Understanding Varicose and Spider Veins
- What are varicose veins?
Enlarged, sometimes twisted veins that have become swollen due to venous insufficiency causing blood to pool in the legs. Veins become varicose when their valves fail to successfully pump blood back up to the heart.
- What are spider veins?
Spider veins are dilated capillaries closer to the surface of the skin. They can be red, purple or blue that are smaller and usually not raised. Spider veins are most common the legs and face.
- What is vein disease?
Vein disease, also known as venous insufficiency, is the improper functioning of the vein valves within the legs that can cause painful symptoms.
- What are the causes of varicose and spider veins?
There are many possibly causes of varicose veins: family history, age, gender, pregnancy or hormones, being overweight, or lack of movement.
- What are the signs and symptoms of varicose and spider veins?
Leg pain or cramping, restless legs especially at night, a feeling of heaviness or soreness, tenderness around veins, itching or burning, swelling of the legs or ankles, skin discoloration, or non-healing wounds.
- What causes varicose veins to flare up?
Standing for an extensive time at your job, gaining weight or pregnancy can add more pressure, if you’ve had a change in hormones, or just aging can all affect when you will experience more pain from vein disease.
- What are venous ulcers and how do they develop?
Venous ulcers are caused by blood pooling within the legs due to malfunctioning vein valves, this is also called venous insufficiency. Venous ulcers are wounds on the leg or ankle that is caused by damaged veins.
Are You at Risk?
- Who can get varicose and spider veins?
Anyone can develop varicose or spider veins; however, there are a few factors that can increase a person’s risk. Age, pregnancy, smoking, family history, obesity, and sitting or standing for long periods of time can increase the risk of developing varicose or spider veins.
- Are some women more at risk for varicose and spider veins?
Women have a higher risk of developing varicose or spider veins than men. This is because of hormonal changes women experience during pregnancy, menopause, or during their childbearing years. About 50% women and 45% of men will get varicose veins during their lifetime.
- Do men get affected by varicose veins too?
Yes, about 45% of men in the U.S. will develop varicose veins. Varicose veins in men are typically caused by poor circulation, inactivity, weight, and age.
Diagnosis & Treatment
- How long does it take for the procedure? Where is the procedure done?
Depending on the amount of veins that need to be treated, the procedure typically takes between 15 to 30 minutes from start to finish. Both EVLT and Sclerotherapy are outpatient treatments performed right here in our offices.
- How long does the EVLT procedure take?
The EVLT (Endovenous Laser Therapy) procedure itself usually takes about 15 minutes. Please allow a few minutes to prepare and a few minutes to change after the procedure. And then you can resume your normal activities right away.
- Is EVLT treatment painful?
Don’t worry! We use numbing medicine to prevent discomfort. Many patients don’t feel anything at all.
- Can I resume normal activities after my treatment?
Yes, you can resume your normal daily activities, drive and even return to work immediately after treatment.
- Is treatment covered by insurance?
Yes, vein treatment for symptomatic vein disease is usually covered by most major insurance companies and Medicare.
We will confirm that your condition will meet insurance guidelines prior to the treatment.
- Can you help me understand my insurance coverage?
Yes, we would love to help! We offer instant insurance verification when scheduling online. If you’d like to verify over the phone, please call 888-768-3467 to speak directly with our patient coordinators.
- How much is the treatment?
At the end of your initial appointment that includes a comprehensive vascular ultrasound, our vein specialist will discuss your situation, and, if needed, suggest an individual treatment plan.
We will then be able to provide you with the exact price.
- What Is Care Credit?
Care Credit is a medical credit card. You may call or apply online and get approved for a certain amount to cover any medical treatment you may need.
Then you pay in easy installments within a period of time of your choice.
Two Easy Ways to Schedule an Appointment – Call Us or Schedule Online.
- How can I make an initial appointment?
- Schedule Online 24x7
- Why am I asked to wear compression stocking before EVLT?
Before the insurance company can decide if your vein treatment is medically necessary and whether or not they will cover your vein treatments, they ask the patient to wear compression stockings for a few months prior. Compression socks can sometimes help improve the blood flow in your legs by preventing swelling. Compression stockings should be worn to complement a treatment plan and you doctor will explain which type of stocking is right for you.
- Do I have wear compression stockings after EVLT? How long?
Yes, you will be asked to wear compression stockings for a few months after your treatment. This length of time is determined by your doctor and can vary from patient to patient; this is because the amount of veins treated and severity of venous insufficiency, will affect the length of time compression stockings need to be worn.
Commonly Asked Questions from Our Patients
- Why choose us?
- We have treated more than 100K patients
- We specialize in ONLY leg vein procedures
- We offer the latest non-surgical technologies
- We have 70+ locations throughout the US
- What should I expect at my first visit?
You will meet our vein specialist in your area who will perform an ultrasound study to check your leg vein circulation.
You’ll then receive a diagnosis as well as recommendations including, if needed, an individualized treatment plan designed to improve your circulation and help relieve your symptoms.
- How can I prevent varicose veins?
Unfortunately there is no way to completely prevent the development of varicose veins. However, there are things you can do to improve your circulation and overall health. Some of these steps include: exercising, maintaining a healthy weight, eating well, elevating your legs, and making sure to adjust your sitting or standing positions regularly.
- Can varicose veins go away without treatment?
There are measures you can take to decrease the uncomfortable symptoms of varicose veins or prevent them from becoming worse, but they will not go away without treatment. Varicose veins are a symptom of venous insufficiency, which is an underlying condition that requires treatment.
- What happens if I don’t treat varicose veins?
Left untreated, varicose veins can become debilitating. Symptoms of leg pain, fatigue, cramping, swelling, itching, burning, or restlessness, can start to impede on your daily life. Untreated vein symptoms may prevent you from exercising, being able to wear normal shoe or boot size, getting a good night’s rest, or being able to stand during the day at work.
- How do you prevent varicose veins if you have a job that requires standing all day?
Wearing supportive shoes, taking short breaks from standing, performing ankle rotations, remembering to stretch and flex your calves throughout the day, taking short walks at lunch, limiting saturated fats, avoiding cigarettes, and drinking lots of water can help improve circulation and decrease your risk for varicose veins if your job requires standing during the day.
- How pregnancy affects varicose veins?
Women who are pregnant experience higher volumes of blood flow during the pregnancy. The increased blood flow can contribute to enlarged veins in your legs and make developing varicose veins more likely. Another cause of varicose veins during pregnancy has been linked to the change in hormones women go through during pregnancy.
- Can varicose and spider veins return after treatment?
Most patients experience excellent results from vein treatments like EVLT; however, there are a few reasons why varicose veins may appear even after treatment. These reasons include: if you have a strong genetic predisposition, have another underlying condition such as deep vein thrombosis (DVT), or if you become pregnant after treatment.
- Is it okay to get treatment during pregnancy?
Most insurance plans want us to wait with treatment until 6 months after delivery because symptoms sometimes improve after the pregnancy; however, patients can still be seen for an initial appointment right away.
- Can I fly?
You can fly a couple of days after your treatment is completed.
We just ask that you wear your compression stockings while on the plane and walk in the isle at least once every hour.
- Can I exercise after my procedure?
No problem at all, you can continue with your usual exercises.
However, please avoid strenuous activity or heavy lifting (more than 20 pounds) in the first 2 weeks after the procedure.
- Is it okay to get treatment if I have diabetes?
Yes, many of our patients have diabetes and do great with our treatments.
- What’s the best season for EVLT Treatment?
Any season since there are no limitations on your daily activities.
- What is restless leg syndrome?
When there is an urge or need to move your legs to stop unpleasant sensations, that an be a sign of poor circulation that’s typical for vein disease.
- Can I bring my child to the appointment?
We don’t recommend bringing children with you because they may interfere with your, or another patient’s experience at our clinic.
If you have no choice and you must bring your child with you, we will do our best to accommodate your situation.
- I have a pacemaker, can I still be treated?
Yes, it doesn’t interfere with our treatments.
- I’d like a second opinion; can I bring my ultrasound from a different doctor?
You’re more than welcome to bring your previous study with you, though sometimes, if we find them incomplete, we might ask to repeat some of the measurements in standing position to make sure we don’t miss any important information.