Question: I had vein-stripping many years ago. Why do I my veins look worse than ever?
Answer: In the past, vein-stripping was the universally accepted treatment procedure for varicose veins. This required general anesthesia, a groin incision, and multiple large incisions. Research has demonstrated that the groin incision and dissection actually stimulates the growth of additional abnormal veins (neovascularization). This practically ensures recurrence in the years to follow.
Additionally, most surgeons are not providing adequate follow-up exams and treatment. Post-op ultrasound scan often demonstrates additional abnormal veins that contribute to recurrences. These veins are often not evident until several months after the initial procedure.
Once they are identified, they can easily be treated with special sclerotherapy procedures. At our clinic, we use endovenous laser techniques instead of vein-stripping. We have seen about a 1% recurrence rate (compared to 85% with stripping). In each case, we follow up our procedures with ultrasound scanning to identify and treat any residual veins that may be present.
The final step is to treat spider veins with compression sclerotherapy. We encourage yearly scans, to detect any changes that could lead to future problems. Depending on the individual situation, some patients may need touch-up sclerotherapy to maintain an excellent cosmetic result.