Surgical treatment of varicose veins has been performed for over 70 years. While most patients are now treated with thermal ablation, it still a good option for certain patients. The surgical technique has been refined over the decades. The current techniques of using tumescent anaesthesia, inversion pin stripping and significantly smaller incisions have led to faster recovery and less pain and complications. Surgical removal of veins is still the best treatment for very large leg veins, veins that are tortuous (wriggly), and patients with previous clots in the superficial veins.
Surgery is performed under general anaesthesia in an operating room. The procedure takes approximately one hour. Patient can be discharged the same day or stay overnight. Patients are mobile from day one and take one to two weeks to return to normal activities.
Benefits of surgical removal of varicose veins:
- Can treat all types of veins in one session
- Excellent long-term results
- Particularly effective in treating large veins
- Some patients prefer general anaesthesia
Surgery, while being effective does have slightly longer recovery. This might be also influenced by more patients with large veins are treated by surgery.