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When Is a Phlebectomy the Best Treatment Option for Varicose Veins?

When Is a Phlebectomy the Best Treatment Option for Varicose Veins?

If you're dealing with varicose veins, different treatments exist to ease your symptoms and improve the appearance of your skin. But in vein health, each patient is unique, and the most effective therapy varies based on your needs.  

Guided by board-certified interventional radiologists, the team at Alate Health in Houston, Texas, offers personalized vein care, including phlebectomy, for patients with varicose veins. Keep reading to learn more about this safe and effective treatment and the signs it might be right for you.

Understanding varicose veins

Varicose veins are swollen, twisted veins that you can't miss because they appear just under the surface of your skin. They most often develop in the legs but can also form in other places on your body. Over 40 million adults have this common vein condition. 

These veins occur when the one-way valves in your veins, which are meant to keep blood flowing toward your heart, weaken. This can cause blood to pool in your veins, causing them to expand, twist, and become more visible.

While they are sometimes viewed as a cosmetic issue, varicose veins can cause aching pain and discomfort and sometimes lead to more serious problems. Some of the possible complications of untreated varicose veins include:

The causes of varicose veins vary and may include age, genetic predisposition, obesity, pregnancy, and prolonged periods of standing or sitting. Women are more likely than men to develop varicose veins due to hormonal changes during pregnancy, pre-menstruation, or menopause.

Varicose veins are often a sign of underlying venous disease. This is why at Alate Health, our approach involves treating the root cause of your varicose veins, not just the symptoms. Our board-certified radiologists are experts in diagnosing and treating this common condition. 

All about phlebectomy

A phlebectomy, also called an ambulatory phlebectomy or microphlebectomy, is a minimally invasive surgical procedure used to remove varicose veins that lie just beneath the skin's surface. 

During a phlebectomy, your provider at Alate Health makes tiny incisions in your skin through which they remove the problematic varicose veins. This procedure is normally performed under local anesthesia, so you'll be awake without pain during treatment.

The tiny incisions made during this procedure are usually so small that stitches are unnecessary and heal with minimal scarring. And, since the problematic veins are completely removed, the chance of them recurring in the same spot is virtually eliminated.

After your treatment, you can walk and return to most daily activities almost immediately. Vigorous or strenuous exercise and activities may need to be avoided for a few weeks, depending on your unique case. 

You can expect to wear a compression stocking up to two weeks after the procedure to promote healing and minimize swelling. At Alate Health, our radiologists are skilled in phlebectomy procedures, and we consider your unique situation and the severity of your varicose veins to decide if a phlebectomy is the best option for you.

Signs a phlebectomy is your best option

While several treatments are available for varicose veins, a phlebectomy may be the best choice in certain cases. Our providers often recommend this procedure when the varicose veins are large or causing significant discomfort. 

It’s important to seek personalized recommendations for your varicose veins. But in the meantime, here are some symptoms and circumstances that may be a sign that a phlebectomy is your best option:

You have larger, bulging veins

Phlebectomy is particularly effective in treating larger varicose veins near the skin's surface. Smaller veins or those deeper in the muscle are usually treated with less invasive methods.

You’re experiencing pain and discomfort

If you're experiencing considerable discomfort, aching, or heaviness, especially after standing for long periods, phlebectomy may be advised.

You’ve noticed skin changes

A phlebectomy can be a beneficial treatment if varicose veins have led to skin changes, such as discoloration, inflammation, or ulcers.

You have significant cosmetic concerns:

For some patients, the appearance of varicose veins is the primary concern. Phlebectomy provides immediate results, as the problematic veins are physically removed.

Remember that your vein health is as unique as you are, and that means personalizing your vein treatment. At Alate Health, our board-certified radiologists assess your vein health, discuss your symptoms and concerns, and evaluate your medical history before recommending the best course of treatment.

Whether a phlebectomy or another treatment is right, you're in good hands at Alate Health. Please don't wait to schedule an appointment online or over the phone with a provider at our Houston, Texas, location nearest you. 

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