What's Recovery Like After Ambulatory Phlebectomy?

Updated on: August 18, 2014

Ambulatory phlebectomy is a procedure that has helped individuals in the San Francisco, California community and other parts of the state and nation find relief from varicose veins. Varicose veins may be extremely embarrassing for many patients, as they are often associated with a bulging and purplish appearance, causing self-consciousness for many individuals who are experiencing this condition. This is a procedure designed to remove large, superficial varicose veins. Those with smaller varicose veins and those suffering from spider veins may be encouraged to seek other treatment options. To determine whether you're suffering from varicose veins or spider veins, consult a vein specialist in the San Francisco area.

One of the benefits of ambulatory phlebectomy compared to the more traditional surgical options is that the recovery period and downtime is often much less than following certain stripping or ligation procedures. A general anesthetic is not required with ambulatory phlebectomy, as a topical anesthetic is instead used to provide patient comfort throughout the treatment. A compression bandage is applied following treatment and pads are placed next to the tiny incisions through which veins are removed to absorb any excess fluid.

The compression bandage should be left on for about a day or two, at which point a compression bandage should be worn for about one to three weeks. This helps to aid in the healing process and promote healthy blood flow. Patients are encouraged to walk shortly after the procedure as the contraction of the muscles in the legs helps to get rid of excess fluid, reduces the risk of blood clots and also helps the healing process. Patients will be given specific recovery instructions from their doctor and are encouraged to follow whatever instructions they receive.

The procedure involves making tiny incisions along the vein, through which the veins may be removed using vein hooks. As mentioned, a topical anesthetic is used to provide patient comfort throughout the procedure. As is true of most procedures, there is a risk of certain complications with ambulatory phlebectomy such as infection or bleeding. To help reduce risk, patients should seek treatment with a trained and experienced professional in their area. Other complications may include discoloration of the surrounding skin, numbness and tingling.

The incisions are so small that they typically heal without scarring, although some patients may experience scarring. The risk of scarring is much less, however, than that associated with other procedures because ambulatory phlebectomy requires very small incisions. Darker skinned individuals may require more time for the incisions to completely fade.

Ambulatory phlebectomy may be covered by insurance, although more conservative approaches to treatment may be required before your insurance covers this procedure. When used for cosmetic reasons, ambulatory phlebectomy may not be covered, however.

Learn more about ambulatory phlebectomy in San Francisco, California, .

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