Are you tired of bulging and unsightly veins? Ambulatory phlebectomy may be just what you need! This minimally invasive procedure can remove those pesky veins and improve the appearance of your legs. In this Q&A, we’ll go into detail about everything you need to know:
- What is ambulatory phlebectomy, and how does it work?
- Who can qualify for ambulatory phlebectomy?
- What to expect during the procedure.
- How to ensure a speedy recovery.
What is Ambulatory Phlebectomy?
Ambulatory phlebectomy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that removes varicose veins close to the skin’s surface.
When is Ambulatory Phlebectomy Needed?
Your vein doctor may recommend this treatment for large varicose veins close to the skin surface that they can’t treat with non-invasive or non-surgical methods such as laser ablation or compression stockings.
The procedure can also help with relieving you of pain, swelling, and fatigue in the affected area.
Is Ambulatory Phlebectomy the Same as Surgery?
Compared to other treatments for varicose veins, such as vein stripping or laser ablation, ambulatory phlebectomy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure with a lower risk of complications (see below).
How is it Different from Vein Stripping?
While both ambulatory phlebectomy and vein stripping are surgical procedures, they’re not the same.
Vein stripping involves:
- completely removing the veins from your leg through a small incision made in your groin area
- general anesthesia
- long recovery time
In contrast, ambulatory phlebectomy is minimally invasive and involves:
- vein removal through small incisions (2-5 mm) in the skin (see an image here)
- local anesthesia
- quick recovery
How Long Does the Procedure Take?
Ambulatory phlebectomy is generally a quick outpatient procedure that takes 45-60 minutes. We perform this procedure in our offices at Denver Vein.
Why Ambulatory Phlebectomy Might Not Be Right for You
Ambulatory phlebectomy may not be suitable for all patients with varicose veins, so it’s generally not recommended in cases where:
- you want spider vein treatment (they may be better treated with non-invasive methods like sclerotherapy)
- you have deep vein thrombosis
- venous insufficiency is the problem
- you’re pregnant or breastfeeding
- you have undergone surgery in the last three months
- cellulitis is a problem
- you take blood-thinning medications
How Can I Know for Sure If I Qualify?
You will need to schedule a consultation with a qualified vein doctor before undergoing an ambulatory phlebectomy. During the consultation, you can expect to
- Undergo a physical examination of your affected veins
- Discuss your symptoms, medical history, and medication you’re currently taking
- Discuss vein treatment options and find the best choice for you
How Effective is Ambulatory Phlebectomy in Treating Varicose Veins?
Ambulatory phlebectomy is an effective treatment for varicose veins, with a high success rate. More than 90% of patients report no recurrence of their varicose veins.
So, although the name sounds pretty daunting, it’s a good option to consider!
What Should I Do Before the Procedure?
There are a few things you can do to prepare:
- Make sure to eat a small meal before the procedure.
- Avoid blood thinning products five days prior.
- Arrange for transportation to and from the clinic, as you will not be able to drive after the procedure.
- Wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothing on the day of the procedure.
Is it Painful?
During ambulatory phlebectomy, you can expect to be awake and alert throughout the procedure.
The doctor typically performs it using local anesthesia, which numbs the area where the incisions will be made. This helps to minimize any pain or discomfort during the procedure.
You may feel some pressure or pulling sensations during the procedure, but this is usually well tolerated by most patients.
Are There Any Risks?
As with any surgical procedure, there are some potential risks associated with ambulatory phlebectomy, which may include the following:
- bleeding, bruising, or swelling
- skin numbness
- post-surgical infection
- nerve damage
- adverse reactions to the anesthetic
However, these risks are relatively rare, and most patients experience a smooth and uncomplicated recovery.
What to Expect After the Procedure
After the procedure, you can expect soreness, discomfort, bruising, or swelling in the affected area.
Most patients can walk and resume normal activities immediately following the procedure. We mentioned above not driving home as this is puts more strain on your legs.
Recommended post-procedure care instructions may include:
- wearing compression stockings
- taking pain medication as needed
- avoiding strenuous activities
When Can Normal Activities Be Resumed?
Most patients can resume normal activities immediately following the procedure. Still, it is best if you avoid any intense physical activities or heavy lifting for at least two weeks to allow for proper healing. You’ll know whether your job indicates taking a few days off to rest!
Can Varicose Veins Return After the Procedure?
Ambulatory phlebectomy can treat existing visible veins effectively and prevent them from growing back, but other veins may start to swell in the future.
To prevent your legs developing more varicose veins in the future, try to maintain an active and healthy lifestyle. (You were already trying to do that, weren’t you?) Maybe also consider whether your day job is affecting your legs.
Get Back on Your Feet: Contact Us for Expert Vein Care Today!
While ambulatory phlebectomy is a safe and effective treatment option for varicose veins close to the surface of the skin, you should seek medical advice about vein treatment from a specialist.
At Denver Vein, our team is dedicated to providing you with personalized care and effective treatment options so you can achieve optimal vein health. Why not take a couple of minutes to watch Dr. Norton talking about your options?
Don’t let varicose veins – or fears about vein treatments – hold you back. Contact us today to take the first step towards healthier, more beautiful legs.
Image © denvervein.com