This revolutionary procedure with Dr. Shao can provide instant relief from varicose veins


by David Modica | September 08, 2016


Varicose Veins Info


It’s estimated that over 25 million Americans suffer from varicose veins. Although the majority of these cases are relatively harmless, varicose veins have the potential to form dangerous blood clots or cause chronic or constant pain. 

When at home remedies don’t solve the issue, outpatient surgery may be the answer. Revolutionary procedures such as ClariVein offer a minimally invasive approach, sidestepping many of the risks and shortening recovery time.  

How unique is the ClariVein procedure?

Michael Shao, M.D., a board-certified vascular surgeon with Swedish Covenant Medical Group, performs a number of newer varicose vein ablation procedures, including the ClariVein procedure. Under his guidance, Swedish Covenant Hospital has earned the designation of “ClariVein Ambassador Training Center,” one of only five training centers in the United States and the only one in the Midwest. This allows Dr. Shao the unique opportunity to teach other physicians how to perform this advanced procedure. 

“Varicose vein treatments ought to be tailored to each individual patient’s symptoms and anatomy,” Dr. Shao said. “We start with an office visit to understand a patient’s symptoms.  During the visit, we perform a venous ultrasound to identify the pathologic veins that are causing the patient’s symptoms.  ClariVein represents just one tool in our toolbox to treat venous disease.  It’s important to have an array of treatment options to select the optimal approach for each patient.”

What is the ClariVein procedure?

The ClariVein procedure is a unique, revolutionary non-thermal technology that treats varicose veins. Similar to laser ablation and radiofrequency (RF) ablation of varicose veins, ClariVein is a minimally invasive outpatient procedure that does not require surgical incisions.  

Dr Shao Quote Box


Traditional laser ablation and RF ablation generates heat to close the vein.  In contrast, the ClariVein device closes the vein without generating any heat.  By avoiding the use of heat, this eliminates the risk of nerve injury seen with laser ablation or RF ablation.  There is also no need for infusion of tumescent anesthesia along the vein, which is typically the most uncomfortable portion of laser and RF ablation procedures. 

The ClariVein procedure is well-tolerated by most patients, with minimal discomfort done under local anesthesia, light sedation, or in most cases, no anesthesia at all.  The procedure takes about 20 minutes to perform.  Patients usually go home within an hour of the procedure without needing assistance.  Using a non-thermal technique also results in less post-procedure pain compared with laser and RF ablation.  At most, a few patients may take ibuprofen, but most patients do not require any pain medication afterward.

One of my patients who underwent the ClariVein procedure is a dentist,” said Dr. Shao. “He saw his own dental patients the morning of the procedure, had the ClariVein procedure in the afternoon, and then went back to seeing his dental patients the next morning. The recovery is immediate. Patients are up and walking right after the procedure.”
Dr. Shao w borderMichael Shao, M.D., is a board-certified vascular surgeon with Swedish Covenant Medical Group. His specialties include vascular surgery and wound care.  

If you would like to schedule an appointment with Dr. Shao, please call 773-878-6888.

If you would like to read stories from patients of Dr. Shao, please visit our patient stories page.



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