Varicose veins may be a distracting problem. The condition is known for its cosmetic complications but also causes symptoms such as aching, burning, itching, pain, and more. There are several very good reasons to have varicose vein treated. As we have learned from patients of our Los Angeles area office, good reasons for varicose vein treatment don’t always override the questions one has about what their recommended treatment would be like. Here, we discuss microphlebectomy, what it involves, and what patients can expect.
What is Microphlebectomy?
Microphlebectomy is a form of vein removal. This is a far cry from the “vein stripping” phlebectomy procedures that were common several decades ago. It is the micro-technique that makes all the difference in what patients experience during and after their procedure. The minimally invasive microsurgery is much more comfortable than one may imagine and is actually an optimal treatment option for many patients with varicose veins.
Preparing for Microphlebectomy
To reach any conclusion about potential treatment options for varicose veins, it is first necessary to have veins carefully evaluated. Dr. Lee begins her treatment protocol with a thorough consultation and review of a patient’s medical history and lifestyle habits. Ultrasound examination may also be performed to fully assess the severity of venous insufficiency.
The Microphlebectomy Procedure
Patients are advised to wear comfortable clothing to their microphlebectomy procedure but may be given a hospital gown to wear for the surgery itself. Before beginning, Dr. Lee administers a local anesthetic into superficial tissue to numb the nerves around the vein or veins. No other anesthesia is needed because the local significantly diminishes sensation. After the area is numb, several tiny incisions are made. A small instrument is inserted through the nick in the skin to grasp the vein and remove a small section. The process is continued through each pinhole perforation until the entire vein has been removed. The incisions are so small that they will close on their own without stitches.
Microphlebectomy is an outpatient procedure. After incisions are bandaged with small strips, patients may drive themselves home or be driven by a loved one. The bandages need to stay in place for 48 hours. During these first two days of recovery, patients should avoid hot showers, baths, hot tubs, and saunas. We may recommend wearing compression socks for a week after treatment to promote sufficient blood flow through the legs. After a week, all normal activities can be resumed, including swimming and more strenuous exercise.