By Kristina Houck
While technicians perform various tasks at other medical centers, Dr. Van Cheng is committed to working with all her patients at San Diego Vein Institute. Whether her patients have painful varicose veins or unsightly facial capillaries, she performs every task, from conducting an ultrasound test to injecting drugs.
“I love my practice and I love my patients,” said Cheng, founder and medical director of San Diego Vein Institute. “What sets me apart is the fact that I actually take the time to really understand what their main concerns are and I do the treatment. I am the person responsible.”
Varicose veins are swollen, twisted and sometimes painful veins that have filled with an abnormal amount of blood. They are relatively common, with 20-30 percent of men and 30-50 percent of women developing varicose veins, Cheng said.
“So many people have venous issues, but they don’t know there is an answer out there,” said Cheng, an eight-year resident of Encinitas. “Because so many people develop venous issues, it’s important for people to be educated and know that there is treatment if they have problems.”
Located in Encinitas, San Diego Vein Institute uses a drug that sensitizes the inner vein walls, causing the vein to collapse on itself. The medical center also uses a patented, painless laser to treat selective cases of rosacea and spider veins.
A San Diego native, Cheng always knew she wanted to work in medicine. She earned a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from Harvard University. Cheng went on to complete her doctorate in vascular surgery from UC San Diego, where she was named the first phlebology fellow in the United States, through the UCSD/Scripps fellowship.
“I didn’t want to be an internist and prescribe medicine to see if it works,” she said. “I want to give an injection and see immediate results. I can do that in this field.”
Cheng was a partner in a La Jolla practice before establishing her own business in 2007.
She is a member of both the American College of Phlebology, which focuses on the treatment of varicose veins, and the American Venous Forum, the nation’s most prestigious organization dedicated to the study of venous (vein) disorders.
In 2007, Cheng was awarded the ACP Walter deGroot Award for excellence in phlebology. In addition to her practice, she lectures to physicians, and has published numerous articles on the treatment of varicose veins and other vein disorders. She also wrote a definitive book on foam sclerotherapy, which was published in 2008.
“I picked this field so early in my career,” said Cheng, 38, who has worked in the field for about 10 years. “I love my job. I have so many more years to give to this field.”
San Diego Vein Institute is located at 336 Encinitas Blvd., Suite 130, in Encinitas. The medical center is open 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and by appointments on Saturday.
For information, call 760-944-9263 or visit
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