Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What are varicose veins?
A: The term varicose veins is used to describe everything from smaller, spider veins (red or blue veins on the surface of the skin) up to true varicose veins that are swollen, bulging veins with a rope like appearance. Varicose veins commonly affect almost 25% of women and 15% of men.
Q: What are the signs of varicose veins?
A: Common symptoms are swelling in the legs, numbness in the legs, and aching pain, tired and heavy leg feeling, persistent itching or irritated rash on the legs, legs ulcers or open wounds that won’t heal, bulging veins, or small, spider looking veins. You should always seek the advice of a doctor if any of these symptoms are present.
Q: What causes varicose veins?
A: The exact cause of varicose veins is unknown but certain factors are known to increase your probability of having varicose veins. These include:
- Standing and sitting too long
- Leg Injury - Crossing your legs
Q: Can I prevent varicose veins from occurring?
A: It is doubtful that varicose veins can be prevented but certain actions may limit the progress and symptoms. Routine exercise like maintaining a normal weight, avoiding long periods of sitting or standing, and using compression stockings may all help alleviate symptoms.
Q: What are the treatment options for varicose and spider veins?
A: A variety of treatments are available to manage each vein condition. Determination of the appropriate treatment is best achieved by a trained vein specialist. Current treatments available are:
Compression Stockings: Help to reduce swelling and increases circulation.
Sclerotherapy: A chemical solution is injected directly into the vein to close it down.
Ablation Treatments: Laser or radio waves are used to close off the vein so the body can clear it away like a scab or a bruise.
Laser or Light Treatments: Light is used as a heat source to stimulate the closure of the problem veins.
Phlebectomy: A minimally invasive surgical procedure to remove part of the vein.
Vein Surgery: Rarely used except in certain cases where removal of the vein is the best solution.
Q: How does the new, non-surgical technology vary from traditional treatment?
A: Traditional treatment of varicose veins consisted of physically cutting the veins out. New technology treatments are about 95% successful and have a low recurrence rate because you can treat all of the veins, not just the ones you can see.
Q: How long does this treatment take?
A: Most procedures can be done in less than an hour and require 3-5 visits over a period of a few weeks to ensure successful treatment.
Q: Will non-surgical treatment affect my everyday life?
A: There is virtually no downtime with these new procedures and you can go about your normal daily activities. You will probably experience less soreness after your procedure.
Q: What happens if I don’t have my varicose veins treated?
A: The pressure in the back flow of the blood in your legs will probably only get worse over time and it may result in the formation of new varicose or spider veins.
Q: What is the cost of these treatments?
A: The cost of the treatments varies with the size of the job and the method of treatment prescribed.
Q: Will my insurance pay for the treatments?
A: Insurance usually participates when the treatments are shown to be a medical necessity. However, sometimes the procedures are deemed only cosmetic and are not covered by Medicare or insurance providers. Consult your insurance carrier for more information.