If you’re dealing with varicose veins, you may be wondering what your treatment options are, or whether treatment is even necessary. At North Texas Vein and Vascular in Flower Mound, TX, a phlebectomy is one of the various treatments we can provide to our patients.
Why Would You Need a Phlebectomy?
Improve Your Comfort
A phlebectomy is able to offer many benefits. Since this is a treatment for varicose veins, it can drastically improve comfort for patients who are dealing with painful symptoms due to their swollen veins. It is a particularly helpful treatment for larger, bulging varicose veins, which are the type of veins that are most likely to cause discomfort.
While the discomfort associated with enlarged veins can vary, many patients find that their varicose veins bother them on a daily basis. The symptoms can make it difficult to sit for long periods of time, or to get a good night’s sleep. Ultrasound technology can be helpful during treatment. It can be used to locate hidden veins that could be contributing to your symptoms, as some varicose veins are hidden where they can’t be seen with the naked eye.
Boost Your Confidence
Another common reason patients seek out treatment for veins is because of their appearance. As blood pools in varicose veins, it can cause the veins to bloat and change shape and color.
This can make patients self-conscious. They may try to hide the vein by only wearing certain types of clothes. They may also find themselves avoiding their favorite old outfits. By treating the veins, patients can enjoy being comfortable in their own skin and favorite outfits again.
Everyone knows that staying active is an important part of living a healthy lifestyle. Painfully swollen veins can interfere with healthy activity levels, as some varicose veins can limit the patient’s range of motion. Sore veins may discourage patients from being as active as they should be, which can actually make the symptoms worse. Patients may find that once their legs feel better, it becomes easier and more comfortable to exercise.
Improve Energy Levels
Some patients find that their symptoms get gradually worse in the evening, right when they want to be winding down to get a good night’s sleep. Their legs may become restless, or begin to itch and throb all throughout the night.
Even if the patient is able to sleep through it, their sleep may not be as restful as it should be. Treating the veins may help the patient achieve better rest and improve their energy levels.
Protect Your Health
Comfort and appearance are two primary motivators for vein treatment, but health reasons should also be considered. Untreated veins can progressively worsen over time. This, in turn, can cause the patient’s symptoms to get worse over the years. There are several health concerns untreated varicose veins can contribute to.
You may notice that large varicose veins can be felt since they often protrude from the skin. Veins like this are more likely to break if you scrape your leg or snag the vein on something. Since the skin over a varicose vein may already be thinned out and under stress, it may not take much for the skin to break and the vein to bleed.
This can be an inconvenience anywhere, but especially if you’re out of the house and find yourself having to stop the bleeding.
Many patients are surprised to hear that vein issues can contribute to skin issues. Swollen veins put additional strain and pressure on the skin. As we mentioned before, this can make bleeding more likely, but it can also lead to ulcers. This condition, known as a venous ulcer, often starts as a patch of red skin around the varicose vein.
As the ulcer develops, it can enlarge and become an open sore. Without treating the cause behind it, these sores can be tricky to manage and may get larger over time. If the vein is treated before an ulcer has the chance to worsen, you could save yourself a lot of trouble.
Varicose veins put patients at an increased risk of suffering blood clots. Limited blood flow, weakened vein walls, and the shape of the vein can all contribute to the possibility of a blood clot. Superficial thrombophlebitis is a type of swelling that can indicate a blood clot.
If you have varicose veins, it’s important to keep an eye out for any changes to the vein, including worsening symptoms, swelling, or redness. Thankfully, treating varicose veins can help decrease your risk of having to deal with this painful condition.
Deep Vein Thrombosis
Also known as DVT, deep vein thrombosis is a type of clot that develops deeper in the body. Untreated DVT can be deadly, especially if the clot develops in a large varicose vein, since a large clot moving up to the lungs can be disastrous. Checking for and removing deeper, hidden varicose veins can help protect you from DVT.
FAQs About Your Phlebectomy
1. What Happens During My Treatment?
We will be able to answer your questions more specifically during a consultation, which is also when we can help you determine if this or one of our other treatments is the right call for your needs. Once you feel comfortable, and we have the information we need, we can move forward with scheduling your Phlebectomy treatment.
During the treatment, your vein will be carefully and accurately marked. Then we will be able to make a series of small incisions, each one only about 2mm wide. Tiny hooks are used to gently guide the problem vein out for treatment. After the vein has been treated, the blood that used to pool in this vein will re-route and use healthy veins instead.
2. How Long Will It Take?
As far as vein treatments go, this one is very fast. While the timeline may change depending on how many veins you’re treating and where the veins are, simple treatments can often be carried out within an hour.
3. Who Is at Risk of Getting Varicose Veins?
If you don’t have varicose veins yet but are concerned you may get them, you may be looking to better understand your risk levels. The truth is, anyone can develop varicose veins, but some people are more at risk than others. When the valves that tell blood in our veins where to go stop working correctly, blood may begin to pool. This leads to the development of varicose veins.
Patients that struggle with obesity, have been pregnant, or spend most of their day sitting may all be more at risk of developing vein issues. Seniors are more likely to develop varicose veins, and patients with a family history of vein issues may also be more likely to get them. Taking good care of your vascular health and staying active can help reduce your risk levels or improve your symptoms.
4. Can I Treat Spider Veins and Varicose Veins at the Same Time?
While it is an excellent treatment for varicose veins of many different sizes, a phlebectomy is not a common way to treat spider veins. If you have spider veins that you’d like to reduce the appearance of, feel free to let us know and we can share our recommendations with you.
5. How Are Spider and Varicose Veins Different?
Varicose veins are larger than spider veins, and more likely to have negative side effects associated with them. Spider veins are generally a cosmetic concern. They got their name due to their thin, web-like appearance, and can appear anywhere on the body.
Spider veins can be seen on the surface of the skin, but usually can’t be felt. On the other hand, if a varicose vein is close enough to the surface of the skin, it will usually “pop out” slightly and cause uneven skin texture.
6. Is Vein Stripping the Same Thing as a Phlebectomy?
While both of these treatments can effectively treat varicose veins, the approach is different. Phlebectomies are considered a minimally invasive, new and improved approach. In contrast, vein stripping requires total vein removal, which can be a fairly involved process.
While vein stripping is not the most common approach anymore, it may be a good option for some patients. That said, we offer a variety of varicose vein treatments, all of which have the goal of being as gentle on the patient as possible.
Ready To Learn More About Your Options?
We know finding the right treatment is a challenge, and we also understand that each patient has individual needs. During a consultation, we’ll be able to talk about your options and give you our professional opinion on which treatment we believe is the best fit for you. If you’re ready to learn more, reach out to us at North Texas Vein and Vascular in Flower Mound, TX, today to schedule your consultation.