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Vein Care

About Vein Treatment at NGPG

The experienced providers at Northeast Georgia Physician’s Group treat the most complex vein conditions with minimally invasive techniques. Our state-of-the-art facilities provide the optimal experience for our patients. This means a shorter procedure, less postoperative recovery time and less risk for complications.

Vein Disease Conditions

Northeast Georgia Physician Group treats a variety of vein conditions including:

Chronic Venous Insufficiency

  • What is Chronic Venous Insufficiency?
    Improper functioning of the vein valves in the leg, causing swelling, skin changes and sometimes discomfort.
     
  • What causes Chronic Venous Insufficiency?
    Chronic venous insufficiency occurs when the veins in your leg doesn't allow blood to flow back up to the heart normally, thus causing blood to pool in the legs.
     
  • What are symptoms of Chronic Venous Insufficiency?
    Symptoms can include a heavy, tired feeling of the legs, swelling in legs or ankles, pain to the legs, discolored skin, visible varicose veins, itchiness, and ulcers.
     
  • Who is at risk of developing Chronic Venous Insufficiency?
    Possible risk factors include family history, age, sedentary lifestyle, prolonged standing, obesity or excess weight, current or previous pregnancies and smoking.
     
  • How is Chronic Venous Insufficiency diagnosed?
    Your provider will review your medical history and symptoms and may order an ultrasound to scan your legs to determine if venous disease is present.
     
  • How is Chronic Venous Insufficiency treated?
    Wearing compression regularly can help with the symptoms of chronic venous insufficiency. Your provider may order procedures, such as a radiofrequency ablation, to help alleviate your symptoms.

Varicose Veins

What are Varicose Veins?

Varicose veins are enlarged, twisted veins close to the surface of the skin. Any vein may become varicose, but legs and feet are the most commonly affected areas. Varicose veins occur when blood flow from the legs to the heart decreases and blood begins to pool in the veins. Visible varicose veins are a widespread condition in the United States, affecting more than 25% of adult women and over 15% of adult men. For many people, varicose veins and spider veins, a milder and less medically significant variation of varicose veins, are simply a cosmetic concern. However, for other people, varicose veins can cause aching pain and discomfort. Left untreated, varicose veins may lead to more serious problems.

Besides cosmetic problems, varicose veins can become painful, especially when standing or walking and if they start to itch, scratching them can cause open sores that are slow to heal. Varicose veins might also signal a higher risk of other circulatory system disorders. In general, if you have varicose veins, it's a good idea to have them evaluated. There are new laser based treatments for varicose veins which are not invasive or painful and do not require a long down time to recuperate. Best of all, you can feel comfortable in shorts again!

What causes Varicose Veins

Varicose veins occur when the blood flow from the legs to the heart decreases and blood begins to pool in the veins. Normally, valves within our veins help blood flow upward against gravity. But, when these valves malfunction, they allow blood to flow backwards and pool in the vein. This, coupled with an age-related loss in vein elasticity, results in stretching of the veins that give them a bulging, ropey appearance. There are several things that can cause this to happen. Some families have a predisposition to varicose veins. If one of your parents or a brother/sister has varicose veins you could be at an increased risk of developing them also. They can also be the result of certain lifestyles like jobs that require prolonged sitting or standing, sports or activities that may have caused injury to your legs or carrying excess weight that stresses your legs.

Varicose veins affect the superficial veins of the legs. They usually develop slowly, over several years, and, if left untreated can eventually cause symptoms of aching or burning pain or a sensation of heaviness or swelling in your legs.

Are Varicose Veins dangerous?

Commonly, varicose veins are viewed as a cosmetic concern. However, they can lead to more serious problems. When blood pools in the veins it can cause a clot which, in turn, could move into a deep vein. Such a clot, known as deep vein thrombosis, can be very dangerous. If the clot were to break loose and move through the bloodstream to the lung, it could cause a sudden pulmonary embolism, which creates a potentially life-threatening issue.

Varicose veins are often the first signs of more serious, progressive condition. What starts as varicose veins can progress to swelling in the legs, then discoloration and ultimately venous leg ulcers.

Start Your Treatment

Varicose veins will not get better left untreated and there is no medication to improve varicose veins.

If you want to know what your options are schedule your consultation and find out which what we can do for you, call NGPG Vascular Center at 770-219-4000. After we complete your thorough evaluation, we will recommend the least invasive treatment that will give you the best results.

Spider Veins

  • What are Spider Veins?
    Spider veins are small, damaged clusters of veins that are visible through the skin.
     
  • What causes Spider Veins?
    Spider veins are strongly related to genetics, but other causes include weight gain, pregnancy, sun damage, prolonged standing or sitting, and trauma to the skin.
     
  • What are symptoms of Spider Veins?
    Spider veins are typically superficial and can cause one to feel self-conscious of their legs and/or feet.
     
  • Who is at risk of developing Spider Veins?
    Anyone who has a family history is at risk of developing spider veins, in addition to those who are obese, suffering from sun damage, or sit or stand for long periods.
     
  • How are Spider Veins diagnosed?
    Our provider will examine your legs and discuss the patient's concerns to diagnose spider veins.
     
  • How are Spider Veins treated?
    Spider veins are treated by single injections into each vein that cause the vein to collapse, forcing blood to reroute to healthier veins. This can improve the appearance of the leg.

Treatments for Vein Disease

Your Northeast Georgia Physician Group provider will develop a customized treatment plan for you. Treatments we offer at NGPG include:

Radiofrequency Ablation

  • What is a Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA)?
    Radiofrequency Ablation is a minimally invasive procedure to treat chronic venous insufficiency in your legs. This technique uses radiofrequency energy to heat up and damage the wall inside a vein. This process will close off the vein that is not working correctly.
     
  • Why do I need this procedure?
    Normally the veins have a one-way valve which direct blood towards the heart. However, problems with the valves, muscles or blood itself can allow blood to flow backward inside the vein. As blood pools within the vein, pressure builds, and the vessel wall weakens. This may lead to leg swelling, pain, discoloration or varicose veins.
     
  • Where will the procedure take place?
    Northeast Georgia Physicians Group, Vascular Center (your doctor's office).
     
  • How long will the procedure take?
    This procedure normally takes about an hour.
     
  • Will I be given any medication before the procedure?
    Yes, one of our clinical staff members will call you 1-2 days prior to your procedure. We will call in your medication at that time.
     
  • Can I drive myself home after the procedure?
    No, due to the medication given to you by your doctor you will not be allowed to leave unless you have a driver.
     
  • Follow up after the procedure.
    Your care team will schedule a follow up visit 1-3 days after your procedure. During the visit, your care team will perform a venous duplex ultrasound to check for any problems or blood clots. Your doctor will also outline any other treatments you may need during this visit.
     
  • When will I be able to return to normal activates?
    You should be able to return to all normal actives 1-2 days after the procedure. We advise you to avoid heavy lifting and squatting for 3-4 weeks.

Sclerotherapy

  • What is sclerotherapy?
    Sclerotherapy is a minimally invasive treatment for varicose and spider veins. During the procedure, your provider will treat small superficial veins with a single injection into each vein. The vein will collapse, forcing the blood to reroute to healthier veins and improving the appearance of the leg.

    In some cases, it may take a few treatments for the varicose vein or spider vein to completely fade.
     
  • Who is a candidate for sclerotherapy?
    Anyone suffering from small varicose veins or spider veins in their legs. If you are suffering from aching, swelling, burning or night cramps, call Northeast Georgia Physician’s Group (NGPG) for an appointment.

    If you are a pregnant or nursing mother, defer treatment.
     
  • Areas sclerotherapy can treat
    At NGPG Vascular Surgery, we focus treatment on the legs, ankles and feet.
     
  • How is sclerotherapy done?
    Sclerotherapy is performed by injecting a solution (usually glycerin or polidocanol solution) directly into the vein. It is done in office, is minimally invasive and the patient can return to normal activities on day post-procedure.
     
  • How to prepare for sclerotherapy?
    Wear loose, comfortable clothing to your procedure appointment. Do not use any lotion on your legs the day of your procedure. Do not wear compression the day prior to or the day of your treatment.
     
  • Risks associated with sclerotherapy
    There are few risks associated with this procedure, but extreme redness, soreness and warmth to touch should be reported to our office. Rare side effects and risks include hyperpigmentation, swelling, localized hives or allergic reaction or infection.
     
  • How much does sclerotherapy cost?
    Some insurance companies will pay toward sclerotherapy. NGPG’s self-pay cost is $350, which includes the consult and two syringes of treatment. Both legs can be treated, as much as possible in the 30-minute appointment and with the product available. Every patient is different, and it may require multiple sessions to achieve optimal results.
     
  • What to expect after sclerotherapy?
    Patients can resume their normal activities the next day. Seven days of compression is required post-procedure. Spider veins take time to diminish. It can take up to six months for bruising, redness and pigmentation changes to diminish. Follow up sclerotherapy treatment is sometimes recommended.

Phlebectomy

  • What is a Phlebectomy?
    A phlebectomy, also known as ambulatory phlebectomy is an outpatient procedure where diseased veins are removed through several small incisions in the skin.
     
  • Why do I need a Phlebectomy?
    You may be a candidate for an ambulatory phlebectomy if you have large veins that are located very close to the skin or bulge above the surface of the skin.

    In some cases, ambulatory phlebectomy is used in combination with other venous disease treatments.
     
  • Will I be given any medication before the procedure?
    Yes, one of our clinical staff members will call in medication 1-2 days prior to your procedure so you are prepared on procedure day.
     
  • What to expect during a Phlebectomy?
    A phlebectomy is performed under anesthesia, so you will not experience any pain or discomfort. During the procedure, your doctor will mark the diseased veins and inject a local anesthesia into the skin. The bulging veins are surgically removed through small incisions.
     
  • How long will the procedure take?
    While the procedure only takes approximately 45 minutes to an hour, please plan to be at the office for 1.5 hours.
     
  • Can I drive myself home after the procedure?
    No, due to the medication given to you by your doctor, you will not be allowed to leave unless you have a driver.
     
  • When will I be able to return to normal activities?
    You should be able to return to all regular activity 5-7 days after the procedure. We recommend avoiding heavy lifting, squatting and intensive exercise for several weeks. You will be required to wear graduated compression stockings for a week after surgery.
     
  • Where will the procedure take place?
    Northeast Georgia Physicians Group, Vascular Center.

Why Choose NGPG for your vein care?

As experts in current innovative procedures to treat venous disease, our vein specialists’ philosophy of treating vascular disease is to use the most advanced minimally invasive techniques combined with the best of traditional surgery to achieve optimal results for our patients.


About Haley Queen, PA-C

Haley Queen, PAHaley has extensive experience in vein procedures, working for six years with Cardiothoracic Surgery and then moving on to NGPG Vascular Surgery. She specializes in saphenous vein ablations, phlebectomies and sclerotherapy.

Haley practices in both Gainesville and Braselton.

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