Ambulatory phlebectomy

This is a minimally invasive procedure which is used to treat large varicose veins. It is a viable alternative to other procedures such as vein ligation and stripping and is performed as a day case.

Tiny incisions are made in the legs and the damaged veins removed via a series of hooks. This results in a minimal amount of scarring.

Ambulatory phlebectomy procedure

Your legs will then be marked with a special surgical marker pen. This enables the specialist to see which veins are causing the problem and need to be removed.

Once this has been done your legs will be injected with a local anaesthetic which helps to numb the area. It also expands this area by enabling the damaged veins to be pulled away from the surrounding tissue.

It also minimises any post-procedural bleeding.

A series of tiny incisions are made over the damaged veins which are then removed by hooks. These incisions are small enough to not require any stitches but they will allow any excess fluid to drain away.

Once the targeted veins have been removed, an absorbent pad is placed against the leg to mop up any excess fluid. A compression dressing is then applied to the leg.

Recovery after ambulatory phlebectomy

You will have to wear this compression bandage for up to 48 hours following this procedure. This is followed by wearing compression stockings for two to three weeks until the incisions have completely healed.

Move around as much as you can during this time. You can return to your normal day to day activities which include exercise but do not overdo it. Avoid lifting any heavy weights or standing for long periods of time.

You should be able to return to work a day or two after this procedure. If your job requires you to be on your feet for a long time then see if you can have breaks where you can sit down or a temporary change of duties.

Advantages of ambulatory phlebectomy

The use of a local anaesthetic means less risk of trauma and a shorter recovery period. Many patients find that they are up and about as soon as possible and back at work soon after.

Another factor is that there is less risk of any side effects or complications often associated with other similar procedures or open surgery. One example of this is scarring: there is little or no scarring as a result of this procedure.

There is also less risk of a recurrence of varicose veins.

Disadvantages of ambulatory phlebectomy

No procedure is 100% risk free.  Even though there are fewer risks than with other procedures there is still the chance of developing side effects such as an infection or bleeding.

The likelihood of these happening is very small due to the fact that this procedure uses small incisions rather than one large opening in the skin.

Possible risk of tingling, numbness and skin discolouration but again, this tends to be rare.

Guide to Varicose Veins

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