What is ambulatory phlebectomy?
Ambulatory phlebectomy is an outpatient procedure, performed under local anesthesia, to remove unsightly and sometimes painful varicose veins. To perform the procedure, Dr. Alfieri inserts a small needle under the skin next to the enlarged vein, making a tiny incision. Through this incision, he then inserts a hook with which he grabs the vein and removes it. Ambulatory phlebectomy not only removes the vein but also decreases the chance of its recurrence better than other removal procedures.
What exactly does the procedure entail?
The patient starts in a standing position so that Dr. Alfieri can mark the vein or veins that are to be removed with a surgical marker. It is easier to identify veins when the patient is standing. Once the veins are marked, the patient lays down and his or her leg is prepped with an antiseptic solution and local anesthetic. When the treatment area is numbed, Dr. Alfieri makes the tiny incision over the vein, inserts the hook and removes it. The incisions used are so tiny that sutures are not necessary, nor is there likely to be any noticeable scarring. Fluids from the treatment area are absorbed with a pad. The area is then wrapped with a compression bandage, which should remain in place for about two days. Sometimes, patients require a minimally invasive endovenous catheter procedure or PIN stripping procedure in addition to the phlebectomy.
What does recovery entail?
Patients are able to walk and resume their normal daily activities immediately following the procedure. They may experience some temporary bruising and swelling in the treatment area, but there shouldn’t be any pain. When the compression bandages are removed in a few days, patients are usually advised to wear compression stockings for several weeks to facilitate healing. Other than that, and keeping the area clean, no post-op care is required by the patient.