7800 Providence Road, Suite 209 | Charlotte, NC 28226 | (704) 544-7535

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Selecting A Practice

Vascular Solutions is a full-service destination for any type of vein (or vascular) 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).  Varicose veins and leg swelling are common conditions treated in the practice.

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

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.

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.

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)

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.

Spider veins are typically asymptomatic, and are usually a cosmetic concern.

Occasionally patients with spider veins will report tingling (or burning) in the area where the spider veins are located.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

In many patient’s it remains difficult (if not impossible) to pin-point a specific reason why varicose veins have developed.

Most patient 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

Vein Problems (Treatment Options)

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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