For patients who are not good candidates for sclerotherapy, there are many other vein treatment options to choose from. Mini-phlebectomies are a good choice for patients who have larger varicose veins that won’t respond well to sclerotherapy. Mini-phlebectomy actually removes varicose veins through tiny incisions in the leg using a miniature hook device. The incisions are so small that no stitches are required, speeding up the recovery process. The procedure is performed by Dr. Ebanks’ under local anesthesis, sedation or general anesthesia, and patients often return to most of their regular activities directly after treatment.
Dr. Ebanks’ experience in phlebology has given her the training necessary to complete mini-phlebectomies safely and effectively. Patients are kept comfortable during the procedure and experience few, if any, side effects during recovery. The procedure effectively removes the entire problematic vein, so no further treatment is necessary. However, patients with multiple varicose vein issues may benefit from a combination of procedures that address each individual problem with minimally invasive techniques and little recovery time. If you are unhappy with the appearance of your larger varicose veins, we would be happy to talk to you about your options in vein removal.
What are Varicose Veins?
Varicose veins are knotted, enlarged or twisting blood vessels that bulge outward from the skin’s surface. They can appear anywhere on the body, but most often occur on the legs, feet and ankles. While not a sign of a serious medical issue, they are a symptom of venous insufficiency and may be accompanied by swelling, discomfort or throbbing that can worsen if left untreated. Most patients develop varicose veins later in life, but some younger patients may also suffer from this problem due to things like poor health or genetics.
Risk factors for varicose veins include the following:
- The aging process
- Hormonal changes
- Family history
- Family Sedentary lifestyle
- Lack of activity
Although women are more likely than men to have varicose veins, anyone can develop this condition. Varicose veins affect one in three adults, and any vein in the body can become varicose as the valves weaken and allow the blood to reverse and begin pooling.
What Causes Varicose Veins?
The body is a roadmap of thousands of veins, which are responsible for delivering deoxygenated blood back to the heart. Healthy veins are able to do this without issue through the use of one-way valves that prevent blood from flowing backward. But these valves can weaken with age and begin to fail, causing blood flow to reverse or reflux and pool in the lower veins, usually in the legs or feet. When the body cannot move the blood upward and back to your heart effectively, venous pressure increases and affected blood vessels begin to twist and knot. Eventually, they start to bulge and become varicose, protruding from the surface of the skin.
How are Varicose Veins Diagnosed?
Varicose veins are visible through the surface of the skin and easily identified by their appearance: bulging, knotted and twisted veins that protrude outward. Because any vein can become varicose, affected blood vessels might be closer to the skin’s surface, while others may be located deeper within the body. Some people don’t experience any physical or visible signs of varicose veins, or if they do, they fail to recognize them because the symptoms develop gradually. Varicose veins can range from mild to severe, and symptoms may include:
- Bulging, cord-like veins in the feet, legs or ankles
- An achy, tired or heavy feeling in the legs
- Burning, throbbing, swelling or muscle cramps in the legs or feet
- Swollen feet or ankles
- Itchiness in affected areas
- Skin discoloration around varicose veins
If varicose veins are left untreated, more serious symptoms can develop, which may include painful ulcers or sores, an increased risk of blood clots, inflammation and bleeding. During your appointment, Dr. Ebanks can ascertain the extent and severity of your varicose veins to determine if you’re at risk of these and other complications. Removing the affected blood vessels with mini-phlebectomy can help to improve your overall health and comfort.
Mini-Phlebectomy for the Treatment of Varicose Veins
Varicose veins are most often treated with sclerotherapy or endovenous ablation, but those that are larger may require a different approach. Mini-phlebectomy is a minimally invasive technique that removes varicose veins through a small incision made in the legs. These incisions allow Dr. Ebanks to access the affected blood vessels and use a specialized, hook-like tool to pull the vein toward the surface of the skin for easy and effective removal. This technique may be guided by ultrasound imaging, allowing physicians to direct the surgery externally with improved accuracy, making it much less invasive than traditional vein stripping. General anesthesia, sedation or local anesthesia is used during the procedure to ensure your comfort, so you should feel no pain or discomfort while the affected blood vessels are being removed. Mini-phlebectomies are performed in-office and can take between 30 minutes to an hour to complete, but this may vary depending on the severity or extent of your varicose veins. No pre-treatment preparations are necessary, and you’re able to return home after a 30 minutes walk. This technique can effectively remove larger varicose veins in a single treatment, but additional procedures may be advised if multiple blood vessels are affected. Depending on your needs, Dr. Ebanks will develop a customized treatment plan tailored to your needs and recommend the right combination of treatments for you.
What Happens After a Mini-Phlebectomy?
Mini-phlebectomy is an effective treatment for large or stubborn varicose veins with little to no downtime. Because the incisions made are so small, most of the time no stitches are required, allowing for a quick and painless recovery. You might notice some bruising in treated areas, but this is normal and should resolve on its own. Patients are free to return home after their procedure and most can resume walking normally immediately. In fact, Dr. Ebanks usually encourages some light walking to improve blood circulation and aid in the recovery process. She may also recommend the use of compression stockings for a specified amount of time to minimize the risk of complications and side effects such as bruising.
Benefits of Mini-Phlebectomy
Mini-phlebectomies provide a number of benefits over more invasive techniques used in the treatment of varicose veins. If you have unwanted varicose veins that are large, stubborn or didn’t respond to other treatments, then a mini-phlebectomy may be right for you. Advantages of this treatment include the following:
- No pre-treatment preparations
- Quick, easy treatments performed in-office or as outpatient procedure in the hospital
- General or local anesthesia or sedation for a comfortable experience
- Effectively removes large varicose veins
- No further treatment is required
- Minimal downtime or side effects
- Patients can return home the same day
- Normal walking can be resumed after treatment
- High success rate with long-term results
- Can be combined with other procedures for improved results
Contact Cayman Surgery
Varicose veins can become unsightly, painful and harmful to your health. If you have large, knotted or bulging blood vessels, a mini-phlebectomy can effectively remove them to eliminate your symptoms. Dr. Ebanks at Cayman Surgery is a highly qualified physician with the training, experience and expertise to deliver the results you want. To learn more about mini-phlebectomies and find out if this procedure is right for you, contact or call us today at +1 345 946 0067. You can also fill out our online contact form to have a staff member call you at a more convenient time. You can message Cayman Surgery directly at firstname.lastname@example.org