FAQ

What are varicose veins?

What causes varicose veins to appear?

What are the Endovenous Procedures?

Who are candidates for the procedures?

What are the advantages?

What are the long term results?

Are varicose veins treatments covered by insurance?

What are spider veins?

How are spider veins best treated?

How does the foam injection work?

How does the Laser Therapy work?

Who are candidates for spider vein treatment?

How long do the treatments take, and are they painful?

Are these treatments covered by insurance?

Varicose Veins


What are varicose veins?
The large varicose veins are ropy appearing blue vessels under the skin, usually ¼ inch or larger in diameter. They are most often branches from the saphenous trunk veins, and have enlarged due to the excess pressure in the saphenous system. Varicose veins are unsightly and often painful. A clotted varicose vein causes the classic phlebitis, hot and red and painful skin at the site of the clot.
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What causes varicose veins to appear?

The most common cause is too much pressure inside the veins themselves. When pressure builds in the saphenous vein, branch veins stretch open and become varicose veins. Veins carry blood to the heart through one-way valve systems. When these valves don’t work properly, blood can build up in the veins or even flow back down the leg causing varicose veins to appear. Veins with a weak wall are the most likely to result in bulging, ropy, and often painful varicose veins. These veins can also be symptomatic with pain and swelling.

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What are the Endovenous Procedures?

The Endovenous Laser or Endovenous Radiofrequency are methods to eliminate the saphenous veins without stripping them from the leg. Either a laser fiber or an RF catheter is placed inside the vein and is positioned with ultrasound guidance. Energy applied to the catheter destroys the vein lining, causing the vein to shrink and ultimately to disappear. The skin vein circulation spontaneously diverts to the normal deep veins.

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Who are candidates for the procedures?

Patients with varicose veins, leg swelling, leg ulcers, and dermatitis may have inherited the saphenous insufficiency disorder. The endovenous procedures will correct this problem, with a success rate greater than 90%. Dr. Hong Messier will determine if you are a candidate for this procedure following her consultation with you.

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What are the advantages?

The endovenous procedures are far less traumatic than the stripping and ligation operation. Often only a local anesthetic is required, and many procedures are performed in the Vein Center office. Down time for recovery is usually only a few days.

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What are the long term results?

Three year follow-up studies indicate better success than the stripping operation. The endovenous methods have a greater than 90% success rate to cure the vein hypertension, eliminate the varicose veins, heal vein ulcers, and prevent recurrence of the vein disorder.

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Are varicose veins treatments covered by insurance?

Most insurance companies consider the treatment of varicose veins that are causing painful symptoms to be “medically necessary.” A knowledgeable staff member will discuss insurance reimbursement procedures in cases of medical necessity and will help with obtaining pre-certification.

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What are spider veins?

Spider veins are small blue to red appearing blood vessels branching in the skin. They cause an unsightly appearance on the legs of millions of women and men, and sometimes are visible around the nose and lips.

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How are spider veins best treated?

The best treatment today requires a combination of injection with a foam sclerosant plus laser application to eliminate these veins.

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How does the foam injection work?

A foamed sclerosant solution is injected into the small veins with a tiny needle. Only a small volume of sclerosant is required. The blood is displaced by the sclerosant on the surface of air bubbles. The bubbles keep the solution in contact with the vessel for a longer time. The sclerosant damages and dries up the blood vessel. The amount of air to create bubbles is not enough to cause harm otherwise.

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How does the Laser Therapy work?

During the treatment the light energy from the laser is delivered from a special hand piece to the targeted vein. A precise dosage of energy is delivered in short pulses that are selectively absorbed by the blood vessels. The 940 nm laser was designed for the greatest vessel absorption versus all other lasers. The targeted vein absorbs the laser light, and the heat energy causes coagulation of the blood vessel. The vein will gradually disappear, while the skin and other tissues are left intact.

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Who are candidates for spider vein treatment?

Anyone can be treated for spider veins, including all ethnic origins and skin colors. Any special considerations can be determined during your consultation. Are there any side effects? Swelling, redness, pigmentation, small clot pigments, and small ulcers all can occur after both injection and laser treatments. These side effects are uncommon, and usually resolve within a short time.

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How long do the treatments take, and are they painful?

Most treatment sessions are for 30 minutes, but sometimes are a little longer. The treatments are not considered painful by our patients, but they do require very small needle sticks as well as small laser pulses. Your skin is usually cooled by ice compress to minimize the discomfort.

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Are these treatments covered by insurance?

Spider veins are usually always considered “cosmetic.” A knowledgeable staff member will discuss insurance reimbursement procedures in cases of medical necessity and will help with obtaining pre-certification.

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