Varicose veins have been surgically treated for more than 100 years. Here, the larger veins, so-called saphenous veins, are usually stripped out with a flexible wire (stripping operation) and the superficial lateral branches are disconnected and removed with a fine metal hook (mini-phlebectomy). The surgical procedures are often still offered in hospitals either under full or local anaesthetic, mini-phlebectomy can also be performed in practice without problem on an outpatient basis under local anaesthetic.
Several studies have shown that the new formation of varicose veins is comparatively frequently due to technical errors during the operation. 60 % of recurrences are thus due to the incomplete removal of saphenous vein remnants, hence it is important to have the treatment performed by an experienced specialist doctor.