Doctor says summer shorts lead many to seek leg vein care
By Marti Gacioch
Summer is a good time to treat unsightly leg veins because people want to look their best when wearing shorts, said Van Cheng, M.D., owner of San Diego Vein Institute.
Cheng, who graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University and did her medical residency at the University of California, San Francisco has specialized in treating venous diseases (like varicose veins) for eight years. She said she has worked with more than 1,000 clients.
“Patients (I’ve treated) who had painful veins are grateful to no longer have the heavy achiness that limits their activities,” Cheng said. “Other people just like their legs looking nice in the summertime, so after many years of wearing pants, they can finally wear shorts.”
Cheng said the primary cause of vein issues is one’s family history, followed by weight gain, sedentary work and trauma. About 65 percent of her clients are women, she said, but procedures are gaining popularity with men.
Typically, she said, she treats patients with either foam sclerotherapy injections or with a laser, but doesn’t make that determination until after an initial consultation.
“We offer a free consultation so people can get an idea of what is available to them,” Cheng said. “At other facilities people might be encouraged to get an ultrasound right away, but we don’t do that because we don’t want people to pay out of pocket in advance before knowing exactly what they’re getting into.”
Cheng said that a medical doctor will perform all the procedures, including ultrasound, at her facility because she believes that medical safety is too important to be left to a technician with limited training. She treats small facial veins with a laser, but must often use injections for larger temple or hand veins, depending on the patient.
“Facial veins usually heal in two weeks, but varicose veins take about a month to heal,” Cheng said. “While there may be some discomfort, about 95 percent of my patients require no pain management.”
She said summer appointments are filling up quickly, necessitating a two to three week wait. The San Diego Vein Institute is offering 10 percent off any procedure through September.
— San Diego Vein Institute,
336 Encinitas Blvd., Suite 130, Encinitas is open 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday-Friday and Saturday by appointment.
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