Banish the Bulge of Varicose Veins

Banish the Bulge of Varicose Veins

Beyond bulging, bumpy varicose veins and unsightly spider veins, vascular diseases, like carotid arteries or renal vascular disease, can be life threatening. Dr. Michael Ingegno, of Oakland’s General Vascular Surgery Medical Group specializes in state-of-the-art, minimally invasive varicose vein procedures, as well as a suite of surgical vascular and arterial treatments.


What is vascular medicine?

Vascular medicine treats diseases of the arteries and veins, as well as the lymph system. It differs from cardiology, which deals with the heart–the pump for the vascular system.

Explain the vascular system.

The arteries are the “high pressure” aspect of the vascular system–they carry oxygenated blood away from the heart to the body and vital organs. Veins are the “low pressure” component responsible for carrying oxygen-depleted blood back to the heart for a recharge.


What causes varicose veins?

Varicose veins are perhaps the most obvious and identifiable vascular disease. They’re the result of systemic venous insufficiency, which prevents blood from travelling throughout the body efficiently.

When a vein’s valve becomes incompetent, the subsequent pressure from pooling blood causes it to bulge. It’s a common malady among people who stand for long hours, or women who have gone through multiple pregnancies. It can be very painful and necessitate surgical procedures to alleviate.


How does your practice treat varicose veins?

Modern treatments for varicose veins are usually performed on an outpatient basis. Today, we have a variety of minimally invasive options for varicose veins, such as sclerotherapy – where small- and medium-sized veins are injected with a solution that causes them to collapse, and diminish in size, before eventually dissolving the vein completely. This is a fairly new procedure, but we’re having great success with it.

We also perform a procedure known as endovenous ablation–another minimally invasive treatment that uses image-guided lasers, or radio frequency, to cauterize–burn–and close the varicose veins. Endovenous ablations usually require no anesthesia and minimal recovery time. This is the preferred treatment for larger varicose veins.

For patients with more severe cases of varicose veins, we perform what’s known as microphlebectomy, or ambulatory phlebectomies. This procedure removes varicose veins on the surface of the skin through tiny incisions. We do microphlebectomies in the office under a local anesthesia, and patients usually experience fairly rapid recovery times.

Lastly, we employ Veinwave–a cutting edge technology used to eliminate spider veins and fine thread veins on the legs. Veinwave is especially useful for delicate areas of the body, where other treatments aren’t feasible or practical.


Who is a good candidate for varicose vein treatment?

Anyone who suffers from leg pain due to varicose veins is a candidate for vein treatment and vascular medicine. Or, anyone who is simply unhappy with the appearance of spider veins on the legs–or face, or wherever they appear. We treat a lot of people for cosmetic purposes, and some of the procedures are covered by insurance.


How does your practice differ from other vascular surgeons?

We have three Bay Area locations, and provide vascular surgery services in six of the East Bay’s most prestigious hospitals, with three office locations. We have an efficient suite of services, including vascular ultrasound services, and four on-staff vascular surgeons.

Vascular medicine is all we do.


Alameda, San Leandro, San Ramon


Faces of the East Bay