Chapter 16: Surgical Therapy for Chronic Venous Insufficiency

Original authors: Alun H. Davies, Adam Howard, Dominic P.J. Howard, Lowell S. Kabnick, Robert L. Kistner, Robert F. Merchant, Nick Morrison

Abstracted by Gary W. Lemmon


  • Introduction
  • Definitions
  • Economics of Chronic Venous Insufficiency
  • Presentation
  • Examination
  • Management
  • Vein stripping
  • Vein ablation
  • Complications
  • Conclusions
  • Commonly asked questions
    • I have varicose veins. Do I need these to be treated?
    • Are stockings necessary to wear for CVI or varicose veins?
    • Which is better, vein stripping or "laser" surgery?
    • Are varicose veins hereditary?


The superficial leg veins can allow the backward flow of blood down the veins and result in lower leg swelling, skin changes and even skin breakdown (ulcers). By removing these non-working veins, the symptoms are made better. One can remove these veins from the body by pulling them out (stripping) or by burning the inside so that they scar shut (laser or radiowave ablation, or sclerotherapy). The patient must know that there can be problems with each method of removal and must believe that the benefits are better than the risks involved.

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