Transilluminated powered phlebectomy (TIPP) is a surgical procedure in which a special phlebectomy device is used to remove surface varicose veins. The procedure was developed as an alternative to using a phlebectomy hook. TIPP requires fewer incisions less time to perform, while providing an easier recovery with better cosmetic results.
Transilluminated Powered Phlebectomy: An Overview
How It Works: Transilluminated powered phlebectomy works by removing damaged veins from the body with a powered phlebectomy tool. The procedure involves making a few small incisions (rather than a full series as required with ambulatory phlebectomy and microphlebectomy) and using a tiny light source inserted under the skin to provide increased visibility of damaged veins.
What It Treats: Varicose veins of all sizes are treated with Transilluminated powered phlebectomy, however the procedure can only be performed on veins located near the skin’s surface.
Pros: Transilluminated powered 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. Occasionally the procedure is performed using a combination of local and light general anesthesia, depending on the patient and the discretion of the vascular specialist.
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 fast and individuals can resume normal activities within a few hours. It is advised to avoid strenuous exercise. The vascular specialist performing the vein removal will apply a compression bandage which must be worn for a few days. When the bandage is removed the use of compression stockings helps promote a healthy 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 Transilluminated Powered 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.