When the source of the reverse blood flow was due to damaged valves in the saphenous vein, the vein was removed by a surgical procedure known as vein stripping. Under general anesthesia, all or part of the vein was tied off and pulled out. The legs were bandaged after the surgery but swelling and bruising lasted from days to weeks. Now that ablation has been proved to be effective, vein stripping should be regarded as a procedure of the past. It carries higher risk, greater pain, greater disability, longer recovery, greater cost, and, historically, less effectiveness than modern treatment.