Vein stripping is a surgical procedure used to remove very large varicose veins. When veins are surgically removed, the remaining veins in the area take over the work and hold larger volumes of blood.
Vein stripping surgery may be used to:
- Eliminate varicose veins for cosmetic reasons;
- Alleviate long-standing leg swelling and pain;
- Treat open sores or ulcers in your extremities and;
- Stop the bleeding of a varicose vein.
The surgery may be done in the hospital or outpatient setting by a vascular surgeon. Approximately 150,000 vein stripping surgeries are performed each year in the U.S.
Modern alternatives to vein stripping include endovenous laser treatment, radiofrequency occlusion, and ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy.