top of page
Image by Apostolos Vamvouras

What is Ambulatory Phlebectomy (AP)?

Girl with Tote Bag


This procedure uses small, slit-like incisions in the skin to remove varicose and larger spider veins. This procedure takes the place of what was formerly known as vein stripping. Ambulatory phlebectomy is minimally invasive and doesn’t require sutures or general anesthesia.

Ideal Candidates for Ambulatory Phlebectomy

The best candidates for this procedure have large varicose veins in their legs. In order to be treated, these veins must be both large and visible to the eye. Patients for this procedure will ideally be in good health, be of a healthy weight, and are non-smokers. You might not be a good candidate for ambulatory phlebectomy if you have a blood clotting disorder.

What Is The Varicose Vein Treatment Procedure?

This is an outpatient procedure at Vein Center. The procedure takes from 45 to 60 minutes. Here’s what’s involved. Our doctors begin the procedure by marking the targeted veins. Next, the treatment area is injected with a local anesthetic, ensuring there isn’t any discomfort during the procedure.

Our doctors then makes tiny incisions (smaller than the tip of a ballpoint pen, about 1mm) over the targeted vein. Through these incisions, he inserts a surgical hook to extract the damaged vein section by section. This may seem impossible, but because veins collapse, we can easily remove the pieces through these minimal holes. The incisions don’t require sutures, just small bandages. After your procedure, we apply compression bandages over the treated areas. You will wear these for one week to help minimize swelling and discomfort.

How to Prepare for Ambulatory Phlebectomy?

During your pre-op consultations, our doctors will provide you with instructions on how to prepare for this procedure. You may be asked to make changes to your regular medication schedule or rituals. On the day of your treatment, you will be asked to wear loose-fitting clothing.

Results Of Ambulatory Phlebectomy For Varicose Veins

Your minor incisions won’t require sutures; they will be barely visible in 6-12 months. You’ll have some swelling and bruising, and there can be mild skin pigmentation changes over the treated area, but this clears in a short time in most cases. Because your vein is removed, the visual issues and raised skin of your varicose vein will be gone. These results are permanent, although you can still develop other varicose veins.

How is Recovery From Ambulatory Phlebectomy?

This procedure does not require a difficult recovery. Patients usually have some bruising, swelling, and minor discomfort in the treatment area. Diligent wearing of your compression bandages and then compression stockings can minimize these effects. You’ll wear these for one week. Over-the-counter pain medications are usually all that is necessary for any discomfort. Patients can walk and get back to normal activities immediately but should avoid exercise and heavy lifting for a couple of weeks. Patients can return to work the next day.

Are There Any Risks To Ambulatory Phlebectomy?

Ambulatory phlebectomy with our doctors is a safe, effective procedure. There are some potential risks, but they are rare:

  • A nerve injury to the skin, though these usually resolve with time

  • Severe bleeding or swelling

  • Numbness or pain in the feet

  • Infection

  • Thrombophlebitis (inflammation causing a blood clot)

  • Our doctors in Action
bottom of page