FAQ

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Frequently Asked Questions

There are two types of abnormal veins. Thin red or blue veins that sit on the surface of the skin are referred to as spider veins. On the other hand, true varicose veins are often swollen, bulging veins that have a rope-like appearance.

Yes, they are extremely common. One in three women and one in five men experience problems with varicose veins.

Symptoms can include pain, heaviness, fatigue, swelling, restless legs, as well as burning and itching sensations. It is important to realize that symptoms may occur with or without visible, large ropey veins.

The most common cause of varicose veins is incompetent valves inside veins. When the valves in the leg veins don’t work well, the blood they carry can no longer flow back up the body. This backward blood flow causes pooling in the lower leg. If not treated, visible varicose veins and other symptoms may occur over time.

People with a family history of varicose veins, along with occupations requiring prolonged standing, increasing age, obesity, or women who have been pregnant have a higher risk of developing varicose veins.

There is no clear method of preventing varicose veins. Some actions, however, may help alleviate the symptoms and slow the progression of varicose veins, such as routine exercise, maintaining a normal weight, avoiding long periods of sitting or standing, and wearing compression stockings.

If you have underlying venous disease (e.g., venous reflux), the backflow of blood may lead to pooling in the lower legs, creating a condition that only progresses with time. If left untreated, you may develop additional varicose and spider veins, swelling and, in some cases venous ulcers in the lower calf and ankle.

Once a specific vein is properly treated, it usually does not recur, but it is possible that other veins may become diseased. If you are predisposed to develop varicose or spider veins, due to family history, age, obesity, or female hormones, for example, you may be more likely to continue to develop additional vein conditions.

Even if you have what appear to be cosmetic spider veins, it’s important to consult a vein specialist to find out if you have an underlying condition. If you have any symptoms of venous insufficiency such as pain, swelling, heaviness, fatigue, restless leg, burning, or itching, keep in mind it’s easier to treat abnormal veins before you have developed the large ropey veins.

No. Most insurance plans do not require a referral. However, there may need to be a primary care physician of record.

Varicose and spider veins are faulty and dysfunctional, and leaving them as-is can only make your symptoms worse. Our bodies contain an abundance of healthy veins to pick up the slack. In fact, treating the veins that don’t work properly results in better blood flow through your entire body.

Medicare and other insurance providers will commonly cover a procedure that is medically necessary, except for VenaSeal™ Closure which is paid out of pocket. Spider vein treatment is considered by insurance companies as a cosmetic procedure and is not covered. Your insurance provider can explain eligibility and coverage, as well as cost. Payment plans are available for uncovered out of pocket costs.

While we encourage daily activities such as walking, certain procedures require that you stop cardio workouts or heavy lifting usually for two weeks. Your doctor will explain what to do during your recovery.

Compression hose need to be worn after sclerotherapy and vein ablation procedures to keep the walls of the treated veins collapsed so the veins seal completely. Compression hose are thigh-high so you have the option of wearing only one (if only one leg was treated) and it’s easier to change your clothes, use the restroom, etc.

Most procedures are followed with a phone call one to two days later to see how you’re doing. You will return to the office in two or three weeks for a follow up visit, and then again after six months. These follow up appointments allow us to provide aftercare and answer any questions you may have.

We perform sclerotherpy all year round. After receiving spider vein treatments, keep in mind that it is going to look worse before it gets better. We recommend that you wear sunblock for at least two months and compression stockings for two weeks. Knowing this, it may make more sense for you to have your spider veins treated in the fall and winter, rather than summer, so that recovery is more comfortable and your veins have fully healed before shorts season.

We recommend that you do not treat both spider veins and varicose veins at the same time. A potential benefit of a varicose vein procedure is it may also help fade any spider veins. We suggest waiting until after your varicose vein treatment to reassess your need for sclerotherapy.

It depends on what kind of procedure you are having. If you are only having sclerotherapy, you will be able to drive yourself home. For procedures where the leg we treat needs to be numbed with a local anesthetic it will not be safe for you to drive, so make sure to arrange for someone to drive you home afterwards. You will be able to drive a few hours later, however, when the numbness has worn off.