Patient Stories

Whitney Saunders

Whitney Saunders, a 65-year-old Suffolk attorney and Sentara Healthcare Board of Directors member, knew where to go when his right leg became swollen and discolored.

“I used to play tennis with Dr. Siddharth Bhende,” he shares, “and felt comfortable reaching out to him at the Vein Center of Virginia. I only had a little pain, but saw that something wasn’t right with my leg.”

Whitney had a superficial venous thrombophlebitis, a superficial blood clot.

“We see this when stagnant blood pulls up in the vein,” explains Dr. Bhende, who practices at the Suffolk location of The Vein Center of Virginia, one of four centers. “It’s a known complication of having longstanding varicose veins.”

He treated Whitney with laser vein ablation and a phlebectomy, shutting down the blood flow through the great saphenous vein and removing the diseased segments of the vein in minimally invasive, outpatient procedures. A patient’s body compensates for the missing section by using other veins to circulate blood.

“We can do multiple procedures to help people with varicose veins;· Dr. Bhende notes. “We customize each patient’s treatment plan. About 80 percent of the patients we help have medical concerns, with pain and swelling, and 20 percent are purely cosmetic.”

As a vascular surgeon, Dr. Bhende, along with his colleagues, can offer assistance to both types of patients.

“The fact that we’re vascular surgeons separates us from other vein centers;· he says. “We can assess if patients are also experiencing vein concerns higher in their body that complicate their condition and treat them. We offer the whole package.”

Whitney’s procedures were completed in about an hour.

“It was a great experience overall,” he says. “Everyone was friendly and helpful. I could walk around and go to work the next day if I wanted, and in two weeks, I was back at the gym working out.”

In spring 2018, shortly after Whitney’s visit, The Vein Center of Virginia started routinely using VenaSeal, a recently FDA-ap­proved, glue-based closure device that further eases and speeds recovery. They are the only local center to do so.

Patients benefit through reduced pain and swelling and not needing to wear support hose during their recovery. They are even able to return the work the same day with no downtime.

All vein repair procedures are available at The Vein Center of Virginia’s four locations, and the Virginia Beach center addi­tionally provides laser and cosmetic services such as laser hair removal, tattoo removal, Intense Pulsed Light to treat sun damage and facial veins, and fractional laser resurfacing to reduce wrinkles and acne scars.

“I had spider veins and I had a varicose vein in my leg after having three children. I’m a nurse, and I used to work at Leigh Memorial Hospital. I know this group of vascular specialists (Vascular & Transplant Specialists and The Vein Center of Virginia), and I respect them. I was also referred to them by my obstetrician. He said that they were doing great work on veins and that I might want to give them a call.

The first time I came in they did light therapy (PhotoDerm©), and I had some good results. But we wanted to have a little better result, so they did injections (sclerotherapy) in both legs. I really had dramatic results. In fact, it was so good they used me in one of their medical write-ups.

They’re very personable, and they listen to you. They took their time to explain it. When I had some questions after treatment, I called and they were very good about answering them.”

Kaye Ganey
Virginia Beach, Virginia

“My experiences with The Vein Center have been amazing. The staff is not only knowledgeable but, more importantly, they are all warm and friendly. It’s always a pleasure to go to the office, so I look forward to my visits. The results of my treatment were immediate and almost unbelievable. I would highly recommend these folks to everyone.”

Lynne Mamoudis
Virginia Beach, Virginia

“Most women want to get rid of spider veins on their legs, but this procedure can be done on any part of the body. I had tiny little broken capillaries on my chest that always looked like a rash. I couldn’t believe the improvement after just one treatment and I had almost no down time.”

Susan Thumberg
Virginia Beach, Virginia