On Friday I have to go and see a vascular surgeon because of the severe varicose vein problem I have in my right leg.† A few weeks ago I felt a lump behind my right knee in the crease and my leg was hurting terribly.† It hurt so bad I thought that I had a blood clot and the place where the bump was (still is) was all red.† After a few days it turned purple.† A few days after I noticed the lump, I saw that the whole back of my right calf and my ankle had varicose veins popped out all over the place.† My legs have been hurting and aching a lot more than usual and it’s a different pain than the Fibro pain.†
I was scheduled for a follow-up appointment with my doctor the other week so I had her check my leg out.† She said the lump behind my knee was a “severely busted” varicose vein.† Then as she looked further down my leg she said I needed to see a vascular surgeon.† She could tell they were painful just by looking at them.† She said the vascular surgeon would probably do an outpatient surgery known as vein stripping.†
I know that there are women who have vein stripping done for cosmetic reasons but if I decide to have this procedure, mine will be because of the pain these veins are causing.† There’s nothing wrong with having the surgery done for cosmetic reasons I’m just not one to have surgery unless there is a medical need for it.
This is how the Michael E. DeBakey Department of Surgery describes vein stripping:
Vein stripping means the excision, or removal, of large veins and the closing off of smaller vein tributaries. The removal of smaller veins with a technique called small incision avulsion is often done with vein stripping. Vein stripping is commonly used to improve the appearance of the legs and to relieve symptoms of varicose veins, unnaturally and permanently distended veins that lie directly under the skin.
What are varicose veins and what causes them?
The body has veins located close to the surface of the skin that help return oxygen-depleted blood to the heart. As superficial vein walls stretch and weaken because of age or heredity, blood can begin to flow backward and collect inside the veins. This in turn may cause increased pressure that can permanently damage the elastic vein walls.
When the walls of veins in the leg stretch and bloat out of shape, the valves that normally prevent blood from flowing backward also become distorted and the veins can begin to malfunction. Varicose veins or spider veins may result.
Varicose veins appear as blue, bulging and twisted veins, visible through the skin on a personís legs. Left untreated, varicose veins can cause tiredness or heaviness in the legs. Affected areas of the leg may also ache or burn. In severe cases, varicose veins can lead to swollen ankles and scaly, dry skin.
The desired goal of having the vein stripping is to have pain relief, better circulation, and improve the appearance of the leg or legs. A physician will determine if vein stripping is warranted after a complete duplex ultrasound evaluation of the veins shows that they are diseased and not functioning properly.
What are the complications of having vein stripping?
If the patient has general anesthesia, they may have the side effects that come with using it. These include breathing problems, allergic reactions, infection and breathing. The actual complications of the vein stripping itself can be bruising, nerve injury and recurrence of varicose veins.
I would be anxious to know if anyone reading this has had vein stripping done and if you had any problems.† Let me know in the comments.