Varicose veins of the legs are often present for decades and cause serious health and aesthetic problems.
Varicose veins of the lower extremities are due to the spread of subcutaneous small veins. They are not only an aesthetic problem, but can cause major complications (infection, thrombosis, venous ulcers). Vein valves are superficial and deep and in healthy people allow the flow of venous blood to the veins and then back to the heart. If the valves can no longer perform their function, blood flows in both directions and the blood from the deep veins goes back to the surface. Due to the return flow of blood at the back of the lower legs, there is a consequent swelling and a feeling of tension.
Varicose veins spoil the aesthetic appearance of the legs, but may also cause pain, night cramps, a feeling of heaviness in the legs, and even serious complications such as creating open ulcers on the legs and feet, thrombosis, and dangerous embolism to the lungs. The intervention is undertaken when preventative measures – drugs and other forms of therapy – do not give results, and there are indications that complications may follow.
Treatment of the disease involves the prevention of deep vein thrombosis, or DVT, and preventing the creation of new thrombus on an existing one. Weight reduction, avoiding long periods of standing and sitting, walking, taking more fluids especially at extreme outside temperatures and timely surgical treatment of varicose veins are the optimal way of preventing thrombosis, and all the possible consequences of its occurrence. When there is already thrombosis, surgical treatment is only possible in the first few hours, and chronic therapy lasts for months and often years.
One of the most common procedures in vascular surgery is the removal of varices of the lower limbs. Surgery may be minimal with minor complications, while severe cases are dealt with in serious vascular centers. Indications for surgical treatment of varices are relatively broad: in addition to symptoms that are commonly described as a feeling of “weight” in the legs, followed by night pain, thrombophlebitis, skin changes, especially life threatening ulcers – sores on the inside of the leg just above the ankle are an indication for surgical treatment. Also, in the case of occupations that are incompatible with the existence of varices (acting, modeling), surgery may be indicated when there is a small, but visible varicosities, for aesthetic reasons. The final decision is made after examination by ultrasound, a painless and reliable method to verify all changes, both in the surface and in the deep veins. The operation is performed under epidural or spinal anesthesia, except when the patient prefers general anesthesia. The operation requires patience and meticulousness that our surgeons and anesthesiologists possess.
Vein stripping or classic vein surgery is performed on the varicose veins in the legs. Some other names for the classical vein surgery are ligation, avulsion, or ablation of the saphenous vein.
Varicose veins are swollen, painful veins full of blood. Varicose veins usually develop in the legs. In normal, healthy veins, venous valves ensure the blood flows in one direction so that there is no accumulation of blood in one place.
The valves in varicose veins are either damaged or non-existent, leading to the accumulation of blood, especially when standing.
Stripping method removes a large vein that runs through the entire length of the leg called the saphenous vein.
Vein stripping takes approximately 1-2 hours. In most cases, the surgery is done under general anesthesia, but can also be performed under analog-sedation if necessary.
The surgeon makes smaller incisions in the leg:
• These cuts are placed above the highest and lowest points of the damaged veins.
• The upper point is usually level with the groin.
• The surgeon will prepare a thin flexible plastic wire that is inserted into a vein in the groin.
• The surgeon takes a vein through a wire to the second hole on the bottom of your feet.
• The wire is fed through the bottom section.
• The surgeon can attach the hook and pull the vein out.
• If you have other damaged veins, the surgeon can make a small incision across them and remove them.
• After sewing, special bandages are placed over the incision sites and compressive socks are worn.
Why is this procedure performed?
Vein stripping is done in the following cases:
• Due to venous insufficiency and varicose veins when you loose blood from the veins
• Because of pain in the leg (heavy and tired legs)
• The wounds that have been caused by too much pressure in a vein (venous ulcers)
• Venous thrombus and phlebitis
• Aesthetic improvement of the leg
• Lipodermatosclerosis – fatty tissue under the skin that hardens over time, thus creating a lot of pressure in the veins