About one in three adults in the United States has varicose veins. While some people never treat these prominently swollen and abnormally twisted leg varicosities, many women and men decide to have them removed with one of the many minimally invasive treatment options available today, such as:
- Visual sclerotherapy
- Ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy
- Radiofrequency ablation
In certain cases, however, Dr. Johnny L. Serrano, an experienced, board-certified general surgeon in Glendale, Arizona, may recommend an ambulatory phlebectomy as the best treatment option for an unsightly, irritating, or problematic varicose vein.
Done right here in our office at Precision Surgery and Advanced Vein Therapy, this minimally invasive, maximally effective procedure provides complete, immediate resolution of unwanted varicose veins. Here’s when it may be the right solution for you.
What is an ambulatory phlebectomy?
An ambulatory phlebectomy, also called a microphlebectomy, is a minimally invasive varicose vein treatment that uses a series of tiny “micro-incisions” to access and remove a varicose vein. These incisions are so small they don’t require stitches — just bandages.
To perform a phlebectomy, Dr. Serrano starts by marking the skin to outline the unwanted vein. Then, he numbs the treatment area with a local anesthetic, and makes small, slit-like incisions at various points along the targeted vein. Finally, he uses a specialized tool to grab and remove the unwanted vein, section by section.
Once the problematic vein is completely gone, Dr. Serrano places bandages over each incision and helps you slip your leg into a graduated compression stocking, which you must wear for at least a week or as directed. You can walk immediately after the procedure.
When is a phlebectomy recommended?
The fundamental difference between a phlebectomy and other minimally invasive varicose vein treatment options is that it surgically removes the problematic vein to provide instant and total symptom relief.
Treatments like sclerotherapy and radiofrequency ablation, on the other hand, use chemical agents or heat energy to irritate an unwanted vein from the inside, causing it to collapse and be reabsorbed by the body. Although these treatments do cause a fairly rapid collapse, it can take days or weeks for the treated vein to gradually fade away.
So, when is a phlebectomy a better option than other vein treatment options? Dr. Serrano may recommend the complete vein removal procedure if your vein:
- Is superficial (situated just beneath your skin)
- Doesn’t twist inward, away from your skin
- Is large, swollen, protruding, or unsightly
- Is painful, itchy, or generally uncomfortable
- Didn’t respond fully to a previous vein treatment
Dr. Serrano may also advise you to have a phlebectomy if the severity of your varicose vein puts you at an increased risk of complications like leg swelling, open wounds (venous ulcers), vein bleeding, or blood clots.
A phlebectomy is also an ideal, final solution for the “grape-like” cluster varicosities that may be more likely to persist after sclerotherapy or radiofrequency ablation.
Benefits of phlebectomy vein removal
A phlebectomy is rarely used to treat smaller varicose veins, and it isn’t a good option for varicose veins that partially lie deeper inside your legs, away from the surface of your skin. It also isn’t a viable option if you have any blood clots, or if you’re at high risk of developing a blood clot.
If a phlebectomy is a good option for your larger, superficial varicose vein, you can expect the procedure to provide several benefits, including:
- Complete vein removal
- Immediate symptom relief
- Improved leg vein health
- Minimal or no downtime
- Quick healing and recovery
You don’t have to live with unwanted varicose veins. Call 623-321-5663 to learn more about the vein removal solution at Precision Surgery and Advanced Vein Therapy in Glendale, Arizona, or use the easy online booking feature to schedule a visit with Dr. Serrano today.