During a stripping procedure, the surgeon makes an incision in your groin and ties off the vein, after which a stripper tool is threaded through the saphenous vein and used to pull the vein out of your leg through a second incision just above your calf.
In the VNUS® Closure procedure, there is no need for groin surgery. Instead, the vein remains in place and is closed using a special (VNUS® Closure®) catheter inserted through a small puncture. This may eliminate the bruising and pain often associated with vein stripping (i.e., that may result from the tearing of side branch veins while the saphenous vein is pulled out). Vein stripping is usually performed in an operating room, under a general anesthetic, while the VNUS® Closure® procedure is performed on an outpatient basis, typically using local or regional anesthesia.
Three randomized trials of the VNUS® Closure® procedure vs. vein stripping, including the most recent multi-center comparative trial, show very similar results. In the multi-center comparative trial, the VNUS® Closure® procedure was superior to vein stripping in every statistically significant outcome. In the study, 80.5% of patients treated with the VNUS® Closure® procedure returned to normal activities within one day, versus 46.9% of patients who underwent vein stripping. Also, VNUS® Closure® patients returned to work 7.7 days sooner than surgical patients. Patients treated with the VNUS® Closure® procedure had less postoperative pain, less bruising, faster recovery, and fewer overall adverse events.