Varicose Veins

Varicose vein stripping is a surgical procedure that removes varicose veins from the legs or thighs. Varicose veins are the puffy and twisted veins that you can see under the skin.

Varicose veins form in the legs when the valves in the veins aren’t functioning correctly. Veins normally have one-way valves that prevent your blood from flowing back up toward the heart

Varicose vein stripping treats varicose veins and helps prevent them from coming back. The procedure is also known as vein stripping with ligation, avulsion, or ablation.

Do you want to know the treatment option? Please contact our doctor at Medfin.

What are Varicose Veins?

Varicose veins are swollen, twisted veins that lie just under the skin and usually occur in the legs. Varicose veins are a common condition caused by weak or damaged vein walls and valves.

For some people, varicose veins and spider veins (which is a milder form of varicose veins) may be a simple cosmetic problem, but for others, varicose veins may cause aches and pains in the legs and may also lead to more serious conditions if left untreated.

What are the causes of Varicose Veins?

Varicose veins are formed when the valves in a vein malfunction or are weak. Your veins help return the blood back to your heart for purification. 

The blood in your legs has to move up against gravity to reach the heart. Muscle contractions in your lower legs act as pumps, and elastic vein walls help blood return to your heart. 

Your veins also have valves that prevent the back-flow of blood. If these valves are weak or damaged, blood can flow backward and pool in the vein, causing the veins to stretch or twist.

There are many reasons or a combination of reasons why your valves malfunction. They are:

  • Age: Ageing can cause wear and tear on the valves that prevent the back-flow of blood in your veins. Aging increases the risk of varicose veins.
  • Gender: Varicose veins are more common among women especially during pregnancy and menopause. This is because of hormonal changes in their body which can cause vein walls to relax thus leading to the pooling of blood in their veins.
  • Pregnancy: Pregnancy causes the amount of blood flowing through your body to increase substantially to support your fetus. This may also lead to enlargement of veins. Hormonal changes can also play a role.
  • Standing for long periods of time: This exerts extra pressure on your leg muscles and valves causing wear and tear quickly.
  • Family history: There is a chance that you may be prone to varicose veins if other members of your family have it.

What are the symptoms of Varicose Veins?

Symptoms can be divided into those that you can see and those that you can see and feel.

Symptoms that you can see:

  • Veins that appear twisted, bulged, and worm-like
  • Change in color of the affected area.  You may notice a dark purple or blue color in that area

Symptoms that you can feel:
  • Dull aching pain in your legs​
  • Muscle cramping, swelling, and tightness in your lower legs
  • Itching around the affected vein
  • Pain in your legs after sitting or standing for long periods of time

What happens if Varicose Veins are left untreated?

If left untreated, varicose veins can lead to multiple complications such as ulcers, bleeding, or even blood clots. 

Ulcers can form near the varicose veins and are characterized by severe discoloration and pain. Some varicose veins that are close to the skin can burst to lead to blood loss.

How can one prevent varicose veins?

There are no real methods to completely prevent varicose veins from occurring. However, improving circulation and the muscle tone in the area will help reduce chances. Other lifestyle changes that one can adopt to reduce chances are by:

  • ​Not wearing high heels
  • Not sitting or standing continuously for long periods of time
  • Watching your weight
  • Eating a healthy, high-fiber diet

What are the treatment options for varicose veins?

Based on the stage of varicose veins the doctor will choose to administer either medical intervention or surgical intervention. The doctor may suggest lifestyle changes during the early stages of varicose veins.

Lifestyle changes: These include exercising, losing weight, not wearing tight clothing, or elevating your legs.

Compression stockings: Compression stockings help by squeezing your leg muscles helping blood move more efficiently. For the early stages of varicose veins, your doctor may suggest you wear this.

Surgical Interventions: For those stages of varicose veins that cannot be managed through lifestyle changes or medications, surgical intervention is used. There are multiple procedures that can be used to relieve you of your symptoms and condition.

  • Vein ligation or vein stripping: This is one of the older and traditional methods used to treat this condition. This involves the removal of the bad vein from your leg through small incisions. 

  • Laser Treatment: This is a minimally invasive method in which a laser is used to burn the vein. This is done through a single tiny incision that is made at the bottom of the bad vein. The doctor then guides a catheter the size of a pen to refill up the vein using ultrasound or x-ray as guidance. 
  • The laser fiber is then passed through this catheter and both the fiber can catheters are pulled back slowly destroying the vein completely. This then gets absorbed by the body. This is done as a day-care procedure, and you are able to go home on the same day

  • Sclerotherapy: A medical solution or foam is injected into your vein that will close your vein in a few week's time.  This procedure is used for Spider veins or very initial stages of Varicose Veins.

What is Endovenous Laser Ablation (EVLA / EVLT)?

EVLA stands for Endovenous Laser Ablation. It may also be referred to as EVLT or Endovenous Laser Treatment. This procedure uses laser energy to treat varicose veins under local anesthesia. 

This method has many advantages over the traditional vein stripping method. EVLA is usually a day-care procedure, which means you get discharged on the same day. 

The patient also does not have any visible cuts, stitches, or scars after the procedure.

Related Articles

7 Effective Home Remedies for Varicose Veins



At a first glance varicose veins and spider veins are really not that far apart in differences. However, when understood, there are a few noticeable differences between them.


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