A Houston vein doctor answers each question a patient may have about ambulatory phlebectomy and other treatments for varicose veins. Here are the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about vein disease and varicose vein treatments.

Frequently Asked Questions about Ambulatory Phlebectomy

What is ambulatory phlebectomy?

Ambulatory phlebectomy is a treatment for varicose veins. In this procedure, vein surgeons removed small portions of superficial veins through tiny incisions in the skin.

Won’t I need that vein?

A varicose vein is incompetent, which means it already does a poor job of transporting blood from your legs back up towards your heart. Once the surgeon removes the diseased vein, your body will route blood through other veins.

Does it hurt?

Your vein doctor administers local anesthesia, so you will not feel pain during the treatment.

Will I need an examination first?

Before you have this procedure, you will consult with a vein doctor who will review your medical history and perform a physical examination. During this consultation, you and your vein surgeon will discuss your expectations, potential risks and outcomes of the procedure.

What can I expect during the procedure?

The vein doctor will mark the veins for treatment. You will then lie comfortably while the surgeon cleans and numbs the treatment area. The venous doctor will then poke tiny holes in your skin and remove the affected vein through those holes. Your doctor will then wrap the treated area in a tight bandage.

Will I need stitches?

No, the incisions are so small that the doctor will apply thin adhesive strips only as necessary.

What happens after the procedure?

You can get up and walk around immediately after ambulatory phlebectomy. In fact, vein surgeons recommend gentle exercise to stimulate circulation and promote healing. You must wear graduated compression stockings after undergoing ambulatory phlebectomy; this special hosiery pushes blood up and out of your lower legs to optimize the healing process. Compression stockings also minimize pain.

Am I a good candidate for ambulatory phlebectomy?

This procedure may be right for you if you suffer from discomfort or embarrassment of a varicose vein. Only your vein doctor can determine if you are healthy enough to undergo this procedure.

What are the potential complications?

This procedure is generally safe but, as with all medical procedures, may be associated with complications. Temporary bruising and swelling, skin numbness associated with injury to nearby nerves, or reaction to local anesthesia may occur. Inflammation may occur if small segments of blood vessels remain in the skin

Is ambulatory phlebectomy a new procedure?

Doctors have performed this procedure for decades after Swiss dermatologist Dr. Robert Muller rediscovered the centuries-old technique in 1956.