Vein Ligation and Stripping

Treating Cardiovascular Diseases in Wisconsin and Northern Illinois

Vein ligation and stripping are procedures that treat severe cases of varicose veins and venous insufficiency symptoms. During a ligation, the affected vein is surgically tied through a small incision in the skin. Stripping refers to the surgical removal of the vein, which is also performed through a small incision. 

Preparing for Vein Ligation and Stripping

Your doctor will determine whether any pre-operative tests are necessary and advise you on whether you will need to discontinue certain medications in the days before your procedure. Because of the sedation, you will need to make arrangements for a ride home after your procedure.

What to Expect during Treatment for Varicose Veins

Vein ligation and stripping typically do not require a hospital stay and are performed on an outpatient basis using regional or general anesthesia.

Regional anesthesia, such as a spinal or epidural, affects a large area of the body and allows you to remain awake. General anesthesia affects the entire body and makes you unconscious.

The procedure itself takes about 2 – 3 hours. You can expect to remain at the hospital or clinic for several hours afterward as you recover from your procedure and anesthesia. 

Potential Vein Ligation Risks

Vein ligation and stripping are generally considered very safe, causing little pain. However, as with any surgical procedure, there are related risks, including:

  • Anesthesia complications
  • Bleeding
  • Blood flow in veins actually becoming worse
  • Infection
  • Numbness due to nerve injury
  • Recurrence of varicose veins
  • Scarring

Recovering from Varicose Vein Removal

After varicose vein surgery, your physician will give you specific instructions on when you may resume activities and when to elevate your leg(s).

Most likely, you will be able to return to work within a few days after your procedure. After several weeks, you can resume normal leisure and recreational activities.

To reduce pain and prevent other varicose veins from developing or getting worse, you should:

  • Avoid long periods of standing or sitting without taking a break
  • Avoid tight clothes
  • Avoid wearing high heels for prolonged periods
  • Do physical activities to help move blood through your veins
  • Maintain a healthy weight

Leading the Region in Treating Varicose Veins

Aurora Health Care offers a multidisciplinary team approach for treating varicose veins, venous insufficiency and other vascular conditions. Our team includes vascular medicine specialists and vascular surgeons all under one roof.

Aurora doctors are conveniently located throughout eastern Wisconsin and northeastern Illinois. Find a doctor or vascular specialist near you. To get a second opinion or if you need assistance finding a provider, please call 888-649-6892.