Frequently Asked Questions
Do you have a question on or want to know more about a certain vein disorder? Below you will find a list of the most frequently asked questions we receive regarding varicose veins, spider vein and deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Can’t find the answer you are looking for? Get in touch by filling out the short form in the contact us section of our website.
What are varicose veins?
Varicose veins are bulging, dilated blood vessels that are close to the surface or raised above the skin.
What causes varicose veins?
Veins carry deoxygenated blood back to the heart. The leg muscles provide a mechanism to pump blood back to the heart from the lower body. Veins have valves in them that keep the blood flowing in one direction. They prevent the blood from flowing backwards as it returns to the heart. Venous insufficiency can cause damage to these valves. The blood is then allowed to leak back into the leg veins, causing increased pressure and pooling in the veins. This distends the veins and causes them to become varicose.
What happens if varicose veins are not treated?
This depends upon the type of problem you have. We will thoroughly evaluate each patient to determine what treatment option is appropriate for you. If your vein problems are caused by an incompetent saphenous vein, without treatment, you may eventually develop an increase in swelling, symptoms, or develop ulcerations.
What is the preferred treatment for varicose veins?
We offer a variety of treatment options depending upon your specific vein issues.
Conservative Therapy is always the first line in treatment. This includes prescription-strength compression stockings, leg elevation, and anti-inflammatory use.
Endovenous Vein Ablation is the most current, state-of-the-art treatment that is minimally invasive and requires very little or no downtime. There are no incisions or stitches and it is performed under local anesthesia. This procedure can be performed on most patients whose varicosities are due to an incompetent saphenous vein.
Ambulatory Phlebectomy- replaces the old-fashioned, barbaric vein stripping procedure. It is performed under local anesthesia, and is much less traumatic to the leg. There is only minimal scarring.
Are vein treatments painful?
Most patients experience only minor discomfort during the procedures. We offer a medication to relax you prior to the procedure. Local anesthetic is provided to minimize discomfort. While post-treatment pain varies from person to person, discomfort is usually well-controlled by mild pain medication, ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
How long will I be off work with treatment?
With most professions, you may return to work the next day after endovenous laser ablation treatment. For an ambulatory phlebectomy procedure, you may return to work as early as 3 days following the treatment depending on your occupation.
How long do the results last?
The veins treated are permanently destroyed and do not come back. You may still develop new varicosities in the future.
Will insurance cover payment for treatment of varicose veins?
Most insurance companies will cover treatment of symptomatic, diagnosed venous insufficiency.
What are spider veins?
Spider veins are tiny blue, red, or purple vessels that appear on the surface of the skin of the legs,
trunk or face.
What causes spider veins?
Heredity is the number one causative factor. Other causes include: occupations that require prolonged standing, pregnancy, birth control or hormone therapy, obesity, trauma.
What is the preferred treatment for spider veins?
Sclerotherapy is the gold standard of treatment for spider veins. The tiny vessels are injected with a solution that irritates the lining of the vein causing it to become inflamed. The vein eventually seals shut and gradually disappears over time.
Is sclerotherapy painful?
Sclerotherapy is usually a very tolerable procedure. The solution used can impact the comfort level felt during treatment. Some solutions are virtually pain-free while hypertonic saline can cause some stinging and cramping during treatment. Most patients tolerate sclerotherapy very well.
How long do the results last?
Once the spider veins are gone, the treated vessels should not return. Most people who do form spider veins, however, may develop new spider veins over time.
What restrictions will I have after treatment?
You will need to wear compression stockings for one week after treatment. No running or heavy aerobic activity for one week. No swimming or hot tub use for 2 weeks. Walking is encouraged.
Will insurance cover payment for treatment of spider veins?
Spider vein treatment is considered cosmetic and not reimbursable by insurance. Some patients find that they may use their flexible spending account funds to pay for treatment.
Deep Vein Thrombosis
What is a DVT?
DVT stands for deep vein thrombosis. This occurs when a blood clot enters the large veins of the legs or pelvic area.
What are the symptoms of a DVT?
Approximately 50% of the time, there are no recognizable symptoms. Common symptoms include leg pain, generalized swelling, associated warmth and redness of the affected leg.
What causes DVT?
- Slow or sluggish blood flow through a deep vein
- A tendency for a person's blood to clot quickly
- Irritation or inflammation of the inner lining of the vein
- May be of unknown origin (idiopathic)
Situations that may make someone prone to DVT include:
- Prolonged bed rest (during or after a surgical procedure or illness)
- Being confined and unable to walk (during prolonged car or air travel)
- Patients with active cancer or who are undergoing cancer treatment
- Certain medical conditions (severe obesity, congestive heart failure, chronic respiratory failure, a history of smoking, varicose veins, pregnancy, and estrogen treatment)
What are some treatments for DVT?
Treatment recommendations for DVT include wearing compression stockings, leg elevation, and anticoagulation therapy (blood thinners). Some patients do require hospitalization.
Is air travel safe for those with DVT?
Patients who have had or do have a DVT and are considering travel by air or car should wear prescription-strength compression stockings. We also recommend walking every 30 minutes, if possible. Calf exercises while sitting are also helpful. If travel is more that 4 hours, those individuals who are not on blood thinners may benefit from receiving a dose of a low-molecular weight heparin to prevent blood clots.
How can I prevent DVT?
- If you will be sitting for a long period of time, exercise your lower leg muscles.
- If you have had recent surgery or a prolonged illness, try to get out of bed and move around as soon as possible.
- Take medications to prevent clots as prescribed by your doctor after certain types of surgery.
Am I a Candidate?
Determine if you are at risk for developing or already have symptoms for venous disease.