Karen: My name is Karen Whitney, I’m a physician’s assistant, I graduated as a PA in 1976 and worked in primary care and internal medicine and women’s health until about 1997 and at that point I really accidently got into the non surgical cosmetic field and have been treating leg pains and have been doing treatment devices such as lasers and intense pulse light since that time. I came to Advanced Cosmetic Surgery and Laser Center to join Dr. Jon Mendelsohn and Dr. Joel Myer, I’m thrilled to be a part of the complete surgical practice, my specialty here is anything that involves needles and treatment devices, so I perform Botox, facial fillers, I treat leg pains and also asses for medical pain issues and do the treatment devices which include lasers, IPL tattoo removal, miraDry for sweating and cool sculpting for fat reduction.
Karen: I started doing sclerotherapy to treat leg veins as early as 1997 and I estimate I’ve probably injected three million leg veins since that time. It would seem like it would be very repetitive but each vein in each patient is a little bit different. The gold standard for treating surface leg veins is scalar therapy, it’s kind of a funny name but it means to sclerose or shut down an unwanted surface vein. Patients commonly asked don’t I need these veins, and the answer is no, really any vein that you can see on the surface is pretty much dispensable, that’s why we’re not covered with veins all over. What we do is use a very tiny needle, inject an irritating or damaging solution into the vein and that vein gradually shrivels, shrinks, shuts down and then your body can absorb it. It will take more than one treatment because we’ll get a partial reaction with each session and we treat at four to six week intervals, we’re always going for a hundred percent clearance and often can in the most severe cases get seventy five to eighty percent improvement but often we can completely eliminate the unwanted vein.
Patients always want to know does it hurt to have scalar therapy. We are using a needle but it’s very tiny, the solution injected can feel a little bit sticky and stingy, some patients act like I’m not doing anything, others are a bit uncomfortable, but the discomfort is very short lived, within a few minutes after an injection you don’t feel anything at all. After treatment you do wear compression stockings and I find that as the patients put the stockings on they usually walk out feeling quite fine with just a little bit of minimal discomfort after.
After treatment patients resume all of their normal activities, what we don’t want is jogging, zumba, cardio like spinning and usually that’s for two to three days, they’re going to wear the compression for two to three days and then sometimes during the day a little bit longer depending on the severity.
One of the reasons I really appreciate the opportunity to treat patients leg veins is that at least half the year people have the opportunity to expose their legs and whether it’s wearing skirts, in a professional environment or shorts as their out playing with their family and enjoying life or wearing a swimsuit at the beach or pool. If you have leg veins and it makes you feel uncomfortable and most people don’t like the reddish, purplish or slightly bulging discoloration of veins and so it really makes you feel more comfortable and confident in your own self, that you’re out there without these funny veins and people aren’t asking you what’s on your leg or what happened or how did you get that bruise so it’s very rewarding, and I had one patient who told me that she had not worn a swimsuit since college when someone pointed out her leg veins, so when I treated her and cleared up her veins which were pretty significant, she actually bought a swimsuit and took swimming lessons, so that’s a dramatic example of how treating something like this can really improve your quality of life.
Advanced Vein Solutions Center at Advanced Cosmetic Surgery & Laser Center is pleased to offer complete vein treatment. We offer a complimentary consultation to assess the nature of your vein concerns, from minor spider veins to severe varicose veins. We can provide you with complete care of your veins by experienced and respected physicians and physician assistants with years of experience in the field of phlebology.
Karen Whitney, PA, will see you for your venous screening and consultation. Ms. Whitney has specialized in the treatment of leg veins for over 17 years, and has treated an estimated 3,000,000 veins with sclerotherapy, as well as being trained in ultrasound of the legs for screening to assess the underlying venous system.