In the olden days, vein stripping was a common treatment for varicose veins. A wire was inserted into the vein at the groin and passed through the diseased vein where it was attached to the opposite end down near the lower part of the leg. The wire was then pulled back, stripping the diseased vein out of the leg. Vein Stripping usually takes 1 to 1 ½ hours and requires the use of anesthesia. It is more invasive and has a longer recovery period. This procedure is rarely performed these days, as there are much more advanced, non-surgical techniques to treat unsightly varicose veins.
So, you are curious, what is it that people don’t tell you about varicose vein removal? Vein removal by way of ambulatory phlebectomy is far less invasive than outdated procedures such as vein stripping. Phlebectomy is performed to remove medium to large varicose veins near the surface of the skin. It is often done in conjunction with endovenous laser therapy or radiofrequency ablation endovenous therapy. When phlebectomy is required, a small incision or puncture is made in the skin and a small hook is inserted to remove the vein section by section. Once the damaged veins are removed, other healthy veins in the leg absorb the excess blood and normal blood flow is restored. To learn more about ambulatory phlebectomy download our free eBook.
Many laser and radiofrequency treatments today allow diseased veins to be closed off and reabsorbed back into the body, as opposed to the physical removal of the vein from the leg. Endovenous laser therapy (EVLT) and radiofrequency ablation endovenous therapy (RFA) are similar in approach yet differ in the heat source used to close off and shrink the vein. During EVLT, laser energy is administered through a tiny optic fiber inserted through a small puncture in the leg and guided by ultrasound. The laser energy heats and closes off the vein allowing the blood to be naturally re-routed to other healthy veins. RFA is a similar procedure in which a tiny catheter is inserted through a small incision below the knee and guided by ultrasound technology through the diseased vein delivering short bursts of radiofrequency energy the entire length of the vein. This causes the vein to shrink and ultimately seal off allowing blood to be re-routed to healthy veins.
Vein treatment, and specifically vein removal, has never been easier. If you are worried about the appearance of your legs take our self-assessment to learn what you can do about it.
Premier Vein Clinics of Knoxville can restore healthy, great-looking legs in about an hour with most varicose vein treatments being covered by insurance. What are you waiting for? Request an appointment with one of our board certified vascular surgeons today!