Surface varicose veins are branches or tributaries of the saphenous system. Treatment depends on the involvement of the saphenous system and is again individualised. These veins may be surgically removed by a procedure called ambulatory phlebectomy. Local anaesthetic is given in the region of the vein and small surgical incisions are made and the veins are removed.
What veins are removed in this manner?
Varicose veins that are unsightly or that may not decompress after radio frequency ablation may be removed in this manner. Smaller veins are occasionally removed this way. Ambulatory phlebectomy is often combined with other procedures for venous disease, e.g. if the ultrasound investigation shows the saphenous vein to be abnormal and you have many varicose veins, the radio frequency procedure may be done, but it may not be enough to decompress the varicose veins and so we remove these veins at the same time.
What does the treatment involve?
The varicose veins that will be removed are marked whilst you are standing. You will then lie down and the leg will be cleaned and prepared in a sterile fashion. If radio frequency ablation is being performed, this will be done first. Local anaesthetic is injected into the skin over the varicose vein using a very fine needle. A tiny incision is then made and the vein is disrupted as part of it is removed. Depending on the size of the vein, the vein may be tied off. Depending on the size of the incision, a stitch or two may be required. The incision will then be dressed with a plaster. A compression bandage will be placed around the leg for a period of 24 hours.