What is Vein Disease?
Varicose Veins and Spider Veins
More than 50% of the U.S. population has some form of vein disease. Varicose veins appear as bulging, rope-like cords on the legs anywhere from the groin to the ankle. In addition to the visual appearance of purplish, knotted veins, many patients with varicose veins experience symptoms that affect their daily lives. These symptoms include:
- Swelling or throbbing
- Itching or tingling
- Tenderness around the veins
Delaying treatment of varicose veins can result in more serious complications, including phlebitis, rupture of varicose vein with bleeding and formation of skin ulcers and discoloration.
Spider veins are too small to be called varicose veins. They are small, red and purple blood vessels that are easily visible through the skin. Although often considered cosmetic, many are symptomatic. They are most often seen on the face and legs.
What are My Options for Non-Surgical Treatment of Varicose Veins?
Veins that cause leg pain, swelling, recurrent superficial blood clots, bleeding or ulceration are prime candidate for treatment. Veins that cause other symptoms such as aching, heaviness and fatigue, or that are cosmetically unappealing, may also benefit from treatment. There are two general treatment options: conservative measures, such as compression stocking; and corrective measures such a sclerotherapy, ambulatory phlebectomy and endovenous laser therapy.
Sclerotherapy can be used to treat both varicose and spider veins. A tiny needle is used to inject the veins with one of several different kinds of chemical irritant, or sclerosant, that irritates the lining of the vein. In response, the vein collapses, seals shut and is absorbed by the body. The number of sclerotherapy treatments needed is variable. Prescription compression stockings are usually worn for several days after treatment.
Ambulatory Phlebectomy is a method of varicose vein removal at the surface of the skin. After local anesthesia, tiny nicks are made next to the vein and sections of vein are removed through these tiny openings (which do not require stitches). Afterwards, a compression stocking is worn for about a week.
Endovenous Laser Therapy is a minimally invasive laser treatment. A thin laser fiber is inserted through a needle into the abnormal vein. After the fiber is correctly placed using ultrasound guidance, laser energy is applied as the physician slowly pulls the fiber through the length of the vein. Laser energy heat causes the vein to close, shrink and breakdown. Prescription stockings may need to be worn for about a week after treatment.
What Is the Process in Treating Vein Disease?
Before scheduling your procedure, you will have a consultation with one of our vein specialists. During your consultation, we will take a full medical history and conduct a thorough evaluation of the veins in your legs, including an ultrasound evaluation. The doctor will discuss your treatment options with you and will answer any questions you have.
At the Vein Center of Jefferson Radiology, you will be cared for by a team of dedicated professionals. Our vein specialists are board certified physicians with subspecialty certification in minimally invasive treatments using imaging guidance.
Other members of the Vein Center team include licensed radiologic technologists, registered nurses and medical assistants, all with advanced certification and training in addition to our knowledgeable support staff.
- Our vein specialists are fellowship trained and board certified vascular radiologists.
- Our Vascular Lab has the distinction of being accredited by the Intersocietal Commission for the Accreditation of Vascular Laboratories (ICAVL).
- A physician is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to address patient concerns.
- The Vein Center is backed by the largest radiology group in Connecticut and is affiliated with Hartford Hospital as well as other regional hospitals.
- Jefferson Radiology is accredited by the Joint Commission for its commitment to quality care and patient safety.
Are these Procedures Covered by Insurance?
Your initial consultation will be billed to your insurance company. You will be responsible for the co-pay that you would normally pay when visiting your physician’s office. Our staff will discuss insurance coverage for the treatment that is recommended during the consultation. Costs for treating varicose veins are covered by most insurance plans. Find out here
Who are the Physicians?
The physicians associated with our greater Hartford vein practice at the Vein Center of Jefferson Radiology are all board-certified in Diagnostic Radiology with subspecialty Certification in Vascular and Interventional Radiology and have years of experience with the treatment of problem veins. They will advise you as to the best approach for your particular situation, and they will explain the recommended procedures, the follow-up plan, and what you can expect from the results.
Steven K. Sussman, MD, FSUR
Steven K. Sussman earned his bachelor’s degree summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa at the University of Rochester and completed his M.D. at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City. After completing an internship at Newton-Wellesley Hospital, Dr. Sussman did his Radiology residency at Beth Israel Hospital, Harvard Medical School in Boston where he became the chief resident in radiology. After completing fellowships in Abdominal Imaging and Vascular and Interventional Radiology at Duke University Medical Center in North Carolina, he took a position with Jefferson Radiology where he has been in practice for almost 25 years. Dr. Sussman is an active teacher, earning “teacher of the year” award and is also an assistant clinical professor in Radiology at the University of Connecticut Medical School and a senior attending radiologist at Harford Hospital and the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center.
Dr. Sussman has authored or co-authored over 50 peer reviewed medical articles and has presented original research and taught review courses at medical meetings worldwide. He is board-certified by the American Board of Radiology in diagnostic radiology with added qualifications in vascular and interventional radiology. Steven Sussman is a diplomat of the National Board of Medical Examiners and holds membership in numerous professional organizations including the Radiologic Society of North America, The American College of Radiology, The Society of Interventional Radiology, The Society of Uroradiology (where he was elected to fellow status) and The American College of Phlebology.