How an Ambulatory Microphlebectomy Treats Varicose Veins

Healthy Legs


As many as 20% of the population suffers from varicose veins, and a good number wish to have them removed.

Varicose veins are unsightly superficial veins underneath the skin that are typically purple and lumpy. For many people, the issue is purely cosmetic, as they simply do not like the look of the veins.

They most often occur in the legs, though some people have them in their arms.

Other people may wish to have their varicose veins treated because they can cause some uncomfortable symptoms.

The varicose veins can make some people's skin feel tight or itchy around the vein. However, for most people the condition is asymptomatic.

Continue reading for information on how ambulatory microphlebectomy can help you get rid of your varicose veins once and for all.

What are Varicose Veins?

Varicose veins occur when the blood cannot transport properly in the superficial veins in the arms and legs. This leads to the veins becoming "backed up" and the varicose vein appearance occurring.

Who Gets Varicose Veins?

Varicose veins can happen to anyone, though they most often occur in people whose parents have had varicose veins. Others develop them as a result of hormone changes in their body or being overweight. Being overweight increases the pressure in the legs, which can cause the unsightly veins.

Treatment for Varicose Veins

Before the advent of ambulatory microphlebectomy, there were only a few ways you could treat your varicose veins. These were done either extremely conservatively, using compression hose, or very invasively by having surgery.

Compression hose helps the blood flow in your extremities, sending it back to the heart in a more cohesive manner. This can reduce the "back up" in the veins and restore the appearance of them to normal.

More invasive surgery techniques exist, which involve removing the backed up vein completely. Sometimes, this is done under general anesthesia and can take a long time to recover from.

Vein stripping, an invasive surgery, is when the doctor pulls out the entire vein from an incision by the groin. A phlebectomy is when small incisions are made and the doctor pulls out only the bulging part of the vein.

Ambulatory Microphlebectomy

This treatment is an improvement on phlebectomy, as it allows your doctor to remove only the problematic parts of the vein. It is also done in the office without general anesthesia, meaning your recovery time is much speedier than the other invasive options.

The procedure only takes 30 minutes to an hour. During the procedure, your doctor will numb the area around the varicose vein with a local anesthetic. He or she will then make small incisions next to the bulging vein, and then will pull the problem area out with a hook-like instrument.

You will not need stitches after the procedure, meaning you won't have to watch for serious infections or visit the doctor several times to check the status of your wounds.

Instead, your leg or arm will only have small bandages where your doctor made the tiny incisions.

The procedure will not only take away the unsightly veins but will also cure any issues you have pertaining to symptoms of varicose veins.

Immediately post-surgery, however, you may feel tiny knots in the area where surgery was performed. You may also have a loss of sensation in the area where the procedure took place. This is also normal and should resolve over time.

How Soon Can I Resume Normal Activities?

After the procedure, you can resume most activities immediately, however, you should take it easy. You may notice some bruising or swelling at the site, though this will go away over time. Your skin should look normal after 2 weeks.

If you exercise a lot, you should restrict your activities for at least seven days following the procedure. Your doctor can help you decide if you need to take more time off, or if it is acceptable to resume some activities sooner.

What Are the Risks of the Procedure?

Like any surgical procedure, however minor, there are some risks associated with an ambulatory microphlebectomy.

As with any surgery, there is a risk of infection. This is because the doctor is literally cutting into your skin and introducing foreign bacteria. While this is not very common with this procedure, it is still something to consider before having it done.

There is also a risk of the color of your skin changing completely where you had the ambulatory microphlebectomy. This isn't particularly common, but it is not an extremely rare side effect either. Discuss the risks of this happening with your doctor before deciding to have the procedure.

Very rarely, patients will experience bleeding, serious bruising and numbness and tingling. If you experience these symptoms following the procedure, you should follow up with your doctor. Otherwise, he or she will give you a list of symptoms to look out for after the procedure.

Can Varicose Veins Come Back?

There is a chance the varicose veins will come back in the year after the procedure. This is especially true if you are genetically predisposed to them, or you do not make any lifestyle changes to help prevent them.

If you are overweight, you should attempt to lose weight, as this will help prevent the recurrence of varicose veins. You should also invest in a pair of compression stockings, or the equivalent for your arms, to help keep your blood flowing evenly. Although they may not be the most attractive accessory, they will keep your legs and arms from developing the unattractive veins again.

Is Ambulatory Microphlebectomy Right For Me?

If you suffer from varicose veins, speak to your doctor about the possibility of undergoing ambulatory microphlebectomy. He or she will be the best person to let you know if you are a good candidate for the procedure.

For more information on cosmetic procedures and treatments in the Asheville, North Carolina area, visit our website.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.