexpensive and very effective way to deal with venous insufficiency. If you haven’t tried compression stockings yet, give it a try, as it is often the best long term solution to remove the symptoms of varicose veins.

Learn more about the other medical treatments available:

And read How to get rid of varicose veins naturally if those treatments feel too risky for you.

Marc Livingston

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