Skip to Main Content


This method can be used for the cosmetically unacceptable, isolated varicose vein in the leg, as an alternative to sclerotherapy. A 3/0 polyglycolic acid (Dexon™) suture is simply inserted through the skin to encircle and ligate the vein.


You will need:

  • 3/0 polyglycolic acid suture

  • cutting-edge needle

  • needle holder and scissors

  • local anaesthetic agent.


  1. Infiltrate LA around the site or sites of the vein to be ligated:

    • small veins (up to 5–10 cm), a single suture

    • larger veins, multiple sutures, 5–10 cm apart.

  2. Using a cutting-edge needle, pass the suture under the vein (Fig. 5.1a).

  3. Bring the suture through the skin and then simply tie it tightly to occlude the vein by constriction (Fig. 5.1b). The treated vein thromboses and atrophies after a short period.

  4. Review the patient in 4 weeks and remove the suture.

Fig. 5.1

Percutaneous ligation for isolated varicose vein


Avoid areas near the dorsalis pedis artery and the common peroneal nerve, or other significant arteries, veins or nerves.


This method can be used to treat the cosmetically unacceptable isolated varicose vein in the leg. It is possible to avulse the vein using local anaesthesia along the length of the varicose vein.


You will need:

  • local anaesthetic

  • no. 15 scalpel blade with scalpel handle

  • 6 small Halsted artery forceps (‘mosquitoes’)

  • self-adhesive closure strips 1.2 cm (Steri-Strips™), or nylon suture with cutting edge needle

  • non-stick gauze dressing with wool and crepe bandage.


  1. Infiltrate LA along the length of varicose vein to be avulsed (up to 20 mL of 1% lidocaine can be used):

    • small vein (up to 5–10 cm): a single incision (5–10 mm) along or across the midpoint of the vein

    • larger veins: multiple incisions 5–10 cm apart, depending on the length of the varicose vein avulsed at first incision (Fig. 5.2a).

  2. Locate and identify the vein using an artery forceps, ensuring that it is not a nerve. The vein is then divided between two forceps (Fig. 5.2b).

  3. Avulse the vein on either side by applying further forceps while pulling on the vein (Fig. 5.2c). Provided the length of the varicose vein has been infiltrated with LA, there should be no pain. Apply pressure for 2 to 3 minutes to stop bleeding once the vein has been avulsed.

  4. Achieve skin closure by using either self-adhesive closure strips or suture. The suture can be removed in approximately 10 to 14 days.

  5. Apply non-stick gauze dressing to ...

Pop-up div Successfully Displayed

This div only appears when the trigger link is hovered over. Otherwise it is hidden from view.