Approximately 23% of adults in the U.S. have varicose veins. They are generally more common in older women than men, and they tend to appear in the legs. Varicose veins are not generally a serious medical concern, but they can be uncomfortable or lead to complications.
A microphlebectomy is one of the best treatment options for varicose veins. At Beach Cities Vein & Laser Center in El Segundo, CA, we offer microphlebectomy procedures and many other vein treatments. Read on to learn more.
What Are Varicose Veins?
Varicose veins are veins that have become swollen and twisted. Any veins that are close to the skin’s surface can become varicose, but leg veins are the most common culprit because walking and standing put pressure on the lower body veins.
Milder versions of varicose veins are called spider veins. These are smaller, often red or blue, and can appear on the face or other areas.
For most people, varicose and spider veins are a cosmetic concern, but for others, they can create discomfort or even lead to more serious health issues.
Causes of Varicose Veins
Increased blood pressure in the veins can cause varicose veins. Arteries carry blood from the heart to the rest of the body, and veins carry blood back to the heart. Veins have one-way valves that do that job, but if the valves weaken or become damaged, blood collects in the veins. This causes them to swell and even twist.
Some risk factors that can increase the chances of developing varicose veins include:
- Sex, with women being more likely to develop varicose veins
- Family history and genetics
- Standing or sitting for long periods
- Taking oral contraceptives
How we treat your varicose veins will depend on your overall health and medical history, the extent of the condition, your preferences, and your goals.
What Is a Microphlebectomy?
One of the treatment options we offer is a microphlebectomy, also called an ambulatory phlebectomy. It is an outpatient procedure suitable for veins that are too small for lasers or for those that are too large to treat with sclerotherapy. This treatment option does not require general anesthesia or sutures.
We use small, slit-like incisions during the ambulatory phlebectomy to remove affected vein sections. After removing the sections, the remaining vein sections clot, eliminating the bruised, bulging areas.
Microphlebectomies have a lower varicose vein recurrence rate than sclerotherapy. They also allow you to get back to your life right after the procedure, and because we don’t use general anesthesia, preparing for treatment is simple.
Most insurance providers cover this option, as well.
Candidates for an Ambulatory Phlebectomy
If you have varicose veins that affect your appearance or that cause complications like cramping, persistent pain, or discoloration, a microphlebectomy can be appropriate.
People who take blood-thinning medication, have clotting issues, have severe edema or cellulitis in the same areas as the varicose veins, or have an active skin infection should consider alternative treatments.
Preparing for a Microphlebectomy
During our consultation, we will take a full medical history to ensure this is the best treatment option. Let us know about the medications you take, including herbal supplements and vitamins.
We recommend you drink plenty of water before the procedure. If we give you an oral sedative, take it one hour before the appointment and arrange for someone to drive you home. Make sure to bring your compression stockings with you to the appointment and to wear loose and comfortable clothing.
During the Procedure
We will mark the area where the treatment will happen and apply a local anesthetic. Once the area is numb, we will create small incisions along the vein path and use a surgical hook to gently extract the damaged vein sections. Because the cuts are so small, there may be no need for stitches.
Once we finish the procedure, we will place steri-strips on the incisions and then apply a dressing over the entire area. The procedure can take between 30 and 60 minutes, depending on the size of the treatment area. You can then walk out of our center and return home.
There is no downtime for this procedure, and you can return to regular activities right after. We actually encourage you to walk because it promotes blood flow, accelerating the healing process in the treatment area.
However, you should avoid strenuous exercise for a couple of weeks after the procedure and wear your compression stockings for a few days. We also recommend you elevate your legs three or four times a day for a few minutes.
We will schedule a follow-up appointment to remove the dressings and check on the healing process. Until we recommend you remove your compression stockings, keep them in place, and do not soak your legs in baths or hot tubs.
The results are immediate after an ambulatory phlebectomy, and they will keep improving as you recover.
Get Rid of Varicose Veins
Whether you are unhappy with the appearance that varicose veins give your legs or other affected areas or you are experiencing discomfort or pain, a microphlebectomy can be the solution. This minimally invasive outpatient procedure could offer the results you want without any downtime.
At Beach Cities Vein & Laser Center in El Segundo, CA, we perform ambulatory phlebectomies, endovenous laser treatments, radiofrequency ablations, and many other procedures for varicose and spider veins.
With our state-of-the-art medical facility and our highly trained and caring staff, you can receive the treatment you need in a safe and comfortable environment. Contact us now to make an appointment.