An ambulatory phlebectomy is an outpatient procedure performed to remove spider and varicose veins through small, slit-like incisions in the skin. Since veins are extremely collapsible, even the largest affected veins can often be removed through tiny incisions using the ambulatory phlebectomy procedure. This minimally invasive treatment does not require sutures or general anesthesia and can easily be performed in the doctor’s office with minimal downtime. It also has fewer risks and less associated pain than with traditional surgical treatment.
Some patients seek treatment for their varicose veins for cosmetic purposes, while others are concerned about the potential risks of their damaged veins. Untreated veins can lead to pain, inflammation and discoloration. They can also affect the flow of oxygen-depleted blood between the lower legs and the heart.
Ambulatory phlebectomy treats symptomatic and asymptomatic veins and can relieve both cosmetic and medical concerns in one simple procedure.
The ambulatory phlebectomy procedure is performed under local anesthesia on an outpatient basis. Your doctor will first identify the veins to be treated to ensure precise removal and to help preserve the health of surrounding veins and tissue. Tiny incisions will be made in the targeted areas, and a surgical hook will be inserted to extract the damaged veins section by section. Patients generally do not experience any discomfort during the procedure. Compression bandages will then be worn on the area for the next week to help minimize swelling and discomfort. This procedure takes about 45 to 60 minutes to perform.
After damaged veins have been removed, other healthy veins in the leg will absorb the excess blood and reinstate a normal blood flow. Functioning will not be affected by removing the damaged veins, as there are many surrounding veins to take over.
Recovery & Results
Patients will be able to walk and carry on with normal activities immediately after the ambulatory phlebectomy procedure. You can return to work the same day or next day, although exercise and heavy lifting should be avoided for about two weeks. The incisions from this procedure do not require sutures and are able to heal on their own, and are often barely visible after six to twelve months. Some patients may experience mild skin pigmentation at the site of the varicose vein, but this usually goes away on its own after a few days.
Most people see effective results from an ambulatory phlebectomy, with damaged veins being completed removed. Any associated symptoms such as pain or discoloration should be relieved immediately after the procedure. Ambulatory phlebectomy offers permanent effective results for most patients, although it is possible for new varicose veins to develop. You can help minimize the risk of varicose veins by losing weight and maintaining an active life .
Although an ambulatory phlebectomy is considered a safe procedure, there are certain risks and complications associated with any surgical procedure. Some of these complications include bruising, swelling, and incomplete removal of damaged veins, which may lead to further inflammation and irritation. Swelling and bruising can be minimized with compression garments and over-the-counter medications, and are usually only temporary.
Patients who are allergic to local anesthesia or those who cannot wear compression stockings should not undergo the ambulatory phlebectomy procedure. Any active infections or rashes should be thoroughly treated before this procedure as well.