Conventional Surgery

 

This is carried out under a general anaesthetic. In most cases, a small incision (3 – 4 cm long) is made in the groin and/or behind the knee to identify and tie off the connection between the long or short saphenous veins and the main deep veins. All tributary veins entering at this point are also tied. The long or short saphenous vein may then be removed by a technique, commonly known as stripping.

Following surgery the leg is bandaged for 24 hours and then elastic stockings worn for 3 weeks. During this time plenty of walking is advisable with elevation of the legs when not on the move. It is best to avoid sitting with the feet down or standing still for long spells. Some discomfort and often quite considerable bruising is seen after such surgery but simple tablet painkillers are usually sufficient to control this. Between one and three weeks off work is recommended (typically two weeks) but this very much depends on the type of work as well as the extent of surgery.