This prospective randomized study compared the treatment of greater saphenous vein insufficiency by stripping and local avulsions of varicose veins with high ligation of the saphenofemoral junction (crossectomy) combined with sclerocompression therapy. Of 156 consecutive patients, 89 legs were randomly allocated to stripping and 92 to high ligation. At follow-up of 3 months and 1, 2, and 3 years after treatment, clinical and Doppler ultrasound results, and complaints and cosmetic results, as judged by the patient and the surgeon, were scored. At 3 years, 69 limbs in the stripping group (78%) and 73 limbs in the ligation group (79%) were available to follow-up. The cosmetic results, both judged by the patient and the surgeon, were significantly better (P < 0.05) in the stripped limbs than in the limbs with high ligation and sclerotherapy. Clinical and Doppler ultrasound evidence of reverse flow in the saphenous vein was significantly less (P < 0.001) after the stripping operation. The results of treatment of isolated saphenous vein insufficiency by stripping operation, therefore, were superior to those obtained by high ligation combined with sclerotherapy.