An Introduction to Vein Stripping

Leg Vein Anatomy

What is Venous Stripping?

Vein stripping is a procedure to treat varicose veins and other symptoms of chronic venous disease. In essence, during the procedure, the affected vein is stripped or pulled out. This surgical procedure requires either general or local anesthetic.

During vein ligation and stripping procedures incisions are made, after which a metal tube is inserted into the vein with a wire. This wire then is attached to the vein and then pulled out. This is often considered major surgery with a hospital stay required.

This procedure was replaced in about 1999 with more advanced and less invasive vein treatments for varicose veins. In fact, vein stripping is no longer the recommended treatment. It is usually only used for more severe cases. It is an often-painful procedure and can cause additional damage to the vein.

After veinous stripping, varicose veins can recur. Vein stripping can also lead to complications such as damage to lymphatic tissue that can cause chronic leg swelling and nerve damage that can cause numbness.

Alternatives to Vein Stripping

There are two very effective alternatives to vein stripping: endovenous laser treatment and sclerotherapy.

Endovenous laser treatments entail the use of an ultrasound to guide a small catheter and laser fiber into the vein to be treated. Laser energy is then applied to seal the vein shut, and the vein will then be absorbed by the body.

Sclerotherapy is another alternative to vein stripping. The doctor will use an ultrasound to guide a needle to inject the vein with a sclerosant solution that will irritate the lining of the vein causing it to seal and eventually disappear.

Vein Treatment at St. Louis Laser Vein Center

Dr. Wright and his staff are dedicated to treating patients with various vein conditions. Dr. Wright understands how important the correct diagnosis and treatment of vein conditions is to your overall health. Additionally, he is very experienced and knowledgeable about the various vein treatments, therapies, and procedures.

We urge you to schedule a consultation to determine the possibility of vein disease. We want to ensure that you get the very best diagnosis and treatment. Additionally, we have professionals on staff that can help determine if insurance will cover the cost of your treatments.