Lake Cumberland Vein Clinic
Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital is proud to offer high-quality vascular and vein testing at the Lake Cumberland Imaging Center for the treatment of varicose veins, leg swelling, pain, or discoloration. We’re committed to patient satisfaction throughout your experience, from consultation to treatment to follow-up. Our experts help our patients walk away happy and healthy, where they can feel and see a difference.
What is Venous Reflux Disease?
The veins and the arteries work closely together to keep your vascular system functioning. While the arteries deliver blood from the heart to the rest of the body, the veins return the depleted blood back to the heart for reoxygenation. When this process doesn’t work correctly, the body experiences venous reflux.
To work against gravity, this venous blood flows through your body by an action that takes place in your calf muscles. The valves open up to allow this blood to be pushed toward the heart. However, when this blood starts to build up, these valves shut to prevent any reflux.
That’s why venous reflux disease, also known as chronic venous insufficiency (CVI), causes changes in the texture and color around the ankles and legs. It also contributes to swelling in the ankles and legs (edema), restless legs syndrome (RLS), and varicose veins.
The Symptoms of Venous Reflux
The following venous reflux symptoms may indicate venous insufficiency:
- Edema – swelling of the ankles or legs
- Leg cramps
- Pain that eases when you raise your legs but gets worse when you stand up
- Itchy legs
- Throbbing, aching, or a heavy sensation in your legs
- Weak legs
- Varicose veins
- Reticular veins
- Leg ulcers
- Changes in skin color – particularly near your ankles
- Thickened skin, particularly on your ankles or legs
- Tight sensations in your calves
Any condition that blocks the major leg veins or damages or weakens their valves can cause VRD.
Conditions that can lead to VRD include:
- Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
- Vein wall weakness, which causes veins to enlarge to the point where the valves cannot close
- A congenital (from birth) absence of vein valves
- A history of blood clots or DVT in the leg that damages or weakens vein valves
- Tumors or unusual growths
- Blockages in the veins of the pelvis or groin
Several factors may also increase the risk of developing CVI, such as:
- Obesity and having overweight
- Pregnancy, especially multiple pregnancies
- Heavy lifting
- Prolonged standing
- Being female
- High blood pressure
- Lack of physical activity
Some people, especially those with severe CVI, may also wish to undergo surgery to repair damaged valves or blocked veins. Types of surgeries used to treat CVI include:
- Vein stripping: A procedure to remove the vein with reflux, often performed while someone is under general anesthesia.
- Ultrasound-guided foam sclerotherapy: With this treatment, a doctor introduces a tiny tube into the vein using ultrasound imaging as guidance. They then inject a foaming substance called a sclerosant, which causes swelling in the vein, cutting off blood flow in the vessel. It eventually shrinks, leaving behind vein scar tissue.
- Ablation: This process uses radiofrequency or lasers to destroy any tissues that characterize CVI.
- People may also undergo surgery to repair damage from conditions caused by CVI, such as varicose veins.
- A provider identifies symptoms of vein disease and sends the patient for a reflux vein ultrasound. Usually, conservative treatment is started at that time as well.
- If the reflux study is positive for superficial vein reflux, then an ablation is considered.
- If the reflux ultrasound test is positive and ablation is desired, then the patients are referred to cardiology for vein ablation to be explained, and the process starts for pre-certification and scheduling.
- An ablation is a vein injection to the leg and closure of a bad vein with radiofrequency ablation. The blood reroutes to the good veins.
- Postop vein ultrasound is done to ensure closure of the diseased vein.
- Minimally invasive, outpatient procedure
- Smaller catheter entry
- Proven Technology
- Long-term outcomes
- State-of-the-art facility
45 Tower Circle, Somerset, KY 42503
To schedule an ultrasound, call: 606.678.3545
- Ultrasounds (Scheduled through Imaging Center): Every other Thursday from 8am to 4:30pm
- Ablations (Scheduled with Cardiologist): Last Thursday of every month from 12pm to 4:30pm