Classical Vein Ligation and Stripping
Vein ligation and stripping is a minor operation that addresses varicose veins and venous insufficiency, a condition in which the veins are unable to bring back deoxygenated blood from the body back to the heart. Ligation involves tying off a damaged or weakened vein through a small incision. Stripping, meanwhile, entails the removal of the vein (also through a small incision). Doing so allows blood flow to be rerouted to healthier veins to regulate circulation.
While this refers to two distinct procedures, both are often performed in conjunction with each other and other operations such as sclerotherapy.
Purpose of Vein Ligation and Stripping
Vein ligation and stripping is mostly done to treat large varicose veins and prevent their recurrence and other complications. It is also performed to manage symptoms of venous insufficiency, which include pain, bleeding, swelling and skin discoloration. If skin ulcers have already formed, removing the affected vein allows the ulcers to heal. Vein ligation and stripping may also be done for cosmetic reasons, usually to reduce the unsightly appearance of bulging, knotted veins on the legs.
Benefits of the Procedure
Vein ligation and stripping are two minimally invasive procedures performed on an outpatient setting and typically under local or regional anesthesia. A hospital stay following the operation is very rarely required. One of the most effective forms of treatment for serious varicose veins, the entire process takes around 2 to 3 hours, and has a recovery period of 2 to 4 weeks. Most patients are also able to return to work a few days following the operation.
Post-Procedural Care and Expectations
Vein ligation and stripping is a minor and minimally invasive form of surgery that involves very little post-procedural care. The surgeon usually just provides a set of at-home care instructions to follow until the incisions created heal fully. These include:
- refraining from physical and strenuous activities
- wearing compression stockings
- elevating the treated leg as much as possible
- doing light, leg muscle exercises to normalize blood circulation
- adjusting diet and lifestyle
Thick, prominent incision scars following the procedure are normal and will eventually fade within 6 to 12 months. Small amounts of blood or discharge from the wound site are also normal for the first couple of days of recovery. However, if these are accompanied with fever, severe pain or pus, immediate medical attention is required.
Risks and Possible Complications
Apart from the usual side effects that come with medical operations such as scarring, general weakness and discomfort, anesthesia allergies, infection and bleeding, possible complications of vein ligation and stripping are few and very rare. These include:
- possible damage to the deep vein system that further interferes with blood circulation
- numbness and tingling from a damaged or irritated vein
- nerve injury
Vein ligation and stripping remains one of the most effective yet less invasive forms of treatment against varicose veins and venous insufficiency. At Montemayor Laser and Advanced Vein Care, we employ a series of modern and comprehensive techniques to address spider, reticular and varicose veins. Learn more about our services from top vein doctor in the Philippines Dr. Paul Montemayor. Schedule an appointment today at 8706-0507.