Vein Disease – Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is venous reflux?

A: Normal, healthy veins contain valves that allow blood to flow from your feet back toward your heart. When valves weaken, they allow blood to flow in the opposite direction, a condition called “reflux,” resulting in vessels that gradually enlarge and/or create discomfort in the legs. The result can be painful and includes swelling in the legs and feet, varicose veins, cramping, restless legs, and other symptoms.

Q: Are vein treatments covered by insurance?

A: Most health insurance, including Medicare and Medicaid, cover treatment of vein disease. During your first appointment and consultation, we will discuss your coverage and payment options if you do not have insurance.

Q: What are the treatments for vein disease?

A: There are a variety of treatment options available for vein disease. After your diagnostic ultrasound, a customized treatment plan will be recommended during your consultation. Options include: emerging technologies, compression therapy, radiofrequency ablation, laser ablation, sclerotherapy, phlebectomy, or a combination of treatments.

Q: Are vein treatments/procedures painful?

A: Each person is unique and has a different “pain threshold.” In general, vein ablations cause little discomfort and leave no scarring – only minor, temporary bruising that resolves over time through the healing process. Living with the symptoms of vein disease is far more uncomfortable than the treatment itself.

Q: Is there any bruising, scarring or swelling?

A: There is a chance of mild bruising that will last about a week. You should not have any scars. Any pre-procedure swelling should improve following treatment.

Q: How quickly can I resume normal activity?

A: We ask that you wear compression stockings for approximately two weeks after the treatment. You are encouraged to be active and get back into your daily routine immediately after treatment. There is no downtime necessary.

Q: How soon will my symptoms improve?

A: Every person is unique in his or her response to treatment. Most patients feel immediate relief, with the cosmetic benefits becoming apparent over a matter of weeks. For others, symptoms resolve over time through the healing process–generally from 6 to 12 weeks.

Q: Does American Vein & Vascular Institute perform vein stripping?

A: No. We use minimally invasive techniques, including endovenous ablation. This means we treat the vein from the inside. With our procedure, only one small incision is made where we insert a tiny catheter inside the vein. A heat source is delivered to the tip of the catheter, which permanently seals the diseased vein but leaves it in place.

Q: What if I need the vein for bypass surgery in the future?

A: The procedure treats diseased veins only, which are not appropriate for bypass surgery. Physicians can use other healthy vessels should bypass surgery be necessary.