Frequently Asked Questions about Veins
Learn about Veins with Dr. Mackay and his medical staff with Q&A's and Video Tutorials.
Vein Treatment FAQ's
Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about venous disease, causes, diagnosis, treatment, recovery and results.
1. Does insurance cover Varicose Vein treatments?
Most major insurance companies will cover treatment of varicose veins. Each patient’s insurance coverage is different depending on their policy and what it covers. As a courtesy to our patients, we verify benefits prior to your office visit, but this is not a guarantee of coverage. It is your responsibility, as a policyholder, to know your benefits and be aware of co-pays, co-insurance, and fees.
2. How Do Vein Problems Develop?
The root of most vein problems is Chronic Venous Disease. This condition causes the veins to widen and stretch and valves become unable to close properly. As a result, affected veins have trouble carrying blood back to the heart. If the valves in the veins fail, gravity keeps blood from flowing back to the heart efficiently. This produces a back-up, or congestion, of blood. As a result, pressure builds up and the diseased veins become enlarged, eventually bulging to the skin’s surface.
3. What Are Spider Veins?
Tiny red or blue veins usually the size of a fine thread or a bit larger. They visually resemble a spider’s web, hence the name spider veins. These veins appear primarily on the legs or face.
4. Who Are Candidates For Treatment?
Any individual with unsightly spider or varicose veins is a candidate. Only after a full consultation and ultrasound can we effectively treat your veins.
5. How Much Downtime Can I Expect?
Typically individuals resume normal activities in 1-2 days.
6. Is the Procedure Painful?
The procedure is not painless. You will normally feel a small pinch from the needle for the numbing medication.
7. What Are the Consequences of Untreated Veins?
If left untreated, severe varicose veins can ultimately lead to chronic leg swelling, eczema-type symptoms, skin thickening and discoloration, and even ulcerations that will not heal until the veins are treated.
When patients experience venous reflux, blood begins to flow backwards toward the feet, causing blood to pool in these unhealthy veins. This can lead to a build-up of toxic metabolic waste, which can cause aching, throbbing, cramping, fatigue and symptoms of Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS).
8. Contributing factors to vein disease:
- Hormonal factors
- Weight gain
- Occupation or Activities that require prolonged sitting or standing
10. How Do Leg Veins Work?
Although veins and arteries are both part of the circulatory system, they work in very different ways from each other.
Blood is pushed throughout the arteries of the body by pressure created from the pumping of the heart. Veins, unlike arteries, carry blood against the force of gravity. They rely on leg muscle contraction and one-way valves inside the veins to carry blood back toward the heart.
11. What Are Varicose Veins?
Varicose veins are branches of a main, deeper vein that is not functioning properly. As a result, pressure builds up and the diseased veins become enlarged, eventually bulging to the skin’s surface. This is our body’s way of letting us know something deeper is wrong.
12. Can You Prevent Varicose Veins?
If varicose veins are hereditary you may not be able to prevent them, but you can take steps to improve your health before treatment becomes necessary.
13. What is The Best Treatment for Varicose or Spider Veins?
A variety of treatment options can be used that involve different minimally invasive endovenous procedures. During you initial consultation, our board certified vascular surgeon will recommend a personalized treatment plan.
14. Will I Need to Get My Veins Treated Again?
With the procedures that Dr. Mackay offers there is less than 1% chance of a repeat procedure, if the root of the problem is treated.
15. What About Post Procedural Care?
Spider vein patients resume all normal activities immediately with no downtime. The majority of patients treated for varicose veins walk out of the office and return to normal daily activities, including work within two days.
While the amount of post treatment pain varies from one patient to another, most require only Tylenol or ibuprofen for any discomfort. Complete recovery, including resolution of bruising, takes 4-6 weeks. Detailed written and verbal instructions will be provided to each patient before and after treatment
Spider Vein Post-Treatment Instructions
Varicose Vein Post-Treatment Instructions
16. What is Edema & Lymphedema?
Long-standing, chronic venous disease causes inflammation which can lead to edema in the ankles and lower legs. Sometimes this swelling is evident only at the end of the day. Swelling often decreases with leg elevation as well as compression therapy.
17. What is Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS)?
It is an irresistible urge to move one’s body to stop uncomfortable or odd sensations. It most commonly affects the legs. Moving the affected body part modulates the sensations, providing temporary relief.
Recent studies have shown that RLS patients have seen a dramatic drop or elimination of their symptoms through vein therapy.
How Do Compression Stockings Work?
Medically accurate compression stockings push the dilated vein walls back into place and help them “pump” the blood throughout your body more efficiently. As a result, blood flow is increased, which reduces swelling, fatigue, pain, and the possible formation of blood clots in the leg.
Why Can’t I Just Wear “Support Hose” from the Drugstore?
Support hose sold over the counter will only provide minimal compression and aren’t graduated. They are virtually ineffective at treating the symptoms of vein disease or preventing the progression of the disease.
Are Medical Stockings Expensive?
They cost more than regular stockings, but they are a prescription medical device designed to stop the progression of a very serious disease. Plus, their medical compression is guaranteed for 6 months.
We offer medical compression stockings from medi as well as athletic compression socks and calf sleeves from CEP. Additionally, we have stylish compression leggings from Juzo.
Why is Graduated Compression So Important?
The most important component in treating vein disease is reducing the swelling. The greatest swelling is usually in the ankles as a result of gravity. Since that is where the veins become the weakest, that is where the pressure from a graduated compression stocking is strongest.
Why Are Medical Stockings Sold by Prescription?
The correct fit is very important. Medical compression stockings are designed to provide “exact compression”. Exact compression means the pressure is distributed in a graduated manner, decreasing up the leg, to maximize blood flow from the leg veins back to the lung and heart. By carefully measuring your legs, a professional fitter can provide you with the best stockings for your individual needs.