The Vein Center at Atlantic Medical Imaging
The Vein Center at Atlantic Medical Imaging
Do you experience aching, swelling, heaviness or fatigue in your legs? Do you suffer from unsightly spider or varicose veins? Do you cover your legs in long pants or skirts when everyone else is in shorts?
You are not alone. Venous reflux disease afflicts an estimated 20-25 million people in the United States. The Vein Center at Atlantic Medical Imaging (AMI) is committed to alleviating the symptoms of venous disease and obtaining the best possible cosmetic results.
What is Venous Disease?
Venous disease refers to varicose veins, spider veins and all conditions caused by diseased or abnormal veins. If the valves inside your veins become damaged, the valves may not close completely, allowing blood to leak backward or flow in both directions. Mild venous disease is usually not a problem for patients. In more severe cases, venous disease can lead to eczema, pigmentation discoloring, ulceration and bleeding.
Who is at risk for Venous Disease?
"Factors that can contribute to varicose veins and other forms of venous disease are hormone therapy, heredity, obesity, pregnancy and age,” said Dr. Michael Schmidling of AMI. “Those who frequently engage in prolonged periods of immobility, sitting or standing are also at a higher risk for developing the disease."
How does the Vein Center at AMI combat Venous Disease?
The Vein Center team frees patients from the pain, discomfort and embarrassment caused by varicose and spider veins. Board-certified radiologists with specialized training in vascular and interventional radiology perform low-risk, minimally-invasive therapies that treat the entire spectrum of venous disease and restore a more youthful appearance. "The treatment of varicose veins has evolved greatly in the past several years," said Dr. Rajesh Patel. "AMI offers easy, effective therapies that are fast, basically painless and done on an out-patient basis."
What is the first step?
Patients will come in for a screening to learn more about their treatment options. They will then return for a second visit at which time the interventional radiologists will evaluate a patient’s particular vein condition, which includes a history, physical exam, and an ultrasound. This will enable the doctor to provide advice on how to best treat and manage a vein issue.
The Vein Center at Atlantic Medical Imaging is located at 44 E. Jimmie Leeds Road in Galloway. To schedule a free screening or obtain additional information, call (609) 652-6094.
About Venous Reflux Disease
Venous reflux disease is a very common condition that is caused by faulty valves in normal veins in the legs. When these valves fail, the veins dilate, eventually becoming varicose veins. Approximately 25 million Americans suffer from venous reflux disease, which is not limited to unsightly varicose veins.
There is a broad spectrum of venous disease ranging from spider veins to varicose veins. Millions of women are bothered by spider veins - those small yet unsightly clusters of red, blue, or purple veins that most commonly appear on the thighs, calves, and ankles. Although these super-fine veins are connected with the larger venous system, they are not an essential part of it.
Varicose veins are large, often painful dilated veins under the skin. Varicose veins can become enlarged and in some cases quite prominent. They can be seen in some individuals as raised lumps in the thigh, legs and calves. If you experience bulging leg veins, restless legs, pain, discomfort, swelling, itching, or discoloration in your legs, you may have varicose veins. Treatment of varicose veins is typically more involved, but still minimally invasive. The following sections provide a brief description of the procedures performed in our office.
If you would like to receive a complimentary screening to discuss treatment options, please call (609) 652-6094 to schedule an appointment.
Cosmetic sclerotherapy of spider veins is a relatively simple procedure that requires no anesthesia. A typical sclerotherapy session is relatively quick, lasting only about 15 to 45 minutes. You will be asked to lie down on the examination table and the skin over your spider veins will be cleaned with an antiseptic solution. Using one hand to stretch the skin taut, the physician or nurse will begin injecting the sclerosing agent into the affected veins. Approximately one injection is administered for every inch of spider vein - anywhere from 5 to 40 injections per treatment session. You will feel small needle sticks and possibly a mild burning sensation. The needle used is so thin and the sclerosing solution is so mild that pain is usually minimal.
A cotton ball and compression tape is applied to each area of the leg as it is finished. In addition to the compression tape, compression hose may be prescribed to guard against blood clots and to promote healing. You will be advised how long to wear the compression tape and/or compression hose.
Ultrasound guided sclerotherapy is a fast, relatively painless method for varicose vein removal. With ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy, ultrasound is used to see veins that cannot be seen with the ordinary eye. Veins that are hidden beneath the surface of the skin can be eliminated with greater accuracy and precision. Ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy is a very simple procedure that can be performed without anesthesia.
During the ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy treatment, a sclerosing agent is injected through a tiny needle directly into the veins, causing them to contract and collapse. The procedure can take anywhere from 15 minutes to two hours depending on the number of veins to be removed. After the treatment, you will be required to wear compression hose for the next couple of days. This prevents any veins from expanding or clumping. You will also be required to avoid activities that affect the circulatory and vascular systems including; exercise, saunas, hot baths and drinking alcohol.
Phlebectomy is a method of removing varicose veins on the surface of the legs. This procedure is performed in an outpatient setting under local anesthesia. This procedure involves making tiny incisions through which the varicose veins are removed with a phlebectomy hook. The incisions are so small (1 mm) no stitches are required. Since veins are very collapsible, even large veins may be removed through the tiny incisions used in this technique.
After treatment, a compression bandage and/or compression hose are worn. You will be advised how long to wear the bandages and/or compression hose. Many physicians recommend that you walk or bike after treatment. This reduces pressure in the veins, increases the flow in the veins and reduces the risk of forming a blood clot.
Patients can go back to work and normal activity after 24 hours. You will be asked to keep your leg elevated and stay off your feet for the first day. Also, a compression hose is worn for one week.
EVLT (Endovenous Laser Treatment)
EVLT® is a quick, minimally invasive laser procedure that can be performed in the physician’s office. EVLT eliminates the large, painful, and unsightly varicose veins with no hospital stay, no scarring and no lengthy recovery or side effects. Usually in less than an hour, you will be back to your everyday activities. EVLT is safe and effective, nearly 97% of first-time EVLT treatments are successful.
During the EVLT treatment, ultrasound is used to precisely map out your vein. A local anesthetic is applied and a thin laser fiber is inserted through a tiny entry point, usually near the knee. Laser energy is delivered to seal the faulty vein so that the blood cannot flow through it. This eliminates vein bulging at the source.
Walking immediately after the procedure is encouraged. Normal daily activity can be resumed but avoid rigorous activities such as gym workouts. There may be minor soreness and bruising. Any discomfort can be treated with over-the-counter, non-aspirin pain relievers as needed.
What to expect during your initial consultation
During your initial consultation, your legs will be examined for spider veins and for signs of more serious deep vein problems, often indicated by swelling, sores, or skin changes at the ankle. In some instances, an ultrasound device may be used to detect any backflow of blood within the venous system.
You will be asked about any other problems you may have with your legs, such as pain, aching, itching or tenderness. You will also be asked about your medical history, medications you take, or conditions that would prevent you from having treatment. Patients with circulatory problems, heart conditions, or diabetes may be advised against treatment.
It is important to be open in discussing your treatment goals. Don’t hesitate to ask any questions or express any concerns you may have. The physician or nurse will explain the recommended treatment plan in detail, along with its risks and benefits, the recovery period and the costs.