The Vein Center At the Heart, Lung and Vascular Surgeons: A Division of Wheeling
Non-Surgical Laser Procedure for Varicose Veins
More than 25 million Americans suffer from uncomfortable and unsightly varicose
veins. The Vein Center at The Heart, Lung and Vascular Surgeons of Wheeling Hospital
now offers non-surgical treatment that safe, virtually painless and requires little-to-no
The VenaCure EVLT laser vein treatment procedure uses laser energy to achieve proven
results without the discomfort and lengthy recovery experienced through the surgical
option of legation and vein stripping. The entire procedure takes about 1 hour and,
depending on the severity of your condition, may be covered by your insurance. (Call
your provider for more information.)
About Varicose Veins
Varicose veins can develop through a combination of weakened vein walls and faulty
valves. Under a variety of circumstances, normally toned, elastic vein walls can
become weak and allow the recirculating blood that should be moving toward your
heart to flow backward. One-way valves in these veins – which open and enable blood
to flow through on its way upward, then close to stop blood from flowing backward
– can also fail to function properly. This allows blood to pool and pressure to
build up, which further weakens and subsequently damages the veins, causing them
to become twisted, enlarged and painful. Up to 40 percent of women and 25 percent
of men are affected by this condition.
About Laser Vein Treatment
Simply put, a laser is a highly concentrated beam of light. Medical lasers work
by delivering this light energy to the targeted tissue with extreme precision, so
as not to affect the surrounding tissue. Lasers have proven their safety and effectiveness
through years of use in all types of medical procedures, from eye surgery to dermatology.
In the hands of skilled physicians, such as those at The Vein Center, lasers offer
far less risk for complications than conventional surgery.
In laser vein treatment, a thin fiber is inserted into the damaged vein. A laser
light is emitted through the fiber, delivering just the right amount of energy.
The targeted tissue reacts with the light energy, causing the vein to close and
seal shut. The veins that are closed off are superficial veins that handle less
than 5 percent of your blood flow. The blood is automatically routed to other veins.
The entire laser procedure typically lasts between 45 minutes to 1 hour, and requires
only a local anesthetic. While you may feel an unfamiliar sensation, it is not painful.
This part of the procedure takes literally just a few minutes. Your physician will
encourage you to walk immediately after the procedure, and you can resume normal
activity the same day. Ask your physician when it is safe to resume rigorous activities.
Some patients may experience temporary soreness, which can be treated effectively
with over-the-counter, non-aspirin pain relievers, and should subside within the
first five days.
Immediate, Effective Results
After treatment, the appearance of the abnormal vein is instantly improved with
minimal-to-no scarring. There may be some slight swelling and minimal bruising around
the treatment site. However, once that subsides, you will see a significant difference
in the appearance of your legs. For those patients who don’t experience these small
side effects, the results are obvious right away.
Published clinical studies show that the laser procedure has a 95 percent initial
success rate with excellent long-term results. Veins that are treated are very unlikely
to become varicose again.
Ahmad Rahbar, M.D.
Dr. Ahmad-Rahbar has been a cardiovascular surgeon at Wheeling
Hospital since 1981. In 2009 he opened the Wheeling Heart Institute, a division
of the hospital. The institute is now known as The Heart, Lung and Vascular Surgeons.
Working with him are Drs. Victor Maevsky, Mehdi Akhavan-Heidari and Certified Physician
Assistant Melissa Kovalski.
Rahbar graduated Indiana University with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and received
his medical degree at the University of Michigan. He served his surgery internship
at West Virginia University (WVU); residencies in surgery at the University of Florida
and WVU; and thoracic surgery at WVU. He is certified by the American Board of Surgery
and the American Board of Thoracic Surgery.
Victor Maevsky, M.D.
Dr. Victor Maevsky, a cardiothoracic surgeon, previously was employed in the Department
of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Strong Memorial Hospital, University of Rochester.
He received his medical degree at St. George’s University School of Medicine in
Grenada, British West Indies. After completing his residency at St. Barnabas Medical
Center at in Livingston, N.J., Maevsky served a cardiothoracic fellowship at Strong
Memorial Hospital. He is certified by the American Board of Surgery, and has made
numerous presentations at thoracic and cardiac surgery conferences. In 2003, Maevsky
was a member of a missionary surgery team at Hospital of Sacred Heart in Milot,
Mehdi Akhavan-Heidari, M.D.
Dr. Mehdi Akhavan-Heidari, a cardiothoracic surgeon, received his medical degree
from the University of Vienna Medical School and served his internship at Rohrbach
Hospital in Austria and West Virginia University. He served a residency in general
surgery at Marshall University, and another in cardiothoracic surgery at Loyola
University. He is certified by the American Board of Surgery.
Melissa M. Kovalski, Certified Physician Assistant
Melissa Kovalski has worked with Dr. Rahbar since 2006. She has a bachelor’s degree
in clinical laboratory science from Ohio University and a bachelor’s degree in physician
assistant studies from the University of Findlay, Ohio. In addition, Kovalski has
a master’s degree in physician assistant studies with a specialization in cardiovascular
thoracic medicine from the University of Nebraska. She is certified by the National
Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants.
The Vein Center is conveniently located at 1021 Mount de Chantal Road, just down
the street from Wheeling Hospital’s main campus. For more information, call 304-243-1000.
More information on the VenaCure EVLT technology is available at