Varicose vein stripping

Vein stripping is surgery to remove varicose veins in the legs.

Description

Varicose veins are swollen, twisted, and enlarged veins that you can see under the skin. They are often red or blue in color. They usually appear in the legs, but can occur in other parts of the body.

Normally, valves in your veins keep your blood flowing up toward the heart, so the blood does not collect in one place. The valves in varicose veins are either damaged or missing. This causes the veins to become filled with blood, especially when you are standing.

Vein stripping is used to remove or tie off a large vein in the leg called the superficial saphenous vein. This helps treat varicose veins.

Procedure:

  • two or three small cuts are made in the leg.
  • The cuts are near the top, middle, and bottom of the damaged vein. One is in the groin. The other will be farther down the leg, either in the calf or ankle.
  • The surgeon will then thread a thin, flexible plastic wire into the vein through the groin and guide the wire through the vein toward the other cut farther down your leg.
  • The wire is then tied to the vein and pulled out through the lower cut, which pulls the vein out with it.

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002952.htm

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