Vein ligation is a surgical approach to the treatment of varicose veins. Ligation refers to the surgical tying off of a large vein in the leg called the greater saphenous vein. Vein ligation is used to tie off a problem vein and stop the blood supply which causes it to shrink. If some of the valves in the saphenous vein are healthy, the weak portion of the vein can be closed off by ligation.
If several valves in a vein and the vein itself are heavily damaged, the vein (or the diseased part of the vein) is usually removed (stripped). During this surgery, one or more incisions are made over the damaged veins, and the vein is tied off (ligated). The incision is normally made in the groin on the side of the body where the varicose vein is located. Tying and removal of the greater saphenous vein is done to reduce the pressure of blood flowing backward through this large vein into the smaller veins that feed into it.
Vein ligation is conducted in a dark operating room so that visibility is precise. A second instrument is used to travel to the site to cut away problem veins and suction them back outside the leg. This method only lasts a little over 25 minutes and requires the use of minimal anesthetics. Most people go home the same day of their surgery.
The purpose of vein is to reduce the number and size of varicose veins that cannot be treated or closed by other measures. Vein ligation provides good to excellent long-term results in 90% of people. Only about a tenth of patients who receive a varicose vein ligation have further problems.