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Ligation and stripping of veins is a traditional varicose vein surgery in which the vein is tied off (ligation) and removed (stripped).

Varicose veins are very common. They are generally swollen and sometimes lumpy veins that are blue and or purple and can be seen just under the surface of your skin.

Thread veins are similar to varicose veins however these are smaller, often red or blue and are closer to the surface of the skin than varicose veins. You usually see these on your thighs or ankles.

Why you might need it

The appearance of varicose and thread veins can have an impact on your confidence and the way you dress, as well as causing discomfort, pain and even leg ulcers which can become a more serious complication.

They are caused by blood collecting in superficial veins which lie just under your skin. These veins have one-way valves which help blood move back towards the heart, but in some instances, the valves become damaged or weakened and can no longer close properly.

When this happens, blood can flow backwards and collect in the vein. This then becomes visible on the surface of the skin as a varicose vein. Varicose veins do not tend to get better without treatment and usually get worse with time.

The procedure usually takes 1 hour and can be done under either local or general anaesthetic. Your consultant will discuss which one will be more suitable for you at your consultation.

Your legs will be marked with a waterproof pen, where the varicose veins are located, and once the anaesthetic has taken effect, a small incision (cut) will be made near your groin or at the back of your knee or ankle. The consultant may need to make a series of smaller incisions along your leg depending on the veins that need to be removed.

The vein/s will then be tied off (ligated) and removed (stripped), and the consultant will finish by suturing (stitching) the small incisions closed.

The Procedure

Your Consultation

You will have a consultation with a consultant, during which you can discuss your symptoms, your medical history and ask any questions that you may have.

Your consultant will discuss the procedure with you so you know exactly what to expect. Your consultant may also discuss if any further diagnostic tests may be needed, such as a blood test or scan, with you.

We understand that this can be a daunting time so our friendly and caring team will be sure to put you at rest and make your experience with us, as comfortable as possible.

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Following the procedure, you will be taken to a recovery room to recuperate until you are ready to go home, once you are fully recovered from the anaesthesia.

You will need someone to drive you home following the procedure. You will need to wear compression stockings after the procedure, and your consultant will advise you on how long to wear these for. They will also give you advice on the length of recovery time you will need before you return to work, exercise and leisure activities.

Generally, you should be able to get back to most activities after 3-4 weeks following your surgery, depending on your general overall health and the surgery itself. You should be able to drive again after 1 week.

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Our dedicated team will still be there for you during each step of your recovery, even once you have left the hospital if you have any queries or concerns. Our consultants will usually book a follow-up appointment with you before you are discharged from hospital, to see how you are doing.

Whilst it is rare occurrence, surgery does carry a risk of complications. These depend on the type of operation you have as well as a variety of other factors such as your overall general health. During your consultation/s your consultant will discuss the possible risks and complications of having this procedure, and how they may apply to you, and answer any concerns or questions you have.

There for you

Our specialist heart doctors (Consultant Cardiologists) are able to offer a fast, efficient service and opinion at our private hospital in Preston, Lancashire. We are able to offer you a comprehensive heart function investigation; starting with an examination of your heart rhythm (ECG) followed by a consultation with one of our Consultant Cardiologists. Following that, any further tests can be carried out as deemed necessary, or else you will have the reassurance that you need that your heart is working as it should.