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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

Varicose Veins

While percentage estimates vary, a highly regarded study estimates the rate of incidence for Varicose Veins at 17.4% for women and 15.2% for men aged 18-64. The rates increase dramatically over the age of 65. Varicose veins have never been easier to treat, and they are frequently covered by insurance!  At Albuquerque Vein & Laser Institute, Dr. Robert Cutchen specializes in advanced outpatient procedures to treat varicose veins. Many of the treatments Dr. Cutchen uses are quick, easy, and don’t require much downtime or a long recovery period.

What are Varicose Veins?

What Treatments are Available for Varicose Veins?

Am I a Good Candidate?

Is There Any Downtime?

What Results Can I Expect?

Leg veins are responsible for carrying blood up and out of the legs, back to the heart, against the pull of gravity. Inside of the veins we have very thin one-way valves that open to allow upward flow and close to prevent gravity from pulling the blood backward towards the feet. Varicose veins are superficial veins where the one-way valves are broken. The result is that gravity pulls the blood backward towards the feet. The back-pressure and congestion in the vein causes symptoms of discomfort and may cause some of the veins to bulge out. This condition is also known as venous insufficiency, venous incompetence or venous reflux. Once reflux occurs in a vein, (once the valves give out) it won’t go back to normal and should be treated if causing symptoms.

Venous Reflux can be a serious medical condition. If left untreated, it can ultimately lead to:

  • Chronic leg pain and swelling
  • Eczema-type symptoms, skin thickening, and discoloration
  • Ulcerations that won’t heal until the veins are treated

However, there has never been a better time to treat your varicose veins!

  • In-office treatment
  • Local anesthesia
  • Minimal downtime
  • Insurance covers most varicose vein treatment

Vein disease is progressive and will worsen over time if left untreated. Dr. Robert Cutchen advises all individuals who are suffering from varicose veins to seek treatment sooner, rather than later, to prevent more complicated medical conditions from developing.

After the presence of vein disease has been diagnosed via the venous Doppler ultrasound test, Dr. Cutchen will develop your individualized treatment plan tailored to the extent and severity of your specific venous condition. Most patients require a combination of treatment options for the best possible results. A series of treatments over several appointments may be necessary, depending on the severity of your vein disease. Some procedures are performed under local anesthesia while others require none. Patients should return to normal activity immediately with minimal restrictions.

Endovenous Laser Treatment (EVLT)

The Endovenous Laser Treatment (or ablation) procedure is performed in Dr. Cutchen’s office under local anesthesia. This procedure closes refluxing saphenous veins, which are often the cause of the visible bulging superficial varicose veins on your legs. These are the same veins that were previously treated with surgical stripping. When performing EVLT, the skin is first numbed, then using ultrasound guidance a thin laser fiber is inserted through a few steps into the vein through a tiny incision and advanced to the top of the vein. After placement of local anesthetic around the vein, the laser is activated, which delivers heat to the vein wall, causing it to heat, collapse and seal shut. The vein will then disappear over 6-12 months.

In some cases, other treatments, including ambulatory phlebectomy and endovenous chemical ablation, are used in combination with endovenous laser ablation to achieve the best possible medical and cosmetic results.

Endovenous Chemical Ablation (ECA)

Also known as ultrasound-guided foam sclerotherapy, endovenous chemical ablation is another treatment method for the elimination of varicose veins. This procedure targets and eliminates varicose veins that are hidden from the naked eye and only seen by ultrasound. During an ECA treatment, a chemical irritant, called a sclerosant, is injected into the vein while Dr. Cutchen observes the injection process on the ultrasound screen. The sclerosant damages the lining of the vein wall, collapses the vein and eventually leads to the body reabsorbing the destroyed vein. The sclerosant typically has a foamy, frothy consistency.

Ambulatory Phlebectomy

Ambulatory Phlebectomy, micro-phlebectomy, or “hook” phlebectomy is a micro-extraction procedure used to remove bulging varicose veins that are close to the surface through very small (~1/8 inch) micro-incisions. The micro-incisions are so small that they seldom require a stitch. Local anesthetic is injected all along the course of the bulging veins making it a painless procedure. Once removed, patients are amazed how good the leg looks with the “ropey” veins gone. The tiny incisions heal very well and the scars are nearly invisible at one year in most patients.

Varicose vein treatment is a good option for you if you have heavy, achy tired legs that may be associated with bulging, painful varicose veins. Symptomatic varicose veins are a medical condition that require medical attention, with proper diagnosis and treatment by a qualified vein specialist, such as Dr. Cutchen. If they are left untreated, they will not go back to normal, and the condition will worsen. Serious conditions that may develop due to untreated vein disease include chronic venous insufficiency (CVI), including damage to the skin, and venous stasis ulcers.

Patients are required to walk for 20-30 minutes immediately after any of the three previously described procedures, and patients return to work the same day or next day. Following treatment, patients wear prescription-strength compression stockings for three weeks and should go on a 30 minute walk daily and move regularly throughout the day. We advise patients to avoid lifting over 50 lbs and high-impact exercise for 2 weeks and also advise our patients to avoid sitting in hot water (bathtub/hot tub) for 2 weeks.

Compared to surgical stripping surgeries of earlier years, minimally invasive endovenous laser ablation, ambulatory phlebectomy and endovenous chemical ablation for the treatment of vein disease and varicose veins is extremely well tolerated. However, possible risks include, but are not limited to, deep vein bleeding, infection, deep vein thrombosis, skin discoloration, skin ulceration and nerve limitation. It is important to remember that every patient’s recovery is different, but following are some good guidelines on what you can expect on your path to full recovery post-varicose vein treatment.

Immediately:

You may resume normal activities immediately, but keep in mind that you will likely experience discomfort and bruising along the course of the vein treated with laser. Many patients are given an injection of a non-narcotic pain medication at the conclusion of the endovenous laser ablation procedure. You may have small incisions in your skin about 1/8” long associated with laser fiber access and ambulatory phlebectomy. These will be covered with a dressing. Patients are placed in compression stockings as well and sent for a walk immediately following the procedure. All patients are seen back the following day to remove dressings and in most cases an ultrasound is performed to verify successful closure of the vein treated with laser..

Next Two Weeks:

Bruising typically resolves within 1-2 weeks. Patients feel sore for 1-2 weeks and this is best managed with ibuprofen.

Next Four to Six Weeks:

Patients may continue to have some mild soreness. They may also feel firm closed veins beneath the skin. These closed veins will be absorbed over the course of several months.

Post Varicose Vein Treatment

Patients typically notice that with each passing month their legs look and feel better. Visible surface veins referred to as spider veins are likely to remain post-treatment. If desired, they can be treated with cosmetic sclerotherapy injections, which are not covered by insurance.

Leg veins are responsible for carrying blood up and out of the legs, back to the heart, against the pull of gravity. Inside of the veins we have very thin one-way valves that open to allow upward flow and close to prevent gravity from pulling the blood backward towards the feet. Varicose veins are superficial veins where the one-way valves are broken. The result is that gravity pulls the blood backward towards the feet. The back-pressure and congestion in the vein causes symptoms of discomfort and may cause some of the veins to bulge out. This condition is also known as venous insufficiency, venous incompetence or venous reflux. Once reflux occurs in a vein, (once the valves give out) it won’t go back to normal and should be treated if causing symptoms.

Venous Reflux can be a serious medical condition. If left untreated, it can ultimately lead to:

  • Chronic leg pain and swelling
  • Eczema-type symptoms, skin thickening, and discoloration
  • Ulcerations that won’t heal until the veins are treated

However, there has never been a better time to treat your varicose veins!

  • In-office treatment
  • Local anesthesia
  • Minimal downtime
  • Insurance covers most varicose vein treatment

Vein disease is progressive and will worsen over time if left untreated. Dr. Robert Cutchen advises all individuals who are suffering from varicose veins to seek treatment sooner, rather than later, to prevent more complicated medical conditions from developing.

After the presence of vein disease has been diagnosed via the venous Doppler ultrasound test, Dr. Cutchen will develop your individualized treatment plan tailored to the extent and severity of your specific venous condition. Most patients require a combination of treatment options for the best possible results. A series of treatments over several appointments may be necessary, depending on the severity of your vein disease. Some procedures are performed under local anesthesia while others require none. Patients should return to normal activity immediately with minimal restrictions.

Endovenous Laser Treatment (EVLT)

The Endovenous Laser Treatment (or ablation) procedure is performed in Dr. Cutchen’s office under local anesthesia. This procedure closes refluxing saphenous veins, which are often the cause of the visible bulging superficial varicose veins on your legs. These are the same veins that were previously treated with surgical stripping. When performing EVLT, the skin is first numbed, then using ultrasound guidance a thin laser fiber is inserted through a few steps into the vein through a tiny incision and advanced to the top of the vein. After placement of local anesthetic around the vein, the laser is activated, which delivers heat to the vein wall, causing it to heat, collapse and seal shut. The vein will then disappear over 6-12 months.

In some cases, other treatments, including ambulatory phlebectomy and endovenous chemical ablation, are used in combination with endovenous laser ablation to achieve the best possible medical and cosmetic results.

Endovenous Chemical Ablation (ECA)

Also known as ultrasound-guided foam sclerotherapy, endovenous chemical ablation is another treatment method for the elimination of varicose veins. This procedure targets and eliminates varicose veins that are hidden from the naked eye and only seen by ultrasound. During an ECA treatment, a chemical irritant, called a sclerosant, is injected into the vein while Dr. Cutchen observes the injection process on the ultrasound screen. The sclerosant damages the lining of the vein wall, collapses the vein and eventually leads to the body reabsorbing the destroyed vein. The sclerosant typically has a foamy, frothy consistency.

Ambulatory Phlebectomy

Ambulatory Phlebectomy, micro-phlebectomy, or “hook” phlebectomy is a micro-extraction procedure used to remove bulging varicose veins that are close to the surface through very small (~1/8 inch) micro-incisions. The micro-incisions are so small that they seldom require a stitch. Local anesthetic is injected all along the course of the bulging veins making it a painless procedure. Once removed, patients are amazed how good the leg looks with the “ropey” veins gone. The tiny incisions heal very well and the scars are nearly invisible at one year in most patients.

Varicose vein treatment is a good option for you if you have heavy, achy tired legs that may be associated with bulging, painful varicose veins. Symptomatic varicose veins are a medical condition that require medical attention, with proper diagnosis and treatment by a qualified vein specialist, such as Dr. Cutchen. If they are left untreated, they will not go back to normal, and the condition will worsen. Serious conditions that may develop due to untreated vein disease include chronic venous insufficiency (CVI), including damage to the skin, and venous stasis ulcers.

Patients are required to walk for 20-30 minutes immediately after any of the three previously described procedures, and patients return to work the same day or next day. Following treatment, patients wear prescription-strength compression stockings for three weeks and should go on a 30 minute walk daily and move regularly throughout the day. We advise patients to avoid lifting over 50 lbs and high-impact exercise for 2 weeks and also advise our patients to avoid sitting in hot water (bathtub/hot tub) for 2 weeks.

Compared to surgical stripping surgeries of earlier years, minimally invasive endovenous laser ablation, ambulatory phlebectomy and endovenous chemical ablation for the treatment of vein disease and varicose veins is extremely well tolerated. However, possible risks include, but are not limited to, deep vein bleeding, infection, deep vein thrombosis, skin discoloration, skin ulceration and nerve limitation. It is important to remember that every patient’s recovery is different, but following are some good guidelines on what you can expect on your path to full recovery post-varicose vein treatment.

Immediately:

You may resume normal activities immediately, but keep in mind that you will likely experience discomfort and bruising along the course of the vein treated with laser. Many patients are given an injection of a non-narcotic pain medication at the conclusion of the endovenous laser ablation procedure. You may have small incisions in your skin about 1/8” long associated with laser fiber access and ambulatory phlebectomy. These will be covered with a dressing. Patients are placed in compression stockings as well and sent for a walk immediately following the procedure. All patients are seen back the following day to remove dressings and in most cases an ultrasound is performed to verify successful closure of the vein treated with laser..

Next Two Weeks:

Bruising typically resolves within 1-2 weeks. Patients feel sore for 1-2 weeks and this is best managed with ibuprofen.

Next Four to Six Weeks:

Patients may continue to have some mild soreness. They may also feel firm closed veins beneath the skin. These closed veins will be absorbed over the course of several months.

Post Varicose Vein Treatment

Patients typically notice that with each passing month their legs look and feel better. Visible surface veins referred to as spider veins are likely to remain post-treatment. If desired, they can be treated with cosmetic sclerotherapy injections, which are not covered by insurance.

If you would like to learn more about Varicose Veins and your Varicose Vein Treatment options, please call our office at (505) 848-8346 today to schedule a consultation or fill out the form on this page and one of our trusted staff members will reach out to you promptly.