Varicose Veins

Varicose veins are more than an unsightly cosmetic issue. They can cause physical symptoms such as, aching, throbbing, heaviness or fatigue in the legs. Sometimes, they can be seen as bulging visible veins on the skin surface, but often deeper varicose veins can only be seen on ultrasound and may not be apparent to the naked eye. If left untreated, they can lead to medical issues ranging from thrombophlebitis (inflammation of the vein); bleeding; chronic skin damaged resulting in darkened, thickened skin and ultimately chronic ankle wounds or ulcers

Fortunately, varicose vein treatment has evolved in recent years to include a number of minimally-invasive outpatient options that can correct the underlying issue in less than an hour, several of which are unique to Swedish Covenant Hospital. 

Learn more about:

Call 773-989-3957 to schedule an appointment to treat your varicose veins. 

Board-Certified Vascular Surgeon Dr. Michael Shao

Dr. Michael Shao is a board-certified vascular surgeon leading the treatment of varicose veins in Chicago. As a recognized expert on venous treatment, Dr. Shao has been featured in several print media and radio interviews and regularly gives invited presentations to physician peers at national conferences such as American Venous Forum (AVF) and International Vein Congress (IVC)

Dr. Shao’s conservative and individualized approach to treatment includes examining each patient using ultrasound technology to customize a care plan by tailoring the optimal treatment modality to the patient’s clinical scenario and specific anatomy. When treatment is indicated, Dr. Shao offers the least invasive, incisionless procedures available to correct varicose veins instantaneously and return to you to your regular activities that same day.   

Fast Facts About Varicose Veins

  • 23% of Americans suffer from varicose veins.
  • The condition affects more than 20 million women and 10 million men over the age of 40.
  • It is two times more prevalent than coronary artery disease and five times more prevalent than peripheral arterial disease.
  • 6% of individuals with varicose veins have advanced skin damage or chronic vein ulcers.
  • Varicose veins are NOT just a cosmetic issue. 

State-of-the-Art Treatments in Chicago

Vein treatments unique to Swedish Covenant Hospital include:
  • ClariVein®

    This innovative approach to ablation uses a special catheter and new non-thermal technique to close the vein responsible for feeding varicose veins. By avoiding the use of heat, the technique completely bypasses the risks associated with traditional thermal techniques such as laser or radiofrequency ablation. ClariVein® treatments are fast (less than 20 minutes), with minimal post-procedure pain. This allows you to get back to your normal daily activities faster.
  • Varithena®

    This new and recently FDA-approved microfoam ablation treatment can close large varicose veins without using any heat whatsoever, again completely bypassing possible risks associated with thermal techniques. This incisionless treatment can directly target large twisted visible varicose veins that have traditionally required surgical stripping via numerous incisions (phlebectomy). For larger varicosities, Varithena® has superior closure rates compared with traditional foam sclerotherapy. 
  • VenaSeal®

    This leading-edge and innovative procedure utilizes a catheter to distribute cyanoacrylate glue to close varicose veins, avoiding the need for compression stockings after the procedure.

Contact Us

Call 773-989-3957 to schedule an appointment to treat your varicose veins. 

Ready to Safely Care for You

Swedish Hospital is operating under enhanced safety protocols to provide a comfortable and safe environment for our patients, physicians, nurses and hospital staff.

Learn More
Patient Stories

Stories of compassion and healing from our family to yours.

Learn More