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Why We Don’t Do Vein Stripping: Alternative Methods For Treating Varicose Veins

Updated on Nov 30, 2021 by Dr. George Bolotin (Vein & Vascular Specialist) of Vein & Vascular Medical Care

Treating varicose veins the right way can play a crucial role in recovery and help you enjoy a better quality of life in the long run. Consult your doctor to know more about traditional and advanced varicose vein treatment options, including vein stripping and endovenous closure, what differentiates them, how they are performed, and which one would work best for you. Dr. George Bolotin at the Astra Vein Treatment Center offers minimally invasive varicose veins procedures in a safe and comfortable environment to provide relief from painful symptoms and gets you back to normal life activities within a day or two.

Varicose veins are a common medical condition that affects both men and women. Often caused by damaged veins closer to the skin’s surface, varicose veins are also accompanied by other venous or circulatory problems such as spider veins, venous insufficiency, or venous reflux. With the help of proven, effective treatments, it is now possible to get the best solution for your painful symptoms.

Vein stripping, the traditional method for removing varicose veins, is considered much more invasive than the modern alternative methods. Vascular specialists no longer prefer it as it can be painful and severe and affect vein health. Recovery from vein stripping is also slow, and it might take you up to three weeks to recover from the procedure. There is a chance that you may end up with some scars.

Consulting an experienced and certified vein doctor is essential to know which treatment will work best for your varicose veins. He will recommend the most effective alternative methods to address the swollen, twisted, and bulging veins making you go through painful surgery and its after-effects.

Alternative Methods for Treating Varicose Veins

Varicose VeinsVein stripping was considered the most popular method for treating venous reflux in the great or small saphenous vein. With this procedure, the affected vein was removed or tied off to remove varicose veins. However, it was a lengthy procedure and took more than one hour. Also, the patients had to be administered either general anesthesia or spinal anesthesia to alleviate the pain and keep them relaxed.

A minimally invasive procedure called endovenous closure was developed for varicose vein patients combined with revolutionary advancements in technology and years of research. It proved a successful and highly effective non-invasive, painless procedure that treated affected veins in their place without stripping them.

This approach results in a quicker procedure and faster recovery time with less pain and discomfort.

Endovenous Closure – Alternative to Vein Stripping

During this procedure, the vein specialist passes a catheter and guidewire up the vein and heats it from the inside out with radiofrequency energy or laser energy.

Endovenous closure is highly effective for treating the big, ugly, and symptomatic bulging varicose veins that not only look unsightly but cause discomfort too. With this alternative method, varicose veins can be treated efficiently along with underlying reflux, reducing the number of procedures and treatments you will need.

Other minimally invasive and effective alternative methods to vein stripping include:

  • Microphlebectomy or ambulatory phlebectomy – Several tiny cuts are made in the skin through which the varicose vein is removed;
  • Ultrasound-guided foam sclerotherapy – A medically approved chemical solution is injected into a varicose vein to damage and scar the inside lining of the vein, causing the vein to close;
  • Radiofrequency ablation – Radiofrequency energy is used to scar large veins and close them off.

Ligation and stripping, laser treatment, or radiofrequency treatment work best for large varicose veins. As these alternative methods are less painful and severe, doctors do not go for vein stripping anymore. The vein expert doctor may recommend a combination of alternative therapies to administer relief.

Treating Spider Veins

Even the tiny and broken veins are successfully treated with these alternative treatment methods. These veins do not cause any real medical problems but also affect the look and shape of the legs. If they become painful or develop any other symptoms, they are taken care of with sclerotherapy.

Sclerotherapy is the best way to shrink the spider veins away with the help of a micro-injection solution. It may take two or three sessions or even four depending on the severity of the condition.

Initial Treatments for Varicose Veins

Treatment for varicose veins usually begins with a conservative approach. The doctors analyze factors that can play a significant role in relieving the symptoms, such as lifestyle changes and at-home remedies.

Once the vein specialist has determined the causes and severity of your symptoms, he may suggest the following:

  • Keeping the legs elevated as much as possible during the day to avoid pooling of blood in veins;
  • Low-impact exercises that help in blood circulation;
  • Compression stocking as advised by the doctor;
  • Avoiding standing or sitting in one position for a long time.

The vein expert doctor monitors your progress as you learn to manage your symptoms. If initial treatment and conservative approaches fail to offer desired relief, vein surgery and other alternative methods are suggested to help you seek vein health.

Varicose veins are not only unsightly but very painful too and must be treated timely to avoid any complications. Now you do not have to go through the long and painful vein stripping surgery as safer and less invasive alternative methods will help you enjoy healthy and strong veins and legs. Schedule an appointment with Dr. George Bolotin at the Astra Vein Treatment Center to know which procedure will work best for your condition and provide lasting relief.

Dr. George Bolotin has either authored or reviewed and approved this content. Vein & Vascular Medical Care
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(718) 222-0225
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