Removing Varicose Veins through Tiny Incisions: Ambulatory Phlebectomy

Updated on: August 18, 2014

Varicose veins may affect many people in the Lexington, South Carolina area and in other parts of the nation. The condition is often described as very unpleasant, requiring the attention of a physician specializing in venous conditions. Through minimally invasive procedures such as ambulatory phlebectomy, many patients have found relief from varicose veins without undergoing invasive surgical procedures such as vein stripping or ligation that may involve an extended recovery period and a significant amount of downtime.

In most cases, the first step in finding relief is to speak with a medical professional who, upon examination, will recommend the appropriate treatment. Patients should determine if they are suffering from spider veins or varicose veins before proceeding, as the recommended treatment may hinge on the diagnosis. Varicose veins may be very painful may even cause the legs to feel heavy. They are also defined by their ugly, bulgy appearance that causes many patients to feel self-conscious. Spider veins, while also aesthetically unappealing, do not cause pain like varicose veins.

Patients suffering from spider veins may be recommended sclerotherapy as treatment, while patients suffering from varicose veins may have several options including ambulatory phlebectomy. Unlike surgical procedures, a general anesthetic is not required with this procedure. Instead, a local anesthetic will be applied to the area being treated.

To begin the procedure, the patient will stand up so that the physician can mark the veins requiring removal. The patient is then asked to lie in the supine position and the local anesthetic is applied. Tiny incisions are then made along the vein, which is then removed using tiny hooks. Stitches are not required with ambulatory phlebectomy, as the incisions required are so tiny. The incisions even allow fluids to drain after the procedure. Once the problem veins are removed, pads are placed next to the leg to absorb fluids and the leg is wrapped in a compression bandage to aid in healing.

The compression bandage should be worn for about two days after the procedure. Patients are often encouraged to walk in the days following treatment to aid in the healing process, get rid of excess fluids and reduce the risk of blood clots. Compression stockings are recommended after the compression bandage is removed. These should be worn for a few weeks in some cases. Most patients may return to work in one to three days, but should avoid strenuous activities and prolonged standing.

The most common risks associated with ambulatory phlebectomy, as with many others, are bleeding and infection. However, with the tiny incisions used in this procedure, these complications are less common than with other procedures that require larger incisions. These tiny incisions typically heal without scarring. Other complications such as discoloration of surrounding skin, numbness and tingling have also been associated with this procedure, but these typically resolve on their own. Recurrence of varicose veins may occur over time, and this is something patients should discuss with a medical professional.

Patients who are interested in learning more about ambulatory phlebectomy, varicose veins or other vein health topics are encouraged to speak with a medical professional at a reputable clinic in the Lexington area for further information. Goals, results, risks and expectations are topics that should be discussed, among others. This is often the best resource for reliable information about venous conditions and treatments.

Learn more about ambulatory phlebectomy in Lexington, South Carolina.

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