Hiding in plain sight, varicose veins aren’t just unattractive – they can be an indicator of deeper venous and circulatory issues. They can also cause discomfort, swelling, and mobility issues. Spider veins, their less-obtrusive counterpart, while certainly not as serious a medical issue, can be an indicator of deeper venous concerns. Varicose veins are the result of venous insufficiency – the valves within the veins, which normally close to prevent blood from flowing backward, begin to lose the ability to close properly. This allows blood to pool in the veins, causing the veins to dilate, bulge, and stretch, resulting in visible thick, twisted veins just under the surface of the skin. Varicose veins typically occur in the back of the legs, most frequently on the calf and the knee area. Advanced cases may include swelling and discoloration of the feet and ankles, and even painful skin ulcerations.
“Treatment of varicose veins has changed dramatically over the past generation or so,” says Christopher J. Bosarge, MD, of Coastal Vein Institute, a Pensacola-based practice addressing all manner of venous and circulatory issues. “As a complete vascular group, we’re able to use a variety of tests and state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment to assess symptoms, and to determine the best possible course of treatment.”
Dr. Bosarge and his colleagues in the multi-office practice, serving the entire Gulf Coast, are all board certified physicians trained in every aspect of vascular medicine. “We use every technology and modality to provide the patient with the most appropriate care depending on the specific issue at hand,” he says.
In the past, varicose veins were often simply “stripped,” or removed, and blood flow rerouted to other pathways. “This is certainly not the case today,” says Dr. Bosarge. “We have procedures that are far simpler, far less invasive, and safer and less painful for the patient. We typically use lasers to open blocked veins, and sclerosant solutions to close down veins so blood flow can be rerouted. These procedures involve minimal discomfort, no general anesthesia, and no down time for the patient afterward.”
For treatment of unsightly spider veins, those red or purple clusters of tiny snakes just under the skin, the doctors at Coastal Vein Institute utilize a procedure called sclerotherapy that uses ultra-fine needles to “zap” the veins, which then dry up and fade away. “Our specialty encompasses medical and aesthetic issues,” says Dr. Bosarge, “but as physicians, we are first and foremost concerned with the medical ramifications of our actions. Cosmetic issues on the surface frequently point to deeper medical concerns, and aesthetic issues can become health concerns over time.”
For the convenience of potential patients, Coastal Vein Institute has devised a free, confidential, online screening tool. The screening consists of answering a few straightforward questions and uploading photos of the areas of concern. A board certified vascular specialist from the local Coastal Vein Institute office evaluates the information and provides the potential patient with relevant information about treatment options. Coastal Vein Institute has nine fully certified physicians on staff, and eight offices along the coast— Foley and Gulf Shores in Alabama; Pensacola, Fort Walton Beach, Crestview, Milton, Niceville, and Destin along the Florida Panhandle.
Coastal Vein Institute & Aesthetic Center
2301 N. 9th Ave.
Pensacola, FL 32503