Have you suffered from varicose veins for years? Did a pregnancy seem to bring varicose veins on, or did it make them worse? Is it more than three months after childbirth and your varicose veins have not improved?
Youve probably been asking yourself so many questions your head is spinning! Its time for some research to help find some answers. Vein stripping may, in certain cases, be your answer.
Not as Bad as it Sounds
Its a kind of scary name, vein stripping. Although whole veins are removed from your leg, the more proper word for this procedure is vein ligation, which means tying off the vein that has been giving you such problems.
You, by the way, will be feeling none of this because you will be given general anesthesia, which will put you to sleep, or you will have an epidural block so that the lower part of your body is numb. Vein Stripping is an outpatient procedure in nearly all cases, which means you will most likely be released to go home that very day.
When to Avoid Vein Stripping
There are some reasons that vein stripping may not be suitable for you. If you are presently pregnant you cannot have the procedure. If, after three months there is no improvement in your veins, the question can be revisited. If you have poor circulation generally, this procedure could make it worse.
Vein stripping is indicated for painful varicose veins, for those who suffer from larger vein involvement, and for those interested in cosmetic improvement, your Doc will let you know if this procedure is right for you.
One last caveat, there is some disagreement as to whether this surgery is indicated for those whose varicosities are in the greater saphenous vein. These are the main superficial veins in your legs, and are usually the vein a surgeon might take at some later point if you ever need a heart bypass. Some Docs think that if the vein is already thoroughly damaged, it wouldnt be used for a bypass anyway, and others disagree. Your Doc will be sure to let you know his opinion.
Before the discussion goes any further, you are probably wondering if the vein is removed, what about the blood that needs a vein to flow through? Your body already has that figured out. A different vein will begin to be function as the old vein did; it can even grow larger if needs be.
The surgeon will make two cuts, one near the groin and one near the ankle, and through these holes he will remove the affected vein using a long, flexible wire. It will take somewhere between two and six weeks to recover. Your leg will probably be bandaged for several weeks after the surgery. You will be asked to take several short walks during the day, starting at five minutes time and slowly increasing. You will also be advised to lie down frequently and keep your leg above your heart level.
Most people can return to work after a week or two, feeling much better. So ask your Doc if this procedure is right for you. You might be glad you did.