An ambulatory phlebectomy is a minimally invasive procedure most often employed to remove bulging superficial veins causing unsightly varicose or spider veins. This procedure can be used as a standalone option or in conjunction with other procedures to treat common vein disorders.
How the Procedure Works
Ambulatory phlebectomy is performed on an outpatient basis, meaning patients will return home on the same day as surgery. Small incisions are made in the skin through which bulging veins are removed, using a specially made hook. Patients will experience minimal to no discomfort as local anesthesia is used during the procedure.
Procedure time largely depends on the number of veins requiring treatment. The procedure is usually performed in our office and requires very little downtime.
Patients will leave the office with small bandages known as Steri-Strips keeping the incisions closed. The Steri-Strips will fall off in time and should not be removed without the direction of your vein specialist. Typically, normal activity is encouraged after the procedure to help healing, however strenuous activity should not be performed for about one week after surgery or until your physician clears it.
Potential Risks of an Ambulatory Phlebectomy
As with any surgical procedure, no matter how minor, there are associated risks. The most common effects of this procedure are inflammation, bruising and redness at the incision sites as well as some discomfort. These effects usually wear off quickly after the procedure and are often managed with anti-inflammatory medication. Some patients will develop subdermal pooling of blood which will cause hard spots under the skin. These usually dissolve in the weeks after surgery.
Significant complications requiring medical attention are not common and are typically mitigated with appropriate aftercare. These may include:
- Infection at the incision sites. Antibiotics may be prescribed for up to two weeks to avoid this. Proper wound care is also important to mitigating this risk
- Blood clots in the superficial veins and/or deep veins may rarely occur. Getting back to normal activity is imperative to help avoid this
- Reaction to the local anesthetic
Your postoperative instruction packet will offer guidance on how to mitigate the risks and considerations of ambulatory phlebotomy as well as the circumstances in which you will need to call our office after the procedure.