Although you may think of varicose veins only as a cosmetic problem—and sometimes, that’s all they are—they can sometimes lead to serious issues such as leg pain, leg swelling and the development of serious blood clots.
At the CMHVI, we offer a full range of vein treatments for people whose vein disorders are a health risk. Most insurance plans cover varicose vein treatment if self-help management has failed to alleviate symptoms.
Varicose Veins Can Be More than a Visual Concern
Your arteries carry blood from your heart to the rest of the body and your veins deliver blood back to the heart. In healthy veins, valves help prevent blood from flowing backwards. In patients with a condition known as venous insufficiency, the valves are damaged and no longer work properly. Venous insufficiency causes leg veins to enlarge, twist and appear blue or purple, a condition called varicose veins.
Varicose veins are not necessarily a serious health risk, but they can be painful and cause leg ulcers that are resistant to healing. In addition to swelling, they can raise your risk for serious blood clots known as deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
Get a Non-invasive Diagnosis
CMHVI’s Vascular Lab uses non-invasive ultrasound to diagnose conditions and abnormalities of the circulatory system, including vein disorders. The Vascular Lab is accredited by the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission, which accredits vascular laboratories. Our sonographers are nationally certified. Some of the diagnostic testing we use for vein disorders includes:
- Arterial Duplex Ultrasound: This test is used to evaluate issues involving arteries and/or veins of the arms and/or legs. It is a painless, non-invasive procedure that uses sound waves to measure blood flow and measure blood vessel size.
- Venous Ultrasound Imaging: This test uses sound waves to capture real-time images of the flow of blood through veins in the arms and legs. It is used to evaluate varicose veins and to search for DVT blood clots, especially in leg veins. These clots can cause a dangerous condition called pulmonary embolism if they move to the lungs. However, if a blood clot in the leg is detected early enough, proper treatment can prevent it from passing to the lung.
Receive Treatments Specific to Your Disorder
Our vascular and endovascular surgeons can treat varicose veins and other vascular conditions using some of the following procedures:
- Microphlebectomy: A diseased vein is removed through a series of very small incisions. Recovery is fast, but the procedure doesn’t fix the underlying problem of leaky valves.
- Sclerotherapy: Using a small needle, a doctor injects spider veins and small varicose veins with a solution that seals the veins. The treated veins fade after a few weeks, but the same veins may require more than one treatment. This treatment may not be covered by your health insurance.
- Stripping and Ligation: Along section of vein is tied off, usually at the groin, then removed along the length of the thigh. This conventional treatment for varicose veins has been largely replaced by minimally invasive venous ablation.
- Venous Ablation: The doctor inserts a catheter into the enlarged vein and uses ultrasound imaging to guide the catheter to the saphenous vein, a major blood vessel in the thigh. The catheter emits radiofrequency energy that closes the vein. This sealing of the saphenous vein typically causes decompression of downstream varicose veins resulting in symptomatic relief and improved appearance. Blood is naturally rerouted into healthy veins and is carried back to the heart more efficiently. This procedure causes less post-operative pain and bruising than vein stripping and promotes faster recovery.