Ohio & West Virginia Offices


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Frequently Asked Questions

The following are common questions our doctors get when treating someone who suffers from vein issues. If you still have questions about Varicose vein treatments or spider vein treatments after reading this, please contact our office toll-free at 844.FOR.LEGS.

What are the symptoms of Varicose Veins?

Varicose Veins have more than just an ugly appearance. Patients may not notice all the symptoms of varicose veins. Beyond the ugly appearance, the other symptoms include: swelling, Itching, aching, cramps, heaviness, redness, fatigue, and tenderness

You should seek medical attention if your symptoms worsen or if you experience changes like darkening, dryness, redness, and flakiness of the skin. These may be signs of an advanced venous disease.

What do Varicose Veins look like?

Varicose Vein issues and solution FAQ

Varicose veins range from small blue-green veins to large pencil-sized veins that give the appearance of tree roots down the leg. Be sure to consult a vein specialist if you have larger veins as they tend to suggest significant disease. Many times, however, the smaller veins may represent the beginning of an underlying problem.

What exactly is a Varicose Vein?

Varicose veins are dilated, twisted, veins that are close to the surface of the skin. Your veins use the surrounding muscles to move your blood up the leg and toward the heart. Veins in your leg carry blood upward to the heart, against gravity. They achieve this feat using one-way valves. Varicose veins occur when these valves weaken and do not close properly, causing blood to pool in the veins. This additional blood flow weighs down the leg resulting in fatigue when standing for long periods of time.

With extreme cases of Varicose Veins, it is possible to develop deep blood clots and leg ulcers. It is possible for these ulcers to develop spontaneously, as well as a result of trauma. Unfortunately, they can take anywhere from months to years to heal. Treatment is an essential part of preventing ulcers, potentially hazardous blood clots, and other life-threatening complications associated with varicose veins. The procedures offered at WRVI are Compression therapy, EVLT Laser Treatment, Microphlebectomy, and Sclerotherapy.

Don't let fear of varicose veins run your life. At the Western Reserve Vascular Institute, we use the newest, minimally invasive procedures. These procedures have revolutionized the treatment, so there is little to no recovery time. There has never been a better time than now to fix your varicose veins!

What is Restless Leg Syndrome?

Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) is a disorder characterized by an uncontrollable urge to move the legs. For years, many people have had nothing to account for their discomfort. Now, RLS is often associated with the following:

  • Feelings and sensations that resulting in an urge to move limbs, most commonly affects the legs
  • Symptoms worsen when resting, when lying down or when sitting for a long period
  • Symptoms worsen at the end of the day or during the night
  • Symptoms improve with activity and movement

Many people have a difficulty explaining what is going on with their legs. The sensations and feelings are extremely hard to describe and almost as hard to diagnose. If you are having a hard time describing your symptoms, you aren't alone. Patients generally describe their symptoms as feeling antsy, creepy, or uncomfortable, and while most patients feel this in their legs, you can feel these symptoms in your arms as well.

Rule Out Vein Problems, Treatment Options

There are many ways to treat RLS, including iron supplements, pharmacological treatment (drugs), compression therapy, and lifestyle changes (i.e. exercise). Recent medical research reported in the journal Dermatologic Surgery showed that 22% of patients with RLS also have venous insufficiency. Studies show that the treatment of venous insufficiency can relieve symptoms of RLS. According to a study in the journal Phlebology, in patients with RLS and venous insufficiency, 98% of patients experienced relief from RLS symptoms by treating their venous insufficiency, and 80% had long-term relief.

If you think your symptoms are in line with those of RLS, consult with Dr. Protain and your primary care physician. Both parties should develop a comprehensive diagnosis and treatment plan. It is important to include Dr. Protain in the discussion to rule out any underlying venous diseases before starting on another path of therapy.

What causes leg ulcers?

Leg ulcers are, unfortunately, very common in people that suffer from venous insufficiency. These ulcers can develop spontaneously or after trauma, taking several months, possibly years, to heal. If the ulcers have healed, but the venous disease is not corrected, most patients will relive the painful experience all over again. Without treatment of the underlying venous problem, leg ulcers will almost certainly reappear. Treating just one incompetent vein reduces the ulcer reoccurrence rate by approximately 70 percent.

Our vein treatments covered by Insurance?

At our office, we accept nearly all insurance companies and plans. Based on medical necessity, your insurance should cover most of the costs associated with our varicose and spider vein procedures. Be sure to check with your insurance company to go over the guidelines, your plan details, and prerequisites before your procedure to know what exactly is covered.

Do We Use A Pico Second Laser?

No, Dr. Protain has always stayed away from Pico Second Lasers, as they are controversial and arguably an unreliable and ineffective means of tattoo removal.

In fact, the manufacturers of the PicoSure tattoo removal laser (one of the leading Pico Second Lasers), Cynosure, are facing a class action lawsuit against them for misrepresenting the machine's capabilities. (To read more on this, click here.)

The lawsuit details how Cynosure's marketing materials relating to the PicoSure are highly misleading- stating that “even dark, stubborn blue and green inks, as well as previously-treated, recalcitrant tattoos, can be removed or eliminated by using the PicoSure product" when this claim has been shown to be inaccurate.

Instead, Dr. Protain utilizes a Quality-Switched (Q-Switched) Laser that uses a top hat beam profile that reduces epidermal damage and transient textural change. This laser can remove nearly all colors of tattoo ink, almost anywhere on the body. This laser offers four separate wavelengths making it capable of removing darker inks (blacks, purples, browns), brighter inks (reds, yellows, oranges), plus stubborn pigments like blue-green tattoo ink. In a fraction of a second, the laser breaks down the pigment, allowing us to complete a conventional treatment in a short amount of time. Tattoo removal lasers do not infiltrate the lower layers of skin meaning that scarring is very rare and heals quickly.

Leg ulcers are common in people that suffer from venous insufficiency.

Don't miss Dr. Protain and his staff at one of our seven vascular clinics in Ohio and West Virginia.


8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Boardman, OH Office

813 Kentwood Drive
Boardman, Ohio 44512

Princeton, WV Office

401 Rogers Street
Princeton, West Virginia 24740
844.367.5347 (FOR LEGS)

Ripley, WV Office

844 Rt. 62 South
Ripley, West Virginia 25271
844.367.5347 (FOR LEGS)

Oceana, WV Office

833 Cook Parkway
Oceana, WV 24870
844.367.5347 (FOR LEGS)

Beckley, WV Office

134 Beckley Crossing
Beckley, WV 25801
844.367.5347 (FOR LEGS)

Bluefield, VA Office

510 Cherry St, Suite 104 Bldg A
Bluefield, WV 24701
844.367.5347 (FOR LEGS)

Blacksburg, VA Office

3708 S. Main Street Suite G
Blacksburg, VA 24060
844.367.5347 (FOR LEGS)

Contact Us Today

Leg ulcers are common in people that suffer from venous insufficiency.
Our mission is to provide our patients with the most advanced, comprehensive treatment of venous problems and cosmetic medicine to relieve pain and discomfort, improve appearance, and enhance the quality of life. We provide patients with the time, care, and expert skills needed to make sure that they love their legs again. Don't waste any more time covering up your legs, Schedule an appointment today! For information on Laser Tatoo Removal & Fading, click here.

Ohio & West Virginia Offices


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Leg ulcers are common in people that suffer from venous insufficiency. Leg ulcers are common in people that suffer from venous insufficiency.
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