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What is Varicotomy?

Varicotomy is the surgical procedure to remove varicose veins.

Effects of Varicotomy

This procedure will prevent varicose veins from becoming increasingly large and make it appear less obvious.

Candidates for Varicotomy

Although varicose veins are a common problem, women have a much higher incidence of this disease than men. Those who are concerned about how their veins look and feel, should consult a doctor.

Your Consultation

Normally, varicose veins can usually be seen by the naked eye. In cases where varicose veins are suspected but cannot be seen, a physician may frequently detect them by palpation (pressing with the fingers). X-rays or ultrasound tests can also detect varicose veins in the deep and perforator veins and rule out blood clots in the deep veins.

The Varicotomy Procedure

The usual method to remove varicose veins from the body is through surgery. This is recommended for varicose veins that are causing pain or are very unsightly, and when hemorrhaging or recurrent thrombosis appear. In surgery, an incision is made through the skin at both ends of the section of vein being removed. Then a flexible wire is inserted through one end and extended to the other. The wire is then withdrawn, and the vein is pulled out with it. This is called “stripping” and is the most common way to remove superficial varicose veins. As long as the deeper veins are still functioning properly, a person can live without some of the superficial veins. Because of this, stripped varicose veins are not replaced anymore.

Recovery

After surgery, there would be a significant pain in the leg and recovery time of 1 to 4 weeks is expected, depending on the extent of surgery. Patients can resume normal activities within a few weeks time.

Risks

As with any other surgery, the side effects include breathing problems with general anesthesia, bleeding, infection, inflammation, swelling and redness. Specific risks to this procedure include scarring, damage of nerve tissue around the treated vein and a deep vein blood clot.

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FAQs

What are varicose veins?

Varicose veins are superficial vessels that are abnormally lengthened, twisted, or dilated, seen most often on the legs and thighs. Varicose veins develop spontaneously, and are generally attributed to a hereditary weakness of the vein; the valves in the vein that keep the blood circulating upward toward the heart are usually incompetent.

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What causes varicose veins?

There are various causes of varicose veins and lifestyle and hormonal factors play a role. Some families appear to have a higher incidence of varicose veins, indicating that there may be a hereditary component to this disease. Varicose veins are progressive; when one section of the veins weakens, it results to an increased pressure on adjacent sections of veins. These sections often develop varicosities. Varicose veins can appear after pregnancy, thrombophlebitis, congenital blood vessel weakness or obesity, but is not limited to these conditions.

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What are the symptoms of varicose veins?

Symptoms can include aching, pain, itchiness or burning sensations, especially when standing. In some cases, with chronically bad veins, there may be a brownish discoloration of the skin or ulcers near the ankles.

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Can varicose veins return after treatment?

New treatments for varicose veins and spider veins have very high success rates compared to traditional surgical treatments. However, over a period of years, more abnormal veins can develop because there is no cure for weak vein valves. So with time, pressure gradually builds up in the veins on the legs.

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Is there some way to prevent varicose veins from occurring?

The most important thing a person can do to slow down the development of new varicose veins is to wear graduated compression support stockings as much as possible throughout the day.

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