STRIPPING & LIGATION
A stripping and ligation is an older surgical technique performed under general anaesthetic in the operating room at the hospital. Newer treatment modalities have made stripping and ligations outdated and unnecessarily invasive. A 3-4 cm incision is made at the groin and another at the level of the knee. The diseased vein is pulled out using instrumentation from the groin progressing distally. As this vein is pulled out, branches of the vein are torn from the saphenous vein. If the saphenous vein breaks during extraction, another incision is made to reattach instrumentation. The incisions are closed with absorbable sutures and covered with steri-strips and bulky dressings.
Moderate amounts of bruising, swelling, and pain are to be expected postoperatively for the first few weeks. Complications of stripping and ligation surgery include risks associated with general anaesthetic, infections, significant bruising, swelling, pain, temporary or permanent skin numbness, superficial and deep vein thrombosis. Most patients can expect to be off of work between 3-6 weeks.
Compression stockings are worn continuously for 48 hours, and then daily for 2 weeks. Patients should not drive for 1 week postoperatively. Activity restrictions (no heavy lifting or cardio workouts) are recommended for 2 weeks. Most patients can expect to be off of work between 3-6 weeks. For patients with severe disease or if both legs were operated on can expect a longer recovery period. It is advised to take precautions with sun exposure for up to 1 year. Follow up is recommended 3 months postoperativley to evaluate results and to update your plan of care.