What is Phlebectomy?
Phlebectomy is performed through a small 1 mm needle puncture in the skin rather than the much larger scalpel incisions for veins stripping in the past. Topical anesthesia is used to numb the surface of the bulging veins, and a needle like instrument is used to remove the bad veins in the leg. After removing larger varicose veins, the puncture marks are so small, they do not require stitches or result in large scars.
It is very important to note that Ambulatory Phlebectomy is a supplemental procedure to EVLT. Varicose veins on the skin surface arise from an underlying vein source that is refluxing diagnosed with venous ultrasound. In other words, varicose veins that are treated by phlebectomy are only the surface manifestation of an underlying venous insufficiency. As such, it does not make sense to simply remove the varicose veins without treating the underlying problem. For this reason, most insurance companies cover ambulatory phlebectomy only after the EVLT procedure is performed. And as one might expect, the benefits and risks of ambulatory phlebectomy are very similar to those of EVLT. Patients are able to walk out of the office with no down time!
Phlebectomy requires total focus and concentration on the part of the surgeon while utilizing fine-tip instruments through the micropuncture skin opening. Usually only 10 to 20 vein segments can be removed at a time, in one-hour sessions.