What's Involved If My Varicose Veins Are Treated by Ambulatory Phlebectomy?

After months spent indoors, it's only natural to want to enjoy the warm weather having backyard barbecues and taking walks in the park. For people with varicose veins, however, the idea of wearing shorts and dresses may be less appealing. The good news is ambulatory phlebectomy can rid legs of unsightly veins with no pain or significant down time for recovery.

Here at the North Shore Vein Center, a nationally-recognized center for excellence in Lake Success, New York, Dr. Mark Schwartz and our specially trained team provide innovative minimally-invasive treatments for a wide variety of vein issues. Whether you're looking to treat facial veins, spider veins, varicose veins or more, we can help.

Varicose veins

Varicose veins are enlarged, twisting, and swollen veins that are frequently blue or purple in color. They occur when there is an issue with the veins that return blood to the heart. Even under the best of circumstances, gravity makes it a challenge for blood to move upward from the feet and legs. 

In healthy veins, valves assist in the process. With varicose veins, faulty valves permit blood to move in the wrong direction or to pool.

Symptoms

Symptoms can vary from person to person. Most often there is no pain, though some individuals may feel achiness and/or heaviness particularly after working out or at night. Swollen ankles can occur along with skin issues like a shiny discoloration, eczema, or white patches that appear similar to scars. Restless legs syndrome and bleeding for a longer period than normal are additional potential side effects.

Risk factors

Varicose veins strike approximately one in three people and there are a number of risk factors. Being older than age 50 can increase the likelihood of varicose veins, as can being overweight or obese. There may be a genetic component to them as well since they often run in families. In addition, hormones likely play a role since they strike women more often than men, particularly during pregnancy and menopause. Standing for extended periods of time can also contribute.

Ambulatory phlebectomy

There are a number of treatment options available for varicose veins and treatment is customized for each individual's situation for the best possible outcome.

One common procedure is an ambulatory phlebectomy, also known as "hook" phlebectomy. Typically, veins are marked and a local anesthesia is administered into the skin. Next, segments of bulging veins are removed through very small incisions.

The procedure is done in our office and takes only 30 to 60 minutes. Compression stockings are worn following treatment, but otherwise there are no major side effects or the need to take time off from work. The small incisions typically heal with no scars.

If you're tired of having to wear pants or long skirts to hide bulging unsightly veins, call our office at 516-231-1934 to learn more about ambulatory phlebectomy and find out if it's right for you.

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