- What are varicose veins and what causes them?
Varicose veins are bulging worm-like protruding veins that are commonly seen on the thighs and calves. They are caused by faulty valves in veins beneath the skin surface, which causes blood to back up and enlarge these superficial veins.
- What are symptoms of varicose veins?
Symptoms of varicose veins include aching, throbbing, cramping or burning pain over the affected veins. Additional symptoms may include leg swelling, heaviness, restlessness or fatigue. Occasionally open wounds on the legs, known as ulcers, may occur as a result of varicose veins.
- How are varicose veins treated?
There are many treatments for varicose veins. To effectively treat varicose veins, one must determine which vein beneath the skin surface is causing the problem, because the underlying cause must be treated in order to have successful and long-lasting results.
The best way to determine the cause of the varicose veins is by the performance of a ultrasound by a skilled sonographer. It is equally important that the ultrasound be properly interpreted. Dr. Rayman, who is an interventional radiologist with expertise in the performance and interpretation of ultrasound, takes pride in making sure that the correct diagnosis is made.
Once the underlying abnormal vein is identified, it might be treated in any of a number of different ways, including Endovenous Laser Ablation, Radiofrequency Ablation, VenaSeal, Mechanical-Pharmaceutical Ablation and Varithena Chemical Ablation. In addition, the varicose veins themselves may be treated by microphlebectomy or ultrasound guided foam sclerotherapy.
Treatment choice is dependent upon the particular patient’s appearance, symptoms, motivations and desires.
- Does treatment for varicose veins work?
Absolutely. There is a 98-100% technical success rate with most treatments, with permanent cure in most cases. Recurrence of varicose veins ranges from 2%- 20%, depending on the treatment utilized and length of time from the original treatment. Recurrent varicose veins are easily treated.
- Is treatment painful?
State of the art treatment for varicose veins usually involves the use of tumescent anesthesia, which numbs the area around the vein to be treated. There is minimal discomfort, allowing for the procedure to be performed on an outpatient basis in our clinic. Again and again we are told by our patients that treatment was much easier than they expected.
- What are spider veins, what causes them, and who gets them?
Spider veins are tiny veins that typically don’t protrude from the skin surface. They may be red or blue in color and are typically seen on the legs, face and chest. While spider veins may cause mild burning pain, they are usually aymptomatic.
Causes of spider veins include heredity, pregnancy, hormonal changes, jobs that involve prolonged standing or sitting, and trauma.
A very high percentage of patients (>50% of women and 30% of men over the age of 50) have spider veins. While they may not cause symptoms, they can be a source of unnecessary self-consciousness and embarrassment. The good news – treatment is available, with high success rates!
- How are spider veins treated and does it work?
Experts agree that the best single treatment for most spider veins is sclerotherapy. Cutaneous laser treatment may be used in conjunction with sclerotherapy, especially for resistant or recurrent spider veins. Tiny spider veins on the face and legs are also well suited to thermocoagulation with the Vein Gogh (or Vein Wave) procedure.
Spider vein treatments do work, although several treatments may be required to achieve desired results. Number of treatments varies from patient to patient, with treatment plans tailored to individual needs.
- Is it covered by insurance?
Most insurance plans will cover treatment for varicose veins, provided that the patient is symptomatic and that an ultrasound demonstrates a true underlying abnormality. Depending on your particular plan, you may have a co-pay or may have to come out of pocket for some amount, but this is always determined before any treatment is planned or initiated.