How is the operation performed?

In many patients, carefully undertaken conventional surgery is still the best option to give the best and most durable results. Immediately before your operation, the surgeon will mark the veins on your leg with you standing up. He may also scan your leg using ultrasound. The operation is usually performed under a general anaesthetic, but other methods are possible. The anaesthetist will visit and discuss the best options for you. The commonest operation is where a small cut is made in the groin or behind the knee over the top of one of the main varicose veins. This is then tied off where it meets the deeper veins. If possible, the main varicose vein on the inner aspect of the leg is then stripped out. Blood still flows up the leg along deeper, unaffected veins. The cut in the groin (or behind the knee) is closed with a dissolving stitch, hidden under the skin. The other veins marked before the operation are then pulled out through tiny cuts called microphlebectomies. These are often covered with adhesive strips, called steristrips.

A dressing will be placed on the cut in the groin, and your leg will be bandaged up to the top of the thigh. The bandage normally remains in place for about five days and a fitted stocking is then worn during the day for two further weeks.

For more details, please go to the information sheet page.