Removal of the vein is called 'phlebectomy'. In medicine, 'phleb' means vein and 'ectomy' means removal.
Phlebectomies can be performed under local anaesthetic. To do phlebectomies, one of the medical team draws around the bulging veins when you’re standing. You cannot do this lying down as they usually disappear.
Local anaesthetic is injected around the marked bulging veins (called “varices”). Tiny incisions are made (about 2 mm each) using a special blade called a Beaver blade.
A phlebectomy hook is then passed into the incision and each varicose vein is pulled out in turn.
Although this may sound barbaric, in fact it is an excellence technique with fantastic results – provided the underlying causes have been treated properly.
There have been attempts to produce an alternative to phlebectomies and most vein surgeons, ourselves included, would love to have an alternative.
Unfortunately no effective alternative has so far being developed that that works for the large bulging veins.
One of the alternatives was called Trivex®. This was invented some time ago now.
The Trivex® procedure used different instruments passed into the leg just under the skin.
The first was passed under the veins to illuminate them with a very bright light and to guide the second instrument, which “chewed” the veins with a rotating blade.
Although an excellent idea, and although some surgeons claimed good results, we were unable to get good results at The Whiteley Clinic using this technique and so it is not included in The Whiteley Protocol®.
Phlebectomies only use tiny wounds and only remove the very superficial bulging veins. There is very little trauma to the surrounding tissue.
Therefore, for big bulging varicose veins, we recommend phlebectomies as part of the treatment of varicose veins as part of The Whiteley Protocol®