Inova vascular specialists provide expert treatment for patients with varicose veins, spider veins, and venous
insufficiency. Our vascular specialists are board certified and have years of experience providing the
most current treatments. We will work with you to carefully review your history and develop the best plan of care for your situation.
If you would like to learn more about treatment options and how they can help improve your quality of life, call us at either 703-207-7007 or 703-280-5858 to schedule an appointment.
Non-surgical treatments for varicose veins
Our first goal is to try non-surgical methods to relieve your symptoms.
Leg elevation and movement
If you have mild to moderate varicose veins, elevating your legs can help reduce leg swelling and relieve other symptoms. You may be
instructed to prop your feet up above the level of your heart three or four times a day for about 15 minutes
at a time.
When you need to stand for a long period of time, you can flex your legs occasionally to
allow the venous pump to keep blood moving toward your heart.
For more severe varicose veins, you may be prescribed to wear compression stockings. Compression
stockings are high elastic socks that squeeze your veins and stop excess blood from flowing backward.
In this way, compression stockings also can help heal skin sores and prevent them from returning. For
many patients, compression stockings effectively treat varicose veins and may be all that are needed to
relieve pain and swelling and prevent future problems.
Slowing or preventing varicose vein growth
Steps to slow or prevent further varicose veins include maintaining a healthy weight, exercising
regularly, and elevating the feet while sitting.
Avoid clothing that constricts your waist, groin, or
legs; shoes with high heels; and crossing the legs while sitting. While these measures may help prevent
varicose veins in some people, they may only slow the onset of the condition in individuals who are
Surgical and minimally invasive varicose vein treatments
When non-surgical treatments alone do not relieve your varicose veins, you may require a surgical or
minimally invasive treatment, depending upon the extent and severity of your situation. These
treatments include Endovenous Laser Ablation Treatment (EVLT) or Radio Frequency Ablation (RF).
Endovenous laser ablation
Endovenous laser ablation of the saphenous vein is a minimally invasive, in-office treatment conducted
under local anesthesia. Under ultrasound guidance, the vein is entered with a small needle. Then a
small laser fiber is inserted into the vein and guided to the top of the vein. The vein is then
compressed with fluid to allow the laser fiber to engage the vein wall. Laser light is then
continuously fired, causing the vein to collapse and seal shut.
Many patients experience relief of symptoms within a few weeks after the procedure, with little or mild
A compression stocking is placed over the leg, and is to be worn for a period of ten to fourteen days
to relieve some of the swelling and discomfort.
You will be encouraged to walk immediately, and should be able to return to work the next day. Routine
exercises may be resumed in a few days. For safety purposes, you are asked not to fly for a week after
Complications are rare, but may include deep vein thrombosis, thermal skin burns or transient numbness.
One or two days following the procedure, an ultrasound of the leg is performed to ensure there is no
blood clot present.
Radio frequency ablation
This treatment is an outpatient procedure that treats larger varicose veins in the legs by using heat
to seal off veins. A thin catheter is inserted into the vein under local anesthesia. Then, using radio
wave (radiofrequency) energy, the vein is heated and cauterized to close it off. This treatment is
similar to endovenous laser ablation therapy. Patients can usually return to normal activities within a day.
We use the Venefit™ or VNUS closure procedure. See the Venefit website for more information.
The advantage of this treatment is that once a defective saphenous vein is sealed shut or "occluded,"
blood flow can immediately divert to healthy veins. Like any interventional procedure, ablation
involves risks and potential complications. You should consult with your doctor to determine whether or
not you are a candidate for this procedure, and if your conditions present any special risks.
To learn more or make an appointment, please call our office at either 703-207-7007 or 703-280-5858.