What is transilluminated powered phlebectomy?

Transilluminated powered phlebectomy is a procedure that is used to treat varicose veins.

During a transilluminated powered phlebectomy, your vein doctor will use a light source and small device to remove diseased veins through a small incision in the skin.

Who is a candidate for a transilluminated powered phlebectomy?

Although there are many less invasive treatments for varicose veins, some patients respond better to transilluminated powered phlebectomy. If you have larger varicose veins or have bleeding or ulcers because of varicose veins, you may be a candidate for this procedure.

What to expect during a transilluminated powered phlebectomy?

Transilluminated powered phlebectomy is typically an outpatient procedure performed under local anesthesia. During the procedure, your doctor will inject an anesthesia directly into the vein to numb the area. He or she will then insert a light source (transilluminated) into the tissue to see the veins more clearly under the tissue. In a second incision, a catheter with a blade is inserted into the vein that needs to be treated. Once in position, the device is turned on and the blade will cut the vein and the pieces will be siphoned back into the catheter.

What are benefits of a transilluminated powered phlebectomy?

There are a variety of benefits of having a transilluminated powered phlebectomy over other varicose vein treatments.

Benefits include:

  • Requires fewer incisions in the skin
  • The transillumination helps your doctor view the veins before taking them out of the body, which helps minimize errors
  • The blade-cutting tool makes removing numerous veins easier
  • The procedure requires less time to complete than traditional varicose vein surgery

Risks of a transilluminated powered phlebectomy

Patients who undergo a transilluminated powered phlebectomy may feel more pain and bruising than after other varicose vein procedures.

Other complications after surgery include:

  • Bleeding
  • Infection at site
  • Numbness
  • Swelling

Recovery from a transilluminated powered phlebectomy

After your procedure, your Mercy Health care team will close your incision site with bandages that run the length of the vein removal site — from toe to groin. You will be instructed to keep the bandages on for up to ten days. Once your doctor has given you the approval to remove the bandages, you will be required to wear compression stockings until your doctor clears you.

Once cleared, you can resume your daily activities and return to work. If your job is strenuous or involves standing for long periods, consult with your doctor to determine if you should extend your recovery period. During the recovery period, make sure to take periodic walking breaks (at least 10 minutes every three hours) and elevate your legs above your heart for 15 minutes, two times a day.

Is transilluminated powered phlebectomy covered by insurance?

If conservative treatments have failed and your doctor deems your varicose vein treatment a medical necessity, insurance typically covers the procedure. Check with your insurance company before having the procedure to determine the out-of-pocket cost to you.

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