Salinas Valley Imaging offers the latest in minimally invasive procedures for the treatment of varicose and spider veins. Our interventional radiologists are highly experienced and sub-specialized in vascular care, able to treat your pain right at its source. And many procedures are covered by insurance.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, call our Special Procedure Coordinator, Natalie Alvarez, at 831-775-5201.

Varicose veins

What are varicose veins?

Varicose veins are the most obvious and visual symptom of vein disease. They can occur when the valves in leg veins become weak or diseased and no longer function properly, causing blood to pool. This abnormal collection will push the vein walls outward, causing the vein to enlarge and bulge.

Not everyone suffers from visible indications of vein disease. Other symptoms include sensations in the leg(s) such as aching, burning, cramping, fatigued, or heavy legs, and possible skin discoloration and/or open sores.

Millions of men and women suffer from varicose veins. More than 50% of women and up to 45% of men in the United States suffer from some type of vein condition. Risk factors include medical and hereditary history, increasing age, hormonal changes, pregnancy, obesity, immobility, and sun exposure.

What are the treatments for varicose veins?

The radiofrequency vein ablation procedure is a minimally invasive treatment for varicose veins and Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI) in which a vein specialist inserts an endovenous radiofrequency ablation (RFA) catheter to collapse and close enlarged leg veins. After the vein is sealed shut, blood will then naturally re-route to healthy veins.

The catheter is inserted into the vein through a tiny incision below the knee. Guided by ultrasound imaging, the physician treats a 7 cm segment of vein with a 20 second burst of radiofrequency energy, causing the vessel to shrink around the catheter. The physician withdraws the catheter, treating each segment until the entire length of the vein has been sealed. An average 45 cm length vein can be treated in this manner in just three to five minutes.

Unlike painful vein stripping surgery or laser ablation, the catheter delivers uniform, consistent heat to each segment and temperatures to do not exceed 120° C. As a result, the procedure causes less bruising and allows for rapid patient relief and recovery.

How do I prepare for my vein treatment?

At Salinas Valley Imaging, we provide you with a dedicated Special Procedure coordinator. This will be your first point of contact and will serve as the ongoing liaison between physician and patient. This coordinator is available to help schedule appointments and obtain insurance approvals. Prior to your endovenous ablation treatment, you will be required to purchase prescription strength compression stockings. It is important to have your prescription filled a week prior, unless otherwise instructed by your physician, in order to allow extra time in the event your size is not in stock and needs to be reordered. If you already have compression stockings, please bring them to your consultation so that we may confirm they are adequate.

Please arrange to have a driver following your endovenous ablation procedure. Your driver is required to be with you at check-in. Then, once we begin the procedure, he or she may leave and return to pick you up later. You will not be able to drive after your appointment.

Shower and wash your legs thoroughly the day of the procedure. Do NOT apply lotion, cream, or powder to your legs. Bring loose fitting pants to wear home.

What should I expect during my vein procedure?

Endovenous ablation is a procedure that takes about 45-60 minutes; however, the entire appointment will last approximately two to three hours. Endovenous ablation uses radiofrequency delivered in a thin wire to treat the underlying cause of the varicose veins. Performed under ultrasound guidance, the procedure uses strictly local anesthetic.

Prior to the procedure you will be given a mild sedative, Xanax or Valium, to help you relax without putting you to sleep. You will be awake and comfortable during the procedure. We will mark your vein using ultrasound to prep you for the procedure. During the procedure, the area of the leg affected is locally anesthetized or numbed using Lidocaine, and a small catheter is inserted. You will then be injected with a diluted solution of Lidocaine along the vein, from the injection site to the groin area. Next a thin wire is inserted into the catheter and pulled down the saphenous vein to the injection site; this may take one to three minutes depending on the length of the vein. The wire is then withdrawn from the body, which closes the impaired vein, and a small dressing will be placed on your insertion site. Your body will naturally use other healthy veins to return blood to the heart. We will help you put on your compression hose, and then you may get dressed.

What happens after my varicose vein procedure?

Following your endovenous ablation procedure, you must wear your compression stockings and dressings for the first 24 hours to help healing and decrease swelling. After 24 hours, you may remove the stockings and dressing to bathe and sleep; however, you must wear the compression stockings at all other times over the course of two weeks. You may resume normal activity after your procedure, but no strenuous or heavy lifting for two weeks. If you experience any discomfort, you may take Tylenol or ibuprofen. Soreness will likely disappear after 24 hours. Mild soreness may last for seven to 10 days.

To evaluate the success of your procedure, you will be scheduled for an ultrasound two weeks after completion.

Which locations offer endovenous ablation?

Salinas Valley Imaging Center
559 Abbott St.
Salinas, CA 93901
Phone: 831-775-5200
Fax: 831-796-3891
Hours: 7:30-6:00 PM

Coastal Valley Imaging of Carmel
26542 Carmel Rancho Blvd.
Carmel, CA 93932
Phone: 831-625-7255
Fax: 831-625-7250
Hours: 8:00-5:00 PM

How do I make an appointment?

To schedule a consultation, please call our Special Procedure coordinator, Natalie Alvarez, at 831-775-5201.

Spider veins

While spider veins are generally cosmetic in nature, they can do a lot of damage to a person’s self-image. They can be quite noticeable, with dark, jagged lines covering large areas of the face and legs. If spider veins are keeping you from wearing the clothes you want or participating in the activities you enjoy, then sclerotherapy may be a worthwhile treatment for you.

What are spider veins?

Spider veins are like varicose veins, but smaller and closer to the surface of the skin. Often they are red or blue in appearance and can look like tree branches or spider webs with their short, jagged lines. They can be found on the legs and face and can cover very small or very large areas of skin.

What treatments are available for spider veins?

Sclerotherapy is the most common cosmetic treatment for non-painful varicose veins and spider veins. Your physician will use a needle to inject a liquid chemical into the spider vein. This agent causes the vein walls to swell, stick together, and seal shut. In a few weeks, the vein should fade. Most patients can return to normal activity right after treatment. You may be asked to wear compression stockings after sclerotherapy to help with healing and decrease swelling.

Smaller spider veins typically take three to six weeks to become lighter or disappear, while larger veins may take up to three to four months. Some veins may require more than one treatment to achieve the desired outcome. And while treated veins will not reappear, sclerotherapy will not prevent new veins from appearing; therefore, future treatments may be required.

How do I prepare for my spider vein treatment?

Please let us know if you are taking antibiotics seven-ten days prior to or after the treatment. Let the staff know if you take aspirin daily. We will then determine if you will need to discontinue before any procedures. Tylenol and Ibuprofen are allowed. If you think you may be pregnant, please notify the medical assistant. Shower using antibacterial soap on the day of your procedure. Do not shave your legs the day of the treatment. Do not apply lotion, cream or oils to your legs before the procedure. Eat a light meal or drink juice one hour before the procedure. For your comfort, you may bring a pair of shorts to wear during the procedure. If you have compression hosiery, please bring them with you so we can make sure they will provide adequate support after the procedure.

Arrive 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment. If you are late, you may be asked to reschedule. If you need to cancel, please call us as soon as possible or at least 24 hours before your appointment at 831-775-5201.

What should I after my spider vein procedure?

You will be able to drive and resume regular activities after the treatment, and you are encouraged to walk. Expect to have minimal to mild pain, bruising, cramping and swelling for the first 24 hours after therapy. Some patients may experience the following side effects after sclerotherapy:

  • Larger injected varicose veins may become lumpy and hard for several months before resolving.
  • Raised red areas may appear at the treatment sites and should disappear within a few days.
  • Brown lines or spots on the skin may be noted at the site of the injection, possibly caused by a form of iron that escapes from the injected veins. In most cases, they disappear within 3 to 6 months, but can be permanent about five percent of the time.
  • Bruising may occur around the injection site and can last several days or weeks.

Other side effects rarely develop after sclerotherapy.

For the best results follow these instructions:


Day 1-3:

  • You are encouraged to wear support hosiery to “compress” the treated vessels as well as the wraps provided by the nurse for a continuous 24 hours.
  • Take Tylenol or Motrin as directed for any pain. Avoid aspirin.
  • Take over-the-counter Benadryl as directed for itching.
  • Use ice packs for particularly sore areas.
  • Elevate legs for added pain relief.
  • Avoid strenuous activities such as high impact aerobics, running or weight lifting.
  • Walk at least one hour per day.
  • Do not take hot baths, sit in a whirlpool or sauna, apply hot compresses, or any form of heat to the injected areas.
  • A sponge bath or lukewarm shower is permitted if you are able to keep your stockings and wraps dry.
  • In addition, avoid direct exposure to sunlight (sun bathing and tanning beds).

Notify Salinas Valley Imaging at 831-775-5201 if you have increasing pain, persistent itching or rash, progressive areas of redness, warmth or drainage, fever, swelling, persistent bleeding, lump formations, shortness of breath, chest pains, or leg numbness.

Day 3 to 2 Weeks:

  • Treated areas may be red-purple in color, with some bruising.
  • Wear compression stockings during day hours for next 14 days (put on in the morning and take off before bed).
  • You may shower without stockings, but continue to avoid hot baths and hot tubs, etc.
  • Resume normal athletic activities as tolerated.

If needed, you may schedule another appointment in 4-6 weeks. Call 831-775-5201. Call your physician with any concerns or questions you may have after the procedure.

Which locations offer sclerotherapy?

Salinas Valley Imaging Center
559 Abbot St.
Phone: 831-775-5200
Fax: 831-796-3891
Hours: 7:30-6:00 PM

Coastal Valley Imaging of Carmel
26542 Carmel Rancho Blvd.
Carmel, CA 93932
Phone: 831-625-7255
Fax: 831-625-7250
Hours: 8:00-5:00 PM

How do I make an appointment?

To schedule your initial consultation, please call our Special Procedure coordinator, Natalie Alvarez, at 831-775-5201.