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How a Vein Doctor Can Help Patients with Chronic Venous Insufficiency

How a Vein Doctor Can Help Patients with Chronic Venous Insufficiency

Until they experience cosmetic issues or discomfort, most people are unaware that they suffer from chronic venous insufficiency.  Knowing the basics of this progressive disorder can help patients decide when to see a vein doctor and understand how to manage the condition long-term.

Causes and Symptoms

The purpose of veins is transporting blood from internal organs and extremities back to the heart.  One-way valves in each vein help this flow withstand the pull of gravity and prevent blood from falling backward.  With the passing of years or as the result of injury, these valves sometimes become defective.

When a valve malfunctions, blood flows backward and pools behind it.  This eventually creates chronic venous insufficiency, according to Medline Plus.  As the pool expands, varicose veins or spider veins sometimes form.

Discomfort sends some patients to see vein doctors, also known as vascular surgeons, even before they notice the presence of varicose or spider veins.

A number of factors potentially contribute to chronic venous insufficiency.  The most common, as reported by The University of Chicago Medicine, include:

  • Smoking
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Blood clot in a deep vein
  • Phlebitis
  • Genetics
  • Prior leg trauma
  • Pregnancy
  • Extra weight
  • High blood pressure in leg veins over an extended period
  • Prolonged sitting or standing

Among patients who visit a vein clinic for vein treatment, these are the most frequent symptoms, according to the Cleveland Clinic:

  • Swelling
  • Weakness in a leg
  • Skin ulcers
  • Burning, throbbing, or aching in the feet and legs
  • Cramping
  • Discoloration of the skin
  • Spider or varicose veins

How Vascular Surgeons Treat Chronic Venous Insufficiency

Venous insufficiency is a progressive disorder.  If a consultation at a vein clinic results in this diagnosis, it is sometimes possible to prevent the condition from worsening with the appropriate type of vein treatment.  Vein doctors often recommend self-care changes like losing weight, boosting physical activity, giving up smoking, wearing compression stockings, and avoiding long periods of standing or sitting.

If the disorder progresses in spite of a patient’s efforts, a vascular specialist can recommend additional treatments appropriate for severe cases, says MedlinePlus.  They include:

  • Medication:  Includes diuretics, blood thinners, and drugs to improve blood flow, sometimes used in conjunction with compression therapy
  • Sclerotherapy:  Involves using a fine needle to inject a chemical into a targeted vein, causing it to scar, close, and disappear
  • Ablation:  Uses heat to close and destroy a vessel, typically employing the Venefit procedure, formerly called VNUS Closure
  • Bypass:  Reroutes blood via surgery so that it goes around a blocked or damaged vein
  • Angioplasty and stenting:  Opens a narrowed or obstructed vessel using a small balloon and inserts a metal mesh stent to keep it open

Since no treatment can prevent the formation of new varicose or spider veins, some patients return for periodic treatments.


Risk Factors for Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)

The disorder known as Deep Vein Thrombosis, or DVT happens when you have a blood clot beginning to form inside a deep vein. DVT clots usually form in the thigh, lower leg, or pelvis; however in some cases, they can form in the arm as well.

Often, it is serious and under-diagnosed by vein doctors, but it is a medical condition that is preventable. This condition can happen to anyone and can result in disability, severe illness, and sometimes, death. Therefore, it’s essential that you learn all you can about DVT.

Risk Factors of Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)


Researchers have found links between various genetic factors and DVT. The British Journal of Haematology published a study in 2013 that revealed about half of the study participants who had DVT also had a genetic condition which included deficiencies of protein C and S and factor V Leiden. These affect how blood coagulates. The journal Gene published another study in 2014 that showed that people who have clotting issues because of a genetic mutation tend to also have other mutations which puts them at a higher risk for VTE.


The veins in your legs and pelvis receive increased pressure during pregnancy. Higher at risk are women who already have an inherited clotting disorder. You are still at risk of pregnancy-related blood clots for up to six weeks after giving birth.

Sitting Too Long

When you fly or drive, you tend to sit for long time periods. This keeps your legs still for hours, which keep your calf muscles from contracting. Because contracting your calf muscles helps your blood to circulate, when your calf muscles are not moving for long time periods, it can lead to blood clots.  You’ll have to visit a Pacific Northwest vein clinic to have it evaluated and treated.

Certain Diseases

Various disorders and diseases can heighten your risk of getting blood clots, including blood-clotting disorders that are hereditary, particularly if you already have a risk factor. Your risk for getting a blood clot is increased if you have inflammatory bowel disease or cancer.  You are also higher at risk if you have heart failure, which is a disorder that lessens your heart’s ability to pump blood.

Preventing DVT

If you’ve been confined to your bed for a long time due to an illness, following a surgery, or injury, it’s important that you get up and move around as soon as you can.  You should talk with a doctor or vascular surgeons if it requires surgery. If not, your doctor can help you prevent DVT by advising you to not sit for long time periods and if you need to, be sure to get up every couple hours and walk around. They might offer you vein treatment, medication (anticoagulants) or medical compression stockings to help prevent you from getting DVT.

Other things you can do are wear clothes that are loose-fitting and exercise your legs while you sit.  You do this by tightening and releasing them and raising and lowering your toes and heels while keeping them on the floor. Avoid living a sedentary lifestyle, maintain a healthy weight and follow all recommendations your doctor gives you which are personalized to your individual risk factors.

Visit our Vascular Diagnostics page to learn about the screening options available at Northwest Vein & Aesthetic Center.

Endovenous Laser Ablation as an Option for Vein Problems

Anyone who wants to address issues like varicose veins or spider veins can work with a vein clinic to get the right treatment. With options like Venefit and the VNUS Closure, along with sclerotherapy and more, there are plenty of choices to consider. Among the procedures that can used to help you improve the look and feel of your legs is endovenous laser ablation. In order to decide which is going to be the right procedure for your particular situation, though, working with vascular surgeons is recommended. That way, you will get the best procedure for your needs, and have the highest chance at a results you are very happy with.

Is Endovenous Laser Ablation the Best Procedure for You

Laser ablation is a popular choice for vein treatment, and widely performed throughout the world. It works well for varicose veins in reducing the way they look and also improving the way the legs feel. It is minimally invasive, with vein doctors who perform the procedure using targeted laser energy to seal the vein. A small needle is inserted into the vein to be treated, much like an IV, and a laser fiber is placed into the vein through the needle. Ultrasound guidance is used to carefully place the fiber in an exact, pre-determined position, and only a local anesthetic is needed.

The procedure takes approximately an hour and recovery is fast. Walking afterward is not a problem, and within a few days a patient can go back to all the normal activities they enjoy. If your doctor believes you are a good candidate for laser ablation to treat varicose veins, you can expect the procedure to generally take under an hour, and to be easy to get through and recovery from. You will look and feel better afterward, and the procedure can be used on more than one vein.

You Can be Back to Work in No Time With the Right Vein Treatment

When laser ablation, sclerotherapy, or the Venefit procedure are performed, you can be up and walking shortly after the procedure is completed. Your vein doctor will work with you on any aftercare instructions or concerns you should watch out for. In a few days, you will be back to all of the normal activities you enjoy, and can go back to work. Depending on the type of job you have, you may be able to return to work the very next day.

By experiencing minimal downtime, your laser ablation procedure will not interfere with your work or your personal life. That way, you can take care of any vein problems you have without needing a lot of time off work or explaining to others why you can’t spend time with them. It’s an easy and convenient procedure to improve the look of your legs and reduce any pain or discomfort you may have.

Exploring Aesthetic Services

Whether you have unwanted hair on your face or a problem with your skin, you may be interested in one or more aesthetic services designed to improve your appearance. Here at the Northwest Vein & Aesthetic Center, we offer a number of aesthetic services for people with all types of treatment goals. Below is an overview of the cosmetic services available at our facility.

Professional Peels

Professional peels can be used to lighten scars and hyper-pigmented areas. These peels can also improve the appearance of dull skin.

Brow Tinting

If you have gray eyebrows, or if your eyebrows are lighter than you prefer, you can darken them with brow tinting.

Eminence European Facial

The eminence European facial is designed to relax the body and provide various therapeutic benefits. This treatment includes a massage of the neck and feet, as well as a deep cleanse. If you have oily skin or acne, blue LED light diodes can be used to kill bacteria. If you prefer rejuvenation of the skin and/or would like to improve the appearance of fine lines, red LED light diodes can be used.

We also offer youth facials designed specifically for younger people, as well as mini facials for our busiest clients.

HydraFacial MD

This treatment is designed for people who want smoother skin, fewer acne breakouts and/or fewer lines and wrinkles. HydraFacial MD integrates hydrating agents with dermabrasion to clean the skin, reduce the appearance of various cosmetic issues and provide clients with a healthy glow. This treatment can be customized to meet the needs of each individual client.


Clients who want to remove unwanted hair quickly often opt for waxing treatments. At Northwest Vein & Aesthetic Center, we provide waxing for virtually all areas of the body, including the bikini area, feet, hands, arms, legs, back, underarms, face, lip and brow.

Laser Treatments

Laser treatments provide lasting hair removal for clients who don’t want to bother with plucking or shaving. This treatment will work for people with all types of skin, but it is best for those with light skin and dark hair. Laser treatment can also be used to improve the appearance of various types of skin damage, including scars and sun damage.

Schedule Aesthetic Services

If you are interested in scheduling any of these treatments, or if you would like to learn more about our services, please contact Northwest Vein & Aesthetic Center today.