/Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions

Do you have questions about the procedures, treatments or services that we offer?

Below is a list of some frequently asked questions, but please feel free to call our office or email us from the contact page if you need additional information. We are always pleased to assist you.

Willamette Vein Centré is a full service, state of the art medical and laser facility offering advanced, out-patient treatment services for all types of varicose veins, leg spider veins, facial veins and venous ulcers. We have our own complete diagnostic facilities, our own lasers, and our own in-office surgical suite in order to provide the latest treatment techniques available in the United States today at the lowest possible cost. We treat all types of venous disease by performing:

  • Ultrasound guided sclerotherapy—large varicose veins and wide spread spider veins
  • Conventional sclerotherapy—small varicose veins and leg spider veins
  • Thermal Ablation—EVLT (Endovenous Laser Treatment) and Venefit/VNUS Closure
  • LASER—for facial veins
  • Selected surgical procedures
  • Compression therapy

Dr. Benjamin R. Wilson, medical director of Willamette Vein Centré, is a phlebologist—a physician with a special interest and training in the diagnosis and management of all types of venous disease. At Willamette Vein Centré all types of varicose veins and spiders are treated—from cosmetically important spider veins and facial veins to large, painful varicose veins. We also treat complications of venous disease such as venous ulcers.

Specifically, we evaluate and treat:

  • Varicose veins—large and small
  • Leg spider veins
  • Facial veins
  • Rosacea—adult acne
  • Chronic venous insufficiency>
  • Venous ulcers
  • Stasis dermatitis and edema

All appointments for this initial cost free assessment, which includes a thorough ultrasound examination of the legs, are made by calling our office at 1-503-399-0644, 1-866-834-6701, or by emailing us from the contact page.

All appointments are scheduled by calling (503) 399-0644, or by emailing us via the contact page No referrals are needed for our initial, cost free consultation. During the initial consultation, patients will be able to find out exactly what we can do for them.

Willamette Vein Centré is located in the beautiful capital city of Salem, Oregon. Our address is: 700 Bellevue Street SE, Suite 240, Salem, OR 97301.

Sclerotherapy—whether performed as conventional sclerotherapy or the newer technique of ultrasound guided sclerotherapy—is an office based, medical procedure which can permanently eliminate unsightly and uncomfortable varicose veins and spider veins. Sclerotherapy has been performed for over 80 years, and is well established as a safe method for treating varicose veins and leg spider veins. During a sclerotherapy treatment session, a physician trained to perform the procedure carefully injects a small amount of foamed solution into the problem veins, causing them to close and gradually disappear. Tiny needles are used for sclerotherapy, so discomfort is usually minimal. Occasionally, there is a small amount of discomfort from the injected sclerosing agent which quickly dissipates. A typical patient does not require any pain medication.

All diseased veins—from the largest varicose veins to the tiniest of leg spider veins—are caused by abnormal leakage of blood through faulty valves located inside veins deep beneath the surface of the skin. Over time, this abnormal leakage of blood, also called “reflux”, causes veins visible on the skin surface to dilate and turn into the diseased veins we call varicose veins and leg spider veins. In order for sclerotherapy to be successful, the source of this venous reflux must be both identified by the treating physician and injected with sclerosing solution so that the varicose veins and spider veins caused by this leakage will disappear.

Often the source of reflux causing varicose veins and even leg spider veins is much deeper than can be reached by injecting the skin surface; and since conventional sclerotherapy is done right on the surface of the skin, regular sclerotherapy will not be effective in treating superficial veins caused by deeper, diseased veins.

This is where ultrasound guided sclerotherapy comes in. Using ultrasound, the physician can see below the surface of the skin. If abnormal veins deep under the skin can be visualized with the ultrasound machine, then the physician can successfully guide a needle directly into the diseased vein that is the source of reflux. The result is the complete disappearance of the varicose veins and spider veins originating from that source. This is exactly what occurs during an ultrasound guided sclerotherapy session.

Many people are surprised just how inexpensive sclerotherapy and laser treatment are, especially if they have had other cosmetic procedures performed. Your actual cost will depend upon the number of treatments required and what type of treatment is needed. An actual cost estimate will be presented to you at your first visit.

Regardless of the type of treatment needed, the number of treatment sessions varies depending upon the extent of vein disease, patient compliance with the post-treatment instructions and types of veins present. People usually have a mixture of diseased veins, and the veins may require a combination of different treatments. Spider veins usually require one to three treatments. More complex vein conditions may require multiple treatments. However it is rare for a patient to require more than five treatments. Improvement will be noticed after every treatment and most people notice a marked improvement after just one treatment.

As with all cosmetic procedures, we look for improvement—not perfection. With patience and good compliance, sclerotherapy and laser can effectively improve the appearance and health of your legs.

Virtually any type of spider vein—whether on the legs or face—can now be treated with either sclerotherapy, laser, ultrasound guided sclerotherapy or a combination of techniques depending upon the type and severity of the problem that exists. When patients come in for their initial consultation, they are advised on the best type of treatment for their own particular problem. Sclerotherapy treatment has been found to be the most effective treatment for spider veins of the legs.

Surface laser treatment can be excellent for treating facial veins. Although many clinics advertise laser treatment for spider veins of the legs, this type of treatment is often not effective. Laser should be considered an adjunct to sclerotherapy and never a procedure to be used in place of sclerotherapy. Many medical spas exaggerate the benefits of laser treatment for leg veins. While Willamette Vein Centré owns the very best lasers available for treatment of leg and facial veins, we use lasers only for those veins for which they will be most effective.

Be wise when seeking treatment for your vein problems, and do not expect to have simple cures from laser treatment when your vein problems demand much greater attention. We will be happy to discuss laser treatment with you when you come in for your initial consultation.

At Willamette Vein Centre’ we use a diversified approach in treating varicose veins, taking into account their location and size. All treatment begins with a thorough ultrasound examination of the diseased veins, and may include thermal ablation (EVLT or Venefit/VNUS Closure) of larger veins, ultrasound guided sclerotherapy, and surgical micro phlebectomies.

Happily, the days of surgical stripping for large varicose veins are all but gone. Current vein treatments are performed right in the physician’s office without the need for general anesthesia, and with virtually no post-operative down time.

Many patients have large ropey veins that are too large to treat with sclerotherapy or too twisted to treated with thermal ablation. In such cases, an in-office surgical procedure called an ambulatory phlebectomy may be performed. An ambulatory phlebectomy can remove very large varicose veins through a series of tiny incisions no greater than two to three millimeters in length with the patient in complete comfort. A new type of local anesthesia called tumescent anesthesia makes it possible to perform an ambulatory phlebectomy in the doctor’s office. No hospitalization is necessary for an ambulatory phlebectomy, no general anesthesia is necessary, postoperative pain is practically non-existent, and patients can go back to work the very next day. A typical patient only requires over the counter pain medications.

Varicose veins

Insurance coverage for vein treatment depends on two key words—medical necessity. Most insurance companies, as well as Medicare, will consider coverage for vein treatment if all of the following criteria are met:

1) Symptoms related to vein disease are present. Acceptable symptoms usually include one of the following:

  • Persistent aching, cramping, burning, itching, or swelling
  • Spontaneous bleeding from varicosities
  • Recurrent episodes of thrombophlebitis
  • Venous ulceration of the lower legs
  • Stasis dermatitis

2) The symptoms result in one or more of the following:

  • Functional impairment that limits activities of daily living (e.g., inability to perform household chores without interruption, interference with essential job functions)
  • The need for daily use of analgesics
  • Impairment of mobility

3) There is ultrasound evidence of venous reflux in either the great saphenous vein (the vein along the inner thigh) or small saphenous vein (the vein in the back of the calf); and/or there are large varicosities present. The duration of venous reflux in the great saphenous or small saphenous vein must be at least one-half second in duration, and any large varicosities must be at least one-fourth inch or greater in diameter.

4) A trial of “conservative therapy” has been completed under the supervision of a physician. This may include one or more of the following:

  • Daily use of compression stockings (from six weeks to six months, depending on the insurance company) that did not successfully treat the patient’s symptoms
  • Periodic leg elevation several times during the course of the day
  • Weight loss
  • Avoidance of prolonged immobility
  • Exercise
  • The use of analgesics or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs

The criteria tends to vary from one insurance company to another. Reimbursement will be based on the patient’s particular benefits at the time services are rendered. At Willamette Vein Centré we have extensive experience in dealing with insurance company requirements, and have been extremely successful in securing patient’s benefits.

Spider veins

As a general rule, medical insurance does not cover any treatment for cosmetic purposes. An exception to this rule is for specific conditions mandated by law–such as breast reconstruction following cancer surgery. Most medical insurance companies consider spider veins and small, superficial reticular veins (less than one-fourth inch in diameter) to be a purely cosmetic problem.