Varicose veins are unsightly and can even be painful for many patients. One of the least invasive and most effective methods of treating varicose veins is called microphlebectomy. This procedure involves the removal of the varicose veins using very thin, hooked instruments that lift them out of the legs or affected area. The advantage of this approach is that it is minimally invasive and relatively pain-free, making it an attractive vein treatment option for patients hoping to avoid major surgery.
How to Prepare for Your Appointment
Before the day of your procedure, you will meet with doctors to create a treatment plan. The physician will take a thorough medical history, assess the extent of your vein disease, and identify any medical conditions that may impact the microphlebectomy procedure. Your doctor will also discuss medications with you at this time. Because microphlebectomyis not considered major surgery, most patients take over-the-counter pain medications to manage pain at home.
Plan to wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing to your appointment. Also, wear comfortable shoes that are easy to take on and off. You will be able to walk immediately after your microphlebectomy procedure, so comfort is of the utmost importance.
At the Appointment
The microphlebectomy begins with the vascular surgeon administering a local anesthetic to numb the affected area. No general anesthesia is needed. Then, the surgeon will make a series of small incisions before using a tiny, hooked instrument to remove the affected vein. Most patients say that the microphlebectomy procedure is pain-free. Importantly, the incisions are so tiny that no stitches are needed.
Follow-up Care and Recommendations
After your appointment, you may go home immediately. Many patients even drive themselves, although you are welcome to bring a loved one to drive you home. The incisions will be closed with small “steri-strips,” simply paper tape. Additionally, a bandage will cover the incisions to prevent them from getting infected. You should wait 48 hours before removing this bandage. Avoid hot baths or showers during this time to keep the incision site clean.
Most vein doctors recommend wearing compression stockings for one week following your microphlebectomy procedure. Wearing the stockings during the day ensures that blood does not pool in your legs, causing additional vein problems. After seven days, you can resume all regular activities without the compression stockings, including vigorous exercise or swimming. However, many vascular surgeons recommend that you avoid flying in a plane for up to a month following the microphlebectomy. This is to prevent deep vein thrombosis, a potentially dangerous vein condition. If you need to travel via plane for work or pleasure, talk to the vein clinic staff to find out what is safest for you.