Q: What are Varicose Veins?
A: Varicose Veins are swollen, dark blue or purple blood vessels that you can see and feel beneath the skin. They often look like twisted cords, and usually appear on the calves, thighs, inside of the legs and ankles.
Q: What Causes Varicose Veins?
A: Varicose Veins form when the valves within a vein weaken and allow some of the blood to flow backward. The vein then weakens under the additional strain and balloons outward, raising the skin’s surface.
Q: What is Venous Insufficiency?
A: Venous Insufficiency occurs when the internal veins get stretched out and can no longer overcome the forces of gravity and blood begins to pool in the legs.
Q: What are the symptoms of Venous Insufficiency?
A: Symptoms may present themselves as knobby unsightly varicose veins, tiredness, swelling, itching or pain in your legs and ankles, inflammation or open sores/bleeding after a minor injury. However, the majority of people with venous insufficiency don’t develop varicose veins. Instead their legs get tired, especially after a long day, or their legs get swollen achy, painful or develop bronze –color at the ankles and calves. Some get charley horse and have restless legs that keep them awake at night.
Q: Who is at risk for Venous Insufficiency?
A: Family History and standing for prolonged periods of time are major risk factors for development of Varicose Veins but aging, obesity and pregnancy can all increase pressure on leg veins, causing Varicose Veins.
Q: How can I tell if I have Venous Insufficiency?
A: Venous Insufficiency is easy to diagnose with a simple office-based ultrasound and also easily treated in the office setting.
Q: What type of Doctor should I see to treat my Venous Insufficiency?
First you should find a treatment center where the physician will be performing the entire procedure. In some offices, a nurse or noncertified technician performs a significant portion if not the entire procedure. Second, go to a physician who is board-certified specifically in vascular disease. This guarantees they have specialized vascular training. Ideally, go to a vascular specialist who is an expert in veins and arteries as other circulation issues causing these leg symptoms may need to be addressed first. Finally, choose a physician who offers vein procedures with light IV sedation; it will make a world of difference to your experience!
Proactive Heart & Vascular is IAC accredited facility and is dedicated to achieving the highest standards for patient care.
Q: What can happen if I do not treat my Venous Insufficiency?
A: While not life threatening, these symptoms can sometimes lead to bigger problems and if left untreated, symptoms will progressively get worse over time.
Q: What is endovenous laser treatment (EVLT)?
A: EVLT is used in the treatment of Venous Insufficiency. During EVLT a small needle is placed in the diseased vein and a laser that produces heat closes the vein and forces blood to be redirected into healthier veins in the leg which resolves the problem.
Q: Will EVLT hurt?
A: Unlike many other offices we offer “Conscious Sedation” which includes IV relaxing and pain medicines along with local topical anesthesia similar to one a dentist would give.
Q: How long before I can return to work/activity?
A: Patients are up and walking immediately after treatment and back to work the next day.
Q: Does vein treatment cause any damage/side effects?
A: Mild bruising and achiness are commonly experienced for a day or two after the procedure. The results are immediate and the relief it brings is remarkable for many people.
Q: Is vein treatment covered by insurance?
A: Fortunately, EVLT is covered by most insurance.
Q: What are Spider Veins?
A: Spider veins, or telangiectasias, are small, thin, blood vessels visible beneath the skin. They appear on the upper and lower legs and may look like a series of lines, tree branches, or a spider- or web-like shape with a dark center.
Q: What causes Spider Veins?
A: Spider veins are caused by a variety of factors, including heredity, pregnancy (and other conditions that involve changes in hormone levels), weight gain, long periods of standing, and certain medications.
Q: What is Sclerotherapy?
A: Sclerotherapy is a procedure used to treat spider veins by injecting a solution into the veins which causes them to gradually disappear. By injecting a sclerosing solution, the lining of the veins become irritated and eventually fades away. This method is the preferred treatment for spider veins. Most patients require several treatments in order to achieve desired results. There is no downtime other than avoiding strenuous activities for the first 2 to 3 days.
Q: Will Sclerotherapy hurt?
A: We do not use Hypertonic Saline which is the major cause of discomfort with sclerotherapy at many other facilities. Our highly skilled sclerotherapy technician has extensive training and tailors each treatment to the patient’s individual needs.
Q: If I have Spider Veins should I still have an ultrasound venous reflux test?
A: During your consultation, if venous insufficiency or other conditions are suspected we will discuss and offer other treatment options.