Previously, surgical removal (known as “vein stripping”) was the only effective method of treating varicose veins. The procedure involved significant discomfort and recovery time. Fortunately, a phlebectomy is a less invasive method of treating varicose veins, along with the pain that may be associated with the condition.
What is Phlebectomy?
A phlebectomy is a minimally invasive procedure that uses a small scalpel or needle to remove varicose veins that lie just beneath the surface of the skin. The procedure is also called Ambulatory Phlebectomy, Microphlebectomy, and Stab Avulsion.
The procedure consists of making several tiny cuts (also called “stab incisions”) in the skin through which the varicose vein is removed piece by piece. The incisions are generally so small that stitches are not required.
The procedure, performed in the physician’s office, uses a local anesthetic. A phlebectomy is a safe and effective treatment for removing small- to medium-size varicose veins.
The procedure involves minimal discomfort and downtime; thus, the patient can get up and walk following the procedure. Typically, a patient can resume a regular daily routine the next day.
The doctor will likely have the patient wear a compression bandage or compression stocking for at least a week to help the healing process. And, the procedure may produce some temporary swelling and bruising.
Most patients will not require any prescription pain medicine following the treatment. Most discomfort can be sufficiently managed with ice packs and over-the-counter medication. Downtime is also minimal, with most patients returning to work and regular activities the day after the procedure.
Often, a phlebectomy is used in conjunction with other common vein removal procedures such as endovenous laser therapy (EVLT) and sclerotherapy to address differently sized veins and to yield the best cosmetic results.
The Phlebectomy Procedure
After identifying the veins for removal, local anesthesia is administered along the vein. The doctor then makes a few tiny incisions, cutting the vein into sections. A tiny hook gently removes the sections of the vein. Removing the vein in sections minimizes the occurrence of blood clots and encourages faster healing.
Once the procedure is complete, a dressing is applied over the incisions, and the leg is wrapped in a comfortable but snug compression wrap. The patient is encouraged to walk around for 10–15 minutes before leaving the office, which minimizes the risk of a blood clot. Also, patients must wear graduated compression stockings which help with healing.
Advantages of a Phlebectomy
A phlebectomy has a long-term success rate of 90%. Once initial bruising resolves, there is a noticeable reduction in varicose veins. A phlebectomy has the following additional benefits over other procedures:
- It is minimally invasive.
- The procedure only requires local anesthesia.
- It may be used in combination with other procedures like endovenous laser therapy (EVLT) and sclerotherapy.
- Recovery time is quick, with an almost immediate return to normal daily activities.
- About 95% of phlebectomy patients experience significant relief of pain.
Novus Spine & Pain Center
Dr. Torres established Novus Spine & Pain Center in Lakeland, Florida with the goal of providing the highest quality pain management care to every patient. Whether pain is the result of an injury or from another condition, Dr. Torres offers many different treatment options.
Novus Spine & Pain Center utilizes a comprehensive approach and cutting-edge therapies to restore normal function and allow patients to regain an active lifestyle while minimizing the need for opiates. As our patient, you are our top priority. Our goal is to help you achieve the best possible quality of life.
Our Mission Statement: To provide the best quality of life to people suffering from pain, by providing state of the art treatments, knowledge and skill, compassion, and respect for all.
Phlebectomy: Pain Management Treatments with Phlebectomy (Novus Spine & Pain)
Varicose Veins: Phlebectomy or Stab Avulsion (University of Wisconsin-Madison Health)
Ambulatory Phlebectomy (American Society for Dermatologic Surgery)
Microphlebectomy (Vein Directory)
Medical Definition of Phlebotomy (MedicineNet)
How Ambulatory Phlebectomy Differs from Vein Stripping (Advanced Vein & Vascular Center)
Ambulatory phlebectomy (Wikipedia)
Vein Stripping (Wikipedia)
Varicose Vein Surgery (Vein Directory)
Vein Ligation and Stripping (Encyclopedia of Surgery)
Ambulatory phlebectomy versus compression sclerotherapy: results of a randomized controlled trial (PubMed)
Ambulatory Phlebectomy for Varicose Veins – Outcomes (Medscape)