Frequently Asked Questions

About Vein Disorders

Are Varicose Veins Dangerous?

Varicose veins are not usually dangerous, and some people have no symptoms. In many people, however, the varicose veins are associated with pain, aching, itching, burning, a heavy or tired feeling in the legs, swelling or cramps, or may spontaneously rupture & bleed. 

In rare cases, varicose veins may signify serious underlying disease of the deeper veins, and if this is a possibility, it may be recommended that you undergo further evaluation. Patients with varicose veins are also at slightly higher risk for blood cloths. 

What are Spider Veins?

Spider veins are small veins that appear as bluish or reddish lines just under the surface of the skin.

What are varicose veins?

Varicose Veins are abnormally enlarged blood vessels in which blood has pooled. They usually are bluish in color, and may appear twisted. They are very common on legs, especially among women. The tendency to develop varicose veins is thought to be linked with heredity. Women, especially those who have had children, and men and woman who spend a lot of time standing seem to be most susceptible to developing varicose veins.

What cause Varicose and Spider Veins?

Veins are the blood vessels through which blood flows back to the heart. Blood that flows into the legs must circulate and then return to the heart. Because the blood needs to flow uphill and against gravity, the veins in the lower part of the body must work hard to move the blood back to the heart. Valves in the veins normally allow the blood to flow toward the heart, and prevent the back flow of blood. If these valves weaken and cannot perform their job, blood may pool in the legs, causing veins to bulge and dilate. When blood pools in the larger surface veins, the result can be the blue, bulging type of varicose vein. When this happens to the tiny veins just below the skin surface, the result can be spider veins.

About Vein Treatment

Can I use Flex Spending Account (FSA) to pay for my treatment?

Yes, you can use your Flex account to pay for most vein treatments we provide.

Does Insurance Cover Cosmetic Treatments?

Insurance does not cover cosmetic treatments, but TVC makes cosmetic vein treatments affordable and convenient. 

How Do I Know Which Procedure is Best for Me?

Before undergoing any treatment or procedure a complete medical history and examination will be done. Circulation and vein structure in your legs will be assessed using ultrasound techniques. We will explain the disease process and the circulation system. This consultation will help determine the most effective method of treatment, if any, to eliminate your varicose or spider veins. We will fully review the recommended treatment, what results are expected, what the procedure entails and what to anticipate along with post treatment instructions. If you are not experiencing any pain or problems from your veins, then treatment may not be covered by insurance & is considered cosmetic. Instead you may best benefit from a more conservative approach. We will not recommend any treatment to any patient who does not need it or if it is not warranted. We pride ourselves on doing what is best for the patient. 

How will my blood circulate if I eliminate my varicose veins?

Your body has a network of veins that return blood back to the heart. This network is quite capable to circulate the blood and in fact treating the re-fluxing varicose veins helps the remaining veins to function more efficiently. 

Is it okay to postpone treatment?

Although Varicose Veins and chronic venous insufficiency do not emergently need to be treated, these disorders have a progressive nature and worsen with time. Therefore, it is recommended to seek treatment at your earliest convenience. The only exception is if you are pregnant. You should delay these treatments after your pregnancy is completed. 

Is My Treatment Covered by My Health Insurance?

Tri-State Vein Center performs screenings to evaluate & see if your symptoms are medical or cosmetic. Most patients with symptoms and varicose veins are covered by their health insurance. TVC does assist with the pre-certification process for your needed procedures prior to your treatment.

What happens during your physician consultation?

At your consultation, our physician reviews your medical history, examines your lower extremities and determines if an ultrasound of your lower extremities are indicated. If so, then the ultrasound is typically done during that visit to determine the origin of your venous disease. Following this ultrasound, our physician will discuss your individualized treatment recommendation with you. 

What is Considered Cosmetic vs. Medical?

At TVC we offer you a free screening to determine if your venous problem is medical or cosmetic.

What is Sclerotherapy?

Sclerotherapy is the procedure whereby a medication is injected into the malfunctioning vein to cause irritation to the inner lining to induce closure of the malfunctioning vein. After the treatment, compression stockings are worn for two weeks to keep the treated vein closed and improve the long term results. 

What is the treatment for Varicose Veins?

Treatment for varicose veins can involve taking steps to relieve the symptoms, or removing or eliminating the troublesome veins. Anyone with varicose veins or with a family history of varicose veins may want to consider wearing support or compression stockings to provide support for the veins and to keep them from dilating abnormally. The stockings will also provide symptomatic relief. It is especially important to provide this support when lifting heavy objects. In addition, when possible, the legs should be elevated to keep blood from pooling. Regular exercise, such as walking, will keep the blood moving and will help squeeze blood up from the lower legs. Although these suggestions may lessen symptoms or help prevent new varicose veins from forming, they will not cure varicose veins that have already formed. 

Varicose veins can be eliminated or removed by several methods. One treatment involves removing the veins during a surgical procedure performed under anesthesia. The operation involves surgically removing the troublesome veins from the leg. This surgical removal is only necessary in extreme cases when the veins are just too large or numerous to treat in the office.

Another treatment that has grown very popular is sclerotherapy. This is very successful in eliminating the spider veins and many of the larger varicose veins. This may involve one or more sessions of treatments.

If the varicose veins are large, bulging and grape-like in nature there are several options for removing them. Depending on the location of the veins and the size you may require EVLT laser removal, ligation or phlebotomy. All of these procedures are done right in the doctor’s office with no restrictions afterwards and without surgery.

What’s the difference between endovenous and surface lasers?

Endovenous laser is used to treat the larger re-fluxing veins that are the cause for varicose veins, whereas “surface lasers” treat bothersome spider veins just below the surface visible to the naked eye.

Why isn’t surgery a good idea?

In the past, vein stripping surgery was performed to treat varicose veins. As with any surgery, it required inpatient hospitalization as well as the risks inherent with anesthesia. Furthermore, long term studies only revealed a 55% success rate of vein closure versus the 95-99% success rate of EVLT treatment offered at Tri-State Vein Center. 

Will I have to undergo any testing before treatment?

You may need an ultrasound evaluation of your lower extremities prior to your treatment. In most cases of cosmetic treatment for spider veins, no further testing is necessary. On rare occasions, you may need additional testing as recommended by the physician.