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Phlebectomy

Phlebectomy is a minimally-invasive surgical procedure that removes surface varicose veins. There are two basic types of phlebectomy: Ambulatory and Transilluminated Powered Phlebectomy (TIPP).

Ambulatory Phlebectomy

An ambulatory phlebectomy is usually performed in a doctor’s office using local anesthesia. First, a local anesthetic fluid is injected into the area of varicose vein clusters to be treated. The doctor then uses a small scalpel or needle to puncture the skin next to the varicose vein, inserts a small hook into the hole, grasps the vein and removes it. The area is covered with a compression bandage and/or compression stockings. No stitches are required and the scars are nearly imperceptible. The patient is able to walk immediately following the procedure, which is often performed following the VenaCure EVLT™ procedure to remove any large surface veins left behind after the procedure. The possible risks of ambulatory phlebectomy include an allergic reaction to the anesthetic and localized numbness.

Transilluminated Powered Phlebectomy

Transilluminated Powered Phlebectomy (TIPP) is similar to ambulatory phlebectomy but slightly more invasive. It is performed on an outpatient basis in an operating room under light anesthesia. After making two small incisions near the varicose vein, the surgeon inserts a tumescent canula illuminator (TCI) that contains a fiber optic light that makes the veins easily visible. Fluid containing a local anesthetic is infused under the skin, loosening the vein from the surrounding tissue. A vein remover instrument is guided to the vein, which is suctioned into the instrument where it is cut into small pieces and removed. Thanks to the large amount of local anesthetic used, patients usually awake without any pain and are able to return home in about an hour. They can return to their normal activities immediately and to work within a few days. Strenuous activity should be limited for up to two weeks. As with any surgery, there are some potential complications including a risk of infection and hyperpigmentation (skin discoloration).


[Sources: http://www.phlebology.org/patientinfo/treatment.html,
http://www.radiologyinfo.org/en/pdf/phlebectomy.pdf]