How Ambulatory Phlebectomy Differs from Vein Stripping

Written By Center for Vein Restoration
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In the past, the only effective way to treat bulging, twisting varicose veins was to remove them through surgery. Known as vein stripping, this procedure involved significant discomfort and downtime, discouraging many patients from seeking treatment at all. Fortunately, traditional surgical procedures have given way to less invasive methods of treatment varicose veins today. One of those techniques, ambulatory phlebectomy, is often confused with more invasive vein stripping, but the two procedures are actually quite different.

The Problem with Vein Stripping

Vein ligation and stripping is a surgical procedure usually performed in a hospital under general anesthesia. The surgery involves the removal of most or all of the entire greater saphenous vein, the main vein in the leg that runs from the ankle to the groin. While this procedure would effectively treat varicose veins, it also required extensive incisions and an extended recovery period. Today, physicians have discovered that removal of the greater saphenous vein is no longer necessary and the GSV is simply closed using other methods in the large majority of varicose vein patients.

What is Ambulatory Phlebectomy?

Ambulatory phlebectomy is a minimally-invasive surgical procedure that removes varicose veins from the body. Unlike vein stripping, this procedure can be performed in the physician’s office, using local anesthesia. The procedure also minimizes incision size, using special tools that can enter the leg through much smaller openings to remove an affected vein in tiny sections. In some practices such as AVVC, a needle is often used on the numbed area to make a tiny opening that fades completely.

Ambulatory phlebectomy involves minimal discomfort and downtime. Most patients will not require any prescription narcotics after treatment, since most discomfort can be sufficiently managed through ice packs and over-the-counter medication. Downtime is also minimal, with the majority of patients returning to work and regular activities the day after the procedure.

Permanent Results, Less Pain

Like vein stripping, ambulatory phlebectomy physically removes the vein from the body, offering a permanent solution to painful and unsightly varicose veins. In most cases, ambulatory phlebectomy is considered the last stage of treatment for the largest varicose veins, replacing vein stripping as the method of choice for these vessels. For many patients, even less invasive treatments using radiofrequency energy, laser therapy or injections can eliminate those veins with even less disruption to their daily lives.

At Center for Vein Restoration, we offer the latest in vein treatments to help you say goodbye to varicose and spider veins for good. Procedures are performed on an outpatient basis and most take less than an hour to complete. Patients are home the same day and back to work the next, making these treatments a desirable option for most. If you would like to learn more about ambulatory phlebectomy or other methods of vein treatment, contact Center for Vein Restoration.

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