Dr. Robert Cutchen Albuquerque & Santa Fe

Meet Dr. Robert Cutchen

In 2009, Dr. Cutchen founded Albuquerque Vein & Laser Institute, a clinic dedicated solely to the diagnosis and treatment of venous disease. His goal was to provide the most advanced diagnostic and treatment options all in the comfort of his office without the need for hospitalization. Our goal is to treat every patient the way we ourselves would hope to be treated.

Read Dr. Cutchen’s full bio here

Vein Treatments Albuquerque & Santa Fe

Vein Treatments

We provide our patients with the most advanced and comprehensive vein treatments. See the difference between before and after.

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Aesthetic Treatments Albuquerque & Santa Fe

Aesthetic Treatments

We utilize the power of advanced laser technology to treat a multitude of cosmetic concerns. See what a difference our treatments can make.

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Patient Resources Albuquerque & Santa FeDo you have a question?

Discover our FAQ pages to find your answers. If you still have a question, please call us at (505) 848-8346 and we will be happy to assist you.

Varicose Veins

Many of us think of varicose veins as an unsightly annoyance. However, these bulging veins can indicate a deeper problem with the circulation in your legs. Only an examination by a vein expert like Dr. Robert Cutchen can determine whether your varicose veins require treatment. 

What are Varicose Veins?

Varicose veins are swollen, twisted-looking veins under the skin. They often look blue or purple due to the blood they contain. These veins are visible because they have been damaged. Blood flow through the veins in your legs must move against gravity, so your veins have one-way valves to prevent backflow. Many factors can cause these valves to fail, letting blood flow back into and stretch the veins.

If you have varicose veins, they might indicate something more concerning than just an aesthetic problem. Varicose veins can be a sign of problems deep within your venous system and should be assessed by a vein specialist, such as Dr. Robert Cutchen.

What are Varicose Veins?

Varicose veins are visible veins under the skin that often look twisted, bulging, or discolored. The blood in your leg veins must travel upward to return to the heart, and your veins have one-way valves to prevent backflow. When these valves fail, blood can pool in the deep veins and back into smaller ones – a condition known as venous insufficiency. The blood stretches the vein walls, causing the appearance of varicose veins. 

Have you noticed veins on your legs becoming raised, discolored, and more noticeable? These varicose veins occur because blood has backed up and stretched them. Dr. Cutchen and his team treat bothersome varicose veins and the underlying medical conditions that can cause them. 

What are Varicose Veins?

Varicose veins are usually found in the legs. They occur when blood flow through the leg veins slows down and backs up, forcing blood to pool and stretch the vein walls. Blood flowing through the leg veins travels against gravity, assisted by one-way valves that prevent backflow. These valves can weaken, keeping blood from moving out of your legs effectively and leading to varicose veins. This condition is called chronic venous insufficiency

Varicose Veins

For many people, varicose veins are asymptomatic, even if they have an unsightly appearance. Others, especially those with a more advanced venous issue, may experience pain and related side effects in the legs with varicose veins, as circulation issues deep in the leg veins can lead to aching, heaviness, and other symptoms. Fortunately, advanced treatment methods can provide relief with little to no discomfort or recovery time. 

What are Varicose Veins?

Varicose veins may look blue, red, or purple, and they often have a raised, twisted appearance. The Great Saphenous Vein (GSV), one of the longest veins in the human body, carries blood from the legs back to the heart, moving it against gravity. If the one-way valves in this vein weaken, blood can pool and back up into feeder veins that then appear on the surface. Varicose veins and leg pain are both symptoms of this underlying venous problem. 

Varicose Veins Albuquerque & Santa Fe

While many people use the terms “varicose veins” and “spider veins” interchangeably, they are not the same and require unique treatments. Both types of diseased veins respond well to outpatient treatment, making their removal accessible for all. 

What are Spider Veins and Varicose Veins? 

Spider veins and varicose veins occur when the walls of blood vessels become damaged. They have different causes and treatments, but a vein specialist like Dr. Robert Cutchen can diagnose and thoroughly treat both types.

Varicose Veins Albuquerque & Santa Fe

Are you bothered by bulging, discolored veins? Although common, varicose veins often signal a deeper problem deep within your venous system. To restore healthy blood flow, Dr. Robert Cutchen treats varicose veins and their underlying causes right in the comfort and convenience of his Albuquerque vein clinic. Most of these minimally invasive treatments involve minimal to no recovery time. 

What are Varicose Veins?

Varicose veins occur when normal blood flow becomes stagnant. Veins must work against gravity to return blood to the heart, so they have one-way valves to keep blood from flowing backward. When these valves become damaged, blood can back up into the superficial veins near the surface of the skin. This pooled blood causes the thick, discolored appearance of varicose veins. 

Varicose Vein Treatment Albuquerque

There has never been a better time to treat your varicose veins. “Summer-ready legs” start now! After having vein treatment at Albuquerque Vein & Laser Institute, you will no longer have to dread shorts and swimsuit season! Now that you know now is the best time to take action, let’s look at the cost of varicose vein treatment.

Pain, itching, swelling, burning, leg heaviness or tiredness, and skin discoloration are all symptoms of varicose veins – a problem that affects nearly 35% of the American population. Symptoms can worsen throughout the day and are often partially relieved by “conservative treatments”, including elevating the legs or by wearing compression stockings. However, these conservative treatments only provide temporary relief, and diseased veins can worsen if left untreated over time. The good news is that varicose veins and the vein disease that causes them can be treated in the comfort and convenience of Dr. Cutchen’s New Mexico vein center with minimal downtime and discomfort!


Your leg veins are responsible for carrying blood up and out of the legs, back to the heart, against the pull of gravity. This very important job can lead to wear and tear on your veins over the course of your life. Varicose veins are superficial veins that have lost their ability to appropriately carry blood up and out of the leg, allowing the blood to flow backward toward the feet. This is also known as venous insufficiency or venous reflux and is a result of broken valves inside the veins. Once a vein has become varicose, it won’t go back to normal and should be treated if it is causing symptoms.

Varicose Vein Albuquerque

It is estimated that over 50% of Americans over the age of 50 suffer with varicose veins,* with women more statistically likely to develop them, most likely due to the effects of pregnancy and hormones on spider veins. Heredity also plays a strong role, as there is a strong tendency to inherit this disease from one or both parents. Many incorrectly consider their varicose veins to be a cosmetic issue that they must just live with – even though they will never, ever improve on their own and are more likely to progress over time. Other patients are bothered enough by the side effects of this medical condition to research their options. So how do you know if it’s time to seek vein treatment?

Albuquerque Varicose Vein

The words “spider veins” and “varicose veins” can cause just about anyone to shudder. No one wants to walk around in shorts or skirts and have a network of veins looking like a road map on our legs. But, is vein removal a healthy, necessary medical treatment or just cosmetic? Let’s take a look!

Spider Veins Albuquerque

Although patients often use the terms spider veins and varicose veins interchangeably, these are two separate issues that affect the health of your venous system differently. Spider veins and varicose veins are similar in that they are both unsightly AND easily treatable.

Varicose Veins

Varicose veins are enlarged, twisted, dilated veins that protrude above the level of the skin. Most frequently found on the legs, they often appear dark purple or blue in color and sometimes bulge out. They are typically caused by an underlying issue in the venous system, such as venous reflux (also known as venous insufficiency, which is a result of broken valves inside the veins, causing the blood to flow “backwards” in the veins. Varicose veins can lead to symptoms such as a heavy feeling in your legs, skin discoloration, swelling, and worsened pain after sitting or standing for prolonged periods of time.

There are a number of factors that can raise your risk of developing varicose veins.

  • Aging causes wear and tear on the valves in your veins.
  • Hormonal changes during pregnancy and menopause may also play a role in varicose veins.
  • Heredity is also a factor, so if members of your family have developed varicose veins, it is likely that you will as well.
  • Standing or sitting for long periods of time can also increase your risk of developing varicose veins.

Unfortunately, there is no way to completely prevent the development of varicose veins. You may reduce your risk of this condition by improving your circulation. Exercising on a regular basis, maintaining a healthy weight, and adhering to a quality diet can definitely help. It is also important to change your sitting or standing position frequently. Once you develop vein disease, it will not get better on its own – you may be able to manage the symptoms through the wearing of medical-grade compression hose and elevation, but the diseased veins themselves will never improve and symptoms will most likely increase over time.

Although Fall is full of so many fun activities like apple picking, hayrides, Halloween, and Thanksgiving, it’s also a busy time of year in the healthcare industry as patients scramble to schedule medical treatment before their annual deductible renews! So, along with deciding how many bags of Halloween candy to buy, this time of the year is also the best time to consider your Vein Health! Many people neglect their vein issues until they start to have serious problems, especially if they have not yet met their annual insurance deductible, but there are several reasons this time of year is the perfect time to see Dr. Robert Cutchen for vein treatment!

Albuquerque Varicose Vein

Varicose veins are enlarged, twisted veins that are commonly seen on the legs. In most cases, they are dark purple or blue in color and often “bulge”, and if left untreated, they can lead to symptoms such as a heavy feeling in your legs, skin discoloration, swelling, and worsened pain after sitting or standing for prolonged periods of time.

Along with making you feel self-conscious, they can cause a great deal of pain and discomfort, especially when you walk and stand. If you are suffering with unsightly and painful varicose veins, you may be wondering what causes them to form.

Varicose Veins

Let Dr. Robert Cutchen at Albuquerque Vein & Laser Institute put a little spring in your step this year with his in-office varicose vein treatment! If you are currently suffering with the following symptoms, schedule your vein treatment consultation today!

  • Bulging varicose veins
  • Clusters of spider veins, especially around ankles
  • Leg heaviness, fatigue and swelling
  • Skin discoloration or ulceration around the ankles

If you’ve avoided consulting with a vein specialist because you’re nervous that it’s the same very invasive, painful varicose vein removal procedure your mom or grandma had years ago, we have great news for you! While hospital-based vein stripping surgery was the most common treatment protocol used to treat patients with bulging varicose veins for years, your options have increased and dramatically improved over the last 15+ years.

Thanks to advances in medical technology and improved treatment options in recent years, varicose veins are easier to treat than ever before, and with much less discomfort and recovery time! Before 2000, vein stripping was the preferred method for treating the most common cause of vein disease – saphenous venous reflux. The procedure required general anesthesia and treatment at the hospital with significant pain afterwards. New techniques allow treatment under local anesthesia which can be performed in the comfort of the office. Local anesthesia means that there are a few shots to numb the affected areas, but this is well tolerated by patients. After procedures, patients are immediately sent on a walk around our neighborhood. Following any procedure, we recommend only pain medications such as ibuprofen. Narcotic medications (such as morphine, Percocet, Vicodin) are not needed.

Today’s minimally-invasive varicose vein treatment involves outpatient procedures performed in the comfort and convenience of Dr. Robert Cutchen’s Albuquerque vein clinic. Unlike painful hospital vein stripping surgeries of years past, modern endovenous laser treatment only requires local anesthesia (the patient is awake), reducing the risks and downtime associated with general anesthesia.

Compared to surgical stripping surgeries, a common procedure used to remove bulging varicose veins until a few years ago, there are several minimally invasive treatments for vein disease and varicose veins that are extremely well tolerated, all performed using just local anesthesia.


If you’re considering varicose vein treatment, you may be wondering about recovery and downtime after the procedure.

After the presence of vein disease has been diagnosed, Dr. Cutchen will formulate a personalized treatment plan specific to each patient’s issues. All vein treatment procedures are minimally invasive and are performed in the office with an almost immediate return to activity.

Varicose veins, often ropey, bulging veins in your legs, may be a big inconvenience and source of embarrassment for many who suffer with them, but the medical issues run deeper and there is much more to them than meets the eye.

Varicose veins are incredibly common, affecting close to one in four adult Americans. Yet, many never seek treatment and choose to live life with the associated pain and complications.

Your leg veins, literally, face an uphill battle as they carry blood from your feet to your heart. Leg muscles squeeze the veins to push the blood up toward the heart. Small valves within the vessels prevent blood from getting pulled backward toward the feet, or “refluxing”, on this journey. But if these valves fail, blood can pool in your leg veins, increasing the pressure and causing the affected veins to bulge and thicken and causing symptoms of heaviness and aching.

Following are the most frequent pieces of incorrect information we hear from our patients upon evaluating their varicose veins.

Vein disorders are complex and run deep – there is much more than meets the eye. And, patient treatment is never a one-size-fits-all approach, as each patient’s vein disease is different from the next. A patient who does not have big, bulging veins may need an endovenous laser ablation only. Another vein patient may need a laser ablation, followed by micro-incisional ambulatory phlebectomy (micro-incisions to remove the actual bulging veins), and yet another patient may need the addition of endovenous chemical ablation (injections) to close feeder veins.

One of the most frequent questions we are asked is, “What is the cause of varicose veins?” The number one cause is genetics. We tend to inherit them from our parents. Other significant causes are pregnancy, jobs with prolonged standing, age, and trauma. Due to genetic influences, there may not always be a way to prevent varicose veins from forming. But, there are a few things we can do that may help.

Vein Disease Is Not Always Visible to the Naked Eye

Varicose veins, a result of a medical condition called venous reflux, or venous insufficiency, are abnormally enlarged, bulging veins that are visible on the surface of the skin.  Often considered a cosmetic nuisance, they are actually just one sign of a more significant underlying problem in the venous system.

Varicose Veins Santa Fe

The American College of Phlebology estimates that more than 80 million Americans suffer from some form of vein disease. Heredity is the number one cause of varicose veins. Among women, pregnancy is the next greatest risk factor. Most women will relate that their leg vein problems began with a specific pregnancy and worsened in subsequent pregnancies.

I recently treated a patient who had received an in-hospital vein stripping procedure on her left leg approximately 10 years ago, but had delayed treatment on her right leg because she did not want to go through the pain and downtime of that procedure once again.

The job of our veins is to return blood to our heart to be circulated again.  Inside our veins, there are one-way valves that permit the blood to flow up the leg and then close to prevent backwards flow with gravity’s pull. A varicose vein, by definition, has broken valves which allows the blood to flow backwards down the vein. This back pressure congests the vein, can cause it to bulge out and leads to the common symptoms of heaviness and aching in the leg.

A number of patients who come to see me about their varicose veins at Albuquerque Vein & Laser Institute mention that their mothers suffered with large, painful varicose veins and want to know if the condition was inherited.

Many female patients at my Albuquerque vein clinic want to know why varicose veins are so prevalent in females, as compared to men. Women are more likely to develop varicose veins primarily because of the roles that estrogen and pregnancy play in their development.

Along with heredity, pregnancy and professions requiring long periods of standing, being overweight can be a contributing factor to the development of vein disease in your legs. My patients often want to know how weight loss will affect their varicose veins. As you lose weight, your overall health will improve, and your legs may feel improved. However, if you have abnormal function of the valves of the veins leading to varicose veins, weight loss alone will not reverse your medical issue and likely will not alleviate all symptoms. In this case, even with weight loss, a patient would be a good candidate for varicose vein treatment.

Each year, many of the women who visit my Albuquerque vein clinic for vein consultations are either actively trying to conceive or they know they would still like to have more children in the future. They often inquire as to whether there is any reason they should wait until after they are finished having children to seek treatment for their varicose veins.