Vein stripping may sound intimidating, but the once-complex treatment has come a long way since it was first invented more than two thousand years ago. These days, our vein surgeons can treat varicose veins using minimally invasive, microsurgery techniques. The advanced varicose vein treatment technique, called ambulatory phlebectomy, has turned an older, invasive, hospital procedure into quick, outpatient treatment, with little recovery time needed. This can mean an end to patients’ annoying and painful symptoms from superficial (near the skin’s surface) varicose veins or other types of vein disease. Since varicose veins tend to keep developing, you may need further Cincinnati vein treatment with the same procedure, sclerotherapy injections, laser procedures or other nearly painless methods.
How Ambulatory Phlebectomy is Performed
Ambulatory phlebectomy uses tiny incisions, of a quarter-inch or less, at the top, bottom and along the path of the target vein. First, your skin is cleansed, and treatment areas may be mapped out with a marking pen. We may use ultrasound to pinpoint treatment areas further. You’ll be given a local anesthetic so that you will feel nothing during the procedure. Once it takes effect, the skin covering the vein is slit with a tiny scalpel, or may even be just pierced with a needle. (That’s why this technique is sometimes called a “stab phlebectomy.”) The top incision may be done in the thigh or near the groin, with a lower incision located near the knee or ankle, and other punctures at intervals in between. Next, a thin, hooked vein extractor (like a crocheting hook) is used. In some cases, a flexible plastic wire is threaded through the vein. Using the hook and/or wiring, problem veins (or sections of the vein), are quickly pulled from beneath the skin, through the tiny incisions. Other treatments, like laser ablation, may be used to treat nearby veins if needed. After your varicose vein treatment, no stitches are necessary. You’ll leave with steri-strips or sterile medical tape over the tiny incisions, and you may have a compression bandage or be instructed to wear compression stockings. If you need vein treatment in the other leg, it can be done at a separate visit. You will typically come away with minor bruising, swelling and discomfort, but most patients don’t describe it as painful. Symptoms will fade in the coming days.
Get Expert Cincinnati Vein Treatment
After your procedure, your legs will look and feel better and better, with optimal results seen after several weeks–as shown in our Before & After gallery. Be sure to keep active by walking around after your procedure, avoid sitting for an extended period of time during recovery and follow all other personalized instructions from your vein doctor. To learn if you’re a candidate for ambulatory phlebectomy or other minimally invasive vein treatment, contact Vascular and Interventional Associates today.