What causes varicose veins?
Varicose veins are twisted and enlarged veins near the surface of the skin that most often occur in the legs and ankles. There can be many factors, including age, heredity, hormones or pregnancy in women. Obesity increases pressure on vein walls as does having a job that requires standing. Having clots in the past can cause damage to the valves and result in the development of varicose veins.
Will I have to return for more treatment?
Varicose veins and spider veins are chronic and recurrent conditions. The treatments available will not offer a cure, but rather control the condition. Surgically removed veins cannot recur; veins that are sclerosed will not return. Your personal tendency toward developing new veins will not be relieved by this or any other form of treatment. Our goal is to provide the most effective and complete treatment available, and we hope that this will result in long term control of your venous disease.
How much will this treatment help my specific problem?
Successful treatment will result in relief of most, if not all, symptoms, and will result in significant improvement in the appearance of the legs. Some residual discoloration and lumpiness may persist.
How much pain will there be after the treatment?
Following laser treatment, there frequently is some bruising and tenderness along the treated segment that typically resolves in 1-2 weeks. For 1-2 months, some patients experience a tightness or pulling along the treated segment as the vein scars down. Many patients have no significant discomfort.
Following phlebectomy, there is typically bruising at the phlebotomy sites, which may be unsightly, but resolve significantly over 1-2 weeks, with up to 2 months to resolve completely. Usually there is not a lot of pain or tenderness.
How many treatments will it take?
Some patients will require only a single session, but all patients will be brought back for follow-up at the Vein Clinic in two to three days, and again in four to six weeks, to evaluate for potential complications and to judge the effectiveness of the therapy. Many patients, with extensive varicosities and/or persistent symptoms, may require additional therapy (typically sclerotherapy) to achieve a satisfactory result. If residual abnormal veins are left in place, they will tend to recruit more abnormal flow and this can lead to an early recurrence of the varicosities.
As many patients have said to us, it takes years to develop the problems, and one or more additional simple treatments are well worth the result.
Will insurance pay for the treatment?
Most insurance companies will cover treatment of venous insufficiency and varicose veins, based on medical necessity for symptom relief, if provided with adequate documentation (i.e. history and physical, ultrasound results). Many also require a trial of conservative care, typically with compression stockings. Our staff will explain the process to you, and help you navigate through the process with your insurance company.
What about compression pantyhose or stockings?
Patients receiving any vein treatment must have a pair of compression pantyhose or stockings. Bring your pantyhose to every appointment.
Occasionally, it is possible to use a thigh high compression stockings while other times it is necessary to be in panty hose. The physician or physician assistant will help you with compression choices. Compression delivered need to be 20/30 mmhg gradient compression. These products vary in price from around $45 to $150. You can purchase these products at your local pharmacy, or online. Brands include: Medi, Jobst, and Juzo, etc. In Billings, stores such as St Vincent Home Health Care in the Yellowstone Medical Building, Juro’s, and Pharmacy One carry these products.
Does insurance pay for the pantyhose?
Some insurance plans will pay for the compression pantyhose. Some will not. If you would like a prescription for these pantyhose, you may schedule a “screening appointment” with our Physician Assistant. You will be assessed briefly and provided with a prescription for compression pantyhose as indicated. We will also explain other vein issues to you as part of this screening appointment. Spider veins may be one symptom of other more serious vein issues.
There is no charge for this screening appointment; nor is there any obligation on your part to have cosmetic or medical treatment. The purpose is appointment is to provide information to you and provide a prescription for stockings if indicated.
What causes my Spider Veins?
Spider veins are small varicose veins that have a bluish, weblike appearance. Spider veins do not usually cause symptoms, although some people may feel mild itching or burning. The common contributing factors are age, heredity, hormones or pregnancy in women.
Will I have to return for more treatment for Spider Veins?
Spider veins are chronic and potentially recurrent conditions. The treatments available will not offer a cure, but rather control the condition. However, your personal tendency toward developing new veins will not be relieved by this or any other form of treatment. Most patients will require only one or two treatment sessions, but occasionally patients with extensive spider veins will need several sessions.
How much pain will there be after the Spider Vein treatment?
Immediately following the ASCLERA treatment session, there may be some redness and itchiness, but this usually resolves in 30 to 120 minutes. Some patients will have minor discomfort. The physician or physician assistant can recommend steps you can take to minimize discomfort. Patients are asked to wear compression stockings for the first 72 hours post ASCLERA, and then to wear the stockings during the day for an additional 21 days.
Will insurance pay for the Spider Vein treatment?
Generally, no. Spider veins are felt to be a cosmetic problem by the insurance carriers, although they occasionally can be painful.