Stripping operation

Stripping is the classical method for the operative therapy of varicose veins. With stripping, a flexible probe is inserted into the pathologically enlarged vein, pushed up to its end and is then guided out again. The varicose vein is then cut at the top and bottom, usually in the groinal region or hollow of the knee. After this has been fixed to the probe, the varicose vein is pulled out under the skin.

  • 1: Flexible probe with attached vein
  • 2: Thread for fixing the vein
  • 3: Incision for introduction of the probe
  • 4: Inverted stripping of the vein downwards

    The stripping operation can be performed under full or local anaesthetic and usually takes place on an inpatient basis, but more and more frequently it is also offered on an outpatient basis. After the operation, compression with elastic bandages or a compression stocking is recommended for 3 to 6 weeks as well as treatment with coagulation-inhibiting heparin for several days to prevent thromboses and embolisms. In general, the patient can work again after 1 week and participate in sport after 2-3 weeks.

    Varicose veins can form again after an operation. In specialist literature, the recurrence rate is given as 20-30 %. Another complication, albeit rare, is lymphostasis and nerve lesion, since the lymphatic vessels and nerves close to the removed veins can be damaged during the operation.

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