What is Vein Stripping?

Vein stripping is a surgical procedure that is done at a hospital or surgery center. This type of procedure is completed under general anesthesia in an operating room setting. Vein stripping starts with a surgeon who makes multiple incisions down the leg and remove portions of the problematic vein at a time. Each of the incisions can be about ½ to 1 inch in size and most be sutured closed. Another method of vein stripping is completed by making incisions at the ankle, knee and groin. A thin flexible piece is inserted into the vein up to the next incision. The vein is then tied to the “stripper” and then the vein is pulled out, which can be completed in both the upper and lower leg.

Throughout the last 15 years, technology (lasers and radiofrequency) has significantly advanced and has relegated stripping to a thing of the past. With the new procedures, there is no need for general anesthesia and there is no or minimal downtime needed following the modern procedures. Patients often needed 2 or more weeks off of work after stripping, but with advancements in technology, I can allow patients to drive to the clinic and then drive home after treatment. If a physician recommends vein stripping, contact a board certified phlebologist for a second opinion to avoid complications.

Call 1-800-Vein-Doc [8346-362] to learn more about treatment options.

About The Author: Lornell E. Hansen II, MD, is one of the area’s leading experts in laser technology and vein disorders. He is also the owner and medical director of Physicians Vein Clinics in Sioux Falls and Watertown, SD and Sioux City and Sioux Center, IA.