In previous years, it was thought that the only and most effective treatment for varicose veins was vein stripping and cauterization. These treatments would tend to have longer periods of recovery time, pain and larger scars.
Now, with more innovative technologies, Physician’s Imaging & Vein Care Clinic offers more effective, less invasive treatments that have you back to your normal activities a lot sooner, and in most cases, the very next day!
Dr. Furlong and his courteous staff will give you the personalized attention you deserve to help you narrow down your best options for treatment.
The following will outline some of the procedures and treatment options we have to offer:
The very first step in determining any type vein treatment is first determining your personal vein condition. This begins by “screening” your legs in a dark room using an intensified light to look for any deeper venous problems. This procedure is painless, non-invasive and is usually conducted in a fairly
The following step will be to undergo a duplex ultrasound, which is a diagnostic method that gives ultrasound images of the path, size and blood flow of affected veins that may not be easily visible to the naked eye. A duplex ultrasound is also painless and non-invasive.
To better suit your personal condition, Dr. Furlong will give you one-on-one attention during your consultation. In this step, you will be educated on your vein problems and guided through your treatment options. Dr. Furlong will also answer any of your personalized questions you may have at this point.
The following are the procedure treatment options:
Radiofrequency Ablation / VNUS Closure®
Under the trademark name VNUS Closure or VNUS ClosureFast, radiofrequency (RF) ablation works by using a catheter to direct radiofrequency energy into the vein walls. As a result, the damaged vein shuts itself down and the blood flow is redirected to healthier veins. With Radiofrequency Ablation, bruising and discomfort are minimal and patients return fairly quickly to normal activity levels.
Endovenous laser treatment
As one of the leading new treatments for varicose veins, Endovenous Laser Treatment (EVLT) is done under local anesthesia. Once the skin is numbed, laser energy is directed at the varicose vein using a laser fiber. The energy causes the vein walls to shrink and collapse, and the body eventually reabsorbs it while also redirecting blood flow to healthier veins. Benefits of Endovenous Laser Treatment include its brief duration (usually less than two hours), its high success rate and its minimal level of discomfort. Patients are usually able to return to normal activity levels within a few days.
Physician’s Imaging & Vein Care Clinic uses the ThermaLite 1470nm laser for Endovenous Laser Treatment. This advanced laser technology uses a higher wavelength to specifically target water (rather than blood) within the vein wall, providing precise heating than earlier-generation lasers (e.g. 810nm, 980nm).
Varicose veins that are large and close to the surface of the skin often react well to ambulatory phlebectomy, a procedure in which the surgeon applies a local anesthetic and then makes a very small (1 mm) incision through which the diseased vein can be extracted. Compression bandages are usually recommended for about two weeks afterwards to facilitate healing.
VeinGogh is a very recently developed treatment for spider veins on the face, head or other parts of the body. In the VeinGogh procedure, a very fine needle point is inserted under the surface of the skin and an electric pulse is directed through the needle to cauterize the vein. The blood coagulates and the vein wall collapses, without affecting any of the surrounding skin.
Sclerotherapy is another popular treatment for spider veins. The term refers to the “sclerosing” or chemical agent that is injected into a spider vein through a tiny needle. The sclerosing agent causes the vein to corrode, after which it is reabsorbed by the body. This minimally invasive procedure inflicts little if any discomfort or bruising.
UGS (Ultrasound Guided Sclerotherapy)
Ultrasound guided sclerotherapy uses a similar approach to normal sclerotherapy but deploys the additional technology of ultrasound imaging to locate damaged veins far below the surface of the skin. This enables your physician to ensure proper placement of the sclerotherapy needle even when the affected veins are beyond view. Like its non-ultrasound counterparts, it results in few, if any, negative after effects.
Why wait? One of these treatment methods is sure to be a perfect fit for your vein problems. Again, your very first visit is absolutely free! Contact us today at either location, East or West, to schedule your free screening. You have nothing to lose except a healthier lifestyle!
Closure® is a registered trademark of VNUS Medical Technologies, Inc. (San Jose, CA)
VeinGogh is a trademark of Refine USA, LLC
Spider veins get their name from the web of red or blue veins that often start to spread across your legs as you age. They’re dilated superficial blood vessels like varicose veins, but smaller and closer to the skin. Spider veins are often in areas behind the knee, says Douglas Joseph, DO, a vascular medicine specialist at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, but they can appear anywhere on the body.
To show just how common spider veins are, a group of researchers looked at 1,566 people and found that 84 percent had spider veins — called telangiectasia in medical jargon — on their right legs alone. While they don’t usually cause medical problems, they can be eliminated for medical or cosmetic reasons with procedures such as laser treatment and sclerotherapy.
Who Gets Spider Veins?
Spider veins are caused by increased pressure in the veins, Dr. Joseph says. Doctors don’t know exactly why some people develop spider veins and others don’t, but they do know that the tendency to get them is hereditary, and that they’re more common as you get older. It’s also known that people who stand for a long time, such as nurses and teachers, tend to increase the amount of pressure in the veins of the legs and are more likely to develop spider veins, Joseph says.
In addition to the appearance of a patchwork of red and blue veins that you can see through the skin, people with spider veins may also experience:
Swelling in the legs
A feeling of heaviness in the legs
Tiredness in the legs
Lower Your Spider Vein Risk
You may not be able to totally prevent spider veins from appearing, but there are steps you can take to try to lower your risk:
Relieve some pressure. You can try to lessen the pressure on your legs that can lead to spider veins by keeping your weight down, and by avoiding standing or sitting for long periods. Experts recommend taking a walk every 30 minutes if you have to sit for long periods and avoiding crossing your legs while seated.
Keep the blood flowing. Exercising your legs by running or walking can increase leg circulation and strengthen your leg muscles.
Get support. If you’re going to be on your feet, Joseph recommends wearing a lightweight compression stocking, which he says can go a long way towards preventing and managing spider vein symptoms, including swelling. Try a lightweight compression sock with a gradient of 15 or 20 milliliters of mercury (a measure of how much pressure it puts on your veins). You can find these stocking in pharmacies and medical supply stores. “It’s best if you can get a certified stocking fitter to look at your leg and measure you properly,” Joseph says. While you can buy compression stockings over the counter, Joseph doesn’t recommend skipping a trip to the doctor about spider veins — you want to be sure you don’t have another significant vascular problem.
Prop up your feet. Elevating your legs is another main treatment for spider veins, Joseph says. Your legs must be elevated higher than your heart for best effect.
Slather on sunscreen. If you have light skin, sun exposure can lead to spider veins on your cheeks or nose, so wear sunscreen to minimize the damage.
Have any varicose veins treated. Varicose veins are larger, ropy looking veins with nonworking valves, a problem that allows blood to collect inside them. Having your varicose veins treated can reduce the pressure in the legs and prevent the development of additional spider veins, Joseph says.
Effective Treatments for Spider Veins
Two treatment options offer great results. Just keep in mind that these procedures may not be covered by insurance:
Sclerotherapy. Sclerotherapy is the most common treatment for spider veins, Joseph says. It involves injecting a solution into the vein that forces it to collapse, which stops blood flow. The vein will turn into a scar and fade after a few weeks. Most people who receive this treatment see a 50 to 90 percent improvement.
Laser treatment. While sclerotherapy is more common, the smaller, fine, reddish spider veins respond best to laser treatment because they’re harder to inject, Joseph says.
Spider veins are mainly a cosmetic issue and can be left alone if they don’t bother you. But if you’re unhappy about the way they look or if they’re painful, you can do something about them.
Do you suffer from varicose veins, spider veins or other forms of vein disease? You’re not alone. 80 million adults have vein problems. And most people are surprised to learn that nearly all health insurances cover the treatment of varicose vein diseases as medically necessary. At Physician’s Imaging & Vein Clinic, we can help you get rid of veins: safely, effectively, and comfortably.
Our leading El Paso vein clinic offers patients numerous advantages, including all of these:
One-on-one attention from Dr. Joseph Furlong, a board-certified physician who specializes in vein disease and treatment of conditions such as varicose veins and spider veins
We offer most leading minimally-invasive and noninvasive vein treatments like VNUS Closure, Endovenous Laser Ablation, and VeinGogh.
Our El Paso vein clinic is one of the most experienced centers in the US, having performed over 3000 vein ablations in 2010 alone.
Medical and office support staff members who are welcoming, knowledgeable, friendly, and dedicated to making your comfort and confidence their highest priority
A staff committed to not only treating your vein problems but also educating you about vein disease and the approaches most likely to help your vein condition
A clean, safe, private office environment where you will feel well taken care of every time you visit
- Fluent spanish-speaking staff
- Free screenings offered
- Office hours all day Saturday as well as throughout the week
- Most insurance plans accepted
Symptoms of varicose veins, a very common condition in adults, include the following:
- Purple, dark red or blue leg veins easily visible at the skins surface
- Leg veins that appear ropy, bulging or knotty
- Legs that ache, throb or feel generally uncomfortable
- A burning or itching sensation in the legs
- Leg fatigue when walking more than a short distance
- Restless leg syndrome that keeps you awake at night
- Spider veins, unlike varicose veins, seldom cause physical discomfort, but many people seek treatment because they can be unsightly. Spider veins are the tiny roadmap-like or cobwebby veins, usually blue or red, visible through the skin on the head, neck, chest, or arms.
As a leading vein clinic in El Paso, Physician’s Imaging & Vein Clinic offers a range of effective treatment for vein problems, including RF ablation, EVLT, ambulatory phlebectomy and sclerotherapy. Our expert medical staff at our vein clinic will evaluate your vein conditions and make a recommendation as to the best approach.
Most patients seek vein treatment because of the discomfort and/or unsightliness of varicose veins and spider veins. Regardless of the reason, it is very important to talk to a specialist about your veins, as conditions such as these can be indicative of more serious pulmonary problems. If you are a patient in greater El Paso, Texas area, including (Juarez) Mexico, and up to Las Cruces, NM, contact Physician’s Vein Clinic today to find out about free screenings and other ways to begin your treatment plan.
At Physician’s Vein Clinic, our experienced staff will identify the underlying cause(s) of your vein problems with a comprehensive medical evaluation. Together, you and our physician will discuss which treatment options are right for you and develop an individualized treatment plan. Whether you need cosmetic spider vein treatment, or more extensive treatment for symptomatic venous disease, our compassionate staff will provide you with the high level of care and service that you deserve.
The proliferation of “Vein Treatment” medical advertising both through traditional media and the internet has illustrated the diversity of physicians who claim to be trained to deliver quality vein care. It has created confusion among the general public as to who is best qualified to treat varicose veins and spider veins.
At Physician’s Imaging Vein Clinic we believe the patient should understand the landscape of vein care in order to make the most educated decision when choosing a provider who best performs medical and or cosmetic leg vein treatment. Patients must be comfortable and have confidence in their vein care physician.
Surgical training is imperative in order to treat varicose veins effectively and safely. Micro-surgical techniques are required to remove the varicose veins. After an ablation that destroys the saphenous vein (cause of problem), if the varicosities (result of problem) are not removed they will either remain visible or at worst, clot after the procedure resulting in pain, skin discoloration, and making it virtually impossible to remove later.
Most importantly try to speak to other patients who have had procedures done by that physician and hear what their experience was. This well help to confirm you are making the right decision in physician selection.
The field of phlebology (vein care) arose because vascular surgeons who traditionally treated patients with venous disease were not exclusively focused on veins. In fact, the majority of a vascular surgeon’s training is concentrated around the treatment of arterial disease rather than varicose veins. The original emphasis was on arterial surgical procedures leaving the treatment of venous disease as an afterthought which lead to less than satisfactory results. Vascular Surgery board certification does not always mean expertise in Vein treatment care. Patients began looking for physicians who focus exclusively on venous disease and turned away from providers who primarily focus on arterial disease.
Joseph B. Furlong, M.D.
Certified by the American Board of Phlebology
A leader in the treatment of vein disease and an expert in interventional radiology, Dr. Joseph B. Furlong attended medical school at the Creighton University School of Medicine in Omaha, Nebraska. He then completed a residency in Diagnostic Radiology at the UMKC-Truman Medical Center in Kansas City, Missouri.
Dr. Furlong did a fellowship in musculoskeletal radiology at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He is the medical director of both Physician’s Imaging & Vein Care Clinic and of Radworkers, Inc.
Much of Joseph Furlong’s medical career has been devoted to exploring his interest in imaging directed catheter treatments, to include the diagnosis and treatment of vein disease. He is board-certified by both the American Board of Radiology and the American Board of Phlebology. He is deeply committed to helping every one of his patients understand their individual diagnosis, treatment options and recommended procedures, and is diligent about spending one-on-one time talking with each patient about vein disease and how it can best be remedied.
It is with great pride that we announce the addition of Dr. Joseph B. Furlong to The American Board of Phlebology’s class of diplomats. Dr. Furlong’s certification is a direct reflection of his skill, knowledge and experience in providing quality patient care, and his continued commitment to the advancement of vein care. To become ABPh certified is truly an accomplishment. Less than 1% of all phlebology professionals in the U.S. and Canada have earned certification from the ABPh. Dr. Furlong joins an exclusive class of only 565 practitioners within the United States and Canada.
Vein clinics are used to treat varicose and spider veins. They may use vein sclerotherapy or laser therapy as a treatment for faulty veins in the legs. Varicose veins can cause a great deal of discomfort and pain, making the sufferer feel fatigued. Treating the veins at a vein clinic provides quick relief.
The advantage of going to a specialized clinic for treatment of your varicose veins is that the physicians and staff at vein clinics are well trained in the treatment of varicose veins and spider veins. Their experience means that you will get the best possible results from your medical procedure.
Vein sclerotherapy involves injecting a saline mixture directly into the affected vein. If the injection is made in the wrong spot, the procedure will not work. Additionally, the area that is injected with the solution will become extremely bruised, tender or itchy. Having a physician that has done numerous procedures is a definite advantage.
Choosing the best vein clinic can be difficult. Many vein clinics do a good job of advertising, but there is no guarantee that they are good at treating problem veins. Spend some time investigating vein clinics before you commit to one.
If you have any friends that have received treatment from a vein clinic, ask for recommendations. Ask how the staff treated them, how painful the procedure was and the type of follow-up care they received. If you’re comfortable doing so, ask to see the treated area.
You can also call several vein clinics and set up a meeting for an initial consultation. Most vein clinics will provide a free consultation for potential patients. The clinic should be clean, the employees friendly and helpful, and you shouldn’t have to wait over 15 minutes past the scheduled appointment time.
When talking to the doctor, you should feel that you have plenty of time to ask questions. They should be eager to provide you with before and after pictures of previous patients. Finally, they should be happy to take a look at your varicose veins and give you an honest assessment of your potential for treatment.
Spider veins are capillary veins which are easily visible through the skin, and generally appear as tiny webs of red, blue, or purple lines. Spider veins can become quite noticeable when they accumulate in sufficient number. Because of their small size and superficial location, spider veins rarely account for any symptoms in the legs. Although they are rarely a medical issue, many of our patients seek to eliminate their spider veins to enhance the aesthetic appearance of their legs.
Who is At Risk for Spider Veins?
Spider veins are very common. In fact, most people eventually have spider veins on their legs. Generally, they develop more often in women (50-55%) than men (40-45%). We do not really know why spider veins develop. Most of the treatments we perform for spider veins are for our female patients.
Are Spider Veins a medical issue or just cosmetic?
Spider veins are rarely a serious health problem. Very rarely spider veins will become so large and fragile that they will bleed. This usually occurs in patients with very dense spider veins around the ankles. The ankles almost appear to be purple because of the density of the veins. Other symptoms that may be present in the area of spider veins usually cannot be attributed to the veins. These sensations or symptoms have explanations other than the spider veins.
Are Spider Veins related to Varicose Veins?
Spider veins occur independent of varicose veins and vice versa. Patients with severe varicose veins many not have any spider veins. People with terrible spider veins may have not one varicose vein. We consider the two types of veins to be independent of one another. When we treat patients with both varicose veins and spider veins we generally treat the varicose veins first so that the health of the leg is optimized.
- Can varicose and spider veins return even after treatment?
Current treatments for varicose veins and spider veins have very high success rates compared to traditional surgical treatments. Over a period of years, however, more abnormal veins can develop because there is no cure for weak vein valves. Ultrasound can be used to keep track of how badly the valves are leaking (venous insufficiency). Ongoing treatment can help keep this problem under control.
The single most important thing you can do to slow down the development of new varicose veins is to wear gradient compression support stockings as much as possible during the day.
- How can I prevent varicose veins and spider veins?
Not all varicose and spider veins can be prevented. But, there are some steps you can take to reduce your chances of getting new varicose and spider veins. These same things can help ease discomfort from the ones you already have:
Wear sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun and to limit spider veins on the face.
Exercise regularly to improve your leg strength, circulation, and vein strength. Focus on exercises that work your legs, such as walking or running.
Control your weight to avoid placing too much pressure on your legs.
Don’t cross your legs for long times when sitting. It’s possible to injure your legs that way, and even a minor injury can increase the risk of varicose veins.
Elevate your legs when resting as much as possible.
Don’t stand or sit for long periods of time. If you must stand for a long time, shift your weight from one leg to the other every few minutes. If you must sit for long periods of time, stand up and move around or take a short walk every 30 minutes.
Wear elastic support stockings and avoid tight clothing that constricts your waist, groin, or legs.
Avoid wearing high heels for long periods of time. Lower-heeled shoes can help tone your calf muscles to help blood move through your veins.
Eat a low-salt diet rich in high-fiber foods. Eating fiber reduces the chances of constipation, which can contribute to varicose veins. High-fiber foods include fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains, like bran. Eating less salt can help with the swelling that comes with varicose veins.
- How are varicose veins diagnosed?
Your doctor may diagnose your varicose veins based on a physical exam. Your doctor will look at your legs while you’re standing or sitting with your legs dangling. He or she may ask you about your symptoms, including any pain you’re having. Sometimes, you may have other tests to find out the extent of the problem and to rule out other disorders.
You might have an ultrasound, which is used to see the veins’ structure, check the blood flow in your veins, and look for blood clots. This test uses sound waves to create pictures of structures in your body.
Although less likely, you might have a venogram. This test can be used to get a more detailed look at blood flow through your veins.
If you seek help for your varicose veins, there are several types of doctors you can see, including:
A phlebologist, which is a vein specialist
A vascular medicine doctor, who focuses on the blood system
A vascular surgeon, who can perform surgery and do other procedures
An interventional radiologist, who specializes in using imaging tools to see inside the body and do treatments with little or no cutting
A dermatologist, who specializes in skin conditions
Each of these specialists do some or all of the procedures for treating varicose veins. You might start out by asking your regular doctor which specialist he or she recommends. You also might check with your insurance plan to see if it would pay for a particular provider or procedure.
- Should I see a doctor about varicose veins?
You should see a doctor about varicose veins if:
The vein has become swollen, red, or very tender or warm to the touch
There are sores or a rash on the leg or near the ankle
The skin on the ankle and calf becomes thick and changes color
One of the varicose veins begins to bleed
Your leg symptoms are interfering with daily activities
The appearance of the veins is causing you distress
- Are varicose veins and spider veins dangerous?
Spider veins rarely are a serious health problem, but they can cause uncomfortable feelings in the legs. If there are symptoms from spider veins, most often they will be itching or burning. Less often, spider veins can be a sign of blood backup deeper inside that you can’t see on the skin. If so, you could have the same symptoms you would have with varicose veins.
Varicose veins may not cause any problems, or they may cause aching pain, throbbing, and discomfort. In some cases, varicose veins can lead to more serious health problems. These include:
Sores or skin ulcers due to chronic (long-term) backing up of blood. These sores or ulcers are painful and hard to heal. Sometimes they cannot heal until the backward blood flow in the vein is repaired.
Bleeding. The skin over the veins becomes thin and easily injured. When an injury occurs, there can be significant blood loss.
Superficial thrombophlebitis (throm-bo-fli-BYT-uhs), which is a blood clot that forms in a vein just below the skin. Symptoms include skin redness; a firm, tender, warm vein; and sometimes pain and swelling.
Deep vein thrombosis, which is a blood clot in a deeper vein. It can cause a “pulling” feeling in the calf, pain, warmth, redness, and swelling. However, sometimes it causes no significant symptoms. If the blood clot travels to the lungs, it can be fatal.
- What are the signs of varicose veins?
Varicose veins can often be seen on the skin. Some other common symptoms of varicose veins in the legs include:
Aching pain that may get worse after sitting or standing for a long time
Throbbing or cramping
Rash that’s itchy or irritated
Darkening of the skin (in severe cases)
Varicose veins are twisted, enlarged veins near the surface of the skin. They are most common in the legs and ankles. They usually aren’t serious, but they can sometimes lead to other problems.
- What causes varicose veins?
Varicose veins are caused by weakened valves and veins in your legs. Normally, one-way valves in your veins keep blood flowing from your legs up toward your heart. When these valves do not work as they should, blood collects in your legs, and pressure builds up. The veins become weak, large, and twisted.
Varicose veins often run in families. Aging also increases your risk.
Being overweight or pregnant or having a job where you must stand for long periods of time increases pressure on leg veins. This can lead to varicose veins.
Varicose veins look dark blue, swollen, and twisted under the skin. Some people do not have any symptoms. Mild symptoms may include:
Heaviness, burning, aching, tiredness, or pain in your legs. Symptoms may be worse after you stand or sit for long periods of time.
Swelling in your feet and ankles.
Itching over the vein.
More serious symptoms include:
Swelling and calf pain after you sit or stand for long periods of time.
Skin changes, such as:
Dry, thinned skin.
Open sores, or you may bleed after a minor injury.
Varicose veins are common and usually aren’t a sign of a serious problem. But in some cases, varicose veins can be a sign of a blockage in the deeper veins called deep vein thrombosis. If you have this problem, you may need treatment for it.
- How are varicose veins diagnosed?
Your doctor will look at your legs and feet. Varicose veins are easy to see, especially when you stand up. Your doctor will check your legs for tender areas, swelling, skin color changes, sores, and other signs of skin breakdown.
If you have signs of a deep vein problem or you plan to have treatment for a varicose vein, you may need more tests.
Home treatment may be all you need to ease your symptoms and keep the varicose veins from getting worse. You can:
Wear compression stockings .
Prop up (elevate) your legs.
Avoid long periods of sitting or standing.
Get plenty of exercise.
If you need treatment or you are concerned about how the veins look, your options may include:
Sclerotherapy to close off the vein.
Laser treatment to destroy the vein.
Radiofrequency treatment to close off the vein.
Surgery to tie off or remove the vein.
Varicose veins are enlarged, swollen, and tortuous (twisting) veins, frequently linked to faulty valves in the vein. They are generally blue or dark purple. People with bulging and/or lumpy varicose veins on their legs may experience aching and heavy limbs. Sometimes, in very severe cases, the varicose veins may rupture, or varicose ulcers may form on the skin.
In healthy veins, the valves within them stop the blood from staying stagnant or flowing back – they open and close so that the blood flows in only one direction. Damaged or weakened valves may allow the blood to flow back and accumulate in the vein, making it varicose. Varicose simply means enlarged or swollen.
According to UK health authorities, up to 30% of all adults are affected by varicose veins. They are more common in adult females than males.
Although varicose veins may occur anywhere in the human body, they are most commonly found in the legs and feet, particularly in the calves. Experts say that standing and walking places extra pressure on the veins of the lower limbs.
In the majority of cases, varicose veins pose no health or circulation problems; although they may not look nice, they do not usually require treatment (for health reasons).
A number of patients, however, may experience swelling, aching and painful legs. If the patient is in considerable discomfort, or if complications, such as ulcers develop, then treatment is required.
A risk factor is something, a circumstance, condition or a situation, which raises the chances of developing a condition or disease. The following risk factors are linked to a higher risk of having varicose veins:
- Sex – females are much more likely to have varicose veins on their legs, than males
- Genetics – varicose veins often run in families
- Overweigh/obesity – overweight or obese people have a significantly higher risk of developing varicose veins
- Pregnancy – women are much more likely to develop varicose veins during their pregnancy than at any other time in their lives. A pregnant woman has much more blood in her body, compared to when she is not pregnant – this places extra pressure on the circulatory system. A change in hormone levels and hormone balance can also lead to a relaxation of the blood vessel walls. Both these factors raise the risk of having varicose veins.
- As the uterus (womb) grows there is more pressure on the veins in the mother’s pelvic area. In the majority of cases, the varicose veins go away after the pregnancy is over (not always and/or sometimes not all of them)
- Age – the older we get, the more likely we are to develop varicose veins
- Some jobs – jobs where the individual has to spend a long time standing up may raise the probability of having varicose veings.