Venous Disease

Veins are the vessels that carry blood back toward the heart after it has fueled your body with oxygen. If the vein walls or the tiny one-way valves that keep blood moving in the right direction become damaged, you may need treatment. Treatment is also important because it prevents serious complications such as blood clots and ulcers (open sores).

At Sentara Vascular Specialists, we bring together decades of clinical experience with a compassionate, patient-centered approach to provide you and your family with top-notch, best-in-region care. Our physicians are experts in diagnosing and treating all venous diseases and related issues. In addition, we specialize in two of the most common venous conditions, deep vein thrombosis and varicose veins. Other venous diseases that we diagnose and treat include:

  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Chronic venous insufficiency (CVI)
  • Phlebitis
  • Venous malformations

Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)

DVT is the development of blood clots in a deep vein, meaning a vein in your leg or pelvic area. It is estimated that 60,000 to 100,000 people die from untreated DVT every year. One in 500 people are affected, and in those over 80 years, the prevalence is as high as 1 in 100. DVT clots may form because of surgery, obesity, traumatic injury, sitting or lying down for too long (such as on a long flight), or family history. Pregnancy also increases your risk temporarily. DVT symptoms include:

  • Leg swelling
  • Pain, tightness, or tenderness in the leg at rest or while walking or standing
  • Pale red or blue, or white skin color
  • Warm skin
  • Slight fever
  • Rapid heart beat

At Sentara Vascular Specialists, we pride ourselves on our highly specialized DVT services and welcome all military persons in need of DVT care. We use state-of-the-art tools to help diagnose DVT early. These include duplex ultrasonography, computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), blood tests, and venography.

We offer a wide variety of innovative DVT treatments and will work closely with you to decide on the most appropriate plan for your unique situation. First-line treatment is often anticoagulant medication because it slows blood clot formation without the need for intervention. If your case is more advanced, we may recommend thrombolytic therapy, a treatment that involves injecting clot-busting drugs into your blocked vein.

Our advanced technological capabilities allow us to perform other therapies as well, such as inserting a filter into your vein to catch clots and surgically removing clots from your vein via thrombectomy. You may also benefit from wearing compression stockings, elastic socks of various lengths and pressures that promote blood flow in your legs. We use only the most effective and least invasive methods available.

Treatment helps to avoid complications such as post-thrombotic syndrome and pulmonary embolism. Post-thrombotic syndrome refers to a series of symptoms including pain, swelling, and cramps. Pulmonary embolism (PE) is the most serious complication and occurs when a clot breaks free from an artery and becomes lodged in your lungs. PE can cause your heart and lungs to collapse, which is very dangerous.

Varicose Veins

Varicose veins are swollen surface veins that are often visible through the skin on a person's legs and may appear blue, bulging, or twisted. They occur when the vein walls or valves become weakened, usually from age. Spider veins are a mild variation of varicose veins, and tend to look web-like on the skin. Varicose and spider veins can be unsightly and painful, which makes treatment a good idea.

At The Vein Center of Virginia, you will have access to several leading-edge treatment options for varicose veins. We always use minimally invasive therapies when possible and for most treatments, you will only need a day or two of downtime before resuming normal activities.

Treatment choices include:

  • Radiofrequency ablation (RFA), which is minimally invasive because it only requires a tiny incision. Your physician will insert a catheter and heat energy will destroy and eventually cause the abnormal vein to disappear. Ablation usually takes less than one hour and allows for an almost immediate return to daily activities.
  • Endovenous laser therapy (EVLT), which is similar to RFA but lasers are used to destroy damaged veins.
  • Sclerotherapy, where a liquid medication is injected into the damaged vein, causing it to harden and dissolve naturally. This is mostly used with small varicose and spider veins.
  • Vein stripping, in which your surgeon disconnects and removes larger veins through a small incision in your calf. Sometimes avulsion or transilluminated powered phlebectomy is performed at the same time, where veins are teased or sucked from beneath the skin.

Ensuring your smooth road to recovery is our number one priority. Please do not hesitate to contact us with questions or concerns at 757-470-5570. For more information on the Vein Center of Virginia, click here.


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