Are Vein Treatments Covered By My insurance?
Yes. Vein problems (Venous Reflux) are a very common medical condition that is easily treatable and is covered by most insurance companies including Medicare and TriCare. We will work with your insurance company to make sure we have the necessary documentation required to go forward with treatments. We will also provide you with an estimate of your out of pocket expenses for your specific treatment plan. Every insurance plan is different. We are more than happy to call them on your behalf and get the information for you.
The one exception is spider vein treatments, which are not covered by insurance companies because they are considered cosmetic. We have cash treatment plans for spider vein treatments. They are performed in our office by a doctor or our nurse.
How many Treatments do I need?
It depends. Patients suffering with vein problems (Venous Reflux), a full diagnostic ultrasound is medically necessary to determine the exact number of unhealthy veins that need treatment. Without this ultrasound it is impossible to estimate how many veins are causing your problems. Venous Reflux ultrasounds are performed in our office and they typically take about 60 minutes to scan both legs. After this ultrasound is complete the doctor meets with you immediately to go over your results. Then we can give you an accurate treatment plan specific for your needs.
Why do I have to wear compression socks?
In order to go forward with treating the Venous Reflux (vein problems) in the legs, your insurance may require you to try wearing medical-grade compression socks 20-30mmHg for at least 6-12 weeks before they will approve treatment. You can find compression socks 20-30mmHg in our office or online.
Do you treat my veins with Vein Stripping?
NO. Vein stripping is an outdated technique that should not ever be performed. It was a painful treatment that required being in a hospital with anywhere from 2-6 weeks of downtime. Newer, more elegant and minimally invasive treatments are now available.
Why did my vein problems develop?
There are lots of reasons why you might be suffering from Venous Reflux. The most common contributing factor is a family history of vein problems. If your parents, grandparents or family members suffered with vein problems then the likelihood of you developing them is higher.. There is evidence of a genetic tendency that causes the vein walls to weaken and wear out over time causing Venous Reflux.
Gender is also a contributing factor. Unfortunately, women have a higher likelihood of vein problems. Women tend to have more problems than men because of hormone changes and pregnancy. Pregnancy creates a lot of pressure in the vein system due to weight changes and blood flow increase during pregnancy, both for mom and baby.
Weight changes can also contribute to vein problems. Experience has shown us that significant weight loss of 40 pounds or more can often trigger vein problems to surface. The fat tissue around the vein acts as natural compression, and when this tissue is gone the veins no longer have that natural support system.
Occupations that require a lot of standing or sitting can contribute to vein problems. Gravity is always opposing the natural return of blood flow from the legs back to the heart. When you are sitting or standing for long periods of time, you are not activating the calf muscle pump which is responsible for the majority of the blood flow back to the heart. We recommend getting up and moving around or doing calf raises and pedal pumps to increase blood flow.
Other contributing factors include previous blood clots, obesity, trauma and surgery. And, unfortunately, many times we are unable to determine the true cause of vein problems. We simply don't know why.
How can I prevent vein problems?
Unfortunately, there is not much you can do to completely prevent Venous Reflux. But there are some ways to reduce your risk of developing it. You can lower your risk by maintaining a healthy weight, engaging in daily exercise (including calf raises and pedal pumps), wearing compression socks to help support the vein valves, elevating the legs while sitting, and avoiding prolonged sitting or standing. Walking, swimming, yoga, losing weight, and quitting smoking, can possibly help slow the progress of venous reflux and help reduce symptoms as well.
Is vein treatment painful?
Most patients (about 95%) feel little to no pain during or after the treatment. We use local numbing medicine to help make sure the treatment is as comfortable and pain-free as possible. If you are very nervous or are very concerned about pain, we can prescribe some medication to use before and after treatment. If medication is prescribed to use before treatment you will need a driver to take you home. Most patients are up and walking within 5-10 minutes after their treatment and will be able to drive themselves home.
Do I need to stop taking my medicine?
What's amazing about these new procedures is that regardless of the medications that you are on, whether it's a blood thinner because of heart problems or past blood clots, diabetes medication, heart medication, or really any medication at all, you are not required to stop any of your medications. You do not need to fast before your treatment. On the day of your treatment simply take your medications as your physician orders, eat a good breakfast or lunch, come in and let us take care of you.
Can I drive myself home after a vein treatment?
Yes, you can drive yourself home. The treatments for Venous Reflux (vein problems) are now done using only local numbing medicine. Within 10-15 minutes after treatments most people drive themselves home and resume normal activities that day.
Do I need to wear compression socks after treatment?
After your vein treatments you will need to wear compression on your treated leg for at least 5-7 days after the treatment. This is to help with any swelling, bruising, or post-procedure discomfort. The goal after treatment is that you will not have to wear compression on a daily basis.
What happens if I don't go forward with treatment?
Vein problems are considered chronic and progressive. This means that if this is left unaddressed, the problems will not go away on their own and will gradually get worse. Compression socks and other conservative treatments can help relieve some of the symptoms of Venous Reflux (vein problems), but will not treat the underlying problem. For example, if you suffer from skin darkening/discoloration on your legs and treatment is postponed, the likelihood of you eventually developing an open skin sore/wound on your leg is high. This is how this disease can progress into more serious problems if treatment is delayed.
Will my vein problems come back after treatment?
Once a vein is treated and closed that vein should not cause problems again. However, Venous Reflux is a progressive condition and new problematic veins can arise years after treatment. This is why follow up with a vein specialist is important so any new issues can be addressed as quickly as possible.
Do I have a wound on my leg because I'm a diabetic?
The most common reason a person has a wound on their legs, or they have swelling, or skin darkening and texture changes is actually not diabetes. Most of these people are suffering from undiagnosed, untreated Venous Reflux in the legs. Complications from diabetes and complications for undiagnosed vein problems can actually mimic each other and make each other worse.
Diabetes could be the underlying cause of your vein/leg problems, but it is rare. Most people with diabetes who are also suffering from Venous Reflux in the legs that can be painlessly and efficiently diagnosed and treated with minimal pain and little to no downtime.
Do men get vein problems, or is it mostly women that get varicose veins and vein problems?
Men can absolutely develop vein problems. Although women do get vein problems more often than men, men seem to present with more advanced symptoms on their initial visit.
Do vein problems only happen in older people?
Venous reflux can occur at almost any age. It is more common in the elderly but can show up as early as puberty. If you think you have vein problems, it is best to be seen sooner rather than later in order to prevent the worsening of your symptoms.
Looking for a great vein clinic?
We’d love to speak with you and see how we can help you get back to living your life. Keep in mind, the first appointment is just a consultation. We won’t push any treatments on you and there’s no commitment. The first meeting is all about getting to know you and making a plan that’ll get you looking and feeling better as quickly as possible.