Blood flow in our veins is maintained in the proper direction due to the presence of valves, but when those valves fail, they allow backflow or pooling of blood in the limbs. This leads to bulging, twisting varicose veins that cause pain, itching, cramps, throbbing, restlessness, and even poor wound healing. Premier Vein & Body by Schwartz offers the most comprehensive diagnosis and treatment of vein disease in the Kansas City metro area. Our endovenous laser ablation will treat the source of your visible, bulging veins, but our ambulatory phlebectomy procedure is often required to remove some of the larger bulging veins.
Ambulatory phlebectomy is a minimally invasive in-office procedure that removes superficial varicose veins to restore healthy blood flow and improve your venous health. Your procedure begins with sterilizing and numbing the treatment area before tiny, 1-2 mm incisions are made to allow access to the dysfunctional vein. A special small instrument is used to remove the varicose veins, which redirects blood flow to deeper, healthier vessels. Patients don’t even require stitches as the incisions are minimal and heal beautifully with special bandages.
Varicose veins can result from a range of factors. Heredity plays a strong role in varicose vein development, and you will have a greater chance of developing them if close relatives also have them. Women experience varicose veins more often than men. Pregnancy, which increases the body’s blood volume and causes hormonal changes, can also trigger the development of varicose veins. Sitting or standing in one place without changing position can also contribute to the problem, as can prior traumatic injuries, even from many years ago.
Varicose veins occur most often in the legs, where they usually develop as a result of a damaged great saphenous vein. The longest vein in the body, the great saphenous vein runs all the way from the foot to the upper thigh, and it has many smaller veins that connect to it. If this vein stops transporting blood effectively, chronic venous insufficiency can cause blood to back up in the connecting veins, causing them to bulge and become discolored.
Dr. Schwartz will use venous duplex ultrasound to determine if a chronic venous insufficiency exists and will develop a plan to treat the underlying cause. While he will usually close the diseased great saphenous vein using endovenous laser ablation (EVLA), he may use ambulatory phlebectomy to remove the bulging varicose veins.
Dr. Schwartz knows that most patients will achieve the best results with a combination of varicose vein treatments. EVLA uses the TVS 1470nm laser that inserts a tiny fiber into the vein and uses heat energy to damage and scar the vein walls, causing them to collapse. This method can close the diseased great saphenous vein and resolve many of the symptoms of chronic venous insufficiency such as aching, soreness, and swelling. After treating this vein, people often still have bulging, visible varicose veins.
Ambulatory phlebectomy removes these veins through an incision only about 1-2 millimeters long. This physical removal means the vein is gone in one treatment and you will see no further traces of it.
Only superficial varicose veins can be removed through ambulatory phlebectomy, so a thorough consultation is required to see if you’re a good candidate. Active skin infections or blood clots may delay treatment. Dr. Schwartz will assess whether your varicose veins result from an underlying venous condition that requires urgent treatment to prevent future problems.
Ambulatory phlebectomy is surprisingly quick, requiring only about an hour, or often even less, on average, depending on the number of veins. Performed in-office, with just local anesthesia, your treatment doesn’t require a painful surgery or hospital stay.
Because the damaged veins are removed, your results are immediately visible, though you may need a few days or weeks to completely recover. With the painful, bulging veins gone, your symptoms will subside through the healing process.
Most patients resume normal light to moderate activity within 24 hours and are instructed to avoid strenuous activities or major exercise for 1 week. Light walking is encouraged the first day to improve circulation and maintain proper blood flow. Compression stockings are required for only 7-10 days following your procedure.
Dr. Craig Schwartz is triple-board-certified and has performed more than 12,000 vein procedures in his career. One of the first physicians to bring minimally invasive in-office procedures to Kansas City, Dr. Schwartz is known as “KC’s Vein Guy,” and is one of the Midwest’s most prominent vascular health specialists. He has been voted to America’s Top Surgeons in 2008, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018. You could not be in better hands for vascular health.
*Individual Results May Vary
Read from real patients about their experiences with Dr. Schwartz and his team at Premier Vein & Body by Schwartz.
*Individual Results May Vary
Real Patients. Real Results. View before & after images of vein and cosmetic procedures in our photo gallery.