Vein stripping

Stripping is a surgical procedure done under general or local anaesthetic to remove varicose veins. The surgery involves making one or more incisions upon the desired area (usually the groin or leg) followed by insertion of a special wire into the vein. The wire is tied to and advanced through the vein to a desired depth. The vein is then pulled out from the body. The incisions are stitched up, and pressure dressings are applied to the incision.

An overnight hospital stay is sometimes required, although some clinics may do it as a day surgery procedure. Patients may be advised to avoid physical activity for days or weeks. A pressure bandage followed by elastic stockings is a common recovery prescription.

As with any surgery, patients incur some risks, which can include allergic reactions to any involved drug, bleeding, thrombois or even pulmonary embolism, infection, nerve injury leading to numbness or in the affected area.