Ambulatory phlebectomy involves the removal of varicose veins through tiny cuts in the skin.
Ambulatory phlebectomy is a procedure that is appropriate for treating varicose veins that are cosmetically visible and either symptomatic or asymptomatic. The procedure, which is performed under local anaesthetic, involves minor key-hole incisions being made in the skin alongside the vein so that the vein can be successfully extracted. The incisions are very small (2 mm) so they do not require stitches, and are likely to only leave a minimal (if any) scaring. Because of the anaesthesia, patients generally do not feel any discomfort or pain during the procedure and the treatment usually takes 30 minutes to 1 hours to perform, depending on the severity and location of the veins. You may be asked to take a short, low impact walk after the procedure has been performed so as to stimulate blood flow around the area. This procedure has been performed for decades and has been refined and improved over that time.
The long term success rate is very high with over 90% of patients reporting no recurrence of their varicose veins. Most patients find that discomfort, pain and discolouration of the damaged vein should be relieved immediately following the procedure. The veins that are removed obviously will not return, however this procedure cannot prevent the emergence of new varicose veins. The best way to reduce the risk of developing new varicose veins is to maintain an active and healthy lifestyle. You will likely be asked to return for a check-up a week or so after the treatment just to examine the progress of the incision area and surrounding veins.
Following the procedure, patients will be required to wear compression stockings for approximately three to four weeks. This helps to minimize swelling and discomfort and will assist with ensuring a better cosmetic outcome. After the damaged vein has been removed, the surrounding healthy veins will absorb the excess blood flow and your function shouldn’t be affected by the damaged vein being removed. Patients should be able to return to work 1-2 days after the procedure, and can resume most of their regular activities following the treatment, though they should remain low impact, making sure to avoid heavy lifting and vigorous exercise.