Frequently Asked Questions
What can I expect from my free consultation?
Your initial consultation includes an assessment of your venous system, a review of your signs and symptoms and an explanation of varicose veins and their effect on your circulatory system. Our vein experts will be able to tell you if your circumstances warrant further examination, which would begin with an ultrasound mapping of your venous system. This mapping is not a part of your initial consultation. For your convenience, one of our billing specialists will contact you within two business days of your consultation and go over your insurance benefits. Our billing team will assist you every step of the way so that you can focus on what is more important, your legs and your health.
What is a vein mapping and why do you do it?
Vein mapping is a non-invasive ultrasound examination of the veins in your legs. It shows the size and shape of your veins, blood flowing through your legs and how the valves in your veins are functioning. This information is used to identify the exact cause of your problem and determine the proper course of treatment. Almost all insurance policies cover this mapping procedure.
How do you know if I am a candidate for treatment?
You are a candidate for treatment if you have varicose veins or venous insufficiency. We determine this by assessing the health of the veins in your legs. We start by asking how your legs feel and whether you are experiencing symptoms, and then look for signs that may indicate underlying problems. If you think you may be a candidate please call to schedule a free consultation.
Do I need a referral from my doctor?
You will not need a referral, in most cases. You may call us if you have questions regarding your insurance policy.
What are varicose veins, and how do I know if I have them?
Varicose veins are diseased veins that no longer allow proper blood flow. Some appear as bluish or green, bulging, curvy or ropey veins just under the skin. Some may be too far below the surface to be visible.
Can I prevent varicose veins?
Unfortunately, the predominant risk factors such as genetic predisposition, occupations (that require standing or sitting for long period of time), pregnancies, hormones and age, are not in anyone’s control. However, there are many measures you can take to help delay the onset or slow the progression of varicose veins. Regular exercise, weight management, proper diet and a healthy lifestyle are important for good vein health. Avoiding risk factors such as standing or sitting for long periods, and using preventative measures, such as wearing support hose and elevating your legs can also be helpful.
Can I be cured of varicose veins?
Varicose veins can be successfully treated, but the disorder cannot be permanently cured. The risk factors that contribute to varicose veins are still present after treatment, which may mean that patients will need to return for follow-up treatments at some time after their initial treatment.
Do varicose veins cause Restless Leg Syndrome?
Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) is a combination of symptoms that includes a constant urge to move legs, itching, tingling, burning or a sensation of crawling on the skin. Although causes may be many, these symptoms are also caused by varicose veins and associated venous insufficiency. These symptoms, regardless of the cause, can interfere with sleep. Medications such as pramipexole (Mirapex) and ropinirole (Requip) may not provide relief if the underlying cause is venous disorder while exposing patients to side effects, including nausea, lightheadedness, fatigue and an increased risk to heart disease. Treatments corrects the underlying vein problem and almost all of our patients notice a rapid improvement.
What are my treatment options?
Treatment therapies vary depending on individual conditions and may include:
Endovenous Laser Ablation (EVLA) – Laser energy is used to permanently seal the vein.
Endomechanical Ablation (EMA) – Combined mechanical and chemical energy seal the problematic vein from its source.
Ultrasound-guided Sclerotherapy (USGS) – Ultrasound guidance is used to “see” the veins while we deliver medicine to the precise location.
Transcatheter Closure (TCC) – Medicine seals entire length of a vein at one time.
Microphlebectomy – Short sections of vein are removed through tiny incisions.
How does the laser treatment work?
The area of the vein to be treated is numbed and a laser fiber is threaded through the vein to the source of the problem. Laser energy is applied causing the vein to collapse and seal, permanently. This sealed vein breaks down and is reabsorbed by your body over a period of several weeks or months. Blood that used to flow through that vein now flows through other, healthier veins and proper circulation is restored.
Does the laser procedure or needles hurt?
We understand that nobody likes needles. There is some discomfort with most medical procedures and we take great care to minimize this discomfort. We use a four step numbing process that first desensitizes the skin, and then numbs the area along the vein. You will feel no pain during the actual laser portion of the treatment. We now use a breakthrough needle free numbing system to reduce pain and anxiety even more.
What can I expect after a laser treatment session?
You can expect some tenderness and bruising along the vein line that will last for a few days or a week. Applying cold packs to the affected areas, taking frequent short walks, massaging your legs, and elevating your feet when possible, all help minimize discomfort and speed recovery.
What happens to the blood after you seal the diseased vein?
We treat veins in the superficial venous system. These are the veins that are between the leg muscles and the skin, and make up about 10% of your leg veins. The other 90% of leg veins are deep in the leg muscle and make up your deep venous system. After a vein is treated the blood flows through other, healthier veins, to your deep venous system back to your heart.
What if I need these veins for surgery in the future?
We only treat the diseased veins. These veins are not candidates for surgery, and do not provide good circulation in your legs. Removing them allows blood to flow through other healthier veins and restores proper circulation.
Will I need a whole day off of work for my laser treatment?
No. Laser treatments can be performed in less than one hour. You may return to work immediately, if you choose. We offer evening and Saturday appointments on select days and clinics throughout the week.
I have a busy schedule. Will I have a lengthy recovery time?
Laser treatments are minimally invasive and have little effect on surrounding tissues, therefore the recovery time is much shorter, and with less discomfort, than older methods such as vein stripping. Resuming most normal activities immediately is recommended because it promotes rapid healing. Ask your vein specialist when you can return to more strenuous activities, such as running and exercising.
Will I have to wear compression stockings?
Yes. Wearing compression stockings is an integral part of a vein treatment therapy. Properly-fitted gradient compression stockings provide support in the areas that need it the most, promote rapid healing and also make your legs feel better. The length of time to wear them depends on the individual therapy and specific treatment method, and can vary between several days and weeks. Many insurance companies require a trial period of stocking use before approving vein treatment therapy.
Can I just treat the unsightly, visible veins?
This is not recommended, and most insurance companies require treatment therapy that includes treating the source veins. Treating only the unsightly varicose veins does not address the underlying causes and will not improve circulation. Removing the symptom without addressing the source will allow the progression of the vein disease and could lead to more serious conditions such as leg ulcers, bleeding veins, permanent discoloration of the skin or even blood clots.
What happens if I treat only my spider veins?
Spider veins are a type of varicose vein. Excess blood pooling in veins puts pressure on the vessels all the way out to the skin. Excess pressure on the surface veins weakens these vein walls, producing varicosities that appear as tiny blue, red or green “webs”. Treating only the spider veins will not improve your circulation, and you will likely continue to develop new spider veins. Treating spider veins is considered cosmetic because it does not address the underlying circulatory conditions.