Varicose Veins … The Myths And The Facts

Vein Specialists of Arizona and Dr. Jeffrey Alpern offer professional and caring state-of-the-art vein treatment.


Varicose veins … those ugly, bumpy road maps that run along your calves and thighs. What exactly causes varicose veins? Some myths about varicose vein causes have included smoking, obesity, or even crossing your legs.

“None of those causes are correct,” says Dr. Jeffrey B. Alpern, D.O., Board Certified Cardiovascular Surgeon, Vein Specialist and Founder of Vein Specialists of Arizona. “It is a condition called venous insufficiency which occurs when blood pools in the leg veins from the valves failing inside them.”

Dr. Alpern continues, “While venous insufficiency often appears as twisted discolored varicose veins in the skin, not all people affected will show visible signs. Some damaged veins can be hidden deep within the leg and even people who believe they only have minor superficial spider veins can actually have a more serious vein condition.”

According to Dr Alpern, mismanagement of venous disease led him to establish Vein Specialists of Arizona. He is one of only a handful of vein specialists nationwide to use state-of-the-art laser ablation and radiofrequency for the treatment of varicose veins, chronic venous insufficiency and venous leg ulcers.

What other misconceptions exist about venous disease? To find out we asked Dr. Alpern to answer some standing questions about varicose veins.

Ask the Doctor: Besides the obvious bulging veins, what are some of the other symptoms that might signify an underlying venous disease?

Dr. Alpern: Good question. Many different symptoms are related to venous disease. The list includes painful or tired legs, restless legs, itchy legs, swollen legs, strange sensations in your legs, leathery skin or discoloration on your legs, and leg ulcers. Any one of these should alert you to contact Vein Specialists of Arizona for an evaluation.

Ask the Doctor: What are some other long held myths associated with varicose veins?

Dr. Alpern: The most common one I hear is that anything to do with veins is simply a cosmetic, not medical, issue. Another is that it they don’t see any bulging varicosities; it can’t be a vein problem. Finally the worst one is that there’s nothing that can be done for their leg veins and they just need to learn to “live with it,” because the only vein treatment available requires surgery with a long, painful recovery. The truth of the matter is that most treatment at Vein Specialists of Arizona is minimally invasive and has little or no down time.

Ask the Doctor: Tell us a little about a visit to Vein Specialists of Arizona.
Dr. Alpern: We pride ourselves on our comfortable and relaxed environment. From the artwork to the furniture and even the wall colors were chosen to soothe our patients and enhance their experience at our clinic. Our knowledgeable, professional and caring staff specializes in state-of-the-art vein treatment and is there to assure that patients understand each step of their treatment. As I have said earlier, most patients don’t require pre-medication and can drive themselves to and from the appointment. A complete venous ultrasound, evaluation and treatment plan by our staff will be completed during your initial visit.

Ask the Doctor: Where do you need to begin to determine what your treatment needs are?
Dr. Alpern: Venous disease diagnosis begins with a thorough exam. Anyone who calls or subscribes to our vein treatment eNewsletter will be entitled to receive a vein screening exam at Vein Specialists of Arizona. Most vein treatments are covered by insurance or Medicare, so patients shouldn’t wait.

Vein Specialists of Arizona (VSA) is a state-of-the-art vein center that defines a new standard in care for the diagnosis and treatment of varicose veins, legs ulcers and chronic venous insufficiency. From vein treatments that correct existing underlying pathology to procedures that erase spider veins before the patient’s eyes, we think you will find VSA to be your best choice for venous issues. Your compassionate, effective, safe, affordable and convenient vein treatment at VSA begins with a screening exam. Please visit website, or call 623-428-0068.

Dr. Jeffrey Alpern is a Cardiovascular Surgeon who was the first D.O. to perform a heart and heart/lung transplant in the world. Among his other impressive qualifications, Dr. Alpern trained at the world renowned Cleveland Clinic and was Surgical Director of Heart and Lung Transplantation at both Temple University and Hahnemann University Hospitals in Philadelphia Pennsylvania. He currently is Director and founding member of Desert Cardiovascular Surgeons in Phoenix, and of Vein Specialists of Arizona recently located in the West Valley. Dr. Jeffrey Alpern, D.O is one of a handful of surgeons worldwide to use fast, virtually painless, safe and effective laser ablation and radiofrequency (RF) techniques for the treatment of existing varicose veins, chronic venous insufficiency and venous leg ulcers.