Frequently Asked Questions about Vein Care
Here are some commonly asked questions about varicose veins, venous disease, vein treatment and what you can expect following treatment.
What is Radiofrequency/Laser Endovenous Therapy?
These procedures are non-surgical treatment options for patients suffering from varicose veins and or venous reflux disease. They deliver gentle heat energy direct to the diseased vein via a small catheter or laser fiber inserted into the vein. This energy evenly heats the collagen in the vein walls, causing them to contract and close. Once the diseased vein has been sealed, the blood will re-route itself to healthier veins.
Is varicose vein treatment covered by my health insurance?
Because vein disease is a common medical condition with painful symptoms, many insurance companies offer coverage for varicose vein treatments. Spider vein treatment for asymptomatic spider veins is generally not covered as they are purely cosmetic in nature and do not pose a medical threat. If your insurance provider does not cover these procedures, our office will work with you to create a manageable payment plan that fits into your budget.
Is varicose vein treatment painful?
Today’s thermal therapies, VenaSeal and sclerotherapy are well tolerated by patients, unlike the surgeries of old. The non-surgical approach eliminates the need for excessive anesthesia, numbing, and post-treatment side effects. We perform these procedures quickly in our office and patients get right back to their normal activities without interruption.
Do these procedures require anesthesia?
We perform all non-surgical varicose vein treatments in our office with numbing medicine, without the need for anesthesia. Your doctor can prescribe a sedative pill if desired to make you feel more comfortable during the procedure.
How long do varicose vein treatments take to perform?
Most treatments can be completed in 30-60 minutes, particularly for thermal therapies and VenaSeal. Sclerotherapy may have a shorter treatment time depending on the extent of sclerotherapy being performed. Sclerotherapy sessions for spider veins take less time (15-30 minutes).
Is varicose vein treatment appropriate for everyone?
These procedures have been shown to be effective for both male and female patients across a wide range of ages. In order to determine if you are a good candidate for treatment, our vein experts will perform a thorough medical evaluation and will conduct specific diagnostic tests (i.e. ultrasound vein mapping) in order to create a customized treatment plan designed to quickly resolve your vascular problems.
How do thermal and non-thermal treatments differ from vein stripping?
Vein stripping is a more invasive and painful surgical treatment option, and requires two incisions (in the groin and the calf), versus the singular, small incision necessitated by the thermal and non-thermal therapies. During vein stripping, a tool is threaded through the diseased vein in order to pull the diseased vein out of the leg, whereas with non-surgical procedures, the vein may be treated with gentle heating, medical adhesive or an injectable medication which seals the vein shut. This dramatically reduces pain, bruising and recovery periods associated with surgical intervention like vein stripping.
How does the VenaSeal™ procedure differ from the thermal therapies?
Both therapies provide the same clinically proven results and successful patient recovery profiles. VenaSeal uses a specialized medical-grade adhesive to shut down refluxing veins, whereas thermal therapies rely on heating to disrupt collagen in the vein wall and cause the vein to collapse and re-direct blood flow. Some factors that patients and your physician may consider in determining which treatment option is best is how the patient presents with varicose veins and venous reflux, their venous anatomy, personal preference and insurance coverage.
How quickly after my varicose vein treatment can I return to normal activities?
One of the key advantages of non-surgical therapies like thermal therapy with radiofrequency (Venefit) and laser treatment for varicose veins (EVLT), VenaSeal and sclerotherapy with ClariVein is that they all allow patients to resume normal activities quickly without interruption to daily routines. Our vein experts ask that patients start moving around and taking walks the same day as treatment, to begin promoting healthy blood flow through their leg veins.
Will there be any visible bruising, scarring, or swelling after varicose vein procedures?
Most patients report minimal (if any) swelling, bruising or scarring after treatment. Any discomfort is easily relieved with over-the-counter Advil or ibuprofen.
When will I notice improvements in my vein disease symptoms?
In general, patients report a noticeable improvement in their vein disease symptoms within 1-2 weeks after treatment with continuous improvement over time in both the feeling and appearance of their legs.