Ambulatory phlebectomy is simple procedure that removes varicose veins through small needle punctures in the skin. There are no surgical incisions or sutures (stitches) needed. It is performed in Dr. Elliott’s office with simple local anesthesia.
Ambulatory phlebectomy may be used to remove both asymptomatic and symptomatic superficial veins from the skin. Typically, treated veins are the larger, bulging (raised) and varicose veins, although smaller veins may also be removed with ambulatory phlebectomy. Ambulatory phlebectomy may be combined with other therapies in the treatment of venous disease.
Patients who are allergic to the local anesthesia, who are not able to walk on their own and who cannot wear the compression stockings (arterial circulation problems) are not candidates for this procedure. Any active infection or rash in the treated areas needs to resolve before the surgery.
Ambulatory phlebectomy is performed under local anesthesia and patients should not feel any pain during the procedure. After surgery, discomfort should also be minimal to none, especially if compression stockings are worn as directed.
Temporary bruising and swelling of the treated area is typical and is minimized with compression stockings. The small punctures heal well without sutures and after six to 12 months, they are practically imperceptible. (Note: In darker skinned patients, the incision sites may be darker-colored before fading). Although every attempt is made to remove the entire varicose vein, there may be small segments that remain in the skin. These fragments may become inflamed and irritated causing the condition thrombophlebitis. The residual vein may feel like a hard cord and may be tender. Over-the-counter medications, compression stockings and time usually resolve the condition. Rarely, a sensory nerve may be injured and skin numbness results. The skin numbness usually affects a small area only. Movement or leg function should not be affected.
Bruising and swelling is normal and temporary. You can walk immediately after surgery and carry on normal daily activities except for exercise and heavy lifting. You must follow the activity restrictions and wear the compression stockings as directed by your doctor. Your varicose veins are physically removed and therefore should not come back. However, depending on other factors such as family and personal history, new varicose veins may develop over time.