Clark Memorial Hospital Vein Center
Say hello to life without painful, swollen legs.
If varicose veins and other forms of venous disease keep you from enjoying the life you want, you’re not alone. More than 40 million Americans have painful, swollen legs as a result of venous disease. The good news is that minimally invasive treatment options are available right here in Southern Indiana at Clark Memorial Hospital Vein Center.
What is venous insufficiency?
Venous insufficiency happens where there are faulty valves in the veins. In a healthy vein, there are one-way valves that allow the blood to move toward the heart, but not away. In a diseased vein, these valves do not work properly; this allows the blood to fall downward between heartbeats. This back and forth motion of blood leads to an increased venous blood pressure resulting in inflammation of the tissues around the vein.
What causes venous insufficiency?
The number one risk factor for venous disease is something you can’t control: your genes. If your parents had varicose veins, you have an 89 percent chance of developing them.
In addition to heredity, other risk factors are related to …
- Gender – Women, especially those who have had multiple pregnancies, are three times more likely than men to develop venous disorders.
- Occupation – Professions that require long periods of sitting or standing increase your risk for venous disease.
- Age – While older people are at a higher risk for venous disease, it can start as early as childhood.
What are the signs of venous insufficiency?
Symptoms may include:
- Leg pain or swelling
- Burning or itching skin
- Heavy, tired or restless legs
- Skin discolorations
- Open ulcers on legs
- Restless Leg Syndrome
- Leg cramps
- Blood clots
- Neuropathy (damage to the nerves that causes weakness, numbness and pain)
How is venous disease treated?
Venous disease can be treated with a minimally invasive procedure called endovenous thermal ablation. During this procedure, a catheter is inserted into the diseased vein using a small (2-3 mm) incision. Heat is applied to the vein wall, which causes it to close. The body then naturally re-routes the blood through other healthy veins.
The procedure is done under local anesthetic. Patients are usually up and walking immediately after the procedure and they return to their normal activities the same day. Many notice immediate relief of symptoms.
Most major insurance companies, including Medicare, cover this procedure.
Endovenous thermal ablation is different from sclerotherapy, which is used for the treatment of spider veins. Sclerotherapy is not covered by insurance because spider veins are often treated for cosmetic reasons, not medical reasons.
Your physician can discuss your coverage further at the time of the consultation.
Meet the Vein Center Team
James Van Daalen, MD is certified by the American Board of Surgery and the American Board of Thoracic Surgery. More information
Matthew E. Hennig, MD is a thoracic and vascular surgeon. He earned his Medical Degree from Texas Tech University and Bachelor of Science Degree from Texas A&M University. More information
Marla A. Beeler, MSN, FNP, APRN received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Indiana University Southeast and graduated cum laude with her Masters’ Degree from Bellarmine University. She is Board Certified by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. More information
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