Phlebectomy is a surgical procedure performed under local anesthetic that treats superficial varicose veins by removing them from the body with a special tool through small incisions made in the skin. The treatment can only be performed on superficial varicose veins, meaning veins located near the skin’s surface. A vascular medicine specialist can help determine if microphlebectomy, ambulatory phlebectomy, or transilluminated powered phlebectomy are the right treatment for your varicose and spider veins.
Phlebectomy: An Overview
How It Works: Phlebectomy works by removing damaged veins from the body with a special tool. The vascular surgeon makes small incisions through which the phlebectomy tool can be inserted into the body to effectively retrieve and eliminate spider veins and surface varicose veins.
What It Treats: Varicose veins of all sizes are treated with phlebectomy.
Pros: Phlebectomy usually only requires one treatment and can be performed under local anesthesia. There is little to no downtime and the procedure can be used in conjunction with other vein treatments.
Cons: Skin irritation may occur.
Alternatives: Vein stripping and ligation are more invasive methods of vein removal.
Type of Procedure: This minor surgical procedure is minimally invasive and can be performed in a doctor’s office setting. For extensive vein removal a general anesthesia may occasionally be used.
Recovery Process: Recovery is very fast and individuals can resume normal activities. It is advised to avoid strenuous exercise for a few days and the use of a compression stocking aids in recovery.
Results: Removal of the damaged veins results in a noticeable decrease in bulging and unsightly veins.
Side Effects: Bruising, swelling, and skin blisters are possible side effects of phlebectomy. Rarely blood clots, infections at incision site, and nerve damage may occur.
Cost/Insurance: Consult your health care practitioner and insurance provider to verify cost and coverage of any vein treatments.
Consult Your Doctor: You should bring any documents necessary to give your doctor an accurate medical history, including recent illnesses and any allergies that you have. Make a list of the medications and supplements that you are currently taking as well as the symptoms that you are feeling. Write down any questions that you have ahead of time and bring them with you. Make sure you understand your doctor’s answers.