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General

Am I a candidate for vein treatment?

To determine if you would benefit from vein treatment, answer the following questions:

  • Have you previously been diagnosed with varicose veins, venous reflux or venous insufficiency?
  • Do you see varicose or spider veins on your legs?
  • Do you experience any of the following:
    • Leg pain, aching or cramping?
    • Burning or itching of your skin?
    • Leg or ankle swelling?
    • A “heavy” feeling in your legs?
    • Skin discoloration or texture changes?
    • Restless legs?
    • Open wounds or sores?
  • Has anyone in your family been diagnosed with venous disease?
  • Do your legs feel achy after prolonged periods of sitting or standing?
  • Have you tried other methods of treatment (i.e. laser treatments, sclerotherapy injection, vein stripping, compression stockings, or anti-inflammatory medications) without symptom relief or do your symptoms reoccur?

If you answered YES to any of these questions, you may be a candidate for vein treatment. To schedule a consultation, please contact the Total Vein Care office at (225) 442-9663 or request an appointment now. Our team looks forward to meeting you to help resolve any of your spider vein or varicose vein issues.


Varicose Veins

What are varicose veins?

Varicose veins are abnormal, enlarged veins on the skin’s surface usually caused by abnormal internal veins. In healthy leg veins, blood is carried from the legs back up to the heart effectively with one-way valves in the veins. However, patients with varicose veins often have damaged vein valves. As a result, blood leaks downward to the lower legs from gravity. This abnormal downward flow is known as “venous reflux.” The pressure build-up in the lower leg is known as “venous hypertension.”Common symptoms of varicose veins in the legs include:

  • Tiredness
  • Fatigue
  • Heaviness
  • Aching
  • Throbbing
  • Itching
  • Burning
  • Swelling
  • Restless legs

These symptoms are usually worse at the end of the day but improve with rest or by elevating your legs. Effective treatment of these diseased veins usually eliminates the symptoms.

If left untreated, varicose veins always worsen and may lead to major complications, such as:

  • Blood clots
  • Skin discoloration, inflammation, and infection
  • Venous ulceration and even limb-threatening amputation in later stages of disease

To prevent long-term complications, don’t ignore varicose veins and symptoms of venous reflux and venous hypertension.

What causes varicose veins?

Several factors contribute to varicose veins. The most important, but unchangeable, factor is genetics. A genetic tendency causes veins to weaken and wear out over time. The greater this genetic tendency, the sooner it happens.

Other contributing factors include:

  • Pregnancy
  • Being overweight
  • Estrogen/progesterone-containing medications
  • Previous blood clots
  • Standing for long periods of time

In most cases, you can’t do anything to prevent varicose veins. However, if you receive effective treatment early enough, complications such as skin changes, blood clots, and ulcers can be prevented and symptoms can be relieved.

How are varicose veins treated?

Technological advances and our board-certified surgeons’ expertise have revolutionized venous disease treatment. Most new treatments are:

  • Non-invasive or minimally invasive
  • Performed in our office under local anesthesia with immediate recovery and little to no downtime.

Ultrasound plays a critical role in diagnosing the problem from the source so our surgeons can customize treatment just for you.

Is varicose vein evaluation and treatment covered by insurance?

As a courtesy, we file insurance claims for medical evaluation (such as office visits and ultrasound studies) of symptomatic or painful varicose veins. However, the exact coverage is not determined by our office but by your insurance company according to your policy. Not every patient will have the same out-of-pocket costs. Patient costs are usually defined as deductible, copay, and co-insurance. We encourage you to contact your insurance before visits so you will be aware of any out-of-pocket cost related to your care. Treatment coverage will be based on types of treatments recommended.

Is Endovenous Laser Treatment (EVLT) or Radiofrequency (RF) Ablation (VNUS Closure) covered by insurance?

Many insurance carriers provide coverage for Endovenous Laser Treatment (EVLT) or Radiofrequency (RF) Ablation. Our staff can discuss cost, insurance coverage (including your specific insurance plan), etc., in greater detail during your consultation visit.

Is microphlebectomy covered by insurance?

Many insurance providers cover this procedure if patients meet the strict medical criteria set by the individual insurance companies. If a patient is a candidate and interested in this procedure, our office will contact the patient’s specific insurance provider to ensure the patient meets the treatment criteria for insurance coverage. Even if insurance coverage isn’t available for you, please know that we offer this treatment at a reasonable cost for self-pay patients.

Spider Veins

What are spider veins?

Spider veins, also known as telangiectasias, are abnormally-dilated blood vessels in the skin. They usually appear on the legs but can also occur on the face, chest, arms, hands, and back.

Although usually a cosmetic issue, spider veins can cause the same symptoms as much larger varicose veins, including:

  • Itching
  • Burning
  • Heaviness
  • Fatigue in the legs

What causes spider veins?

Spider veins may develop in two ways.

  • Tiny pre-existing veins can enlarge and become dilated over time
  • Your body actually grows new veins where it doesn’t need them – in the skin
  • Pregnancy, estrogen-containing medications, and fluctuating hormones may stimulate spider vein appearance; thus, spider veins are more common in women

The tendency to develop abnormal veins is largely hereditary, and there is not much you can do to prevent them. Support hose, exercise, and dietary supplements help symptoms, but do not prevent new spider veins (or varicose veins) from appearing. In some cases, spider veins may indicate larger diseased veins underneath the skin.

We may use ultrasound to search for any hidden diseased veins. If larger diseased veins are found, they will need to be treated first or spider vein treatment will be ineffective.

How are spider veins treated?

Sclerotherapy is a standard treatment for spider veins. A medication is gently injected into the abnormal veins causing them to shrink and disappear. Blood is re-routed into nearby healthy veins. Immediately following treatment, spider veins may get inflamed and/or bruised. This clears up with time as the body absorbs the veins. Typically two to three treatment sessions are necessary for optimal lasting results.

Is cosmetic spider vein sclerotherapy treatment covered by insurance?

Cosmetic sclerotherapy procedures are not covered by health insurance. Total Vein Care charges are very competitively priced. Costs vary based on amount of veins treated and other factors (determined at the consultation visit).