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Vein Stripping


At The Whiteley Clinic we do NOT use this technique for treatment of Varicose Veins.
The latest research shows it should NEVER be done.

What is Stripping?

Stripping is the method by which a main vein in the leg is removed. The veins that are usually stripped are the Great Saphenous Vein (GSV) and the Small Saphenous Vein (SSV).

In stripping, an incision is made over the top of the vein, where it has a junction with a deeper vein. The top of the vein is cut away at this junction and the stump tied (the “High Tie”). The vein then has a wire or “stripper” passed down it, and this is brought to the surface lower down in the leg.

The vein is tied to the stripper and, when the stripper is removed, the vein is stripped out.

What is wrong with stripping?

There are several reasons that stripping should not be done including:

  • The vein often grows back again
  • Unnecessary incisions
  • Unnecessary pain and bruising
  • Unnecessary general anaesthetic
  • Unnecessary time off work
  • There are better techniques available

The Whiteley Clinic has been at the forefront of the pinhole vein revolution, introducing pin hole vein surgery into the UK in March 1999, and having invented and developed many of the new techniques.

We specialise in treating veins using the best method available, and identifying which technique is best for which pattern of veins. Many surgeons or clinics decide to use one technique – stripping OR Laser OR Radio frequency OR Foam sclerotherapy.

At The Whiteley Clinic we use every technique that is available that we are confident works well, and identifies which technique or combination of techniques is optimal for each of our patients.

As a specialist centre, a large number of our patients are people how have had surgery elsewhere using stripping techniques, or the newer techniques but only in the larger and simpler veins. When veins come back in such cases, we often find that the veins have grown back due to the stripping, or more complex patterns have been missed by more “traditional” surgeons – such as pelvic vein reflux feeding into the legs, or perforator vein incompetence.

We are happy to see all such patients, fully investigate the reasons for the recurrence of the varicose veins and then choose the optimal technique available to treat them as a walk in walk out procedure.