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Varicose veins

Transilluminated powered phlebectomy (TIPP) treatment for varicose veins


What does transilluminated powered phlebectomy (TIPP) involve?

Two small incisions are made in the leg. In one of these incisions, a special light (an endoscopic transilluminator) is placed underneath your skin so the surgeon can see which veins need to be removed.

A special suction device with blades is then inserted in the second incision and used to cut and remove the veins.

A transilluminated powered phlebectomy can be carried out under local or general anaesthetic so you don’t feel anything. If it’s performed under local anaesthetic, you might also be given a light sedative.

The procedure is quicker than a standard phlebectomy (about 30 minutes) but as it’s relatively new, little is known of its long-term effects.

How long is the recovery period?

You might experience soreness, bleeding and bruising afterwards. Over-the-counter painkillers can help with the pain.

After a few hours, you will be able to move around but you mustn’t overdo it. You’ll be able to resume your normal activities but intense activity must be avoided for a few weeks and compression stockings must be worn for up to three weeks after the procedure. You can usually return to work within a few days.

Who can have this done?

This procedure is particularly suitable for the treatment of multiple and recurrent varicose veins that may be difficult to treat with standard phlebectomy.

How much does it cost?

Transilluminated powered phlebectomy is limited on the NHS. Private costs vary.


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