This procedure is no longer common because there are less invasive modern techniques available. It was the standard procedure in past decades but should be a serious red flag if it is offered as the first line of treatment in today’s era. However in certain instances, vein ligation and stripping might be used to remove a damaged vein that might not respond well to other types of treatment.
If several valves in a vein and the vein itself are heavily damaged, the vein (or the diseased part of the vein) is removed (stripped). An incision is made below the vein, a flexible instrument is threaded up the vein to the first incision, and the vein is grasped and removed.
During this surgery, one or more incisions are made over the damaged veins, and the vein is tied off (ligated). If the ligation cuts off a faulty valve and the vein and valves below the faulty valve are healthy, the vein may be left in place to continue circulating blood through other veins that still have valves that work well.