Surgical Associates: Leading the Way in Varicose Vein and CVI Care

Our state-of-the-art vascular lab enables accurate diagnosis and efficient treatment, promoting a speedy recovery and enhanced quality of life. However, we go beyond being a healthcare provider; we are your companion on the path to well-being. At our leading surgical clinic and medspa, we focus on delivering a distinctive healthcare experience tailored to you, our esteemed patient. We have established a new benchmark that emphasizes your well-being, comfort, and peace of mind in all our offerings.

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What is Chronic Venous Insufficiency?

Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI) is a persistent medical condition in which the leg veins fail to pump blood back to the heart efficiently. It primarily occurs due to damaged or weakened valves in the veins, interrupting the normal upward flow of blood against gravity. In a healthy vein, the one-way valves keep blood moving towards the heart and prevent backflow. However, when these valves are compromised, it can lead to CVI, in which blood pools in the lower limbs.

    What are Varicose Veins?

    One of the most visible signs of CVI is the development of varicose veins. These swollen, twisted veins are easily visible just under the skin's surface, typically in the legs and feet. They become varicose when the one-way valves regulating blood flow within them weaken or are damaged.

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      Symptoms and Appearance

      Varicose veins often appear dark purple or blue, with bulging and twisted cords running along the legs. While many individuals may notice them for their unsightly appearance, varicose veins can also cause various uncomfortable symptoms. These symptoms include:

      • Aching pain
      • Heaviness
      • Throbbing
      • Muscle cramping
      • Swelling in the lower legs
      • Itchy or discolored skin around the varicose veins

      Causes and Risk Factors

      Several factors can contribute to the development of varicose veins:

      • As individuals age, veins can lose elasticity, causing them to stretch and the valves within them to weaken
      • Genetic predisposition also plays a significant role, as varicose veins tend to run in families
      • Hormonal changes during pregnancy can increase the risk of developing varicose veins, as can excess body weight and occupations or lifestyles that require standing or sitting for long durations

      CVI Symptoms

      • Swelling in the legs and ankles
      • Aching or throbbing sensation in the affected leg
      • Varicose veins
      • Itching or tingling in the legs
      • Skin discoloration or changes, particularly around the ankles
      • Leg cramps or restless legs
      • Heaviness or fatigue in the legs
      • Open sores or ulcers, especially near the ankles

      What are the Risk Factors for Chronic Venous Insufficiency?

      The condition is often a result of deep vein thrombosis (blood clots in the deep veins) or phlebitis (inflammation of the veins). Several factors contribute to an increased risk of developing Chronic Venous Insufficiency:

      Age: The likelihood of CVI tends to rise with age.
      Family history: A genetic predisposition may increase the susceptibility to venous insufficiency.
      Gender: Women, especially those who have been pregnant multiple times, are more prone to developing CVI.
      Obesity: Excess weight places additional pressure on the veins, potentially leading to venous insufficiency.

      Prolonged standing or sitting: Occupations or lifestyles that involve extended periods of standing or sitting can contribute to CVI.

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      The Significance of Early Diagnosis

      Timely diagnosis of Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI) is vital as it allows for proactive management to prevent complications and improve quality of life. If left untreated, CVI can lead to more severe conditions such as:

      • Venous ulcers which are open sores that typically develop on the lower legs and are challenging to heal without intervention. They can cause significant pain and discomfort, impacting daily activities and overall well-being.
      • Deep vein thrombosis, or DVT, occurs when blood clots form in the deep veins. If the blood clot travels to the lungs, it can lead to severe complications, such as pulmonary embolism.

      Early diagnosis and treatment of CVI not only alleviate symptoms but also mitigate the risk of these potentially life-threatening conditions, ensuring better outcomes for patients.

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      What are the Diagnostic Methods for Chronic Venous Insufficiency?

      Several diagnostic methods are employed to identify and assess Chronic Venous Insufficiency. These diagnostic methods are essential in accurately diagnosing CVI, guiding our healthcare professionals in formulating effective treatment plans tailored to each patient's specific condition and needs.

      Physical Examination

      Healthcare professionals thoroughly examine the legs, looking for signs such as swelling, skin discoloration, varicose veins, and ulcers. These visual and tactile assessments help in initial screenings for CVI.

      Duplex Ultrasound

      This non-invasive test combines traditional ultrasound with Doppler ultrasound to evaluate the direction and speed of blood flow in the veins. It provides detailed images of the veins' structure and function, helping to identify any abnormalities such as blood clots or valve dysfunction.


      During venography, a contrast dye is injected into a large vein, usually in the foot or ankle. X-ray images are then taken as the dye moves through the veins, highlighting areas where blood flow is disrupted or pooling occurs. This diagnostic procedure is beneficial for detecting deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or assessing the severity of CVI.

      Is Chronic Venous Insufficiency Curable?

      While CVI may not be completely curable, various treatment options, including the treatment of varicose veins, aim to manage symptoms, improve blood flow, and prevent the progression of the condition.

      Varicose veins, a common symptom of CVI, are often addressed through interventions such as sclerotherapy. These treatments alleviate discomfort and swelling associated with varicose veins and contribute to overall vascular health by reducing pressure on weakened valves and promoting better blood flow back to the heart.

      Benefits of Our Vascular Lab

      At Surgical Associates, our advanced vascular lab is crucial in the comprehensive care of Chronic Venous Insufficiency and varicose veins. Utilizing state-of-the-art diagnostic tools such as duplex ultrasound, we can precisely assess blood flow in the veins, aiding in accurate diagnosis and tailored treatment plans for each patient.

      Our vascular lab is not only a diagnostic hub but also a treatment center for venous diseases. We employ modern technology and minimally invasive methods to address Chronic Venous Insufficiency, ensuring a more comfortable experience for our patients.

      One of the key advantages of our lab is convenience. Patients can undergo pre-op, surgery, and recovery within the lab, minimizing wait times and facilitating a quicker return home. With a patient-to-nurse ratio of 1:1 to 1:2, we prioritize personalized care and attention.

      Treating Chronic Venous Insufficiency and Varicose Veins

      Treatment options for Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI) and varicose veins encompass a spectrum of approaches, ranging from lifestyle modifications to advanced medical interventions:

      Compression Therapy

      Compression stockings are integral to managing both CVI and varicose veins. These specially designed garments apply gentle pressure to the legs, supporting vein walls and improving circulation. By enhancing blood flow and reducing swelling, compression therapy alleviates symptoms such as pain, heaviness, and discomfort associated with varicose veins.

      Elevation Of Legs

      Elevating the legs above heart level is a simple yet effective way to alleviate swelling and promote better blood circulation. This position helps reduce pressure on the veins, allowing blood to flow back to the heart more freely. Regular elevation of the legs, particularly after prolonged periods of standing or sitting, is beneficial in managing symptoms and preventing the progression of varicose veins and CVI.


      In some cases, healthcare providers may prescribe medications to manage symptoms associated with varicose veins. These medications may include vein-strengthening supplements, anti-inflammatory drugs, or pain relievers. Medications targeting pain, inflammation, and vein health can complement other treatment modalities and improve overall comfort and vascular function.

      Endovenous Ablation

      Endovenous ablation is a minimally invasive procedure used to treat varicose veins. This technique seals off damaged veins using heat or laser energy. This technique closes the faulty vein, redirecting blood flow to healthier veins nearby. Endovenous ablation effectively reduces the appearance of varicose veins, relieves symptoms, and promotes better circulation.


      Sclerotherapy involves injecting a liquid or foam solution directly into varicose veins, causing them to collapse and eventually fade from view. This outpatient procedure is effective for smaller to medium-sized varicose and spider veins. By closing off dysfunctional veins, sclerotherapy enhances the cosmetic appearance, improves circulation, and reduces symptoms associated with CVI.


      Varithena is an advanced form of foam sclerotherapy that utilizes polidocanol foam to treat larger varicose veins. The foam displaces blood within the vein, causing it to collapse and close off. Varithena is particularly effective for more extensive varicose veins, offering a minimally invasive option that improves both cosmetic appearance and vascular function.

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      Why choose Surgical Associates?

      Since our establishment in 1985, Surgical Associates has been a leading surgical practice in North Central Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Accredited by AAAHC, we specialize in various surgical procedures, including those related to vascular conditions. Our ten specialty surgeons have extensive experience and consistently deliver high patient satisfaction. We take pride in our state-of-the-art Office-Based Lab (OBL), which facilitates minimally invasive procedures and expedites recoveries.

      At Surgical Associates, we prioritize personalized care, maintaining a high nurse-to-patient ratio for exceptional outcomes. Committed to patient education, we ensure all questions are answered and treatment options are clearly explained. Trust us for dedicated, quality healthcare in managing varicose veins and Chronic Venous Insufficiency.

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