Part 2 of 2-Part Series: What are Varicose Veins, and Can They be Prevented?

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Board-certified vein disease expert Keith C. Nichols, MD, RPVI, has more than a decade's experience diagnosing and treating venous diseases. He is a former emergency physician who founded and operated a free medical clinic and now is the lead physician at the Suffolk and Virginia Beach, Virginia, locations of Center for Vein Restoration (CVR).

In this informative video, Dr. Nichols details what varicose veins are, how they progress, and what can be done to reduce the risk of developing these painful, unsightly leg veins.

How would you know if you should seek treatment for leg veins?

Dr. Nichols advises that anyone who has pain, swelling, or discoloration of the legs should come in for an initial evaluation. He adds that "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" when it comes to vein disease.

What happens during the initial evaluation?

At Dr. Nichols’ office, the evaluation takes about two hours total. It includes an ultrasound of the legs, which shows the anatomy of the veins and helps the doctor figure out the cause of the vein disease and how to treat them. After the visit with the vascular tech and nurse, the patient has a consultation with the doctor who will evaluate the patient, review the ultrasound, and formulate a care plan.

What does the care plan consist of?

Depending on the patient’s needs, Dr. Nichols can formulae different plans. “The nice thing is that everything can be done in the office,” according to Dr. Nichols. All treatment options are minimally invasive, takes 20 to 30 minutes to complete, and no general anesthesia is required.

Treatment options include:

Can a patient resume normal activities on the same day as treatment?

Yes patients can drive themselves to and from treatment appointments and do very well with minimal downtime, Dr. Nichols declares.

Are there any follow-up appointments after a procedure?

Dr. Nichols states that he follows his patients closely because “venous disease is a progressive disorder that requires ultrasounds and evaluations over a period of time to ensure that the disease isn’t progressing and that the treatments have been successful.”

Once treated, can a varicose vein come back?

While a varicose vein can come back, it is rare, says Dr. Nichols. For example, the success rate for radiofrequency ablation is about 98 percent. Even after five years, “the success is still 90 percent, which is about as good a success rate that you’ll find in medicine,” he adds.

However, other varicose veins may appear as the result of the progressive nature of vein disease. If a new varicose vein develops, it will be evaluated and treated accordingly.

What else do people need to know about treatment for varicose veins?

Many people have the misperception that varicose vein treatment involves a hospital stay, general anesthesia, and "vein stripping" that has a lengthy recovery time and scarring. However, nothing can be further from the truth! Current treatment is performed in-office, is quick, and patients return to normal[KN1] activity within a day or two, assures Dr. Nichols.

Schedule an Appointment with a Vein Expert

The board-certified physicians at Center for Vein Restoration have the experience and technology to diagnose and successfully treat venous insufficiency. Trust your health to the nation’s leader in vein care. Treatment is covered by most major insurances, including Medicare and Medicaid. Call 1-800-FIX-LEGS or visit conterforvein.com to schedule your appointment near you.


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