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Vein stripping surgery – No longer the only treatment option for Vein disorders

Vein Disease

We have several minimally invasive treatment options available to us today to treat vein related problems. However, many surgeons still recommend vein stripping procedure as the preferred treatment for varicose veins in the legs. We, at Avis vascular centre, recommend minimally invasive procedures for treating the deceased veins as the procedures are found to provide patients with faster relief and lower complication rates than the surgery alternative. This blog intends to give a review of the surgical treatment option using the new minimally invasive treatment options available.

Vein ligation and stripping: The surgical procedure

The first surgical treatment for varicose veins was developed by Friedrich Trendelenburg. The procedure which was termed as Trendelenburg ligation or “vein stripping,” involved surgically removing the greater saphenous vein, and the technique was used well into the 20th century. Prior to vein stripping only visible varicose veins could be treated. This procedure found beneficial to more patients as it was effective for varicose veins occurring deep inside the tissues. 

Th ligation and stripping procedure involves making incisions at the two ends of the affected vein. A wire is threaded through the vein from one incision to the other and the tied vein is ripped from the body. The stripping procedure has not much evolved since its inception over a century ago. This surgical method remained the mainstay of treatment for varicose veins for over a century. 

The procedure causes trauma to the tissues along with complications associated with invasive surgeries, inconsistent results, major downtime, and discomfort. As physicians sought new techniques for treatment few minimally invasive techniques evolved. 

  1. Sclerotherapy

Sclerotherapy was the first minimally invasive procedure developed as an alternative to varicose vein stripping. The procedure involves injecting a solution into the vein which damages the internal lining of the damaged veins and seals them off.

The procedure is proven effective with several studies reporting nearly 50% – 80% of injected deceased veins being eliminated with each session of treatment the procedure. Generally, small spider veins show a good response in three to six weeks and larger varicose veins in about four months. If new veins start appearing you may need to return for another session of injection.

  1. Laser and radiofrequency ablation techniques

Endovenous laser ablation treatment is carried out under either local or general anesthetic. By this technique the walls of the abnormal veins are heated by laser energy and destroyed. A narrow tube called catheter is inserted into the damaged varicose vein. Ultrasound is used to see the inside of the patient and the doctor guides the catheter through the complete length of the vein. When the tip is in the correct position, heat made by a laser fiber is applied to the inside of the vein. The laser delivers short bursts of energy that heat up the vein and seals it off. 

Radiofrequency ablation is like the laser procedure but involves heating the wall of your varicose vein using radiofrequency energy.

  1. Glue treatment for varicose veins

Dramatic improvements in the treatment modalities for varicose veins are observed in recent years. Latest development in the treatment is the use of a medical “glue” for treatment. This simple method basically glues the varicose veins and the body then naturally reroutes the blood through healthy veins in the area, while reabsorbing the shut vein.

Our doctors at Avis vascular Centre specializes in these advanced treatments and can offer the optimal choice to our patients to improve their quality of life. 

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