What is the risk of performing a second stripping surgery on a saphanenous vein that regenerated? Could the cramping symptoms worsen?

My original surgery occurred 2 years ago. My dermatologist who now does vein procedures told me that I should never have had the surgery given my age (42). He seems to believe that laser may help my issues. I recently went to a vascular surgeon to get a second opinion. Given the size of the saphenous vein (17mm) he feels that a second stripping procedure would be my best bet. I am a very active cyclist and worried that another procedure may worsen my cramping and swelling:function of my leg.

Answers from doctors (3)


Vein stripping has a higher recurrence rate (40-70%) than laser ablation (2%). Ultimately, the decision is yours. Choosing a Phlebologist (a physician who specializes in varicose vein disease) is important.

Answered by Advanced Vein & Laser Centre, Ltd. (View Profile)

Vein stripping has a higher recurrence rate (40-70%) than laser ablation (2%). Ultimately, the decision is yours. Choosing a Phlebologist (a physician who specializes in varicose vein disease) is important.

Published on Jul 11, 2012


Vein Specialties of St. Louis

Published on Sep 21, 2017

I am not sure why you would have had a stripping 2 years ago instead of laser ablation of the saphenous veins. We have treated people as young as 18 years with symptomatic saphenous vein reflux and varicose veins (chronic venous insufficiency) so age is not a factor. Stripping is typically a "blind" procedure and often the saphenous vein is not removed. A vascular trained surgeon who is experienced in EVLA procedures is able to seal a larger vein. There are also alternate minimally invasive procedures he/she can perform if the veins are too large or too superficial. However, I have treated many large veins successfully with laser ablation in the office under local anesthetic. Stripping veins can cause damage to surrounding tissue and can also stimulate your body to produce new veins (neovascularity).
I would like to know if you get relief from compression hose? If so, then these procedures may help. Not all pain and swelling is necessarily caused by vein reflux which is something I explain to my patients during their evaluations.

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Answered by Vein Specialties of St. Louis

I am not sure why you would have had a stripping 2 years ago instead of laser ablation of the saphenous veins. We have treated people as young as 18 years with symptomatic saphenous vein reflux and varicose veins (chronic venous insufficiency) so age is not a factor. Stripping is typically a "blind" procedure and often the saphenous vein is not removed. A vascular trained surgeon who is experienced in EVLA procedures is able to seal a larger vein. There are also alternate minimally invasive procedures he/she can perform if the veins are too large or too superficial. However, I have treated many large veins successfully with laser ablation in the office under local anesthetic. Stripping veins can cause damage to surrounding tissue and can also stimulate your body to produce new veins (neovascularity).
I would like to know if you get relief from compression hose? If so, then these procedures may help. Not all pain and swelling is necessarily caused by vein reflux which is something I explain to my patients during their evaluations.

Published on Jul 11, 2012


The Sheen Vein Institute

Published on Sep 21, 2017

The cramping that you are experiencing is not entirely due to the saphenous vein issue that you have. It is due to the entire collection of vein issues that you have extending from the saphenous vein all the way out to the skin surface. Addressing only one large vein out of many veins that are abnormal, may or may not successfully eliminate your cramping. Your best plan of action is to first treat your saphenous vein with a laser ablation procedure and then address the remainder of the vein structure in your leg from the saphenous tributaries all the way out to the skin surface. Vein disease is first and foremost a circulation disorder. This is why you are cramping. In order to fix the venous circulation, you need to fix the venous network throughout. The treatment that you have been offered by both physicians is really only a partial treatment. It only addresses one of many veins that are going to be defective. Stripping should all most never be done anymore on the saphenous vein since the development of the laser ablation procedure.

//imgs-origin.edoctors.com/imageresizer/image/user_uploads/58x58_85-1/doctors/1116_1499984661.jpg
Answered by The Sheen Vein Institute

The cramping that you are experiencing is not entirely due to the saphenous vein issue that you have. It is due to the entire collection of vein issues that you have extending from the saphenous vein all the way out to the skin surface. Addressing only one large vein out of many veins that are abnormal, may or may not successfully eliminate your cramping. Your best plan of action is to first treat your saphenous vein with a laser ablation procedure and then address the remainder of the vein structure in your leg from the saphenous tributaries all the way out to the skin surface. Vein disease is first and foremost a circulation disorder. This is why you are cramping. In order to fix the venous circulation, you need to fix the venous network throughout. The treatment that you have been offered by both physicians is really only a partial treatment. It only addresses one of many veins that are going to be defective. Stripping should all most never be done anymore on the saphenous vein since the development of the laser ablation procedure.

Published on Jul 11, 2012


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