One of the nice things about living in today’s world is that when you have varicose veins, there are multiple options for dealing with them. One of these is the ambulatory phlebectomy. Here’s what you need to know about this procedure, courtesy of Metro Vein Centers in Houston.
A Bit of Background
Although the force of the heart beats is enough to circulate blood through the arteries, muscle contractions in the legs are necessary to help move blood through the veins on its return journey. To help the process, veins have flaps of tissue called valves that close to prevent blood from flowing backwards. Varicose veins develop when these valves become weak or stop functioning entirely.
Developed by a dermatologic surgeon, ambulatory phlebectomy was designed to eliminate varicose veins without the major surgical procedures common at that time. The procedure is used for smaller surface varicose veins – the kind that are most visible and that tend to be most obvious, both to the patient and to others. It is contraindicated in people who cannot walk on their own and in those who cannot wear compression stockings. Other treatment options may be available in those cases.
The doctor will review your medical history and conduct a physical exam. At this time, the doctor will also explain the procedure, what to expect, and the potential risks and most likely outcomes. From the patient’s perspective, it’s mostly a matter of buying the special compression stockings, securing a driver for the ride home and bringing a list of medications, supplements and herbal preparations to the appointment.
After cleansing the skin in the procedure area, the doctor will inject a local anesthetic into the treatment area. Next the doctor uses a small scalpel (knife) or needle to puncture the skin next to the varicose vein. He or she inserts a small hook through the hole, grasps the vein and pulls it out. The area is then covered with a compression bandage and you will put on the special compression stockings purchased for this procedure. No stitches are required.
After the compression stockings have been applied, you can immediately get up and walk around. Since ambulatory phlebectomy is an office-based procedure and only local anesthesia is required, you will be able to go home immediately after the procedure. You’ll be able to carry on your normal activities, with the exception of strenuous exercise. You may notice some temporary bruising or swelling, or minor pain that can be managed with over the counter pain medication. You will wear the compression stockings for at least two weeks in most cases.
If you have varicose veins that need treatment, please contact us at Metro Vein Centers in Houston. Our staff can answer any of your questions and our doctors can assess your situation and make recommendations for treatment. You have nothing to lose but your varicose veins.