Vein Health Clinic
Chronic vein disease is a common disorder that occurs when the veins in the lower legs no longer work efficiently. The veins have one-way valves that help blood flow against gravity to the heart. When the pumps stop working efficiently, the blood can flow backwards and pool in the lower legs and ankles. The pooled blood can increase pressure and cause symptoms and more severe damage to the affected vein. This condition is called venous insufficiency.
Symptoms of Venous Insufficiency
There are a number of signs and symptoms of venous insufficiency including:
- Varicose Veins
- Spider Veins
- Swollen Legs and Ankles
- A Feeling of Heaviness in the Legs
- Dull, Aching Feeling in the Legs
- Changes in Leg Skin Color
- Itchy, Dry Skin on Legs
- Leg Ulcers
Failing to have chronic vein disease diagnosed and treated can lead to an increase in vein damage and more severe skin infections. The symptoms of vein disease can also prevent you from doing many of the things that you did before. An appointment at the vein health clinic is an opportunity to evaluate how well your veins function. We use a bilateral venous duplex ultrasound or an intravascular ultrasound to look at the deep veins in your legs. If you need treatment, the vascular care team can explain your options.
Treatment for vein disease is much simpler and safer than the painful vein-stripping surgery of the past. A number of minimally-invasive procedures are used at the vein health clinic including:
This procedure is the injection of a special solution into diseased veins which cause them to scar and seal off. Blood flow naturally re-routes to healthy veins and the treated veins goes away over time. Sclerotherapy is used to treat spider veins and small to medium varicose veins.
The doctor uses a catheter to insert a tiny laser into the diseased vein. The heat from the laser scars so that it closes off. This procedure is used to treat larger varicose veins.
The vein specialist makes micro punctures in the skin and removes diseased veins through the openings. Microphlebectomy is performed on larger varicose/spider veins.
Intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) is the standard method of imaging during catheter-based vein treatments. Ultrasound provides the vein specialist with a complete image of the vein walls for accurate mapping of the diseased area.
Venoplasty, or endovenous stenting, is the placement of a small mesh tube called a stent to restore structure to a compressed vein. The stent keeps the vein open and strengthens it to support normal blood flow. Endovenous stenting is used as a treatment for venous chronic insufficiency, pulmonary artery disease, and a number of other venous conditions.
The vein health clinic performs these minimally-invasive treatments on an outpatient procedure. There is less risk and minimal downtime in comparison to traditional surgery. Depending on your condition and the treatment method of choice, you may require multiple treatments.