Until a few years ago, the method of choice for the treatment of venous insufficiency with the involvement of the great and lesser saphenous veins was surgical. The technique involves making surgical incisions in the inguino-crural area and a little above the knee, while the great saphenous vein is stripped out and removed.
The surgical treatment is associated with more post-operative pain in comparison to minimally invasive endovenous methods that have been developed over the last years for the same purpose. Additionally, the post-operative recovery period is also lengthier.
The fact that the surgical method is related to higher rates of recurrence of varicose veins during a five year period after the operation is equally important.
So, it is understandable why the use of endovenous methods has rapidly increased in the last years, while the use of the surgical treatment has been reduced.
It should be noted that, according to the official guidelines of the Vascular Community of the United States and the American Venous Forum, endovenous ablation of venous insufficiency is preferred over surgical treatment (Directive 11.2 - Gloviczki et al, Journal of Vascular Surgery, May 2011).