EVLT: What you need to know about the procedure

Patients suffering from varicose veins may benefit from several different types of therapy. One of the most commonly used therapies for people with this condition, however, is endovenous laser therapy, or EVLT. Below is some basic information about this popular treatment option.


Endovenous laser therapy is the treatment of choice for patients who have varicose veins that are too large to be treated with sclerotherapy and too deep within the tissues to benefit from microphlebectomy. Patients who select this procedure may or may not have tried more conservative treatment options, such as elevation of the legs or the use of compression stockings, prior to seeking professional treatment.

How it Works

During endovenous laser therapy, a vein specialist inserts a thin fiber into the patient’s abnormal veins. He or she will then use the fiber to deliver laser energy to the interior of the vein. As the fiber is removed, the walls of the vein seal closed behind it. Blood is routed into healthier vessels, and the treated vessel fades from view.

What to Expect

Patients undergoing EVLT may experience some discomfort during and after the procedure. Patients may also notice minor bruising. However, all of these symptoms will fade in the days and weeks following the procedure. Patients can also take over-the-counter pain remedies to reduce discomfort after the procedure. Patients should avoid the use of any pain relievers that contain aspirin.


A patient who undergoes endovenous laser therapy will notice a marked improvement in the appearance of the treated veins once the procedure is complete. Patients who were experiencing uncomfortable symptoms because of their varicose veins, such as cramping, tingling, weakness, aching or numbness, should also experience relief after endovenous laser therapy.

Making an Appointment

If you are interested in scheduling endovenous laser therapy, you must first meet with a qualified vein doctor for an evaluation. After reviewing your medical history and examining your veins, your doctor will be able to help you decide whether this procedure is right for you. Please contact the McLean Vein & Wellness Center today to get started.

Tips for Choosing a Local Vein Specialist

Choosing a Vein Specialist Doesn’t Have to be Challenging

Choose a Board-Certified Doctor

Becoming board-certified shows a doctor’s commitment to continuing education and excellence in a field. Choosing a vein specialist who is board-certified in vascular medicine can ensure your provider has knowledge and experience in the most recent developments in vascular medicine.

Do Your Research

Learn more about the clinic and providers by reviewing their website in advance, along with their ratings from patients on medical websites. You can typically review provider credentials online to determine whether the doctors at a particular clinic meet your expectations for experience and education before you schedule your appointment. You can also find out more about the kinds of services they offer. Better Business Bureau scores are available to the public and can also be helpful.

Believe in Word of Mouth

If you know any friends or family members who have suffered from varicose veins, ask who treated them and how they felt about their experience with that clinic and doctor. Choosing a provider your friends or family members trust can give you peace of mind and save you the trouble of learning for yourself that a doctor is not qualified or a good fit for you.

Interview Your Doctor

Write down your questions before the first consultation appointment so you can learn more about the doctor you’ll be working with and ensure his values align well with yours. Many patients forget their questions once the doctor is in the room, so writing them down is important. Other patients yet feel uncomfortable asking questions, but doctors expect patients to be particular and selective when making these decisions.

Schedule a Consulation to Learn More

To learn more about choosing the right doctor, visit Mclean Vein and Wellness Center today!

vein doctor

5 Health Tips from Your Local Varicose Vein Doctor

Advice from Your Vein Doctor: Health Directly Affects Your Vein Health

Live an Active Lifestyle

Those who sit or stand in one place for long periods of time are at higher risk of developing varicose veins. Take time throughout the day to move your legs by walking, jogging, or exercising to improve your overall health and prevent the development of varicose veins. If you work in a job that requires you to stand in one place for long hours, use your breaks to move around and stretch your legs. When you do have to sit, avoid crossing your legs.

Manage Your Weight

Obesity is a leading cause of vein disease in the legs. A vein doctor will advise to manage your weight by making healthy dietary choices, limiting intake of fat and cholesterol and choosing colorful fruits and vegetables. Maintaining and active lifestyle can also assist in weight management.

Quit Smoking

Smoking causes not only varicose veins, but many other diseases over time. Contact your local quit line to learn more about quitting and get the resources you need to quit. It’s never too late to decrease your odds of developing varicose veins or the other disease associated with smoking.

Choose the Right Clothes and Accessories

It may sound surprising but your choice in clothes and shoes can directly impact your lower extremity vein health! Choose pants that are loose-fitting in the waist and throughout the legs as tight-fitting pants can contribute to the development and worsening of varicose veins. Wearing high heels for extended periods of time can also restrict the movement of blood through the veins of the lower extremities. Choose either flat or low-heeled shoes for daily wear.

Schedule Regular Checkups

You should schedule an appointment with your vein specialist as soon as you notice a new varicose veins. Because varicose veins can be life-threatening when left untreated, prompt evaluation by a specialist is imperative in preventing complications like deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism.

To learn more about preventing or treating varicose veins, contact Mclean Vein and Wellness Center today!

vein clinic

How to Know When it’s Time to Visit Your Local Vein Clinic

There are 60,000 miles of blood vessels in your body. Arteries carry oxygen-rich blood from your heart to the rest of your body, while veins work against gravity to push blood from the far reaches of your body back up to your heart. When all is working well, your heart pumps about 5 quarts a minute and your venous system moves about 2,000 gallons of blood each day. If something major happens to your circulatory system, like suffering a big gash that bleeds or a major heart attack, you would know it was time to visit a doctor. Many vein diseases do not cause major bleeding or pain, so how do you know when it is time to visit your local vein clinic?


Your circulatory system is very complex, requiring the care of a medical professional who has received special training in venous diseases. The root cause of some vein diseases can be difficult to pinpoint, as many vein problems do not cause symptoms until the condition has progressed to an advanced state. You may not know you are developing varicose veins, for example, until one pops up on the back of your leg.


Signs it is Time to Visit Your Local Vein Clinic

Michigan vein doctors have the training, tools and expertise to evaluate your veins, diagnose any vein diseases you may have and develop a personalized treatment plan to treat varicose veins or other vein problems. Your doctor may suggest laser treatments for varicose veins and sclerotherapy for spider veins. Both are minimally invasive outpatient treatments that safely and effectively reduce the appearance of veins at the surface of the skin.


Before your doctor can diagnose and treat your vein problem, however, you have to know when it is time to visit your local vein clinic.


When you notice the appearance of veins

It is time to visit a vein doctor when you notice bulging, twisted blue or purple varicose veins on the backs of your legs. Do you see thin squiggly spider veins on your lower legs, face or elsewhere on your body? It is time to visit your vascular surgeon for laser treatments or sclerotherapy in Tyson’s Corner, VA.


When others notice the appearance of veins

There is nothing quite as embarrassing as catching someone staring at your varicose veins. It is time to see a doctor when you quit wearing shorts or skirts, stop going to the beach or wear long pants even in the middle of summer.


When your veins cause discomfort

Vein disease is often silent, meaning many people do not notice symptoms until the disease is quite advanced. Aside from unsightly bulging veins, varicose veins can cause aching, pain or discomfort.


When you notice sores on your ankles

Like all diseased veins, varicose veins do a poor job of carrying blood from your feet back up to your heart. Blood pools in the veins your ankles, which means the tissues in your lower legs and feet do not receive oxygen-rich blood they need and cannot get rid of toxic byproducts. Left untreated, this can lead to breakdown of your skin, resulting in painful sores around your ankles.


When you or other people start to notice unappealing bulging or squiggly veins, make an appointment with your vein doctor in Tyson’s Corner, VA. Call today, before you develop discomfort or other symptoms of vein disease.

Restless Leg Syndrome

What Is Restless Leg Syndrome and Why Does it Occur?

Restless Leg Syndrome Can Be Linked to Vein Disease

What Is Restless Leg Syndrome?

Restless leg syndrome (RLS) is a condition characterized by an urge to move the legs. Those suffering typically experience the strongest symptoms in the evening and at night and often struggle to fall asleep because of the sensations. The severity can vary from patient to patient and even from day to day for a single patient.

Who Is at Risk of Developing Restless Leg Syndrome?

Restless leg syndrome effects women more often than men and can occur at any age, although the majority of sufferers are middle-aged or older. Approximately 10 percent of the United States population suffers from the disorder. RLS is also common among pregnant women during their third trimester, but typically subsides after delivery.

What Causes Restless Leg Syndrome?

While the cause of RLS is often unknown, there are several factors that can cause RLS or worsen symptoms including:

  • Vein disease such as varicose veins, spider veins, or venous insufficiency
  • Other chronic diseases like kidney failure, Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, iron deficiency, and peripheral neuropathy
  • Alcohol use
  • Pregnancy, especially during the third trimester
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Medications including some antidepressants, allergy medications, antipsychotic medications, and antinausea medications

What Are the Treatment Options for RLS?

The treatment options for RLS often depend on the cause of the symptoms and in many cases a cause is not identified. There are some steps that can be taken at home to alleviate symptoms before medical treatment is sought if there is no underlying disease. Patients can increase physical activity during the day, limit or eliminate alcohol intake, and keep a structured sleep schedule.

When these measures don’t work or when there is an underlying disease, medical treatment should be sought. When varicose veins are present, evaluation and treatment are imperative.

To learn more about the link between vein disease and restless legs syndrome, contact the Mclean Vein and Wellness Center today to schedule a consultation appointment.


swollen legs

3 Reasons You May Have Swollen Legs

You look down at your legs and they are puffy and seem larger than life. Swollen legs can occur for a number of reasons, and the exact cause of them varies. While many instances of leg swelling aren’t a cause of concern, there are some cases when having swollen legs can signal a serious condition. Usually, if the swelling is accompanied by pain or trouble breathing, or if the swelling persists for a long period of time, you’ll want to speak to a doctor. Understanding the more common causes of leg swelling can help you decide what to do about it.

Common Causes of Swollen Legs

Venous Insufficiency

Venous insufficiency means that the veins in your legs aren’t able to pump blood back up to the heart as well as they should. When someone has venous insufficiency, the walls and valves in certain veins are damaged. According to the National Institutes of Health, an insufficiency causes the blood to pool in the veins, leading to varicose veins and swelling. A number of varicose vein treatment options, from wearing compression stockings to vein ablation, can help improve the function of the veins and reduce swelling.

Sitting or Standing for Extended Periods

In some cases, sitting or standing for a long period can lead to a build-up of fluid in the legs and to swelling. It’s not uncommon for people to notice some swelling after they’ve been on a plane for a long time or if they have a job that requires standing in one place for hours. Usually, swollen legs related to long periods of sitting and standing aren’t a major cause for concern. If you do have swelling after a flight or after standing for hours, you can help minimize it by drinking lots of water, by moving your feet and legs every so often, and by wearing loose clothing. Compression stockings can also help reduce swelling connected to staying still for long periods.

A Blood Clot

Persistent swelling in the legs might be a sign of a serious issue, namely a blood clot. A blood clot can block a vein or it can break free and travel to the lungs, where it can cause a blockage known as a pulmonary embolism. If your legs are swollen, red, and you feel pain, it’s a good idea to see your doctor for a diagnosis. If you have swelling in the legs and are having trouble breathing, you’ll want to go the emergency room, as the difficulty breathing can mean that you have a clot deep in your veins which can potentially travel to your lungs.

When leg swelling is related to varicose veins, a number of treatments are available. To learn more about your vein treatment options, contact Dr. Nordine Gaugau and the McLean Vein & Wellness Center for a consultation today.

blue veins

Blue Veins: What They Are and How to Get Rid of Them

For many people, blue veins on their legs or face are a cosmetic issue that affects their self-confidence.  Some, however, experience discomfort.  Fortunately, a vascular specialist can offer patients a number of alternatives for eliminating these abnormal blood vessels.

What Are Those Blue Veins?

Tiny web-like veins that might also be red or purple are most likely spider veins that cause no medical problems.  The so-called gold standard for treating them is sclerotherapy, described below.

Larger, rope-like vessels are varicose veins.  They can cause a great deal of discomfort and require evaluation by a vein doctor.  According to the Society for Vascular Surgery, as many as 35 percent of Americans suffer from these abnormal veins, which most often develop in the legs.

Veins transport blood toward the heart.  When damaged, valves inside them are unable to close properly.  This causes blood to leak backward.

As blood pools in the vein, the volume causes the vessel to swell and bulge.  The result is often a knot-like, dark blue or red varicose vessel visible through the skin, MedlinePlus indicates.  The patient might sense an aching feeling, throbbing, or swelling in the feet or the ankles.

Risk factors for varicose veins include:

  • Age
  • Being female
  • Obesity of even being overweight
  • Family history
  • Prior blood clots in the leg
  • Prolonged sitting or standing

Treatment Options for Varicose Veins

Patients at a vein center in McLean, VA have multiple options.  The Mayo Clinic reports that conservative measures include lifestyle changes such as losing excess weight, elevating the legs, not sitting or standing for long periods, and avoiding tight clothing.  Compression stockings are another conservative option.

For more severe cases, vein doctors can offer these outpatient options:

  • Sclerotherapy:  A physician injects a special solution into small or medium veins to cause them to scar, close, and eventually fade.
  • Foam sclerotherapy:  Vein clinics use it for larger veins.
  • Laser procedures:  This technology seals off small varicose vessels and spider veins by emitting bursts of light that cause the vein to fade, then disappear.
  • Catheter procedures with radiofrequency or laser energy:  As the physician pulls out a heated catheter inserted into a large varicose vein, the heat causes the vessel to collapse, then seal shut.
  • Ambulatory phlebectomy:  It allows a vein specialist to remove small veins through tiny punctures in the skin.
  • Endoscopic vein surgery:  Usually reserved for advanced cases when other procedures fail, it involves inserting a tiny camera to see, close, and remove veins.

For decades, vein stripping was the standard treatment for varicose veins.  Today, physicians seldom use it.

It is important for patients to realize that while there are multiple options for eliminating varicose veins, no procedure will prevent new vessels from forming.  For this reason, some patients return for periodic treatment.

RF Ablation

What Is Radiofrequency Ablation?

Your body depends on a regular supply of oxygen- and nutrient-rich blood to stay healthy and to function optimally. But sometimes, veins can become weak or damaged and varicose veins can form, interfering with normal circulation while also causing symptoms like pain, achiness and even skin ulcers or sores. While treating varicose veins used to require invasive options like vein stripping, today many varicose veins can be successfully treated using minimally-invasive treatment options like radiofrequency ablation. Also called RF ablation, this technique uses heat to seal off damaged veins, enabling blood to be redirected to neighboring healthy veins to eliminate painful symptoms and promote better circulation.

What causes varicose veins?

Most people understand the important role of the heart in pumping blood throughout our bodies, but did you know there are tiny valves inside your veins that help your heart keep blood flowing in the right direction? Each of these tiny valves opens and closes repeatedly to ensure blood that reaches the extremities is able to move back toward the heart. Sometimes, though, these valves can become damaged, allowing blood to “pool up” inside the veins, causing increased pressure behind the valves that can exacerbate this damage. As blood pools up, it causes vessel walls to expand, resulting in the swollen, dark appearance associated with varicose veins.

Varicose veins tend to occur more often as we get older, and they can also be caused by being overweight or obese, pregnancy weight gain, and occupations that require long periods of standing or sitting. Having a family history of varicose veins and being female also increase your chances of developing varicose veins.

How does radiofrequency ablation work?

Radiofrequency ablation uses a special hollow tube called a catheter which is inserted through tiny incisions in your skin just over the affected vein. A very fine fiber is inserted through the catheter and into the vein. This fiber emits controlled bursts of radiofrequency energy which is directed at the damaged vessel walls, causing them to seal up so blood flow is prevented. Over time, the sealed veins will be absorbed by the body and carried away through the body’s natural “waste disposal” system. Blood flow will be naturally redirected through neighboring healthy veins.

Radiofrequency ablation can be performed right in our office, and once the procedure is complete, you’ll be able to return home right away. You’ll also be given compression stockings to wear for about a week to help speed healing and support the treated area. A follow-up ultrasound exam of your vein may be used to ensure the vein has become completely sealed.

Varicose Vein Treatment Tailored for Your Needs

At McLean Vein and Wellness Center, we offer the most advanced treatment options using state-of-the-art technology for optimal results in every patient. Each treatment plan is carefully planned based on medical history, overall health and other factors, so you can feel confident in your treatment and your results. To learn more about radiofrequency ablation and other varicose vein treatment options, call our office at 703-436-6682 or use our online contact form to schedule a consultation.

Using Sclerotherapy to Remove Spider Veins

As many as 80 to 85 percent of men and women in the U.S. suffer from spider veins, according to a study published in the journal Circulation, and many of those people also suffer from accompanying symptoms like itching, burning and stinging. Even when spider veins don’t cause painful symptoms, their appearance can still be troublesome, especially during the warmer months when shorts, bathing suits and other summer attire make the dark, threadlike veins more visible. The good news is, spider veins can be treated fairly easily with sclerotherapy, a minimally-invasive treatment option that takes just a few minutes and is recognized as the gold standard in spider vein treatment.

What causes spider veins?

Spider veins develop when the normal flow of blood is impeded, causing blood to back up and collect inside the veins where it causes the veins’ characteristic dark reddish or purplish coloration. Many factors can contribute to the formation of spider veins, including:

  • sun exposure
  • genetics
  • hormonal changes
  • some medications, including birth control pills
  • being overweight or obese
  • occupations that require long periods of standing or sitting

Spider veins are also much more likely to occur in women than in men, and they’re also much more common as we get older. Spider veins can occur just about anywhere in the body, but they’re more common in the feet, ankles and lower legs.

What is sclerotherapy?

Sclerotherapy is a spider vein treatment technique that uses injections of special chemicals designed to harmlessly close off spider veins from the flow of blood, enabling blood to be rerouted to neighboring healthy veins for better circulation. At McLean Vein and Wellness Center, we offer two types of sclerotherapy options – liquid and foam – for optimal treatment of all types of spider veins, including spider veins that occur in the face. The primary difference between the two treatments is that one uses a liquid chemical solutions while the other uses a special type of foam to cause spider veins to “stick together” and close off to the flow of blood. During your office evaluation, we’ll perform a comprehensive assessment of your veins to determine which approach is the better option for your specific needs.

In both liquid and foam applications, treatment begins with the application of a topical anesthetic to reduce any discomfort associated with the injections. Depending on the number and size of the veins, multiple injection sites may be used to achieve the best effect. Once the treatment is complete, you may have some minor swelling or bruising, but these effects will soon dissipate. During the nest few weeks following your treatment, the veins will begin to shrink and disappear, eventually becoming absorbed by the body.

Custom Spider Vein Treatment for Your Needs

Although they may be relatively harmless on their own, spider veins can be a sign of a more serious underlying vascular condition, and they should always be evaluated to ensure optimal vascular health. If you have spider veins and you’d like to learn more about treatment options or have your vascular health assessed, call our office today at 703-436-6682 or use our online contact form to schedule an consultation.