MUSC Health Vein Clinic

Varicose veins affect an estimated 20% of all people at some point in their lives. Still others have vein problems that can cause pain, swelling and other discomfort.

No matter how straightforward or severe your vascular disease, the MUSC Health Vein Clinic provides specialized, vascular-specific evaluation and care to help you feel your best. If you need vascular surgery or care for other conditions, like diabetes, you’ll find everything you need at MUSC Health.

Why Choose MUSC Health for Vein Care?

MUSC Health offers a complete range of diagnosis and care for vascular disease, from varicose veins through more serious vein conditions that require treatment. Our doctors offer:

  • Unmatched experience: Our South Carolina vein clinic offers the area’s most extensive experience in vascular conditions. You’ll receive care from board-certified physicians who specialize in vascular disease and its treatments.
  • Cross-disciplinary care: If you have vein problems due to diabetes or heart disease, you can be confident that MUSC Health offers the most coordinated care available in the state. Our vascular doctors work closely with cardiologists and nurse practitioners specializing in lipids and diabetic management to care for patients.
  • Wide range of treatment options: You can receive straightforward or complex vascular interventions, from relieving varicose veins to providing options to help avoid amputation caused by peripheral artery disease (PAD). Read more about PAD treatment.
  • High standards in vascular care: Our vascular lab is accredited by the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission (IAC) for Vascular Testing, which means we meet the highest standards in vascular testing. Learn more about our vascular services.

Vascular and Vein Conditions

Vein conditions can be uncomfortable, causing pain, itching and swelling. The MUSC Health Vein Clinic treats all leg vein conditions, such as:

  • Varicose veins: Swollen, red or purple blood vessels in the legs may be varicose veins. They result when blood collects in your legs, and pressure builds up. A doctor should evaluate them. You may have may have options for treatment that can improve your daily symptoms of aching pain, throbbing and leg heaviness.
  • Chronic venous insufficiency: Healthy veins in your legs have one-way valves that keep blood moving toward the heart. When these valves don’t close completely, blood flows backward into the lower legs and feet. The resulting venous insufficiency (also called venous reflux) increases the pressure in the blood vessels in your legs. It can cause pain, swelling and sores (ulcers).
  • Lymphedema: Lymph fluid is part of your immune system. Normally, the lymph nodes filter lymph fluid before draining it into your bloodstream. When the lymph nodes are blocked or removed (as with cancer surgery), lymph doesn’t flow as usual. Instead it accumulates, causing swelling know as lymphedema.

Treatments at the Vein Clinic

Your doctor will examine you, ask about your symptoms and use painless diagnostic tools to evaluate your vein conditions. Ultrasound testing can tell show us your vein function and how your blood is flowing so that we can recommend the best therapy for you.

In many cases, vein problems can be treated without surgery. Treatment options include:

Lifestyle Changes

Your doctor may recommend exercise, dietary changes or weight loss. Exercise can improve overall blood flow, while specific dietary changes (like a lower-salt diet) can help improve your circulation. Losing weight reduces pressure on your legs and feet.

Compression Stockings

Compression stockings can help treat venous insufficiency. Your doctor may prescribe compression stockings to place pressure on your legs and support your veins. This support helps push blood through smaller blood vessels and back to the heart — against gravity — instead of pooling in the legs and feet.

Minimally Invasive Procedures for Varicose Veins

Some vein problems, including varicose veins, can be relieved with treatments that eliminate blood flow to the vein. At MUSC Health, your doctor may use vein ablation, via a catheter inserted into the deliver radiofrequency (heat) energy into the vein wall. The heat causes the enlarged vein to shrink and close. As you recover, blood flow reroutes to healthy veins nearby.

Surgery for Varicose Veins

For some people, vascular problems run deeper, or minimally invasive treatments aren’t an option. MUSC Health’s expert vascular surgeons perform phlebectomy to remove problematic veins, often through a tiny incision. Patients can go home the same day and can return to their usual activities right away. Find out more about vascular surgery.

Angioplasty and Stenting

When vein problems result from blocked blood vessels, your doctor may treat them with angioplasty. This minimally invasive procedure uses a catheter threaded through a blood vessel. Doctors then can clear blockages in the vessel or use mesh tubes (stents) to hold it open.

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