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Vein Treatment

Treatment of Venous Disease

Our highly skilled vascular technologists use duplex ultrasound machines to painlessly evaluate your leg veins to determine the source of your vein problems.  They will conduct a thorough evaluation of deep veins, superficial veins and communicating veins.

Sclerotherapy

Sclerotherapy is the most common method in treating both varicose and spider veins.  The procedure is simple and with minimal discomfort. A solution is introduced into the vein that causes the vein to close and the body naturally absorbs it. The procedure usually takes about 20 minutes and patients typically return to work that same day.  Slight bruising or some discoloration may occur, but frequently resolves within a few weeks.

Varicose and spider veins come in all shapes, sizes and numbers.  The number of treatments required will be estimated at the time of your visit with Dr. Peterson. Over time, varicose and spider veins can recur or new ones may develop, as a result future treatments may be needed.  The treatments are typically very successful and most patients can expect a 50% – 90% improvement.

Ultrasound Guided Sclerotherapy

This type of sclerotherapy uses the same injection techniques as regular sclerotherapy with the addition of the guidance of an ultrasound machine.  This is used for treatment of deeper veins that cannot be seen on the surface of the skin.

Potential Side Effects

Mild itching at the vein site is not uncommon and may last for up to a day after injection.

Approximately 50% of patients who undergo therapy notice a brownish skin pigment after the vessel has been treated.  In most patients, the veins become darker immediately following the procedure.  However, the veins gradually and steadily fade over the next 12 – 15 months.  Rarely, permanent staining occurs.

Occasionally patients may experience discomfort or slight pain at the site of the injection.  After treatment, the injected vein may be tender to the touch along its course.  This is temporary and usually resolved in 3 – 6 weeks.  Acetaminophen or ibuprofen is usually all that is needed for the discomfort.

Rare occurrences: A patient may have an allergic reaction to the sclerosing agent solutions.  Reactions may include hives, shortness of breath or nausea.  (It’s important to let Dr. Peterson know if you have any allergies prior to treatment.) Tiny new blood vessels may develop at the site of previously injected veins.  Transient swelling or hives may occur.  Wound infections and breakdown of the skin are rare complications, as is scarring.  Even more rare are deep vein clots traveling to the lungs or causing long term leg swelling.

Preparation for Sclerotherapy

  • Do not use lotion or oil on your legs for 24 hours prior to your appointment.
  • Shave your legs the night before.
  • Wear loose pants, sweat pants or a skirt to accommodate bandages.

After Sclerotherapy

  • Most patients will be required to wear support compression stockings.  You will be given full instructions on how long to wear the stockings and when you will be able to shower.
  • You may be asked to minimize activity for at least a day following sclerotherapy.
  • Avoid hot tubs and bathtubs for 48 hours following treatment.
  • A follow-up visit will be scheduled.

Dr. Peterson welcomes a discussion of your questions or concerns.  He is committed to ensuring you have a clear understanding and are comfortable with the treatment process.

Endovenous Radiofrequency Ablation (see VNUS Closure™)

This advanced method is used to treat deeper varicose veins of the legs (saphenous veins).  Improved technology has created huge breakthroughs that now replace invasive surgery, such as traditional vein stripping, for the majority of patients with severe varicose veins.

Dr. Peterson, who is among the most experienced endovenous surgeons on the West Coast, performs endovenous radiofrequency ablation in the comfort of our office.  This non-invasive procedure requires no general anesthesia.  Dr. Peterson will place a very small tube called a catheter into the vein.  The catheter is heated inside the vein to cause the vein to close and, similar to sclerotherapy, the body naturally absorbs it.

Healthy veins around the closed vein restore normal blood flow.  As this happens, symptoms from the varicose vein improve.  Veins on the surface of the skin that are connected to the treated varicose vein usually shrink after treatment, as well.

Down time for patients after each procedure is minimal and patient satisfaction is typically excellent.