While nonsurgical treatment options are often preferred for patients seeking spider vein or varicose vein treatment, sometimes surgery is the best, or only, an option available. Understanding how leg vein removal works can help you determine if surgical varicose vein or spider vein treatment is right for you.
There are two different types of surgical vein removal procedures offered as treatment options. The type of procedure you will have performed will depend upon whether you are seeking treatment for thinner, more superficial spider veins or deeper, more problematic varicose veins.
Surgical spider vein treatment is called ambulatory phlebectomy. Ambulatory phlebectomy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure. The procedure is performed with local anesthesia that is injected directly into the skin near the veins which will be removed.
Before undergoing an ambulatory phlebectomy, your doctor will have you stand up. While standing, your doctor will mark the veins that will need to be removed. Once all veins have been marked, the procedure can begin.
During the procedure to remove your spider veins, your doctor will make small incisions. The incisions will measure approximately 2-3 mm. Once the incisions are made, your doctor will use either a small surgical hook to grab the vein and slowly remove it. While the vein is being removed, your doctor will use a clamp to shut down the vein.
The procedure used to remove varicose veins, called vein stripping and ligation, is similar to ambulatory phlebectomy, but much more involved. Instead of making a small 2-3 mm incision, the doctor makes a larger incision that can measure anywhere from 5 to 10 cm. After the incision has been made, the problematic varicose veins are clamped then removed by turning the and slightly pulling. Due to the procedure for varicose vein removal being more involved, patients are often temporarily put to sleep.
The recovery time for varicose vein removal is longer than the recovery time for spider vein removal. Spider vein removal recovery time is approximately 2 to 3 days while the recovery for varicose vein removal is anywhere from 1 to 4 weeks.
Before surgery is even considered for removal of varicose or spider veins, your doctor will often try other less invasive treatment options. Less invasive treatment options can include compression socks, lifestyle changes, and using injections to seal the veins. If these non-invasive treatment options don’t work, your doctor may consider surgery.
Good candidates for surgery for varicose and spider veins include:
Vascular and Interventional Associates, a vein clinic located in Crestview Hills, Kentucky, can help you explore various spider vein and varicose vein treatment options including surgery. Call us today to schedule an appointment with our vein doctors.