PURPOSE: Transilluminated powered phlebectomy (TIPP) offers a minimally invasive operation alternative to stab avulsion for varicose veins. The purpose of this study is to compare the safety and efficacy of TIPP with conventional phlebectomy (CP) for removal of varicose veins. METHOD: A retrospective review was performed on the clinical records from March 2001 to March 2002. We divided the patients into 2 groups. The first group consisted of 87 patients (107 limbs) who had undergone TIPP. The second group of 27 patients (29 limbs) had undergone CP by the stab avulsion. We compared operation time, number of skin incisions, duration of hospital stay, patient's satisfaction scores, and complications. RESULT: Mean operation time was significantly shorter in the TIPP group than in the CP group (47.3 min vs. 64.0 min). The number of skin incision was also significantly less in the TIPP group (3.4 vs. 4.9). Length of hospital stay was significantly shorter in the TIPP group (2.5 days vs. 4.0 days). However, postoperative patient's satisfaction score was similar in both groups. 81 patients (93%) in the TIPP group developed ecchymosis postoperatively, resolved spontaneously within approximately 8 weeks. CONCLUSION: TIPP can make the better cosmetic result, shorter duration of hospitalization and operation time. These results suggest that TIPP is a feasible surgical treatment modality for varicose veins of the lower extremity. However, we should minimize postoperative ecchymosis and improve the surgical technique.