The Vein Center is located at the GHS Vascular Health Alliance at the Patewood Medical Campus. The center offers the latest technology for diagnosis of venous disease and the most advanced varicose and spider vein treatment options. The expertise of the center's physicians draws patients from Greenville, Asheville, Columbia, and areas throughout the region.
Varicose and Spider Veins
Swollen, bulging veins that make your legs ache and cause you to feel embarrassed about your appearance when wearing shorts or a bathing suit are not uncommon. Millions of Americans - most of them women - are suffering from these common conditions just like you.
Varicose veins occur when veins stop functioning properly. Healthy, strong valves in veins have a one-way function, with blood flowing toward the heart from the body. Weak valves, such as those in varicose veins, prevent normal, upward blood flow, causing blood to pool in the vein below the weak valve. This accumulation of blood creates excessive pressure, causing the veins to enlarge and distend, often producing pressure, swelling and pain.
For more information, listen to our podcast, Get a Leg Up on Varicose Veins.
Spider veins are similar to varicose veins, but are much smaller and closer to the surface of the skin. They are usually red or blue/purple in color and resemble a spider web pattern. These veins can cause discomfort, but unlike varicose veins, usually do not become a serious medical condition.
About 15 percent of U.S. adults have abnormal veins. Heredity, age, standing occupations and weight gain, including that from pregnancy, are among risk factors associated with developing vein problems. Obesity, physical trauma to the legs and hormone therapy can further aggravate your veins. Treatment can help relieve symptoms, improve appearance and possibly prevent a more complex medical condition. If left untreated, advanced cases of varicose veins can lead to blood clots, inflammation of veins (phlebitis), bleeding and ulcers.
Treatments to Help You Look and Feel Better
If you are experiencing symptoms such as muscle cramping, swelling, tenderness, or aching in your legs, or if you are simply tired of the appearance of your veins, it's time to learn more about varicose and spider vein treatment options. Drawing patients from Greenville, Asheville, Columbia, and areas throughout the Southeast, the vein experts at The Vein Center can help determine the treatment that is right for you.
Endovenous Laser Treatment (EVLT)
A minimally invasive procedure to treat varicose veins, EVLT is an alternative to both traditional surgery and other treatments that require minimal access to the vein. EVLT uses heat from a laser beam to destroy the varicose vein wall and close the unhealthy vein. The physician uses an ultrasound to locate the vein and then guides a thin laser fiber through a tiny entry point, usually near the knee. Advantages include shorter recovery times compared to traditional vein surgeries, minimal scarring and a rapid return to normal activities. The procedure takes less than an hour to perform, and most patients experience immediate relief from their symptoms. Anesthesia is used.
This minimally invasive approach involves the injection of a solution into the vein, causing it to shrink and turn to scar tissue, which the body then absorbs. Three to six treatments usually are needed, depending on the size and number of the veins. Compression bandages or stockings may need to be wrapped around the legs for two to three weeks. The treated area will look worse at first but then look much better within three to four weeks. Sedation is not necessary.
Physicians make tiny incisions to take a vein out using specially designed instruments. Parts of the vein are removed with each small incision until no varicose veins remain. Anesthesia is used.
Comprehensive Care in a Comfortable EnvironmentOur Institute is affiliated with the Vascular Health Alliance, a not-for-profit organization created to standardize patient care around evidence-based protocols for treatment. No matter which physician you see from this collaborative team of top vascular surgeons and vascular medicine specialists, you'll receive a consistent, standardized level of treatment deemed the best practice in the vascular world.
Our goal is to provide every vein patient an experience that addresses their issues in the most comfortable way possible while ultimately building their confidence and improving their quality of life.
Our team suggests a proactive approach to reducing the impact of venous disease and to preventing outbreaks of varicose and spider veins. Keep your veins healthy by exercising regularly, wearing support hose or compression socks, elevating your feet above your heart, moisturizing skin, treating fungal infections immediately, maintaining a healthy weight and lowering your salt intake.
For more information about spider and varicose vein treatment options, or to make an appointment at The Vein Center, which serves Greenville, Asheville, Columbia, and surrounding areas, call (864) 454-VEIN (8346).