Selecting a Practice

WHAT TYPE OF CONDITIONS ARE TREATED AT VASCULAR SOLUTIONS?

Vascular Solutions is a full-service destination for any type of vein problem.

We treat the full spectrum of vein disorders, ranging from simple cosmetic spider veins all the way through to complex vein problems and leg ulcers (wounds).

We commonly assess and manage the following vein-related problems:

  • Cosmetic concerns
  • Spider veins
  • Reticular Veins
  • Varicose veins
  • Perforator veins
  • Leg swelling/edema
  • Leg pain (aching, throbbing)
  • Leg fatigue
  • Leg cramps
  • Leg restlessness / restless-leg syndrome
  • Leg swelling
  • Leg itching – caused by “stasis dermatitis”
  • Leg discoloration – typically at (or above) the ankle area
  • Leg wounds – typically at (or above) the ankle area
  • Venous outflow obstruction (narrowing of the pelvic veins)

Regardless of the nature (or severity) of the vein problem an individualized treatment plan is carefully formulated.

WHAT SHOULD I LOOK FOR WHEN SELECTING A VEIN-CARE / VASCULAR CENTER?

When selecting a vein-care or vascular center it may be prudent to ask the following questions:

  1. Are the physicians adequately trained and experienced to accurately diagnose and successfully treat my problem?
  2. Are the physicians in the practice board certified?
  3. If the problem requires procedural (or surgical) intervention would I prefer a surgeon to perform my procedure?
  4. Do physicians at the practice have a reputation for excellence?
  5. Will I be treated with care, compassion and respect?
  6. Are physicians in the practice leaders in their field?

At Vascular Solutions the answer is “yes” to all of the above.

WHAT TYPE OF DOCTOR WILL TREAT MY PROBLEM?

Vascular surgeons are sub-specialty trained in the surgical (and procedural) treatment of vascular disorders. Dr. Ford is a board certified vascular surgeon. Given Dr. Ford’s requisite knowledge of vascular disease, he can accurately determine if your leg-symptoms are “vascular” in nature.

WHY VASCULAR SOLUTIONS?

Vascular Solutions is a comprehensive vein and vascular center. We take exceptional care of patients, regardless of the simplicity or complexity of the problem.

  • Every patient is individually assessed.
  • Every patient is MD evaluated.
  • Adjunctive diagnostic testing is seamlessly coordinated and performed on-site.
  • Every patient leaves educated about treatment options.
  • Patients are never pressured (or coerced) into having procedures.
  • We exist to serve the best interests of our patients.

VEIN PROBLEMS (GENERAL / OVERVIEW)

WHAT ARE SPIDER VEINS?

When tiny veins just below the skin surface become damaged, it may be possible to see these veins through the skin.

The term “spider vein” refers to the “web-like” appearance of these tiny veins. Spider veins are <1mm diameter.

Spider veins can appear blue, purple, or red in color.

If I only have spider veins without significant symptoms do I need a venous ultrasound?

If you simply have scattered spider veins (<1mm in diameter) without symptoms (such as pain, aching, heaviness or swelling) you most likely do not require ultrasound evaluation.

For people with isolated skin-surface spider veins (with minimal or no symptoms) a variety of cosmetic options are available.

If you are interested in finding out more information about cosmetic options, or uncertain whether you would benefit from ultrasound imaging, Vascular Solutions offers free preliminary “vein-screening” consultations.

The purpose of a vein-screening consultation is to allow Dr. Ford to appraise the quality & severity of any symptoms (if present), evaluate the appearance of your legs, and determine whether ultrasound testing is indicated.

Dr. Ford will make a recommendation whether ultrasound testing may be beneficial in your situation.

IF I HAVE SPIDER VEINS WITHOUT SIGNIFICANT SYMPTOMS DO I NEED AN VENOUS ULTRASOUND?

If you simply have scattered spider veins (<1mm in diameter) without symptoms of pain, aching, heaviness or swelling you may not require ultrasound evaluation.

For people in this category we offer a preliminary “consultation” with Dr. Ford or Dr. Sharma. The purpose of this consultation is to verify whether ultrasound testing is indicated, and to review management options. During this consultation your medical history will be reviewed and your legs will be examined.

Dr. Ford or Dr. Sharma will make a recommendation whether ultrasound testing will be beneficial in your situation. If necessary an ultrasound can be immediately performed during the same visit.

WHAT ARE VARICOSE VEINS?

Varicose veins are abnormally dilated veins, measuring more than 3mm in diameter.

The most common site of varicose veins is the legs.

Varicose veins can result in symptoms of leg fatigue, aching, discomfort, itching, and other symptoms.

Varicose veins can bulge, twist, and stand out visibly on the skin surface.

WHAT ARE SYMPTOMS OF VARICOSE VEINS AND VEIN DISEASE?

For patients with bulging, rope-like, or prominent varicose veins the diagnosis is self-evident.

Interestingly, people can have significant underlying vein disease without having visible varicose veins at the skin surface.

Common symptoms of underlying vein disease:

  • Leg aching.
  • Leg fatigue / tiredness.
  • Heaviness.
  • Cramping (may occur day or night)
  • Tingling / numbness
  • Restless leg syndrome symptoms

Common signs of underlying vein disease:

  • Swelling (feet or ankles)
  • Brown discoloration of the skin (ankles or legs).
  • Open sores (ankles or legs).

Leg symptoms related to vein disease are typically exacerbated by prolonged sitting and standing.

WHAT IS VENOUS REFLUX DISEASE?

Venous reflux disease occurs when valves within the leg veins are damaged or not functioning correctly.

When the valves are not functioning correctly, blood can pool in the lower part of the legs.

Typical symptoms include discomfort/pain, swelling, heaviness fatigue, and bulging varicose veins.

WHAT CAUSES VARICOSE VEINS?

Varicose veins can occur in both men and women, and can occur at any age.

In many patients, it remains difficult (if not impossible) to pinpoint a specific reason why varicose veins have developed.

Most patients with varicose veins have one (or more) of the following “risk factors”:

  • Advancing age
  • Female Gender
  • Pregnancy (especially multiple pregnancies)
  • Hormonal factors
  • Excessive body weight / obesity
  • Prolonged standing or sitting (especially jobs that involve prolonged standing)
  • Family history of vein disease
  • Clots in the superficial or deep veins

ClosureFast Procedure

WHAT IS THE CLOSURE PROCEDURE?

The “Closure” procedure is a minimally-invasive intervention that allows problematic veins to be sealed closed.

The “Closure” procedure is routinely performed in the office using local anesthetic.

This procedure involves temporary insertion a specially designed catheter into the target vein.  At the completion of the procedure (after the vein is sealed) the catheter is completely removed.

Patients typically return to normal activity within a couple of days.

Is there data to support the effectiveness of the ClosureFast Procedure?

Yes, the ClosureFast Procedure has been rigorously tested and proven across multiple studies and patients.

  1. Proebstle TM, Alm BJ, Gockeritz O et al. Five-year results from the prospective European multicentre cohort study on radiofrequency segmental thermal ablation for incompetent great saphenous veins. British Journal of Surgery. 2015;102:212-8.
  2. Proebstle T, Alm J, Gockeritz O, et al. Three year European follow-up endovenous radiofrequency thermal ablation of the great saphenous vein with or without treatment of calf varicosities. J Vasc Surg. 2011;54(1)146-52.
  3. Almeida JI, Kaufman J, Goekeritz O, et al. Radiofrequency Endovenous ClosureFAST versus Laser Ablation for the Treatment of Great Saphenous Reflux: A Multicenter, Single-Blinded, Randomized Study (Recovery Study). JVIR June 2009.
  4. H. Rasmussen, M. Lawaetz, L. Bjoern, B. Vennits, A. Blemings and B. Eklof, Randomized Clinical Trial Comparing Endovenous Laser Ablation, Radiofrequency Ablation, Foam Sclerotherapy and Surgical Stripping for Great Saphenous Varicose Veins. British Journal of Surgery Society Ltd., Wiley Online Library, www.bjs.co.uk, March 15, 2011.

HOW IS THE CLOSURE PROCEDURE DIFFERENT FROM VEIN STRIPPING?

Traditional “vein-stripping” procedures involve utilizing surgical incisions to tie off the vein, and using a stripper tool to pull the target vein out of the body.

The Closure procedure avoids the need for surgical cutdowns. The procedure is performed through a small puncture that usually measures only 5mm length. This dramatically reduces the risk of bruising and pain associated with vein stripping.

Vein stripping is usually performed in an operating room, under a general anesthetic. The Closure procedure is performed on an outpatient basis, typically using local anesthesia.

HOW LONG DOES THE CLOSURE PROCEDURE TAKE?

The Closure procedure takes approximately 30 minutes, though patients normally spend 1-1.5 hours at the medical facility due to normal pre- and post-treatment procedures.

HOW SOON AFTER TREATMENT WILL MY SYMPTOMS IMPROVE?

Most patients report a noticeable improvement in their symptoms within 2-3 days of the procedure.

IS THERE ANY SCARRING, BRUISING, OR SWELLING AFTER THE CLOSURE PROCEDURE?

Patients report minimal to no scarring, bruising, or swelling following the Closure procedure.

IS THE CLOSURE PROCEDURE SUITABLE FOR EVERYONE?

Only a physician call tell you if the Closure procedure is a viable option for your vein problem. Experience has shown that the majority of patients with superficial venous reflux disease can be treated with the Closure procedure.

Is the ClosureFast procedure suitable for everyone?

Only a physician call tell you if the ClosureFast procedure is a viable option for your vein problem. Experience has shown that the majority of patients with superficial venous reflux disease can be treated with the ClosureFast procedure.

IS AGE AN IMPORTANT CONSIDERATION FOR THE CLOSURE PROCEDURE?

The most important step in determining whether or not the Closure procedure is appropriate for you is a complete ultrasound examination. Age alone is not a factor in determining whether or not the Closure procedure is appropriate for you. The Closure procedure has been used to treat patients across a wide range of ages.

WHAT HAPPENS TO THE TREATED VEIN LEFT BEHIND IN THE LEG?

The vein simply becomes fibrous tissue after treatment. Over time, the vein will gradually incorporate into surrounding tissue. One study reported that 89% of treated veins are indistinguishable from other body tissue one year after the Closure procedure was performed.

VenaSeal Closure System

What is the VenaSeal Closure System?

The VenaSeal Closure System is a product that is used to seal problem veins closed. This product became “FDA approved in 2015 after several years of rigorous scientific testing.

This procedure involves injecting a microscopic amount of adhesive polymer into the target vein via a long delivery catheter. The delivery catheter is removed at the end of the procedure.

This procedure uses a specially formulated medical adhesive, that has been designed and proven safe for administration into humans. Once injected the adhesive seals the target vein closed within seconds.

What does the VenaSeal adhesive look like?

The VenaSeal adhesive is colorless (transparent) and is quite viscous.

How much VenaSeal adhesive does it take to seal the vein?

VenaSeal comes packaged in a small jar that holds 5mls of adhesive (ie. 17% of a fluid ounce).

One small jar of adhesive is enough to seal off the longest vein in the body. Due to the high potency of the adhesive only a microscopic amount is required to seal the vein.

How quickly does VenaSeal work?

The VenaSeal adhesive sets rapidly within seconds.

Manual pressure is gently applied to the skin overlying the vein for 3 minutes at the upper portion of the treatment zone, to facilitate complete bonding and occlusion of the vein. The delivery catheter gets sequentially pulled back in 3cm increments, with manual pressure being applied to the skin overlying the vein for 30 seconds at each segment. The procedure typically takes about 30 minutes.

What is the success rate of the VenaSeal Closure System?

What is the success rate of the VenaSeal Closure System?

What are the advantages of VenaSeal Closure System over other treatment modalities?

  • Negligible discomfort (most patients report the procedure is less painful than a flu shot).
  • No risk of heat-induced nerve injury.
  • No requirement for leg bandages or compression stockings after the procedure.
  • Immediate return to work and sporting activity.

Varithena Microfoam

What is Varithena microfoam?

Varithena microfoam is a product that can be used to seal dysfunctional problem veins in the legs.

The microfoam gets injected into the target vein using ultrasound guidance via a thin micro-catheter.

The foam causes immediate spasm and blockage of the target vein. Over the following few weeks the target vein contracts and regresses.

What are some of the advantages of Varithena microfoam?

  • Quick & easy to perform
  • High success rate
  • No risk of heat-induced nerve injury.
  • Can treat veins that are twisted or irregularly shaped.
  • Can be used in any part of the leg (from the ankle to groin)

Phlebectomy

What is phlebectomy?

Phlebectomy is a common procedure used to treat bulging, ropey leg veins.

To allow the procedure to be performed comfortably, local anesthetic is administered around the target vein. A tiny skin puncture is made with the tip of a needle over the target vein. A small hook is then used to remove the vein through the micro-incision.

Removing veins via phlebectomy restores normal skin contour, which optimizes cosmetic outcomes for patients with bulging veins.

Sclerotherapy

What is sclerotherapy?

Sclerotherapy is a quick office-based procedure that uses a small needle (similar in size to an acupuncture needle) to inject liquid medicine into small surface veins, which causes the target veins to contract, regress and fade.