Concerned about unsightly or painful veins in the legs? It could be varicose veins, which are caused by venous reflux or venous insufficiency, a condition that develops when the valves that usually keep blood flowing out of the legs become damaged or diseased.

More than 25 million Americans suffer from severe varicose veins, which can cause pain, swelling, fatigue and disfigurement. Half of all seniors, including two-thirds of women above 60 years old, will experience the condition at some point. Heredity, pregnancy, obesity and careers requiring extended standing, like nursing and teaching, are the primary risk factors. Complications may include leg ulcers and dangerous blood clots.

Dr. Julie White, a vascular surgeon who practices with Pen Bay Surgery, announced that she is one of the first physicians in the Midcoast to offer a solution for varicose veins and leg pain. The VNUS Closure procedure is a high-tech procedure that uses radiofrequency to shrink and close diseased large leg veins in approximately three minutes of virtually painless treatment with minimal after-affects for the patient.

White will hold three free varicose vein screening sessions at the Picker Family Resource Center, 3 Glen Cove Drive, Suite 2, in Rockport. The dates and times are: Thursday, Oct. 27, Tuesday, Nov. 15 and Tuesday, Dec. 13, from 5:15 to 8 p.m. Call 593-5737 for more information or to make an appointment.

“Our patients are very happy with the VNUS procedure,” said White in a news release. “They are amazed at how quickly the procedure is completed and how little discomfort they feel, and they are pleased to be able to walk out after the procedure and resume normal activities the next day. And I have found the treatment outcomes to be excellent — the procedure is successful in closing the vein, and the patient’s quality of life improves immediately.”

Clinical studies have found the procedure more than 97 percent effective at the one-year follow-up visit and virtually painless for most patients. As a medical necessity, the procedure is covered by Medicare and most private health insurance plans.

The physicians of Pen Bay Surgery also offer expertise in the areas of breast, colon, hernia, gallbladder, esophageal and thyroid as well as endoscopy, pacemakers, surgical treatment of GERD and excision of skin lesions.