Larger varicose veins – and the underlying causes of varicose veins – require different treatment approaches than the smaller veins. In order to control the backward flow of blood in the large veins, the source of the visible varicose veins (varicosities) must be sealed shut or removed.
In the past, such veins were surgically removed through an invasive procedure known as 'vein stripping.' Today, stripping has been replaced by a far less invasive procedure, endovenous ablation, which seals the veins shut from within the vessel. The Director of the Vascular Surgery Vein Program has been instrumental in the development of endovenous ablation techniques over the last 10 years, helping to advance many of these technologies and to teach surgeons around the world how to perform them. Our center does not perform the older 'stripping' technique.
During endovenous ablation, an energy source is directed into the great or small saphenous veins in the leg. No incisions are necessary, as only a needle stick is required. The treatment seals the veins shut from within, eliminating the source of the varicose problems.