What are varicose veins?
Varicose veins happen when the small valves in veins don’t work properly allowing the blood in them to flow in the wrong direction. This causes the veins to swell. Many times varicose veins appear as either bulging and ropelike, or small and threadlike. Varicose veins can cause swelling, aching, and tired legs; create a burning, throbbing, or itching sensation; and cause muscle cramps and a general restlessness in your legs. Varicose veins require medical treatment.
What causes varicose veins?
Heredity/Family History- You have a 90% chance of having venous disease if both parents had vein problems.
Age- Venous disease worsens with age. Patients range from their teens to their mid-nineties.
Gender- Women are three times more likely than men to develop varicose veins.
Pregnancy- The chance of developing varicose veins increases with each pregnancy.
Obesity- Obesity does increase the risk of venous disease, but only slightly.
Standing Professions-Teachers, nurses, factory workers, and construction personnel are more likely to develop varicose veins.
What is venous reflux disease?
Venous reflux disease is a condition that develops in the superficial venous system when the valves in your veins that keep blood flowing out of your legs and back to your heart become damaged or diseased. This causes blood to pool in your legs. Common symptoms of superficial venous reflux disease include leg restlessness, pain, swelling, heaviness and fatigue as well as varicose veins.
What are spider veins?
Spider veins are very small varicose veins. Although they don’t usually cause discomfort, the deeper veins that often accompany them do. Many patients have a combination of both varicose and spider veins. While they may seek treatment for cosmetic improvement, many of our patients are looking for relief from pain.
What is the treatment for varicose veins?
First, we recommend a physical examination in our office. When you come to us, we will review your complete medical history. Your circulation will be tested with a non-invasive ultrasound and an individualized treatment plan will be developed for you. The most common treatment for venous disease is endovenous ablation. Endovenous ablation is an FDA-approved, minimally invasive treatment that requires no hospitalization and no complicated surgery. The entire procedure, start to finish, will take about an hour. Performed under ultrasound guidance, we us energy to treat varicose veins by closing off the vein, preventing it from flowing in the wrong direction down the leg. Your body then naturally re-route blood to healthier veins.
What is the difference between vein stripping and ablation?
Vein stripping was the main procedure performed by many surgeons for many years. This was often done in an operating room under general anesthesia. There were many complications with vein stripping including bruising, pain, blood loss and even death. The new technology has allowed us to perform the ablation procedure in our office without the severe complications patients experienced years ago. The complications are less than 1 in 1000.
Will I need to be hospitalized or take time off from work after the treatment?
The procedure is done in our office and you will be able to return to your normal activities after the procedure.
Will my insurance cover this procedure?
The procedure is covered by all insurance companies including Medicare and Blue Cross Blue Shield. The treatment for the small spider veins would not be covered by insurance and is considered cosmetic. Call us if you have any questions and our insurance coordinator will be happy to assist you!
Is there any scarring, bruising, or swelling after the procedure?
Patients may experience some bruising or swelling following varicose vein procedures. Long term, our patients report little to no scarring.
How quickly can I resume normal activity?
Patients are walking immediately following the procedure; they typically resume normal activities within one day. Strenuous activities should be avoided for 7-10 days.
Is varicose vein treatment painful?
Patients report feeling little, if any, pain during and after our procedures. Tumescent solution is local anesthetic used to desensitize the treatment area.
Do varicose vein procedures require any anesthesia?
Most varicose vein procedures are performed in our office using only local anesthesia allowing patients to literally walk out of their procedure; thus, avoiding the need for extended recovery and the side effects associated with general anesthesia.