What is a Vein Clinic?
A vein clinic is a specialized center for the diagnosis and treatment of vein conditions, including spider veins and varicose veins. Historically, patients suffering from vein disease were treated in the hospital with ligation and stripping ( removal ) of the unhealthy vein. Nowadays, modern medicine has allowed for the treatment of varicose veins within specialty centers like vein clinics using minimally invasive procedures.
Who Might Visit A Vein Clinic
The veins in your body play an essential part in circulation; they are responsible for carrying the blood back to your heart. When the valves in the veins are unhealthy, the blood flow is partially reversed, which leads to blood pooling in your legs instead of being carried to your heart. Blood pooling in the legs veins is known as vein insufficiency or vein disease.
Several factors can contribute to vein insufficiency, for example, family history, age, blood clots, and pregnancy. One in three Americans over the age of 45 has some vein disease.
Some vein insufficiency symptoms include leg pain, night cramps, swelling, heaviness in the legs, eczema, spider veins, and varicose veins. If untreated, vein insufficiency can result in more severe conditions affecting the skin’s integrity and producing changes in the color of the skin and even skin ulceration.
What To Expect At Your Vein Clinic?
At the vein clinic, you will be evaluated by a vein specialist, also known as a Phlebologist. Highly qualified phlebologists have a background in vascular medicine and will maintain board-certifications in either vascular surgery, cardiology or the American Board of Vascular and Lymphatic Medicine (ABVLM). A vein clinic without a board-certified vascular specialist should be further evaluated.
Once a vein specialist physician has considered your medical history and performed a physical exam, a technician may perform a vascular ultrasound to check for vein insufficiency. Most prominent vein clinics have a team of vascular sonographers, with the lead technicians registered with the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS).
A registered vascular technologist (RVT) credential raises the standard of vascular ultrasound practice. By earning the RVT credential, the sonographer demonstrates the skills and knowledge required for providing consistent and reliable exams for evaluation of vein disease. The vein specialist physician will review the results of the testing and discuss the best treatment options for your condition.
- Specialized vein clinics offer a variety of treatment options for both medical and cosmetic conditions. The most popular and effective treatments are:
Endovenous ablation is used to treat larger bulging veins, it uses energy (Radiofrequency or Laser) to close the varicose vein.
- Chemical ablation is ultrasound guided foam sclerotherapy, it is used to treat varicose veins that can’t be treated with ablation.
- Sclerotherapy consists of a series of injections of a sclerosant solution to treat the smaller spider veins at the surface of the skin.
The vein specialist physician will work with you to provide the best treatment option based on your particular needs. A tailored approach is associated with higher patient satisfaction.