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Conventional varicose vein surgery is still the most used method for this problem

Conventional varicose vein surgery is still the most used method for this problem

Lower limb varicose veins are a very common disease, particularly in adult women. They are characterized by dilated and tortuous superficial veins in the legs and thighs, and are related to pain and swelling, as well as aesthetic discomfort.

Unfortunately, to date there is no drug treatment for varicose veins. Pharmaceutical or natural remedies may alleviate clinical symptoms but are unable to make varicose veins regain normal appearance and function. Thus, surgical techniques are the only possibilities of removing varicose veins from the lower limbs. Although in the last decade new treatment technologies have emerged (such as surgical LASER and radiofrequency catheters, which will be covered in a later column), conventional varicose vein surgery is still the most widespread, accessible and consecrated method of treating the problem. In this column we discuss its advantages and limitations.

First, let's understand in a simplified way how varicose vein surgery is done. Initially, prior to anesthesia, the vascular surgeon uses a special pen to demarcate the varicose veins directly onto the patient's skin. This demarcation is essential so that he knows where the diseased vessels are that need to be removed. After anesthesia, the surgeon makes a series of small, superficial and distant incisions (cuts), close to diseased veins (except the saphenous veins), and with the use of surgical needles (similar to those of crochet), "pull" these veins, removing them. Such incisions are usually so small that they do not require sutures (stitches), a dressing is sufficient to close. This phase of the surgery does not occur only in the conventional technique: the modern methods mentioned above also use it to remove the smaller veins.

If the patient has the saphenous vein (nothing to do with "saphenous vein", ok ?) also varicose, it is usually necessary to remove it in a more complex process involving cuts in the inguinal region (groin) and ankle. The first and major advantage of conventional varicose vein surgery is its tradition: it has been a procedure performed for decades, with millions of patients operated, which guarantees a broad knowledge of the technique and with very short-term and long-term results. The aesthetic results of the well-applied conventional technique are quite satisfactory and usually have patient approval.

Conventional surgical removal of the saphenous vein also has the advantage of allowing the complete approach of all superficial groin veins, which reduces the risk of return of varicose disease.

Among the supposed disadvantages of conventional saphenous vein surgery is the need for sutures in the leg, as well as an increased risk of hematoma and pain in the removal process. > In conclusion, conventional varicose vein surgery is a well-established procedure, with very satisfactory and known results. New surgical techniques in the treatment of varicose veins are very interesting and have their attractions, but what is more modern is not necessarily the best for each patient.


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