• Overview

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Your veins carry blood to your heart. Valves in these veins restrict the blood flow to one direction. Valves that weaken or that don’t close correctly cause blood to pool (collect) in a vein. This is called a varicose vein.

Varicose veins develop most frequently in your legs resulting in enlarged and sometimes twisted veins. Although they are usually not a serious medical problem, varicose veins can be unsightly and uncomfortable.

During your consultation your surgeon may recommend surgical removal (stripping) of your varicose veins.  Various types of anaesthetic may be used.  Stripping usually takes about one hour on each leg.

Your consultant may mark the varicose veins to be stripped using waterproof pen. Once the anaesthetic is working, your varicose veins are taken out through a cut (incision) in your groin or at the back of your knee. Depending on the length of the vein, they may need to make several small incisions along your leg using the markings drawn earlier as a guide. Incision may be closed with stitches. Smaller incision may only need adhesive paper strips (steri-strips).  Your leg will also be wrapped in a bandage that keeps pressure applied to the site. This helps reduce the risk of bleeding or excessive bruising. 

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