Taking Care of Those Varicose Veins

At Hunterdon Cardiovascular, we also offer other areas of specialization, such as our Faint and Fall Center. Since we’re concerned with your heart and how it’s sending blood throughout your body, another area of specialization is The Vein Institute of Hunterdon, where we offer various vein procedures such as ambulatory phlebectomy.

Ambulatory phlebectomy is used when a varicose vein near the surface of the skin it to large to treat with sclerotherapy and too small for laser ablation. Also known as microphlebectomy or stab phlebectomy, ambulatory phlebectomy is an outpatient procedure that removes the varicose veins through small incisions in the skin. The treatment is very effective and only involves minimal recovery.

Who can have ambulatory phlebectomy?

A good candidate for this procedure is a person who can walk unassisted, has normal arterial circulation, and isn’t allergic to local anesthetic options. The patient needs to be free of infections, rashes, or other skin conditions.

Prior to performing an ambulatory phlebectomy, it’s likely that Dr. Tonnessen will perform an ultrasound examination to determine if your varicose veins are connected to other larger veins, which may need to be treated first. We’ll also check for clots in deep or superficial veins.

How is ambulatory phlebectomy done?

At the Vein Institute of Hunterdon, Dr. Tonnessen or Nurse Practitioner Ladan Abbasi perform our phlebectomy and sclerotherapy procedures. Ambulatory phlebectomy treatments start by marking the veins that are to be removed. Next, we’ll inject the area with a local anesthetic. This makes the procedure painless for the patient. For the procedure, we make tiny incisions (only about the size of the tip of a ballpoint pen, 2-3mm) in the target areas. Through the incisions we insert a surgical hook to extract the damaged vein section by section. The incisions are so tiny they normally do not require any stitches. The whole procedure takes just 45 to 60 minutes.


Patients need to wear compression stockings for a week after surgery to help minimize swelling and discomfort.  But there will be some bruising, swelling, and discomfort. This can be minimized by diligently wearing your compression stockings and using over-the-counter pain medication. Most patients can return to work the next day. Exercise and heavy lifting should be put off for two weeks.

Want to do something about your varicose veins? Call the team at The Vein Institute at Hunterdon, (908) 788-0066, to schedule your appointment. We have convenient locations in Clinton and Bridgewater.

Posted in: The Vein Institute of Hunterdon

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