An ambulatory phlebectomy is a method of removing varicose veins on the surface of the legs. The procedure is performed by a physician using specialized surgical hooks that are placed through incisions one or two millimeters (less than one tenth of an inch) in length. As a result of using such small incisions a greater cosmetic result is achieved.
The procedure is conducted at an outpatient surgery facility with local or general anesthesia.
Advantages of phlebectomy
They usually do not require suture closure.
Provides a cosmetically acceptable alternative to the laborious treatment methods employed in injection treatment of small clusters of varicose veins.
Avoids possible hyper-pigmentation (brown discoloration) or skin ulceration as a result of injection treatment on veins.
Local anesthesia is sufficient in many cases.
The small incisions eventually heal into barely visible scars the size of a small dot
An anesthetic is required and the procedure may need to be performed in an operating room.
Since small hooks are used to extract the veins through the incisions, it is possible that a small sensory nerve could be damaged during the vein removal. However, such an injury rarely occurs.
For the first 24 hours postoperative, your leg(s) will be wrapped from the foot to as high as the upper thigh in an ace wrap dressing. This dressing may become moist as the anesthetic fluid leaves the subcutaneous tissue of your leg. This is a normal and expected process. You may remove your dressing after 24 hours.
During the immediate postoperative period, avoid prolonged sitting or standing. We encourage you to walk 10 minutes every two hours while awake and while lying down keep your legs elevated above your heart. Avoid strenuous physical activities such as high-impact aerobics, jogging or weightlifting for two weeks.
If the outer dressing is constricting, causing numbness or pain, you may cut it just enough to relieve the pressure or walk to loosen it. If bleeding or oozing of the anesthetic fluid occurs through the wrap apply a new ace wrap or gauze over the dressing to secure it.
After 24 hours you may remove your dressing and shower. Once your dressing is removed you can leave your incision(s) open to air. You may have a small amount of bleeding at the incision site, this is normal. A new ace wrap may be applied for comfort but continued use of a dressing over the incision after 24 hours is not usually necessary.
You may be bruised and have areas beneath your incision(s) that are lumpy/bumpy and you may experience numbness, tingling, burning, or intermittent sharp shooting pains. These will resolve over a few weeks. Also some patients who have had a vein stripping may feel a pulling or tightening sensation of the groin where the vein was removed. A moist heating pad three times a day for 20 minutes may help with this feeling. Often patients who have had an ambulatory phlebectomy may notice a small circle of redness directly around their puncture sites. This is normal as long as the redness doesn’t extend beyond the area around the puncture site.
Do not drive or drink alcohol while taking prescription pain medication.
You may travel at your comfort. We encourage you to walk 10 minutes every two hours. We advise patients to avoid exposure from the sun on your incision(s) for thirty days after your procedure. Skin discoloration and scarring may occur in areas of your incision(s) when exposed to the sun.
A postoperative visit will be scheduled approximately 4-6 weeks following your operation.
If you have any questions or problems, please call the Restoration Vein Care office at (734) 712-4310.