The skilled surgeons of the Vascular and Endovascular section play an important role in the Vein Center, an outpatient surgery center where a team of vascular specialists customizes a vein treatment plan for each patient depending on health, age and severity of condition. Patients are evaluated in Augusta University's outpatient Cardiovascular Center via a dedicated vascular lab, where a technician performs a detailed venous ultrasound study to determine treatment; our surgeons then perform treatments on an ambulatory basis at Augusta University.

Treatment for spider and varicose veins may include:

  • Sclerotherapy, during which the surgeon injects a solution into the veins to cause scarring and close the veins;
  • Ambulatory phlebectomy is the removal of the vein by tiny punctures or incisions along the path of the enlarged vein. Through these tiny holes, the surgeon uses a surgical hook to remove the varicose vein
  • Laser surgery and intense pulsed light therapy are used to destroy abnormal veins
  • Electrodesiccation is the sealing of the veins with the use of an electrical current
  • Ablation (laser and radiofrequency, VNUS procedure), during which a surgeon inserts a catheter into a varicose vein. Tiny electrodes at the tip of the catheter heat and destroy the walls of the varicose vein
  • Surgical ligation and stripping involves the surgeon making an incision in the skin and removing or tying off the blood vessel.

Treatment for chronic venous insufficiency may include sclerotherapy, as well as:

  • Vein stripping involves the surgeon disconnecting and tying off all veins associated with the saphenous vein, which he then removes.
  • Bypass is an option for severe CVI that occurs in the upper thigh or pelvis. Using small incisions, the surgeon connects an artificial vein or a transplanted vein to an unaffected vein to help blood flow around the blocked vein;
  • Valve repair is a shortening of the valves inside the vein to improve function;
  • Angioplasty and stenting are used for more severe cases of CVI. An angioplasty uses a balloon to push open a narrowed or blocked portion of the vein; a stent helps keep the narrowed areas open.