Type of Surgery
Last updated: 02/17/2009
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that about 25% of adults around the world have some type of venous disorder in the legs. The proportion of the general population with varicose veins is higher, however, in the developed countries. The...
American College of Phlebology (ACP), which is a group of dermatologists, plastic surgeons, gynecologists, and general surgeons with special training in the treatment of venous disorders, states that more than 80 million people in the United States suffer from varicose veins. In the past, the female to male ratio has been close to four to one, but this figure is changing due to the rapid rise in obesity among adult males in the past two decades.
Varicose veins are more common in middle-aged and elderly adults than in children or young adults. Although varicose veins tend to run in families, they do not appear to be associated with specific racial or ethnic groups.
Vein ligation and stripping is a minor surgery. It is used to remove a damaged vein and prevent complications of vein damage. If several valves in a vein and the vein itself are heavily damaged, the vein (or the diseased part of the vein) is removed (stripped). An incision is made below the vein, a flexible instrument is threaded up the vein to the first incision, and the vein is grasped and removed.
During this surgery, one or more incisions are made over the damaged veins, and the vein is tied off (ligated). If the ligation cuts off a faulty valve and the vein and valves below the faulty valve are healthy, the vein may be left in place to continue circulating blood through other veins that still have valves that work well.
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