Welcome to the Vein Therapy Center
The Iowa Clinic Vein Therapy Center is committed to providing exceptional care for vein disorders. Our staff is trained in the very latest techniques and therapies for varicose veins and spider veins as well as severe venous stasis disease with ulcerations.
If you’ve done your research on vein therapy, you’ve likely noticed there are many types of “vein specialists” in Central Iowa who treat varicose veins, but there is a significant advantage to seeking a board-certified vascular surgeon to help you with your vein problems. A board-certified vascular surgeon is the only vein specialist who can offer the full spectrum of services to treat your veins the right way, with minimal risk and excellent outcomes.
At The Iowa Clinic Vein Therapy Center you can count on top notch surgeons and outstanding customer service. Our physicians and staff will take the time to listen to your concerns and answer all of your questions. Your plan for vein therapy is individualized for you – based on your signs and symptoms. We want you to have the best experience possible.
Assessment of our patients involves a detailed analysis of the vein problem, using a thorough history, a careful examination and often an ultrasound exam. We offer a variety of the most advanced and proven vein treatments available, including sclerotherapy, radiofrequency ablation therapy and advanced wound therapy for venous ulcers. When necessary, traditional surgical methods are used.
Most of the procedures used to treat venous disease are minimally invasive, with a short recovery time and minimal pain. Many are covered by insurance.
Varicose veins are veins that have become painfully enlarged. Varicose veins occur most often in the legs, although they do have the potential to occur elsewhere.
When the valves in leg veins or elsewhere no longer meet properly, the valves begin to stop working. With this dysfunction in meeting points, the blood within the veins begins to flow backwards, causing enlargement. At this point those veins become varicose.
The most common type of varicose vein is the superficial leg vein which is the product of prolonged standing. Besides the appearance of these veins, they are also very painful when making leg movements, like walking, running, or even standing.
Vein stripping or vein removal are the most common methods to remove the bothersome areas. The Des Moines vein treatment center at The Iowa Clinic also offers other less invasive treatments such as laser vein therapy.
Signs and Symptoms of Varicose Veins
- Pain in the legs: fullness, heaviness, aching
- Visible, enlarged veins
- Mild swelling of the ankles
- Skin at the ankle is discolored brown
- Skin ulcers near the ankle
The Iowa Clinic Vein Therapy Center has a non-invasive vascular laboratory that is accredited by the Intersocietal Commission for the Accreditation of Vascular Laboratories.
Why would I need non-invasive testing?
To identify where and how badly your veins are damaged, your physician may order tests to evaluate blood flow. These non-invasive tests are painless and do not use needles, dyes, or x-rays.
During a doppler evaluation, your doctor, nurse, or trained technician uses a special stethoscope to listen for changes in blood flow that may indicate a clot or valve problem.
This technique bounces sound waves off of your vein to create an image that shows the size and shape of your vein, as well as the amount of blood flowing through it.
Endovenous Laser Therapy - EVLT
This revolutionary treatment can eliminate your varicose veins non-surgically right in the office. After just 10 minutes of recovery you will be able to walk right out, free from your varicose veins and free to return to your normal activities the very next day.
The EVLT™ Procedure deals with the incompetence of the greater saphenous veins. Unlike surgical stripping, EVLT permanently closes off the vein while leaving it in place. It uses the energy from an 810 nm diode laser delivered by a fine fiber-optic probe. As it is only the probe and a slim sheath which need to enter the vein the whole procedure is performed via a tiny skin nick, so there will be no post operative scarring. The probe is guided into place using ultrasound and the procedure is performed under strictly local anesthetic of a similar type used by dentist to numb the treatment area.
Sclerotherapy is the most commonly used treatment for small diameter (<5mm) veins, such as spider veins. In Sclerotherapy, a liquid is injected with a tiny needle into the vein that causes inflammation of the vein wallsand causes the vein walls to stick to one another, collapsing the walls together. This solution and the use of a compressionm stocking, effectively prevents the vein from working and it stops carrying blood. The vein therefore disappears with time.
Small veins are effectively removed by Sclerotherapy but veins will often reappear if the underlying causes, incompetent blood vessels, are not treated. Sclerotherapy is associated with brown discoloration of the vein that may take up to one year to disappear and usually requires repeated treatments. It rarely can cause skin ulcers and as with all medications, some patients may have an allergy to the solution.
Ultrasound Guided Sclerotherapy
Ultrasound guided sclerotherapy is used for the treatment of deeper veins that cannot be seen or felt and for larger superficial veins.
Using ultrasound, a solution is injected into the veins causing the vein walls to collapse. Compression stockings are then used to make sure that the vein walls stay collapsed. Ultrasound guided sclerotherapy requires expert knowledge that conventional sclerotherapy does not. Once again, as the larger veins are treated, smaller spider and reticular veins will often disappear.
The advantages are no scarring and smaller veins disappear, while the downside is brownish discolorations, allergic reactions and the rare development of skin ulcers.
The TRIVEX System removes varicose veins through illumination, resection, and tumescence using only 2–3 incisions. Developed by a surgeon, the TRIVEX System uses transillumination to clearly identify all targeted veins and allow for their complete removal. A powered resector does the work of excising the targeted veins. Tumescent infiltration is used for hydrodissection and flushes the area of blood with use of Tumescent Anesthesia. Taking usually half the time as the conventional procedure, the results are a shorter, easier recovery with good cosmesis.
What are varicose veins?
What is venous disease?
Venous disease includes conditions such as varicose veins and CVI. If left untreated, varicose veins can progress to CVI, which is a more serious form of venous disease. Signs and symptoms of CVI can worsen over time and include ankle swelling, fatigue, restlessness and pain of the legs, skin changes and ulcers.
What are spider veins?
What is Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI)?
There are a number of factors that contribute to varicose veins and CVI, including pregnancy and heredity. As varicose veins progress to become CVI, other painful and unsightly signs and symptoms like ankle swelling, fatigue, restlessness and pain of the legs, skin changes and ulcers may occur.
Varicose veins can be treated with various minimally-invasive treatments that are covered by many insurance plans. Unfortunately, while more than 30 million people in the United States suffer from venous disease, only 1.9 million seek treatment each year.
Who is at risk for CVI?
Additionally, the following factors may increase your risk for developing varicose veins that can progress to become CVI
• Family history of varicose veins
• Lack of exercise
• Lifestyle that requires standing for long periods of time
• Excess weight
• Current or previous pregnancies
Can I prevent CVI?
The following can also help control varicose veins and other signs and symptoms:
• Avoiding prolonged standing
• Elevating the feet above the thighs when sitting, and above the heart when lying down
• Avoiding clothes that are tight around the waist, thighs or legs
• Strengthening calf muscles through an appropriate exercise plan
Since varicose veins cannot always be prevented, it is important to talk to a vein specialist about treatment options before the condition progresses into CVI and symptoms worsen.
What can happen if I overlook my varicose veins and symptoms of CVI?
Quiz – Do You Need Vein Therapy?
More than 20 million Americans suffer from varicose veins, yet only 1.9 million seek treatment each year. If you are wondering if you are a candidate for vein therapy at The Iowa Clinic, take this self-assessment.
If you are wondering if you are a candidate for vein therapy at The Iowa Clinic, take this self-assessment.
If your results indicate you should schedule a consultation, please call us at 515-875-9090.
Before and After Photos
Three Questions to Always Ask
If you are seriously considering vein therapy, we encourage you to research your options in the local medical community. All patients should ask the following questions:
- Who will be performing my vein therapy procedure and what kind of training have they had? At The Iowa Clinic, we guarantee your vein therapy procedure will be performed by a vascular surgeon. All of our physicians are board certified or board eligible in Vascular Surgery. Additionally, they have all completed extensive training on all vein therapies offered at The Iowa Clinic.
- What are the qualifications of the Center I am going to? The Iowa Clinic is accredited in Vascular Testing by the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission (IAC). This assures our patients that they are working with highly skilled technologists and physicians using state of the art equipment. Accreditation by IAC is the current national gold standard for office based vascular testing – and The Iowa Clinic is committed to making sure patients receive the most advanced and accurate tests available. IAC accreditation is a “seal of approval” that patients can rely on as an indication that the facility has been carefully critiqued on all aspects of its operations considered relevant by medical experts in the field of vascular testing.
- Are all possible treatment modalities offered by this Center – from office based to surgical? The Iowa Clinic Vein Therapy Center offers a full range of services for varicose vein and spider vein treatment. Our surgeons are trained in the very latest minimally invasive office based techniques as well as procedures that may (on rare occasion) have to be performed in an outpatient surgery setting.
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Services & Treatments
Our team of board certified vascular surgeons are trained in the following vein techniques.
Endovenous thermal ablation is a minimally-invasive treatment that involves the insertion of a tin, flexible tube called a catheter into a diseased vein to seal it shut using heat. Blood that would normally return toward the heart through these veins will then travel through other veins instead. The treated vein then dries up, shrinks and is absorbed by the body. Two types of energy may be used:
- Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA) uses radiofrequency energy to provide an even and uniform heat to contract the collagen in the vein walls, causing them to collapse and seal off.
- Laser Ablation (EVLT) delivers laser energy to heat the blood, causing it to coagulate to close off the diseased vein.
The choice of treatment will be discussed with you by your treating physician. We will try to give the best choice for you based on your particular situation.
Sclerotherapy, or injection therapy, is the most common treatment for small diameter veins such as spider veins. During sclerotherapy, a tiny needle is used to inject a mild chemical solution into the vein. This solution damages the inside wall of the vein causing the vein to collapse. The solution, together with the use of compression hose, effectively prevents the vein from working and it stops carrying blood. The body then absorbs the vein over time, eliminating the appearance of the vein.
A single sclerotherapy session involves multiple injections. Patients describe the injections as feeling like a pin prick or mosquito bite. The number of sessions needed will vary from patient to patient, depending on the amount of veins treated. One complication that can occur is hyper pigmentation (brown spots).
In a small percentage of patients, the brown spots or discoloration may persist long term. Another complication that some patients have experienced, which is a concern with any medication, is an allergic reaction to the solution. This is a very rare occurrence.
Ultrasound guided sclerotherapy is used for the treatment of deeper veins that cannot be seen or felt and for larger superficial veins. Using ultrasound, doctors can guide the needle to the exact area to be treated. A mild solution is injected into the veins causing the vein walls to collapse. Compression stockings are then used to make sure that the vein walls stay collapsed. Ultrasound guided sclerotherapy requires expert knowledge that conventional sclerotherapy does not. Once again, as the larger veins are treated, smaller spider and reticular veins will often disappear. The advantages are no scarring and smaller veins disappear, white the downside is the possibility of brownish discolorations, allergic reactions and the rare development of skin ulcers.
The TRIVEX system is a minimally invasive surgical technique that removes varicose veins through illumination, resection and tumescence using only two to three incisions. Developed by a surgeon, The TRIVEX System uses transillumination (the passing of light under the skin) to clearly identify and highlight the targeted veins. The surgeon removes the vein using a small surgical device. After the vein is removed, the area is flushed with a mild anesthetic. The procedure takes half the time as the conventional procedure and the benefits are a faster recovery with fewer incisions and a good cosmetic result.
Phlebectomy involves the removal of individual veins through a series of very small incisions with specialized specialized instruments. This is done under local anesthesia and is typically used on varicose veins at or near the skin’s surface. The incisions are closed with a special strip. Phlebectomy may be used in conjunction with sclerotherapy or EVLT to treat any remaining varicose veins.
The advantages of Phlebectomy are permanent vein removal with virtually no scarring, no skin discoloration or ulcers. Unfortunately, not all veins can be treated this way.
Venous duplex ultrasound is non-invasive test to evaluate symptoms including leg pain or swelling, excessive varicose veins, shortness of breath, or suspected blood clots in your legs and/or lungs. At The Iowa Clinic Vein Therapy Center, we have a specialized team of physicians, nurses, and technologists who work together to perform this test and interpret the results.
The Iowa Clinic is accredited in Vascular Testing by the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission (IAC). This assures our patients that they are working with highly skilled technologists and physicians using state of the art equipment. Accreditation by IAC is the current national gold standard for office based vascular testing – and The Iowa Clinic is committed to making sure patients receive the most advanced and accurate tests available.
IAC accreditation is a “seal of approval” that patients can rely on as an indication that the facility has been carefully critiqued on all aspects of its operations considered relevant by medical experts in the field of vascular testing. To receive this accreditation by the IAC, The Iowa Clinic has undergone a thorough review of its operational and technical components by a panel of experts. The IAC grants accreditation only to those facilities that are found to be providing quality patient care, in compliance with national standards through a comprehensive application process including detailed case study review. IAC accreditation is widely respected within the medical community, as illustrated by the support of the national medical societies related to vascular testing, which include physicians, technologists and sonographers.
5950 University Avenue
West Des Moines, IA 50266