Varicose Vein Treatments – Bellingham
Bayside Vein and Laser Center provides the most comfortable and effective varicose vein treatments in northwest Washington. All procedures are performed in our office.
In your initial visit Dr. Taylor and his staff will evaluate your veins and review your medical history. This usually includes diagnostic ultrasound which is done right in the exam room for your convenience. Dr. Taylor will evaluate the imaging results immediately and discuss the findings and recommendations.
Endovenous Treatment Options (Vein Closure)
When the valves in the feeder (saphenous) veins fail to function, allowing blood to pool, those feeder veins must be closed (eliminated) using one of the three options below before treating the visible varicose veins.
Our state-of-the-art technology provides maximum comfort and fast recovery for our patients. All of these techniques are minimally invasive using needles with ultrasound visualization; no incisions are required. General anesthesia is not necessary. Options are available for minimal sedation, if desired.
Travel may be restricted for several weeks after any of these procedures.
The feeder vein is collapsed using medical glue without the need for local anesthetic. Most patients can resume normal activity immediately. Compression stockings are worn overnight the first night.
After the feeder vein is anesthetized with local anesthetic, the heat from radio-frequency energy collapses the vein. The patient can walk immediately following the procedure and can resume most normal activity within a few days. Compression stockings are worn overnight and as needed for comfort over the next one to two weeks.
EVLA (Endovenous Laser Ablation)
After the feeder vein is anesthetized with local anesthetic, laser energy heats and collapses the vein. The patient can walk immediately following the procedure and can resume most normal activity within a few days. Compression stockings are worn overnight and as needed for comfort over the next one to two weeks.
All the above procedures improve circulation as the blood is re-routed back to the heart through healthy veins. In most cases, once the feeder veins have been eliminated, the visible varicose veins will shrink over the next few weeks. In some cases, persistent veins may still be visible or causing symptoms, requiring further treatment using one of the techniques below.
Phlebectomy (Vein Removal)
Phlebectomy is a method of surgically removing bulging varicose veins. After numbing the area with local anesthesia, tiny puncture-like incisions are made in the skin along the vein and it is removed with an instrument resembling a crochet hook. The incisions are so small that stitches are not required and there is usually no visible scarring.
The patient can walk immediately following the procedure. Return to full activity and travel will require several weeks. Compression stockings are worn as needed for comfort during recovery.
Sclerotherapy (Spider Vein Injections)
This method is popular for eliminating spider veins (<1 mm in diameter) and reticular veins (1-3 mm in diameter). A tiny needle injects a solution into the veins. It feels similar to a mosquito bite. The solution causes the vein to shrink and it gradually disappears as it is absorbed by the body over the next few weeks. A patient will usually require several sclerotherapy sessions for a given vein area.
Normal activities can be resumed immediately, though air travel must be avoided for two weeks. Results are optimized by wearing compression stockings for two weeks following the procedure.
This procedure is sometimes used in combination with other treatments for optimum results.
How will my blood get back to the heart after the varicose veins are removed?
The varicose veins were causing backward flow of the blood and interfering with the normal return of blood to the heart. By removing the varicose veins, we improve your circulation because the body automatically re-routes the blood through healthy veins, unhindered by the back flow problem. You should no longer feel the tiredness, heaviness, and aching.
What if I choose not to treat my varicose vein?
The degree of consequences will vary from patient to patient. Without realizing it, many patients become less active as their symptoms increase, and the inactivity can contribute to other health issues.
Untreated, the symptoms will persist and will probably increase over time. Varicose veins can develop into more serious conditions such as chronic edema (swelling), phlebitis (inflammation), leg ulcers (open sores), and thrombosis (blood clots).
Medical insurance usually applies to the first consultation appointment, including the diagnostic ultrasound lab procedures. Most insurance also covers vein treatment when it alleviates leg pain, heaviness, aching, swelling, or breakdown of the skin. Deductibles and co-pays are the patient’s responsibility. We are contracted with most major insurance companies. Some plans require a referral from your primary care physician. Most plans will require you to wear compression stockings for a period of weeks prior to their approval for the procedure.