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Understanding Ambulatory Phlebectomy

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Understanding Ambulatory Phlebectomy

According to Dr. Robert Handley of the Flower Mound Vein Center, ambulatory phlebectomy has been practiced since ancient times and continues to be one of the most popular treatments for varicose veins. The procedure involves making very small incisions in the skin at the location of the vein, and removing the vein with a hook. Local anesthesia is used, and there is no need for hospitalization, thus the name “ambulatory”. You’ll be back on your feet and on your way after about an hour.

Is Ambulatory Phlebectomy Right for All Dallas, TX Patients?

No treatment is right for everyone. While those with spider veins are more likely to be best treated with sclerotherapy, those with larger bulging vein problems are good candidates for ambulatory phlebectomy. A diagnostic visit at the Flower Mound Vein Center is important, so that you can meet our vein specialists, have a venous health evaluation, and determine the most appropriate treatment options for your particular needs.

What Is the Procedure Like?

You will be offered a mild sedative to take before your procedure; this is optional. If you choose to take it, you will need to bring a friend or family member with you that day to drive or accompany you home.

The first thing your varicose vein doctor will do is mark the varicose veins on your legs that are to be treated. You’ll be standing up, as the veins are easier to see that way. A local anesthetic will be administered to the affected areas, and after a few minutes they will go completely numb. Once you are comfortable, tiny incisions will be made along the vein or veins, and your vein specialists will remove them with a small hook. The incisions are so small there will be minimal to no scarring. When the veins have been removed, the doctor will dress the incisions with bandages and the procedure is over.

You will probably be asked to wear compression stockings every day until your follow up appointment, to help speed healing and to ensure that your body reroutes the blood through healthier veins in the area. You can return home and resume your normal activities that day. However, it is a good idea to avoid vigorous physical activity for a couple of weeks as the legs heal.
Most of our patients report minimal discomfort, but if you experience any pain you can take over the counter analgesics such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil) as needed.

Are the Results of Ambulatory Phlebectomy Permanent?

Generally yes. Veins removed through ambulatory phlebectomy will not “regrow” or recur in any way. However, over time, new varicose veins and spider veins may develop, particularly if you are in a high-risk group for vein disease. Those in high-risk groups include people over age 50, women, those who are obese or overweight, and those who must spend long periods of time on their feet. All of these conditions place extra stress on the legs and particularly on the circulatory system, thus increasing the chances of vein disease. Maintaining a healthy weight and regular physical exercise can relieve the stress and prevent or slow the development of varicose veins and spider veins.

A couple of weeks after your procedure, Dr. Handley or a member of his team will examine your legs to assess the results of the procedure and the need for any further treatments. Many times, one session is all that is needed. However if you do need any further treatment, each procedure will be as quick and painless as the first one.

If you are interested in learning more about ambulatory phlebectomy or any vein disease treatment we offer, please give the Flower Mound Vein Center a call to schedule a consultation. We will consider both your health concerns and your aesthetic concerns as we evaluate your vein condition and help you choose the best treatment technique for you.

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