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Venous Disease Treatments

Venous Disease

We treat all types of venous disease, but three of the most common are Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), Venous Obstruction and Varicose Veins. Our care team offers diagnostics and treatment for these and other types of venous disease.

Deep Venous Thrombosis

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a blood clot in a deep vein in the body. They happen anywhere in the body, but most often in the lower leg or thigh.

If a clot breaks up, parts of it can travel to the lungs, blocking blood flow in the lungs and causing a pulmonary embolism. This can damage the lungs or even be fatal.

  • Large clots in the veins in the pelvis can cause long term leg swelling and ulcers.
  • DVT can be treated with medicines called thrombolytics.
  • They dissolve the clot before pieces can break off.
  • They can cause sudden bleeding.
  • They're used only if your life is threatened.
  • If you can't take blood thinners or they aren't helping, a filter is put in the large vein known as the vena cava. This catches clots that break off before they get to the lungs.
  • You will probably be given blood thinners after treatment.
  • Compression stockings put constant pressure on your legs to help keep blood flowing.

Venous Obstruction

Veins can become obstructed from scarring secondary to clots or catheters that have been placed in veins. This can results in extremity swelling and possible ulcers. This can be treated with compression hose but sometimes this is not enough and stenting or traditional open surgery is required.

Venous Stenting

During the procedure

  • A very small incision is made, usually near the groin.
  • A catheter with a stent is attached is threaded into the vein.
  • The stent is inflated, pushing the vein open increase flow through the vein.
  • After the stent is in place, the doctor will stitch up the incision.

After the procedure

  • We will ask for to rest in bed for a few hours after surgery.
  • You may be able to go home the same day.
  • When discharged from the hospital, your doctor will give you information for the next few days.
  • You shouldn't lift anything heavier than 10 pounds.
  • You can probably shower and bathe the day after the procedure.

Venous Bypass

A vein bypass is usually used only when no other treatment has worked. A vein or a man made tube will be use to re-route the blood flow through the vein.

Before the procedure

  • Take aspirin and blood thinning drugs only if approved by your doctor.
  • Do not eat or drink anything after midnight unless told otherwise.

During the procedure

  • A length of healthy vein is taken from somewhere else in your body.
  • It is used to reroute blood around the vein.
  • This is done under general anesthesia.

After the procedure

  • Expect to stay in the hospital for at least a week.
  • There will be some pain that can continue for a long time as you heal. Your doctor will prescribe medications as needed.
  • Don't drive until you are pain free and not taking pain medication.
  • Walk as instructed. You may also do physical therapy

Varicose Veins

Varicose veins are enlarged veins that are seen in the legs. Varicose Veins are often painful and cause calf swelling and may cause ulcers. Your vascular surgeon is trained in minimally invasive ways to treat varicose veins.

Varicose Vein Treatment

Ablation uses radio or laser waves to close abnormal veins with minimal pain or discomfort

During the procedure

  • You will be given medication to relax you during the procedure.
  • Your doctor will access the vein with a needle.
  • A flexible tube is threaded through the blood vessel.
  • The heat reaches the vein through the catheter.
  • The heat will close off.

Another treatment is sclerotherapy, which may take more than one treatment to see results.

During the procedure

  • A solution is injected into the vein.
  • This causes the walls to thicken and stick together.
  • You will usually be given something to numb the immediate area.


Learn Your Risk

Take an online Heart Aware or Vascular Aware assessment to discover your odds of developing a cardiovascular disease. You’ll find out if you qualify for a free in-person medical screening and consultation.

To find a UNC REX Healthcare physician near you, call 919-784-4490.

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