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Vein Center

Huntsville Hospital Vein Center at the Heart Center
930 Franklin Street · Huntsville, AL 35801 · (256) 519-8346 (VEIN)

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Pain, swelling, tightness or fatigue in your legs may mean you have Venous Reflux Disease. This is a serious medical condition that develops when your veins become damaged or diseased. Contributing factors include age (40+), family history, obesity, heavy lifting, multiple pregnancies and professions that require standing or sitting for long periods of time. If left untreated, venous reflux disease may worsen over time.

International Accreditation Center (IAC)

The Huntsville Hospital Vein Center at the Heart Center was the first vein center in Alabama to earn an accreditation from the International Accreditation Center (IAC) and is currently the only accredited vein center in North Alabama. All of our physicians are board certified and dedicated to repairing diseased veins.

Using minimally-invasive techniques, our vein specialists treat

  • Swelling in the legs or ankles
  • Tight feeling, itching, or inflammation in the calves
  • Leg pain, heaviness or fatigue
  • Painful leg cramps
  • Skin changes such as itchy, dry skin or brownish discoloration
  • Discomfort in the legs with the urge to move frequently (restless leg syndrome)
  • Varicose veins (spider veins or bulging veins)
  • Bleeding from varicose veins
  • Leg ulcers

Benefits of treatment

  • Significant relief of symptoms
  • Better cosmetic results
  • Less postoperative pain
  • Ability to resume normal activities within one to two days

Treatment for venous reflux disease is performed on an outpatient basis, and the recovery time is minimal.

Vein Services

All procedures are done on an outpatient basis. Check with your insurance company regarding policy coverage for venous reflux disease. 

Post Procedure Recommendations

After all of our outpatient procedures, we highly encourage patients to wear compression hose, walk frequently, and avoid heat and sunlight to the legs, strenuous activity and submersion of the legs in water for one to two weeks.

Iliac Vein Compression

Iliac vein compression is a condition that affects blood vessels in the lower abdomen. Your arteries move oxygenated blood away from the heart, and your veins bring the blood back to the heart to be re-oxygenated. These arteries and veins cross over each other in the body. This is normally not a problem, but in some cases the artery compresses the vein causing it to narrow and have decreased blood flow. When the flow is restricted, blood has more difficulty flowing back towards the heart. This can put you at a higher risk for DVT, or deep vein thrombosis. Iliac vein compression occurs more commonly in the left iliac vein but can affect the right iliac vein as well.

Leg Symptoms

  • Swelling
  • Pain
  • Heaviness or cramping
  • Changes in skin color or texture
  • Redness and warmth
  • Bulging veins

Iliac vein compression is more likely if you

  • Are female
  • Have scoliosis
  • Just had a baby
  • Have had more than one child
  • Take oral birth control
  • Have a condition that causes your blood to clot

Diagnosis
To determine the presence of iliac vein compression, your physician may first order an ultrasound of the lower extremities. If this test is negative, your physician may order a CT scan or Venogram to get a more in-depth look at the vessels in the pelvis.

Treatment
Angioplasty and stent is a common treatment for iliac vein compression. This procedure is performed at Huntsville Hospital Heart Center by cardiologist Michael Ridner, MD. It is done on an outpatient basis and does not require general anesthesia. You can expect to be at the Heart Center for 4-6 hours then discharged home. You will be scheduled for follow-up visits to check the stents at one week, one month, three months and six months and you will be prescribed blood thinners for a period of at least 6 months. After that time, you may be able to stop blood thinners and will only be required to have yearly monitoring. Since the stents are permanently placed, they will require lifelong yearly monitoring by your physician.

Ambulatory Phlebectomy

This procedure is used to surgically remove varicose veins. It usually requires local anesthesia and light sedation. A series of incisions are made in the leg and the vein is removed in segments. Normal activity may be resumed the following day.

Sclerotherapy

This is an FDA approved process is used to treat small varicose and spider veins. A small injection of Sotradecol® is used to collapse the diseased vein and reroute the blood to healthier veins.

Radiofrequency Venous Ablation

This is an FDA approved process most commonly used to treat the greater saphenous and smaller saphenous veins. The procedure consists of using radiofrequency energy to seal diseased veins and reroute blood to healthier veins. Anesthetic is used to prevent thermal injury in the surrounding tissues and localize the treatment to the target vein. Learn more.

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