Varicose Vein Surgery Complications

Surgical removal of varicose veins by "stripping" remains the predominant method of treatment in Australia at the moment. This procedure involves an incision in the groin or behind the knee and then the insertion of a guidewire inside the vein down to the bottom of the leg. A nut is threaded to the end of the wire after it is retrieved through another incision near the ankle.  The vein is torn away when the wire is forcefully withdrawn from underneath the skin.  Admission to hospital and a General Anaesthetic is required as stripping varicose veins can't be done if you are awake. A General Anaesthetic carries risks in itself. The risk of a deep vein thrombosis is also a risk for patients lying in a hospital bed recovering from a surgical procedure.

Stripping varicose veins has a number of specific disadvantages in comparison to either Ultrasound Guided Sclerotherapy or Endovenous Laser Therapy. Surgery poses a significantly greater risk for damage to the lymphatic, arterial and nervous systems in the leg. The surgical incisions and dissections have the potentional for haemorrhage, infection and wound breakdown.
Probably the least recognized risk in the community with regard to varicose vein stripping is the high rates of varicose vein recurrence following surgery.