Millions of people have varicose veins — up to 35% of Americans. If you’re one of them, having a phlebectomy procedure could be the solution you're looking for to get rid of painful symptoms.
Varicose veins happen when tiny valves inside your veins stop functioning, allowing blood to “back up” and causing your veins to swell. While the purplish look of varicose veins might be their most recognizable symptom, many people with damaged veins also have aching pain, cramps, swelling, and other uncomfortable symptoms.
Anthony B. Lewis MD, FACC and his team offer phlebectomy to patients at TLC Medical Group, Inc, in Port St. Lucie, Florida, as one of several treatment options designed to combat varicose veins. Here’s how a phlebectomy works and what to expect during your phlebectomy appointment.
Phlebectomy is often the “go-to” treatment for larger varicose veins, especially those associated with painful symptoms. The goal of phlebectomy is to eliminate the diseased vein, allowing blood to “reroute” itself to neighboring veins.
Phlebectomy is a minimally invasive procedure that uses one or more incisions through your skin to access the damaged vein. Dr. Lewis uses a special surgical instrument to grasp the vein and remove it, closing off the “ends” to prevent bleeding.
While there are other varicose vein treatments, phlebectomy is often recommended for larger, symptomatic veins because it works right away. After a phlebectomy, your symptoms will be gone and so will your circulatory problem caused by the damaged vein. Other treatments can take some time before symptoms are relieved, and depending on the size of the vein, they may require repeated treatments.
Before recommending phlebectomy, Dr. Lewis performs a comprehensive vein evaluation to determine the cause of your varicose veins and assess the vein that’s being treated. When phlebectomy is recommended, he performs the procedure as an outpatient visit.
At the beginning of your phlebectomy visit, Dr. Lewis cleanses the skin over the vein, then injects a local anesthetic to completely numb the area so you stay comfortable. Next, he makes one or more incisions over the vein, allowing him to carefully and gently remove the vein using the special surgical tool.
Once the vein is removed, he closes the incisions using a special medical adhesive or, less often, one or two sutures. Next, he applies a compression bandage to the area to decrease swelling and aid in healing. Your circulatory system automatically reroutes your blood to neighboring veins.
Afterward, you’ll need to restrict your activities for a short period during the initial stages of healing. Our team will provide you with complete instructions regarding your activity level, how to care for the incision sites, and what to do to improve healing. That will include information about your compression bandages, elevating the area, and using over-the-counter pain relievers or cold compresses to relieve minor swelling.
It’s easy to think of varicose veins as a cosmetic problem, but some varicose veins are a sign of a more serious underlying circulatory problem. Having your varicose veins evaluated is the first step toward diagnosing those potentially serious problems.
Phlebectomy is a time-tested solution for larger, varicose veins, including veins that cause both cosmetic and functional problems. To learn how we can help you find relief from your varicose veins, call 772-200-3840 or book an appointment online with the team at TLC Medical Group today.