Varicose Vein Surgery

Surgery for varicose veins involves a general or spinal anaesthetic, and pulling out the superficial veins. Usually it requires cuts in the groin or back of knee as well as multiple small cuts to remove the veins from the lower leg. The procedure can take between one to two hours depending on the complexity and whether both legs are operated on. Usually it is performed as day case but occasionally patients may need to stay overnight.

Advantages are that all treatment is carried out in one setting and even large veins can be removed. Risks include bleeding/bruising, infection, blood clots, and numbness on the inside of your leg. You will need one to two weeks off work. Long term results are excellent with surgery, but as with all interventions there is a risk of recurrence of varicose veins.

The procedure

The surgery is generally performed using an incision in the groin. A wire is then passed down the vein and caught below the knee. It is then tied and pulled out with the wire. If you have varicosities below the knee, then tiny incisions are made to pull out the veins. You entire leg is wrapped up in cotton wool and bandaged up. You are encouraged to walk that day but to have your leg elevated for most of the first day. On the second day the crepe bandage and cotton wool is removed and wear some white TED stockings. Leave any underlying dressings and white paper strips intact for at least 3 days. We recommend that you wear the white TED stockings for at least the first week and walk around as much as possible. Sometimes the white stockings may get blood on it, in which case it can be washed as re-used.

Complications of Varicose Vein Surgery

Please remember these are possible complications. Hopefully none of these will occur to you.

Patient Information following Varicose Vein Surgery

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