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Can I be out in the sun during treatment?

Most of this depends on the treatment you are having done. If your doctor is doing laser therapy you should avoid sun exposure. This is because the sun produces a lot of melanin in your skin and competes with the laser and IPL wavelength. If this occurs, you may develop blisters or skin pigment problems. Even if you are doing only sclerotherapy, sun exposure can cause some darkening of the area treated.

I'm trying to get pregnant, should I wait to have my varicose veins fixed?

Prior to getting pregnant you should be seen and have them fixed.  Treatment cannot be performed during pregnancy.  In the past when vein stripping was the standard care it was thought that you should wait until after you complete your family, but this is no longer the case with the newer modalities.

How common are abnormal leg veins?

About 50 to 55 percent of women and 40 to 45 percent of men in the United States suffer from some type of vein problem. Varicose veins affect half of people 50 years and older.

Are varicose veins and spider veins dangerous?

Spider veins rarely are a serious health problem, but they can cause uncomfortable feelings in the legs. If there are symptoms from spider veins, most often they will be itching or burning. Less often, spider veins can be a sign of blood backup deeper inside that you can’t see on the skin. If so, you could have the same symptoms you would have with varicose veins. Varicose veins may not cause any problems, or they may cause aching pain, throbbing, and discomfort. In some cases, varicose veins can lead to more serious health problems. These include:
* Sores or skin ulcers due to chronic (long-term) backing up of blood. These sores or ulcers are painful and hard to heal. Sometimes they cannot heal until the backward blood flow in the vein is repaired.
* Bleeding. The skin over the veins becomes thin and easily injured. When an injury occurs, there can be significant blood loss.
* Superficial thrombophlebitis (throm-bo-fli-BYT-uhs), which is a blood clot that forms in a vein just below the skin. Symptoms include skin redness; a firm, tender, warm vein; and sometimes pain and swelling.
* Deep vein thrombosis, which is a blood clot in a deeper vein. It can cause a “pulling” feeling in the calf, pain, warmth, redness, and swelling. However, sometimes it causes no significant symptoms. If the blood clot travels to the lungs, it can be fatal.

Should I see a doctor about varicose veins?

Yes, if you have varicose veins you should see a doctor, this is a sign of chronic venous insufficiency.  You should not wait until you have complications.  You should see a doctor urgently about your varicose veins if:
* The vein has become swollen, red, or very tender or warm to the touch
* There are sores or a rash on the leg or near the ankle
* The skin on the ankle and calf becomes thick and changes color
* One of the varicose veins begins to bleed
* Chronic ankle swelling
* Your leg symptoms are interfering with daily activities
* The appearance of the veins is causing you distress
If you’re having pain, even if it’s just a dull ache, don’t hesitate to get help. 

Can varicose and spider veins return even after treatment?

In some cases, spier veins recur and new spider veins present themselves. Current treatments for varicose veins and spider veins have very high success rates compared to traditional surgical treatments. Over a period of years, however, more abnormal veins can develop because there is no cure for weak vein valves. Ultrasound can be used to keep track of how badly the valves are leaking (venous insufficiency). Ongoing treatment can help keep this problem under control. The single most important thing you can do to slow down the development of new varicose veins is to wear gradient compression support stockings as much as possible during the day.

How do I know if I have spider veins or varicose veins?

Spider veins are tiny visible vessels within the skin. They most commonly develop on the face and legs. Varicose veins are distended veins beneath the skin. They may appear as bluish bumps and often cause varying degrees of discomfort.

Will my insurance pay for the consultation?

Your insurance usually will cover the cost of the consultation.

Do insurance companies pay for varicose vein treatment?

The majority of insurance companies cover varicose vein procedures for patients experiencing symptoms. Insurance companies are attracted to the fact that our procedures eliminate the need for hospitalization, general anesthesia, and lengthy recovery times. They like to see that patients have attempted conservative treatment such as elevation and compression hose.

Will I be able to resume normal activities following varicose vein treatment?

Depending on the extent of varicose veins, patients are usually encouraged to take it easy for a few days. However, being sedentary is discouraged. Walking and light daily activities will be possible immediately following the procedure.

How long will I be off work?

Most patients may return to work the next day.  If heavy lifting is involved in your work, we recommend light duty for 3 weeks.

Will I be hospitalized and have to be given a general anesthesia?

All vein procedures are done in our office with a local anesthetic to numb the area around the vein.  General anesthesia is not required so you will not be exposed to the additional risk of general anesthesia.  Patients will walk out of the office when the procedure is complete.

Does vein disease affect women and men equally?

More than half of all women will develop varicose vein disease over the course of their lifetime.  However 40-45 percent of all men will develop it as well. The unique hormonal conditions that women face, such as pregnancy and menopause, often cause their veins to become worse.  This is likely why we see more women than men seek treatment for their condition.

Don’t I need all of my veins?

Varicose veins are a burden on your circulation. Because the blood inside them is traveling in the wrong direction, correcting the flow can only improve your circulation by eliminating venous congestion. In treating varicose veins, we focus only on the diseased veins and safeguard the healthy veins for normal circulation. Ultrasound guidance ensures that treatment is highly selective.

Does vein treatment cause any damage or side effects?

As with all of The Vain Clinics’ procedures, side effects and complications are not likely. Complications resulting from endovenous laser treatment (EVLT) and sclerotherapy are rare.  Some discomfort can occur, which is most often controlled with over the counter anti-inflammatory medication (Ibuprofen). Some patients may experience mild bruising.

Is it okay to postpone treatment?

As you probably know, postponing any type of treatment can have its drawbacks. Varicose vein disease is a progressive disease that, if left untreated, will only get worse. When making a decision about your varicose veins, keep in mind that the sooner you get your veins treated, the easier they are to treat and control. Our patients often remark, “I wish I would have done this years ago.”  If you are already having complications of chronic venous insufficiency you should be seen as soon as possible.

How effective is surgery as a treatment option?

Studies have shown 97% efficiency with Endovenous Laser Treatment in a clinic setting.

More information…

For more information about varicose veins and spider veins contact the following organizations:

      * The American College of Phlebology
         Phone: 510-346-6800

      * National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, NIH, HHS
           Phone: 301-592-8573 (TDD: 240-629-3255)

      * Society of Interventional Radiology
           Phone: 800-488-7284 or 703-691-1805

        * American Academy of Dermatology

         Phone: 866-503-7546 or 847-240-1280

      * American Society for Dermatologic Surgery
Phone: 847-956-0900