Varicose Vein Stripping and Ligation


The procedure to remove varicose veins in your legs is called varicose vein stripping and ligation. There are valves inside your veins that help make sure blood is flowing into your heart in the right path. If your veins pool blood due to injury or weakening of these valves, you may develop varicose veins.

“Tying off” a varicose vein to prevent blood from flowing into it is known as vein ligation. After that, the vein is stripped (extracted from your body). Following the removal and ligation of varicose veins, your healthy veins take over and aid in the restoration of regular blood flow.

Reasons for undergoing the procedure

Varicose veins can be removed for aesthetic or medical reasons. Varicose veins can result in:

  • Skin sores
  • Swelling
  • Itchiness
  • Your legs feeling heavy
  • Twisting, purple or blue bulges in your legs that resemble ropes
  • Pain, soreness and muscle cramps
  • Change in the color of your skin

To address chronic venous insufficiency (CVI), medical professionals often perform vein stripping and ligation. CVI is a condition that can develop when the valves in your leg veins become compromised, leading to issues such as leg pain, swelling (edema), and skin sores due to the accumulation of blood in your legs. CVI is commonly caused by deep vein thrombosis (DVT), which is the formation of blood clots in your leg veins.

This surgical intervention is typically conducted by a vascular surgeon, a specialist who specializes in the treatment of conditions affecting the circulation and blood vessels.


A knowledgeable and competent doctor reduces the likelihood of problems. But potential adverse consequences consist of:

  • Reaction to anesthetic that is allergic.
  • A blood clot in your leg.
  • Infection at the location of your cuts.
  • Nerve irritation around the removed vein, which may result in pain or numbness.
  • Scarring.

Before the procedure

You will receive detailed instructions from your doctor on how to get ready for the treatment. For example, you might have to abstain from eating and drinking for a few hours prior to your procedure. Additionally, you might have to quit using some drugs.

During the procedure

Vein stripping and ligation are done by doctors in their offices or at an outpatient surgical center. After your procedure, though, you’ll need a driver to get you home.

Your doctor administers anesthesia to you before the procedure to prevent you from feeling discomfort. For vein ligation and stripping, you could get:

  • A sedative, or sleep aid, combined with regional anesthetic, which reduces pain in the surgical site.
  • A general anesthetic that renders a person unconscious.

Your doctor makes tiny incisions in your lower leg and groin once your anesthesia takes effect. They use ultrasonography to find varicose veins. After that, your healthcare expert removes and ties off the veins. Stripping and ligating varicose veins typically takes one to three hours.

Your doctor may employ endovenous thermal ablation in specific circumstances. This more recent method seals varicose veins with heat or laser light.

After the procedure

You go to a recovery area after your surgery while the anesthetic or sedative wears off. You next follow your provider’s directions for your recuperation and return home. As you heal, you might have to:

  • Take good care of your incisions by keeping them dry and clean.
  • Whenever you can, elevate the leg that is afflicted.
  • Put on compression undergarments. Find out which stockings your doctor thinks might be best for you.


The complete healing process for vein stripping and ligation typically takes two to four weeks. During this time:

  • You can return to your regular diet immediately.
  • However, you may need to wait until you’ve fully recovered before engaging in strenuous exercise.

To help prevent the formation of blood clots, it is advisable to move around frequently and take short walks.