The Women's Journal

Varicose Veins: Not Just a Cosmetic Issue

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By Anthony Alfieri, DO, FACC  

What are varicose veins?

Varicose veins occur when the valves in your veins are not functioning properly. These valves serve to prevent blood from flowing backwards in the vein. When the valves are not functioning properly, this results in pooling of blood which causes the vein to become distended. This is primarily seen in the legs and causes symptoms such as: a feeling of heaviness in the legs and legs that become easily fatigued, bulging veins, generalized lower extremity swelling, skin discoloration, and pain. This can eventually lead to more advanced problems such as ulcers and difficult to treat infections.

How are varicose veins diagnosed?

A simple history and physical by a cardiovascular specialist is often all that is needed to diagnose this disease. Further testing in the form of an ultrasound of the legs is used to confirm the diagnosis and determine severity and treatment options.


How are varicose veins treated?

The first approach to treating varicose veins, also known as venous insufficiency or venous reflux, is to pursue conservative, non-invasive measures such as: a structured weight loss and exercise program, leg elevation, and compression stockings. Unfortunately, often these conservative measures fail to alleviate symptoms and halt the disease progression. In these instances, I recommend more definitive treatment through outpatient venous ablation.

What is venous ablation?

Venous ablation works by using radiofrequency energy. This energy heats and then collapses the vein and seals off the blood vessel. Once the diseased vein is closed, blood is naturally re-routed through healthy veins allowing proper blood flow so that the legs can heal. This procedure is minimally invasive and can be done painlessly in the outpatient setting.

Does my insurance cover venous ablation?

Venous insufficiency is recognized as a serious, progressive health issue and as such, treatment is generally covered by your insurance.



“This Doctor has to have been put on this earth to help those of us who either had or have horrible veins, legs, etc. Not only that, this is the type of doctor, if you are a person like I was who had all but given up on ever finding someone who could finally fix my veins, stop the pain, heal my sores, Doctor Alfieri at every visit never went without saying, ‘Your legs will be dance ready!’ Always positive! After one visit, my leg started the healing process – it was wonderful . . . Which leads me to his bedside manner . . . he just gets in there and will tell you, ‘You are here now, we are here to fix you, here to help you.’ His staff is top notch as well. A++ THANK GOD I FOUND HIM.” – Benalee M.

If you are experiencing pain, swelling, or other symptoms of varicose veins, call today at 

(302) 690-0933 to schedule a FREE vein screening. We can walk you through the process and 

get you on your way to healthier legs!

Anthony Alfieri, DO, FACC is a board certified interventional cardiologist who has been practicing in the New Castle County area for over twenty-five years. In that time he has seen and treated many forms of cardiovascular disease, one of which being the progressive and often painful and debilitating venous insufficiency, commonly described as varicose veins. Over the years, Dr. Alfieri came to realize that this problem was frequently underappreciated, misdiagnosed, and undertreated. It was this extensive experience and intense compassion for his patients that drove his desire to provide an effective and permanent treatment and led him to found Delaware Advanced Vein Center. With over twenty-five years of experience as an interventionalist, Dr. Alfieri is uniquely qualified to perform a multitude of vascular procedures with minimal discomfort and maximum, lasting results.


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