Surgical Treatment of Varicose Veins


Varicose veins are enlarged, gnarled, and discolored veins located just below the skin’s surface of the legs. This can be caused by weakened valves in the vein, or due to increased pressure on the veins caused by standing for long periods of time or being obese.

Surgical treatments for varicose veins have come a long way, with improved methods and less intrusive tools being used to effectively treat the condition. Here is a breakdown of the most commonly used methods for surgical treatment of varicose veins:

  1. Endoscopic vein ligation and stripping
  2. Endovenous laser treatment (ELT)
  3. Radiofrequency ablation (RFA)
  4. Ambulatory phlebectomy
  5. Sclerotherapy

These treatments can be utilized for both cosmetic and medical purposes, based on the severity of the case. In less severe cases, compression stockings may be utilized to manage the symptoms, but if the veins are causing significant pain, swelling or other discomfort, surgical procedures may be recommended.


Varicose veins can be caused by a variety of medical conditions. A common cause is a genetic condition known as chronic venous insufficiency (CVI). CVI is caused by a weakening or damage of the valves in the veins, which results in increased pressure on the veins and their eventual enlargement. Other causes include deep vein thrombosis, pregnancy, obesity, and standing or sitting for long periods of time. In some cases, the cause of varicose veins remains unknown. Many of these conditions can be treated with lifestyle changes, such as increasing physical activity, maintaining a healthy weight, and avoiding prolonged periods of standing or sitting. In more serious cases, surgical treatment may be needed to remove the affected veins and restore proper circulation.


Varicose veins can be a very uncomfortable and debilitating condition. If not treated appropriately, varicose veins can lead to long-term health complications. Symptoms of varicose veins can include swelling, aching and pain in the affected areas, a heavy feeling in the legs and ankles, skin discoloration, and in more severe cases, ulcers and bleeding. If you are suffering from any of these symptoms, it is important to consult with a doctor to determine the best treatment plan. Surgical treatment of varicose veins is a safe and effective option that can provide long-term relief. Your doctor will discuss with you the advantages and disadvantages of the various surgical treatments available, and help you decide the best option for your particular situation.


Diagnosis of varicose veins is usually straightforward. A healthcare provider should be able to detect the twisted, swollen veins and identify associated symptoms such as swelling, aching, cramps, and even clotting. In some cases, more sophisticated imaging tests such as ultrasound, CT scans, and MRI scans may be ordered to get an internal view of the veins and to rule out any underlying issues that could be causing the varicose veins. Once the diagnosis is established and the cause has been identified, the next step is to discuss with your healthcare provider what type of treatment is best suited for your condition, whether it be lifestyle changes, medicine, or a surgical procedure.


To prevent varicose veins, it is important to practice good leg health. This includes avoiding standing or sitting for long periods of time without taking breaks and elevating your legs when resting. Regular exercise, especially activities that involve the legs, can help improve circulation, which in turn can help reduce the risk of developing varicose veins. Compression stockings or socks can also be worn to help increase circulation. Eating a healthy diet rich in vitamins and minerals and avoiding tobacco can also help keep veins healthy. If you are overweight, maintaining a healthy weight can help reduce the risk of varicose veins. Finally, if you are pregnant, ask your doctor about the benefits of wearing compression stockings and sleeping with your legs elevated.

Treatment Options

Varicose veins are a common, painful, and often unsightly condition that affects many people, particularly those in the older age groups. While there are many non-surgical treatments that can help to reduce discomfort and improve the appearance of varicose veins, in some cases a surgical treatment may be necessary. Common surgical treatments include endovenous ablation and surgical stripping. Endovenous ablation is a minimally-invasive procedure that involves the use of heat energy to close off the malfunctioning vein and make it disappear. Surgical stripping involves the removal of a vein through an incision in the skin. Another important aspect of surgical treatment is ligation, a procedure that cuts off the vein in order to prevent the backflow of blood and treat the underlying problem. In addition, varicosity surgery may also involve the injection of a sclerosant material that can help reduce the size and appearance of the vein. Each of these surgical treatments comes with its own set of risks, and should only be used when other treatment options have failed.

Surgical Treatments

When it comes to treating varicose veins, surgery is one of the most effective treatments. Surgery is used to remove the affected veins, leaving behind healthy veins that are better able to manage the blood circulation. The most common surgical treatments for varicose veins are:

  1. Laser Surgery
  2. Radiofrequency Ablation
  3. Stripping Procedure
  4. Endovenous Thermal Ablation
  5. Ambulatory Phlebectomy

In laser surgery, a small laser fiber is inserted into the vein and the laser is activated to close the vein. Radiofrequency ablation uses radiofrequency energy through a small catheter to heat and close the vein. The stripping procedure involves manually removing the vein through a small incision. Endovenous thermal ablation is a minimally invasive procedure using heat to close the vein. Lastly, ambulatory phlebectomy is a procedure that involves removing small sections of the vein through tiny incisions.

All of these surgical treatments require a small amount of recovery time, but are highly effective in eliminating varicose veins and improving the appearance of legs.


Recovery from surgical treatment of varicose veins varies depending on the type of procedure. Generally, the recovery period is short and most people can return to regular activities within one to two days. There is usually some bruising around the wound area, but this should fade in the following weeks. For endovenous ablation, patients are typically asked to wear a compression stocking for one to two weeks to support the veins and reduce the risk of complications. During this time, it is important to keep the wound area clean and dry and to follow any instructions given by the surgeon. Pain medications may be prescribed to help manage any discomfort during recovery. Although full recovery can take a few weeks, most people are able to return to their normal activities, such as exercising and working, within a few days.


Varicose veins can lead to complication, including the risk of blood clots, swelling, and skin damage. If left untreated, these complications can increase the likelihood of infection and lead to significant discomfort and disability. If these complications occur, a medical professional may recommend surgical treatment of the varicose veins. Surgical treatments such as vein ligation and stripping, endovenous laser ablation, and sclerotherapy can be used to reduce the appearance of varicose veins and reduce the risk of complications. In addition to these treatments, lifestyle changes such as maintaining a healthy weight, regular exercise, and elevating the legs after long periods of sitting or standing can help reduce the risk of complications associated with varicose veins.


The outlook for surgical treatment of varicose veins is generally positive and can provide long-term relief of the symptoms. However, it is important to note that it cannot completely eliminate the risk of developing varicose veins in the future. The following steps can be taken to prevent further issues:

  1. Maintain healthy habits such as regular activity, keeping a healthy weight, eating healthy foods, and avoiding excessive sitting or standing.
  2. Avoid wearing tight or restrictive clothing.
  3. Raise your legs to reduce pressure and standing or sitting for long periods of time.
  4. Wear compression socks or stockings to promote circulation.
  5. Use elevation when sleeping.

By following these steps, it is possible to reduce the risk of further problems with the veins and ensure that the outcome from the surgery is a positive one.

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