Understanding Ambulatory Phlebectomy for Varicose Veins

Updated on: August 18, 2014

Varicose veins affect people in McHenry, Illinois and all around the country. When the valves in the veins fail to prevent blood from flowing backwards, the blood may pool in the vein, causing them to appear bulging and bluish or purplish in color. This also leads to the pain and heaviness that many sufferers of the condition experience. To combat varicose veins, some doctors recommend conservative methods that treat the symptoms of the condition; these treatments might include wearing compression stockings, losing weight, or exercising. But to get rid of varicose veins, they must be destroyed or removed.

Ambulatory phlebectomy is a proven treatment that's helped patients find relief from these embarrassing and uncomfortable veins. It involves the removal of problem veins through tiny incisions using vein hooks to grab the vein. The procedure is minimally-invasive, and does not require the general anesthetic or long recovery period that many traditional surgical methods entail. Yet ambulatory phlebectomy has been successful in helping patients overcome this venous condition safely and effectively.

The patient will stand up so the veins are most visible and identifiable. The specialist will then mark the veins that are to be removed using a surgical marker. The patient will then lie on his or her back as the leg is prepared by first cleaning it with an antiseptic and then administering the local anesthetic. A large volume of low concentration anesthetic may be used because the fluid numbs the area while also helping to separate the veins from the surrounding tissue. It can also compress capillaries in the area to reduce instances of bleeding following the procedure.

The tiny incisions are then made along the length of the vein, and vein hooks are used to remove the veins. These incisions are small enough that sutures are not required, and they even help to drain fluids postoperatively. Pads are placed next to the vein to absorb any excess fluids, and the leg is wrapped in a compression bandage that is left in place for about two days. Once it is removed, compression stockings should be worn for a few weeks to aid the healing process. Most return to work in a few days, but should avoid heavy lifting and prolonged standing for the first few weeks as the body continues its healing process. The doctor will give the okay before it's safe to return to these activities.

Like just about every medical treatment or procedure, there are certain risks of which patients should be aware when undergoing ambulatory phlebectomy. These should always be discussed with a McHenry vein specialist prior to treatment. Bleeding and infection are the most common side effects with most procedures. The incisions made with ambulatory phlebectomy usually heal without any scarring, although those with darker skin may require a longer period before the area completely fades. Some might experience discoloration of the nearby skin, numbness, and tingling; these typically resolve, however.

The long-term recurrence of varicose veins is possible with any procedure, and should be discussed with a doctor. Certain preventative measures may help to reduce the chance of the condition returning later on. 

Insurance might cover costs of treatment when used to provide relief from medically-concerning varicose veins, but some might require that the patient first try conservative methods discussed earlier in this article such as compression stockings, weight loss, and exercise. Some might require a few sessions to completely get rid of problem varicose veins, so a consultation with a vein specialist is essential to the treatment process.

Learn more about ambulatory phlebectomy in McHenry, Illinois.

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