CarneyServices and Clinical CentersVein Center

Vein Center

The Vein Center at Carney Hospital provides evaluation and treatment for patients with symptomatic varicose veins. Problems with varicose veins range from pain and swelling to the more complicated problem of blood pooling within the vein as a result of weakened valves. Our team of board-certified surgeons evaluate the problem and then recommends non-invasive treatments.

The Vein Center Team

Thomas O'Donnell, Jr., MD is internationally recognized for his work in the management of venous disease. He continues to be a key contributor to developing techniques to evaluate and treat vein related problems including endovenous ablation, a minimally invasive technique to treat symptomatic varicose veins.

Gregory Kechejian, MD has extensive experience in the evaluation and management of a variety of venous disorders including varicose veins, leg swelling/pain and chronic foot/leg wounds.

The Vein Center is located in the hospital's Copeland Surgical Center.

What is the Difference Between Spider Veins and Varicose Veins?

Spider veins and varicose veins are commonly confused, but the treatment and payment for these two vascular problems are quite different and it is therefore very important to understand the difference. Spider veins occur when the blood vessels just below the surface of the skin dilate and cause the veins to be easily seen. These veins can be unsightly but are not harmful unless the blood vessels bleed. The treatment of spider veins is considered a cosmetic procedure. Varicose veins occur when a vein is dilated or its valves are damaged, causing the blood to flow in the wrong direction (away from the heart) and resulting in the pooling of blood and swelling of the vein. The most common site of varicose veins is in the calf muscle of the leg. Severe varicose veins are referred to as chronic venous insufficiency, symptoms of which include aching pain, leg fatigue and leg heaviness. Varicose veins adversely affect one’s health if untreated because they may cause ulcerations which are difficult to treat.

Treatment of Varicose Veins

Varicose vein treatment begins with non-invasive duplex ultrasound which allows the surgeons to construct an individualized treatment for the patient’s specific problem. The duplex ultrasound specifically allows the surgeons to understand where exactly the vein needs to be corrected as well as detecting blood flow abnormalities. After the duplex ultrasound the surgeon with construct an individualized treatment using a minimally invasive procedure called endovenous ablation. Endovenous ablation erases the main vein in the thigh (the saphenous vein) with either radiofrequency or laser energy which cause the vein walls to shrivel up. During this procedure you will be under oral sedation and local anesthesia to help you relax and reduce pain.

After Care of Varicose Vein Treatment

No overnight stay in the hospital is required for this treatment and you may return home soon after the procedure, however, you must wait one to two days to resume normal activities. Some bruising and slight pain may occur. The pain can be treated with over the counter medicine. You may see results beginning immediately after the procedure, or it may take one to two weeks to see results. Your doctor may instruct you to wear elastic stockings, elevate your legs, walk daily, avoid strenuous exercise for one to two weeks, avoid hot environments, and avoid immediate air travel.

Treatment of Spider Veins

Spider veins are treated with a procedure called sclerotherapy which involves injecting a chemical into the blood vessel with a very small needle. The chemical causes inflammation which results in the walls of the blood vessel sticking together and no longer being able to hold blood. This treatment is relatively painless and may only cause a small burning or stinging feeling.

After Care of Spider Vein Treatment

Sclerotherapy treatment can be completed in a short office visit and you may return to your normal activities immediately after treatment. Do not expect the spider veins to disappear immediately, they may take up to 12 weeks to disappear and in rare cases they may need to be treated multiple times. Sometimes blood can become trapped in the treated spider veins, if this occurs your physician can remove it with a small puncture. Your doctor may instruct you to wear compression socks, elevate your legs, walk daily, avoid strenuous activity, avoid hot environments, protect the treated area from sun exposure, and avoid immediate air travel.

Vein Center
Carney Hospital


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