Know the basics

What is Varicose veins surgery?

Varicose veins are enlarged and twisted veins in your leg. They tend to run in families and are made worse by pregnancy and if you do a lot of standing.

Veins in your legs contain many one-way valves to help the upward flow of blood back to your heart.

If the valves fail to work properly, blood can flow in the wrong direction, causing varicose veins.

Why is Varicose veins surgery performed?

Surgery should help prevent the symptoms and complications that varicose veins cause.

Understand the risks

What are the risks of Varicose veins surgery?

Support stockings can often help the symptoms caused by varicose veins.

There are other treatments such as injections (foam sclerotherapy), radio-frequency ablation (RFA) or endovenous laser ablation (EVLA).

Varicose veins can come back.

It is important you understand the risks and complications before having this surgery. If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor or surgeon for more information.

Know what happens

How do I prepare for Varicose veins surgery?

The operation is usually performed under a general anaesthetic. The operation usually takes 20 minutes to three hours.

Your surgeon may disconnect the superficial veins from the deep veins in your legs through a cut on your groin or the back of your knee. They will probably make many small cuts along the length of the varicose veins and remove them.

Often the main varicose vein is ‘stripped out’ using a special instrument.

What happens during Varicose veins surgery?

You should be able to go home the same day or the day after.

You should be able to return to work within a few days, depending on your type of work.

As long as your wounds have healed, you should be able to carry out normal activities as soon as you are comfortable.

Regular exercise should help you to return to normal activities as soon as possible. Before you start exercising, ask the healthcare team or your GP for advice.

If you have any questions or concerns, please consult with your doctor or surgeon for more information.


What happens after Varicose veins surgery?

As with every procedure, there are some risks. You should ask your surgeon to explain how these risks apply to you.

The possible complications of any procedure include an unexpected reaction to the anaesthetic, excessive bleeding or developing a blood clot (deep vein thrombosis, DVT).

For a varicose veins surgery, there are specific complications which are:

  • Developing a lump under a wound
  • Numbness or a tingling sensation
  • Damage to nerves
  • Continued varicose veins
  • Developing thread veins
  • Swelling of your leg
  • Major injury to the main arteries, veins or nerves of your leg

You can reduce your risk of complications by carefully following your doctor’s instructions for preparing for the surgery, such as fasting and stopping certain medications.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.


Review Date: September 6, 2018 | Last Modified: September 6, 2018

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