NOVEMBER 17 2016 – FREE SCREENING DAY
Steven Allen DO
VEIN SPECIALIST/ENDOVASCULAR SURGERY
Steven Allen is the director of The Center for Advanced Vein Therapy in Huntingdon Valley, Pa and specializes in endovascular surgery and vein therapy techniques. Dr. Allen has been recognized for clinical expertise, and was named Top Doctor by South Jersey Magazine in 2005. Additionally, he served as president of the Philadelphia Angiography and Interventional Radiology Society in 2005-2006. In 2000, he was elected to fellowship in the College of Physicians of Philadelphia based on his clinical skills and contributions to medical education. Steven is the only vein specialist in the entire region that has been on the faculty of all four medical schools in Philadelphia and one osteopathic school in New Jersey.
Strange as it may seem, the doctor is bent over the patient’s legs listening carefully to the blood flow in the arteries and veins with an electronic device. After taking a thorough medical history and performing a complete physical examination, the patient walks to the ultrasound lab, where a complete map of the veins of the legs is created. The speed and direction of the blood flow is calculated and recorded. Following the analysis of all this information the patient and Dr. Allen review the findings and discuss the treatment options.
How long have we known about varicose veins?
Varicose veins were first described in the fifth century BC by Hippocrates. Galen in the second century, promoted early treatments. It was not until recently that a specialty for the management for venous disease was created.
How many people are effected by varicose veins and what does it cost?
Currently approximately 20% of the adult population is affected by venous disease. This results in a direct cost of over one billion dollars to the american healthcare system. Indirect costs including lost wages are also close to one billion dollars.
Can varicose veins get worse?
Approximately one third of all patients are unaware that they have early venous disease. It is important to note this is a PROGRESSIVE DISEASE if left untreated!
Why is it of such importance to address these problems early?
We asked these questions to to a leading regional vein specialist with extensive experience in the field. Early evaluation and intervention is essential for preventing the progression of varicose veins to ulcers on the lower leg. These ulcers are frequently infected and can bleed unexpectedly. This is not merely a cosmetic problem!
How does Dr. Allen evaluate patients for venous disease?
The initial visit takes approximately 90 minutes.
A complete medical and family history is taken followed by a physical examination that not only evaluates the legs but also includes listening to the heart, lungs, checking the abdomen and a brief neurologic examination. the legs are evaluated for pulses, color, temperature, skin changes and varicose veins. Photographs of both legs are obtained for pre operative and post operative comparisons.
The diameter of the legs is measured at several locations recorded and compared. Then the patient gets a complete venous mapping utilizing doppler and reflux studies. Venous medicine requires an integrated approach and extensive endovascular experience. Dr. Allen has performed over 35,000 endovascular procedures and is a recognized leader in the field. Utilizing his years of experience, working in Philadelphia’s leading medical centers, he has developed a patient focused and sensitive approach to managing his patients.
Why did you decide to specialize in management of venous disease?
I chose to open the Center for Advanced Vein Therapy to provide patients in the region cutting edge technology and the benefit of the expertise I acquired teaching in medical schools and performing 35,000 endovascular procedures. Unlike the national companies, I have spent my entire career living and treating patients in the Philadelphia region.
Based on your experience what signs and symptoms should make a patient seek an appointment?
The most common presenting symptoms include but are not limited to pain, throbbing, aching, swelling, burning, muscle fatigue and cramping of the legs. Itching and heaviness can also be associated with venous disease. Signs include spider veins, varicose veins, leg swelling, discoloration of the lower legs and ulcers.
What causes these findings?
Generally, increased pressure develops in the veins of the legs due to the failure of valves located within. Family history, obesity, standing for prolonged periods of time and pregnancy are contributing factors. What age do varicose veins occur? In my practice, I have treated patients as young as 24 and as old as 90. Most commonly, varicose veins are seen in women from the ages of 38 to 55.
Do men get varicose veins?
Yes. This is a disease that predominately effects women, however thirty five to forty percent of our patients are men. It should be noted that when men come to the office for evaluation their disease is far more advanced. Men tend to dismiss their symptoms and neglect addressing their problems.
What techniques do you use to restore normal blood flow to the veins?
After a course of conservative therapy (compression stockings) we offer several options to redirect blood flow. Most commonly we employ radio frequency closure. The patient is given a prescription for a mild tranquilizer to be taken before the procedure. Under ultrasound guidance after placing local anesthetic, a small needle is placed into the vein and a catheter is positioned.
This catheter delivers heat to the lining of the vein causing it to close. The catheter is removed. There are no stitches or dressings, The leg is wrapped in an ace bandage and a compression stocking is applied. The patient walks out of the procedure room and rests for about ten minutes before going home.
On arriving home the patient can walk or rest. The following day the ace wrap is removed and the patient can shower and return to work! We also offer non thermal vein closure techniques which do not require as much local anesthesia. These procedures take approximately 30 minutes.
What is your best advice for those who hesitate to seek your care?
If your having any leg complaints do not delay your care, you only have two legs and you can’t grow a new set!
The Center for Advanced Vein Therapy
The Center for Advanced Vein Therapy is the newest and most modern vein center in the Delaware Valley. The Center for Advanced Vein Therapy in Huntingdon Valley provides a state-of-the-art and comfortable environment for the management and treatment of venous insufficiency of the lower extremities; treatments include, but are not limited to those for varicose and spider veins.
2600 Philmont Ave, Suite 205
Huntingdon Valley, PA 19006
Hours of Operation
Monday ‐ Friday: 8:00am ‐ 4:00pm
Wednesday: 8:00am ‐ 8:00pm
Saturday hours available