Phlebectomy is a surgical procedure that refers to complete removal of a visible varicose vein through a series of miniature incisions. Having removed thousands of veins with his personal version of this technique, our physicians are convinced convinced that this procedure leads to quicker healing, less pain and a better cosmetic result than other techniques commonly used by other vein specialists. Most of the results seen in the photo gallery were obtained, at least in part, by phlebectomy. Although sealing unseen feeder veins will cause the visible varicose veins to shrink, by adding a phlebectomy, the veins will immediately be gone forever.
The vein to be removed is first studied with ultrasound so that any feeding source can be treated, either as a staged procedure or at the same time. The visible vein is outlined with a skin marker, using ultrasound and special lighting techniques to carefully mark deeper parts of the vein that will also be removed. The vein is then freed from the skin and fat through a series of 1/8″ cuts and removed with a surgical instrument resembling a tiny sharp crochet hook. The cuts are then closed usually with small surgical tapes only. Depending on the size and length of the vein to be removed, this procedure is done with local anesthesia at Sonoma Vein outpatient surgery center. This procedure is possible because even the largest varicose veins, when the blood is milked out, will collapse like a deflated balloon and can be slid out through the tiny cuts. The entire procedure is done under magnification.
Surprisingly, there is little pain during and after the procedure. A tugging sensation may be felt when the vein is actually removed. Most patients report little pain during healing, and the minor discomfort is usually relieved with ibuprofen. All patients are offered stronger prescription pain medicine to use if necessary.
Most of the healing process is completed in two to three weeks, although the final cosmetic appearance, like any surgical procedure, may take several months. Most patients experience immediate improvement in their preoperative symptoms and appearance of the leg, since the troublesome vein is now gone forever.