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How do you determine if you are a good candidate for vein stripping?

I have varicose veins in both legs that have started to throb and ache in recent weeks. Awhile back, a doctor told me that eventually I might be a candidate for vein stripping if my veins started to cause significant discomfort. How do you determine if you are a good candidate for vein stripping?

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Doctors Answers (4)

Conventional vein stripping with a long incision is an obsolete procedure for the treatment of varicose veins and not recommended. The physical removal of veins (phlebectomy) is still an excellent way to treat some of the larger bulging surface varicose veins, but is now done with a minimally invasive approach. With a micro-phlebectomy the vein is anesthetized using a dilute lidocaine solution and removed in segments through 1mm incisions placed along the length of the vein. The cosmetic results are excellent by avoiding trapped blood, staining, the vein is gone immediately after the procedure and the incisions are typically not visible three or four weeks following the procedure due to the small size.

Vein stripping is only used with significant varicose veins.

I would not recommend vein stripping as it is an old procedure in this day and age of laser and minimally invasive office procedures. Firstly, you would need a full evaluation by a vascular surgeon who specializes in varicose vein treatments in office. This will include ultrasound examination to determine if there is reflux in the saphenous systems and also determine your deep veins are normal. Laser is used for refluxing saphenous veins. Bulging varicose veins can be removed at the same time through tiny punctures in sections. This is cosmetically pleasing and a one-step procedure. I do not recommend multiple sclerotherapy injections for large veins due to the number of treatments plus additional trips in between to release areas of trapped blood.

Fortunately, stripping is never used at this time. However, treatment is always indicated when symptoms occur regularly a visit to a vein specialist is always useful so that the situation can be discussed.

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