Washington Regional Cardiologists Introduce Vein Clinic

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Zubair Ahmed, MD and Shaun Senter, MD, board-certified cardiologists at Washington Regional’s Walker Heart Institute are now offering minimally invasive, non-surgical treatment options for vein disorders such as varicose veins, spider veins and venous reflux.

More than 25 million Americans are affected by venous disease of the lower extremities. Venous reflux disease, which is one of the most common contributors to vascular disease, can cause varicose veins ranging from small, thin purple “spider veins” to thick, bulging veins. It is a medical condition in which the vein valves no longer keep blood flowing from the legs to the heart. Left untreated, it can lead to significant circulatory problems.

Symptoms of venous reflux disease include:

  • Varicose veins
  • Leg or ankle swelling
  • Leg heaviness and fatigue
  • Leg pain, aching or cramping
  • Burning or itching of the skin
  • Restless legs
  • Skin changes or rashes
  • Ulcers, open wounds or sores

While treatment for these symptoms is widely offered, an evaluation by a board-certified cardiologist is important because vein disease is a type of vascular disease and there are other medical conditions that can mimic the symptoms of vein disease. Drs. Ahmed and Senter provide a comprehensive cardiovascular evaluation to ensure that minimally invasive, non-surgical treatment is appropriate. If so, the venous reflux can be treated in an in-office procedure, utilizing radiofrequency or laser energy to cauterize and close problem veins. Using ultrasound guidance, a tiny catheter is inserted through the skin and positioned within the problem vein. The catheter serves to close the vein, then the catheter is removed. Typically, no stitches are needed after the procedure and there is little to no down time for the patient. The small opening in the skin is covered with a simple bandage and the leg is covered with a compression wrap.

Procedures to treat venous reflux are typically covered by Medicare and most private insurance companies.

To learn more, contact Walker Heart Institute Cardiovascular Clinic at 479-571-4338 or visit www.wregional.com/veinclinic.

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