Microphlebectomy, also called ‘stab phlebectomy,’ is an outpatient medical procedure that is used to treat painful, unattractive varicose veins that are located close to the skin’s surface. The procedure is ideal for treating veins that are too large to treat with sclerotherapy and too small to safely and successfully treat with laser procedures.
Microphlebectomy uses a series of tiny incisions – each one about the size of the tip of a ballpoint pen - to remove portions of the vein which is malfunctioning, causing pain and unsightly bulging. By removing certain sections of the vein, the areas of the vein which are not removed will “clot off,” eliminating the bulging, purplish areas for good.
Microphlebectomy procedure: what to expect
Your specialist will mark the area to be treated to determine where the tiny openings, or “stabs,” should be made. Then the area will be numbed with a local anesthetic. Once the area of the vein is numbed, your specialist will make a few tiny incisions along the length of the vein to be removed, inserting a tiny hook to “grab” the vein so that it may be removed. Once the procedure is completed, a dressing will be placed on the site. Most procedures take about 30-45 minutes to perform.
Most individuals are able to return to their normal routines immediately following the procedure. Daily walking is recommended, although strenuous activities should be avoided for 5 to 7 days. Compression stockings or dressings are usually worn for a week after microphlebectomy.
There may be some temporary and mild discomfort or bruising for a day or two at the treatment site. A very few individuals may experience minor injury to the tiny nerves just beneath the surface of the skin which are located near the area where the vein was removed. These injured nerves usually heal with time.
Initials results will be visible soon after your procedure, and will become more evident once initial bruising resolves. Because only tiny incisions are made, there is virtually no scarring.
Advantages of microphlebectomy
Microphlebectomy offers several benefits over other procedures. Generally speaking, microphlebectomy:
- Is minimally invasive
- Requires only local anesthesia
- May be used in combination with sclerotherapy for treatment of deeper veins
- Requires little-to-no downtime, allowing most men and women to resume normal activities right after their procedure
Does insurance cover microphlebectomy?
Unless it is part of a larger medical procedure addressing varicose veins that are causing medical problems, microphlebectomy is considered a cosmetic procedure and is not covered by insurance companies. Some specialists will offer in-house financing options to make the procedure more affordable for patients. Contact your local provider for more information.