Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about Varicose Veins
We understand that many patients who come to Empire Vein Specialists have questions about varicose veins, treatment options, and what to expect. Below are some of the most frequently asked questions and answers. If you need additional information, please call our office at (951) 289-9512.
Varicose Veins FAQs
What are varicose veins?
Varicose veins are a sign of insufficiency inside the vein valves. They appear as enlarged, swollen, and dilated veins because they cannot carry blood from the legs up to the heart effectively. Over time, the valve system starts to fail which can cause additional health problems and extreme discomfort. Sometimes smaller spider veins are also contributing to the problem. We can perform an ultrasound to determine the extent of damage and a suitable treatment plan.
What are the symptoms of varicose veins?
In addition to unsightly veins, common symptoms of varicose veins and venous insufficiency include:
- Tiredness and fatigue in the legs
- Sensation of heaviness
- Aching and throbbing of the legs
- Itching and burning
- Excessive swelling
In some cases, these symptoms can get worse at the end of the day so it’s important to elevate the legs or rest. Once these veins have been treated, the symptoms disappear. If left untreated, the problem can get worse and may lead to clots, skin inflammation, and venous ulcerations.
What exactly is venous disease?
Venous disease, also known as venous insufficiency or superficial venous reflux, is a restful of poor blood flow from the legs to the heart. If the valves that keep blood flowing out of the legs become damaged or diseased, blood will start to pool in the legs and cause significant swelling. Ignoring varicose veins and symptoms of venues disease can lead to long-term complications. This is why we encourage all patients to come in for a complimentary consultation that includes ultrasound.
What causes varicose veins?
One of the most common causes of varicose veins is genetics. Some people are simply predisposed to having weakened veins over time and the greater the genetic tendency, the sooner it will occur. Other contributing factors include:
- Medications that contain estrogen or progesterone
- History of blood clots
- Standing for long periods of time
Unfortunately, nothing can be done to prevent the development of venous disease but we do have some effective treatment options available. Early treatment can prevent complications such as blood clots, ulcerations and phlebitis. Once complete, treatment can also relieve many distressing and uncomfortable symptoms.
How are varicose veins treated?
Dr. Nina Grewal performs the ClosureFast™ procedure at Empire Vein Institute, a minimally-invasive treatment for venous disease. It involves inserting a very small catheter into the vein through a small opening and firing radio frequency (RF) energy to collapse and seal the vein wall. ClosureFast™ continues to be one of the most effective and least traumatic procedures, an attractive alternative to vein stripping and other forms of surgery for many patients.
Is varicose vein treatment painful?
Many patients report little to no discomfort. ClosureFast™ is a relatively painless procedure and we numb the area with local or regional anesthetic.
Questions About Spider Veins
What causes spider veins?
Spider veins can develop in one of two ways. They are either pre-existing veins that become dilated and larger over time or your body starts to grow veins in an area where it doesn’t need them during pregnancy, if you are taking medication with estrogen, or if you are having hormonal fluctuations.
Spider veins are not caused by crossing your legs or standing or sitting for long periods of time. In most cases, the risk of developing abnormal veins is linked to genetics and there isn’t much you can do to prevent them from developing.
Compression hose and stockings, exercise, and certain dietary supplements can help relieve symptoms but will not prevent spider veins or varicose veins. In some cases, spider veins are a sign that there are larger, diseased veins underneath the skin.
This is why perform an ultrasound since this can help us find hidden, diseased veins that could be contributing to the problem. If you have larger, diseased veins, superficial treatment of spider veins will be ineffective. We will need to treat the larger veins first so those veins are no longer feeding the smaller veins.
How do you treat spider veins?
We perform sclerotherapy for spider veins. We inject a solution or foam (sclerosant) directly into the abnormal veins which help these veins shrink and eventually disappear. Blood is then re-routed to stronger, healthier veins. The treated veins may be inflamed shortly after treatment but your body will absorb the veins so any symptoms will resolve.
Questions About Our Practice
How can I schedule an appointment?
Cal our office today at (951) 289-9512 to schedule an appointment that fits your schedule. You can also request your appointment online using our online contact form.
What do I need to bring to my appointment?
Please bring a form of ID, your insurance card, a list of diagnoses, and any medications you are currently taking. We may also need to review recent medical records, any prior test results from another doctor, imaging results, and any doctor’s notes related to your veins. Please arrive at least 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment to complete your paperwork.
Will insurance cover my procedure?
We accept most insurance plans and in most cases, insurance will cover the ClosureFast™ procedure in full. We can verify your insurance before your visit.
What are my payment options?
Treatment of venous insufficiency for medical reasons is covered by most insurance plans. You will need to meet certain requirements to receive full insurance benefits, such as wearing compression hose for the recommended period of time. For cometic treatments and other services, we accept Visa, MasterCard, and debit cards. Ask us about our third-party financing options if you need additional help with the cost of treatment.