The Willow Vein Clinic will open on Oct. 19 inside the Petawawa Centennial Family Health Centre. Pictured from left, PCFHC Board Chairman Tom Mohns, Doctor Janet Chow, MD FCCFP, and Registered Nurse Tina Deschenes. (Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)

Willow Vein Clinic opening in Petawawa

By Patricia Leboeuf

Posted on Thursday October 4, 2018

The Willow Vein Clinic is the newest addition to the array of local health services offered at the Petawawa Centennial Family Health Centre (PCFHC).

The clinic specializes in veins of all sizes, from small spider veins on the face and legs to large bulgy varicose veins in the lower limbs.

All treatments are done using relatively painless needle injections, but an ultrasound is used to guide the treatment of larger veins. “You don’t always see them so it is always worth checking out if you have symptoms,” said Dr. Janet Chow, MD FCCFP. “We do an initial consultation with the ultrasound and decide where to go from there.”

While some varicose veins are asymptomatic, others can cause problems including tired, heavy, restless or painful legs.

They can be made worse by standing a lot, using hot tubs and saunas, pregnancy, obesity, trauma, hormonal changes, and genetics. Spider veins are painless but unsightly. “We help everything from really big bulgy veins to little red spider veins, the whole range,” said Dr. Chow.

She and Registered Nurse (RN) Tina Deschenes use cutting-edge ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy to treat veins, instead of painful stripping surgery. “Everybody knows about stripping because that is the old fashion way of doing it and taking the vein out of the leg,” said Dr. Chow. “Ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy is less invasive and a good alternative to stripping.”

There are only two clinics in Ottawa and the surrounding area offering the ultrasound guided treatments, so Dr. Chow decided that it would be a valuable service to bring to the Ottawa Valley, where she grew up.

Dr. Chow is a family doctor with specialized training in ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy and over 13 years experience. Ms. Deschenes has been treating varicose veins for more than 25 years.

The vein clinic is open to anyone regardless of his or her doctor status, and they do not need to be a member of the PCFHC. A doctor referral is also unnecessary unless the individual is a military member and needs coverage.

“On behalf of the Petawawa Centennial Family Health Centre, we would like to welcome them,” said Tom Mohns, PCFHC Board Chairman. “It is another service that we are providing to residents of Petawawa instead of having to travel to the city.”

The clinic will be open on Oct. 19, but they are currently booking appointments. The office is open on Fridays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. inside the PCFHC at 154 Civic Centre Rd. Costs vary but the initial consultation and certain cases are covered by the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP).

To book an appointment, please call (613) 687-7641 and for more information please visit