The Henry Ford Vein Center

Vein diseases can range from cosmetic problems to more serious conditions causing pain, swelling and other symptoms. But there’s no reason not to look or feel your best.

At Henry Ford Health, our vein team specializes in evaluating and treating a wide range of conditions, from varicose veins to deep vein thrombosis. We treat urgent issues and also help you protect your long-term health. No matter what you need, we can provide it.

Why choose the Vein Center at Henry Ford?

The Henry Ford Vein Center is the only comprehensive program in southeast and south central Michigan dedicated to vein disease. We’re also one of the largest programs of our kind in the country, helping large numbers of people every year.

Led by vascular surgery and vascular medicine specialists, our team identifies the cause of your symptoms and delivers the latest treatments. We have extensive experience with the most complex and advanced forms of vein conditions.

Highlights of our program include:

  • Expertise in vein disease: Our team includes board-certified vascular specialists with years of experience and advanced training. We take a team approach to your care, with doctors from several specialties working together to manage all types of vein disease. Find out more about our Vein Team.
  • Nationally recognized vascular testing: Our specialized vascular labs have received accreditation from the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission. This recognition means we meet the highest standards for technologies used to diagnose vascular disease. Learn more about vascular testing, including tests performed by our interventional radiologists.
  • Full range of care: Whether you want help with unsightly veins or seek relief from painful symptoms, our specialists meet your needs. From expert diagnosis to treatment tailored for you, we provide all the vein care you need in a warm, professional environment.
  • Advanced techniques: We have the skills and resources to perform all types of procedures, including injections, laser therapy and minimally invasive procedures. Many treatments are outpatient procedures so you can go home the same day, with little or no downtime for recovery.
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  • Vein conditions we care for at our center

    Veins return blood to your heart from throughout your body. Our vascular surgeons and vascular medicine specialists offer compassionate care for all types of conditions affecting these key blood vessels. Some common vein conditions we diagnose and treat include:

    Blockages caused by vein compression

    Venous compression syndromes develop when nearby structures squeeze major veins, potentially reducing blood flow or causing a blood clot. Our vein specialists have extensive experience in diagnosing and treating these complex disorders, which include:

    • Klippel-Trenaunay-Weber syndrome, a congenital (present since birth) disorder that causes red birthmarks and abnormal development of certain veins, tissues and bones
    • May-Thurner syndrome, compression of the iliac vein that returns blood from the left leg to the heart
    • Nutcracker syndrome, compression of the left kidney vein
    • Paget-Schroetter syndrome, a type of thoracic outlet syndrome, with compression of veins in the armpit or shoulder
  • Our approach to diagnosing and treating vein conditions

    When you come to Henry Ford with symptoms of a possible vein condition, our specialists conduct a comprehensive evaluation. Once we reach a diagnosis, we work with you to develop a personalized treatment plan.

    Our team has the skills and resources to offer every treatment for vein disease. From medications and lifestyle changes to minimally invasive procedures and surgery, our vascular experts help find the right plan for you.

  • Lifestyle habits and self-care for healthy veins

    Making small changes and embracing healthy habits can improve your symptoms and slow the progress of vein disease. Our vascular specialists have years of experience helping people develop realistic goals to:

    • Eat a nutritious, healthy diet to help lose weight and prevent swelling from water retention
    • Stay physically active to help lose weight and maintain good blood circulation in the legs
    • Maintain a healthy weight

    To improve the way you feel, you can also take steps on your own:

    • Wear compression stockings to relieve swelling and help move blood up to the heart
    • Change your position about every hour to avoid sitting or standing in one position for too long
    • Raise your legs above your heart three to four times per day for 15 minutes each time
    • Avoid tight clothes, especially on the waist and lower body
    • Wear low-heeled shoes to help tone your calf muscles and improve blood flow to the heart
    • Practice good skin hygiene, take care of any wounds and moisturize dry, cracked skin on your legs
  • Medications and monitoring for vein disease

    Our vascular medicine specialists treat many vein conditions by prescribing medications and monitoring your health at regular intervals. You may need one or more approaches:

    • Antibiotics: These medications help heal skin infections or ulcers (open sores).
    • Anticoagulants (blood-thinning medications): If you are at risk for blood clots, these medications help prevent them. Heparin, warfarin (Coumadin®) and Xa inhibitors are common blood thinners.
    • Observation with imaging: Our vascular medicine specialists may monitor you with imaging, such as duplex ultrasound. We work to detect any changes in your vein health.
  • Noninvasive procedures for vein disease

    Some vein conditions, such as varicose veins and chronic venous insufficiency, respond well to noninvasive therapies. These therapies include:

    • Sclerotherapy: Your vascular medicine specialist or cosmetic surgeon injects a liquid or foam chemical solution into the affected veins, which cause them to collapse and gradually fade. Sclerotherapy is an outpatient procedure that you can have in our offices and return to work afterward.
    • Surface laser therapy: Your specialist applies a handheld laser to the surface of your skin above the affected vein. The laser’s bursts of light break down the wall of the affected vein, which gradually fades. We typically use this outpatient procedure to treat less severe vein issues.
    • Vein sealing: Using the VenaSeal™ system, we inject special medical glue to close the problematic vein. Blood continues to flow through other nearby veins, relieving symptoms.
  • Minimally invasive treatments for vein disease

    If you have a condition that’s causing more serious symptoms, our specialists offer the latest minimally invasive treatments. Many of these treatments take an endovascular approach, meaning doctors work inside the veins to fix the problem. They only need to make small incisions to do so.

    Your care team has extensive expertise with these approaches, developed from helping thousands of people. We use safe, effective treatments, with faster healing, less pain during recovery and little or no downtime. Most people can go home the same day, or the next.

    The minimally invasive treatments offered by our vascular surgeons and interventional radiologists include:

    Catheter-directed thrombolysis

    For clots, our vascular surgeon or interventional radiologist performs an endovascular procedure to access the affected vein. Your doctor inserts a catheter (thin, flexible tube) into the vein and guides it to the clot. Through the catheter, the doctor can remove the clot with tools.

    Endoscopic vein surgery

    This endovascular procedure treats veins that have more severe, ulcer-causing disease. The doctor uses a catheter with a camera and tiny instruments to surgically close the vein. Endovascular vein surgery is an outpatient procedure.

    Endovenous thermal ablation

    In an outpatient, endovascular procedure, your doctor uses a catheter with a tip that heats up with energy from a laser or radio waves. As the doctor slowly pulls the catheter out of the vein, the heat seals the vein shut.

    Inferior vena cava filter placement

    In this endovascular procedure, our interventional radiology team places a filter in the inferior vena cava. The IVC is the main vein bringing blood back to the heart from the lower body. During the procedure, your doctor inserts the collapsed filter through the catheter and guides it into the IVC.

    The filter then expands and attaches to the walls of the IVC, catching any blood clots that could travel to the heart or lungs. IVC filter placement is a treatment option for people at risk for blood clots who can’t take blood thinners.

    Inferior vena cava filter removal

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends removing IVC filters when the risk of blood clots has passed. If you have an IVC filter, our specialists can remove it using an endovascular procedure.

    Interventional thrombectomy

    We use advanced endovascular devices along with thrombolysis to dissolve and remove blood clots from veins. Your doctor guides the devices through the vein to the clot and administers clot-dissolving medications.

    One device uses ultrasound, and the other a vibrating wire, to help break up the clot. The doctor uses the catheter to draw out the medications and remains of the clot.

    Stab phlebectomy

    Also known as ambulatory phlebectomy, this procedure removes smaller, diseased veins through several tiny incisions. You can return to your daily activities right after this outpatient procedure.

    Venous angioplasty and stenting

    For severe cases of chronic venous insufficiency in deeper veins, your vascular surgeon may perform an endovascular procedure to open blockages. The surgeon inserts a catheter with a balloon tip, then inflates the balloon to widen the vein. In some cases, we may place a stent (tiny, metal-mesh tube) in the vein to hold it open.

  • Surgery to treat vein disease

    In rare cases, you may need an open surgery called vein bypass. Your surgeon transplants a healthy vein from elsewhere in your body, attaching it above and below the diseased section of vein. Vein bypass surgery reroutes blood around the diseased part of the vein for improved blood flow.

  • Follow-up care for vein disease

    Although vein treatment is highly effective, some conditions can recur (come back) or cause later complications. You’ll see our vascular medicine specialists, who provide ongoing care to manage your health and prevent problems. We check your blood flow on a set schedule, using ultrasound.

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