Find out what you need to know by reading the questions Carolina Vein Specialists hears most frequently from prospective patients.
What are varicose veins?
Varicose veins are enlarged veins that are caused by a malfunction of the valve inside the vein. When the valve malfunctions, blood pools and pressure increases in the vein, causing it to expand and bulge.
Can I be cured of my varicose veins?
Individual veins can be successfully treated. However, vein disease cannot be permanently cured. Treated veins will no longer be varicose, but vein disease is a chronic condition, and over time, other veins can become varicose. Often after a period of time, maintenance procedures will be required as new varicose veins develop.
Does treatment hurt?
No. By using the latest noninvasive treatments, the procedures are virtually painless. Most patients are able to resume their normal activities immediately after treatment.
Will insurance cover treatment of varicose veins or spider veins?
Most varicose veins that are painful or causing problems are covered by Medicare and many other insurance carriers. Spider veins may be covered if they are painful, affect quality of life, and meet insurance criteria for treatment. Cosmetic spider veins are not covered by insurance.
How long does treatment of varicose veins or spider veins take?
Removal of varicose veins or spider veins is a multivisit process. Every person requires different treatments, but you should plan ahead! If you have a special trip or want to wear a new outfit with your “new legs,” visit us at least 2 months in advance.
Is there scarring after vein treatment?
With the latest procedures for removing spider and varicose veins, there is very little, if any, scarring.
Don’t I need my veins?
With the removal of varicose veins, circulation actually improves. Varicose veins are also not suitable for heart bypass, so you have no reason to keep your varicose veins.
Why treat varicose or spider veins?
People seek help for spider and varicose veins for a number of reasons. Often, they are embarrassed by the appearance of their legs, or their veins are painful. Wearing compression stockings and elevating the legs can provide temporary relief, but nothing is as effective as medical treatment for most vein problems.
Can I have my veins treated during pregnancy or while breastfeeding?
Some varicose veins that develop during pregnancy will return to normal after delivery. Therefore, we recommend that all women wait at least 3 months after delivery before having varicose veins treated. We do not recommend vein treatment while breastfeeding.
What should I expect after treatment?
All procedures are performed in the office using local anesthesia. There is minimal discomfort in most treatments. Patients are usually able to resume normal activity immediately. As in all medical procedures, side effects are possible. Yet, serious side effects are extremely rare with these techniques.
Will varicose veins come back?
Treated veins will not return, but as with any progressive disease, new varicose veins may form.
Should I wait until cooler weather to speak with a doctor about my veins?
Before we can even consider treatment, the doctor must discuss your medical history, perform a thorough examination, and discuss your options. In most cases, underlying abnormal veins must be checked first to find the cause of your symptoms and of the appearance of leg veins. To have insurance cover the cost of your treatment, they will require an ultrasound study to be performed in the office to show the source of the problem. Additionally, most insurance carriers require a minimum period of time following conservative measures before they will authorize treatment. If it is warmer weather now, it might take time to perform the studies and obtain insurance authorization before beginning treatment in cooler months. Drs. Greenberg and Featherston will speak to you in great detail and help you obtain appropriate insurance authorization.