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Brigham and Women’s Can Help: Treatment Options for Your Varicose Veins


If you’re among the 40 percent of women or 25 percent of men who suffer from varicose veins, you may be trying to decide when and where you should go for treatment. Although the procedure you may need is offered at many vein centers, where you go can make all the difference.

According to Richard A. Baum, MD, Chief, Division of Angiography and Interventional Radiology of Brigham and Women’s Hospital Vascular and Vein Care Centers, patients should look for programs with board-certified specialists and those facilities that are accredited by the American College of Radiology and the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission. The Brigham and Women’s Vein Care Centers in Newton, West Bridgewater, Foxborough and Weymouth offer one of the largest and most experienced teams of board-certified interventional radiologists and treat patients in a convenient, state-of-the-art setting.

Dr. Baum and his team perform non-surgical procedures at the four vein care locations to treat spider veins and varicose veins using the most current techniques and FDA-approved technologies. “We start with a complete evaluation,” Dr. Baum says. “We do an ultrasound to see which veins need to be treated, and then we typically try to see if we can get the symptoms to resolve using conservative means without any type of procedure.”

What to Expect

The physicians at the vein care centers are committed to providing expert, compassionate care and treatment. They discuss patients’ concerns and goals, and then create a customized treatment plan to match. Regardless of the reason for treatment — medical or aesthetic — the patient is treated in the privacy and comfort of Brigham and Women’s Vein Care Centers.

The physicians at Brigham and Women’s Hospital Vascular and Vein Care Centers also perform a full range of cosmetic and aesthetic services including hair removal and skin resurfacing. For treating harmless (but unsightly) spider and varicose veins, they use sclerosing agents that are injected with a tiny needle into the veins to shrink them, making them virtually disappear.

Another technique involves a transdermal laser, during which a focused beam of light is pulsed onto the veins, uniformly heating and dissolving them so that they absorb back into the body. Neither treatment is painful, but physicians can use a topical numbing agent, if desired. Effects are noticed immediately.

Procedures are non-invasive and are performed on an outpatient basis. “There’s no real down time, and patients can return to work the very next day,” Dr. Baum says. After treatment, patients are advised to wear compression stockings and return for follow-up visits two weeks and then two months after the procedure.

With most treatments, patients can resume regular activities immediately and are encouraged to walk to improve circulation and promote healing.

Contact a Brigham and Women’s Vascular and Vein Care Center to schedule an appointment.