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Varicose Veins: Phlebectomy or Stab Avulsion

Topic Overview

Phlebectomy (also known as microphlebectomy, ambulatory phlebectomy, or stab avulsion) is a technique to removevaricose veins. In this procedure, several tiny cuts (incisions) are made in the skin through which the varicosed vein is removed. Stitches usually are not required.

This procedure typically does not require a stay in the hospital. It may be done in your doctor's office under light sedation withlocal anesthesia.

Phlebectomy might be done along with another treatment for varicose veins, including ligation and stripping, laser treatment, or radiofrequency treatment.

Is it safe?

Phlebectomy usually does not lead to complications. Possible complications include short-term skin color change, infection, pain, and tiny red spider veins.

How well does it work?

Phlebectomy can help improve the cosmetic appearance of skin after treatment.footnote 1But this procedure is less likely to fix varicose veins when the leg veins are not working well. Because that is the case for most varicose veins, this procedure is usually used along with other treatments, such as ligation and stripping, laser treatment, or radiofrequency treatment.

For help deciding whether to have a procedure for varicose veins, see:

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  1. Tisi P (2011). Varicose veins, search date January 2010. Online version of BMJ Clinical Evidence:

Other Works Consulted

  • Kundu S, et al. (2010). Multi-disciplinary quality improvement guidelines for the treatment of lower extremity superficial venous insufficiency with ambulatory phlebectomy from the Society of Interventional Radiology, Cardiovascular Interventional Radiological Society of Europe, American College of Phlebology, and Canadian Interventional Radiology Association. Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology, 21(1): 1-13.


ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerDavid A. Szalay, MD - Vascular Surgery

Current as ofNovember 21, 2017

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