You can't know until you have been evaluated with ultrasound. The vast majority of patients with varicose veins are good candidates.
Previous vein stripping makes all forms of treatment more difficult, but most patients will benefit from treatment.
It goes through special connector veins (called perforators) directly into the deep vein system which channels it back to the heart. There are no ill effects to closing a diseased vein because it doesn’t function properly anyway—and has not done so, in most cases, for many years.
No, it involves minimal pain associated with injection of local anesthetic.
No. They are genetically pre-determined. The only thing you can really do to affect the onset of the disease is avoid pregnancy. Wearing tight compression stockings may provide temporary relief from the symptoms of pain and swelling, but will not stop the development or progression of the disease.
Usually about an hour.
No, we do not use any IV or sedative drugs and you should be able to drive yourself home afterward.
You may walk immediately and it is encouraged. Most patients can go to work the next day unless they have a very physical job. You should avoid very vigorous activity for about a week. You will have to wear a compression stocking for a week. The treated segment of vein will be sore for several days, but usually handled nicely with Ibuprofen or Aleve.
No. Prior to the invention of laser treatment most doctors would have advised women to defer varicose vein treatment until finished having babies. That is no longer the case. Prompt treatment can prevent the misery of going through another pregnancy with varicose veins.
EVLT is a noninvasive technique designed to avoid the risks of traditional surgery and therefore is not dangerous and has an excellent safety profile.
Treating the vein disease will eliminate or significantly improve symptoms of restless legs syndrome in about three out of four patients.
Yes, in most cases. Skin breakdown and chronic ulcer formation are the late result of chronic venous disease and account for about 85% of all cases. Treating the underlying vein disease is critical in healing the ulcers and preventing recurrence.
Most health insurance companies will pay for treatment of varicose vein disease so long as the patient has one or more symptoms--pain, swelling, bleeding, rashes, open sores, phlebitis, superficial blood clots, itching, leg cramps, and restless leg symptoms. Most companies also require a trial of conservative therapy, primarily the use of compression stockings, before they will pay for a definitive procedure such as EVLT. If a patient has no symptoms but simply does not like the appearance of their varicose veins, the procedure would be considered cosmetic and not covered by insurance. We participate with the vast majority of local and regional insurance companies.
There are many good brands. The key is to get the right size and proper compression. Each brand should have a sizing chart based on the measurements of your leg at several locations. The pharmacist can help you. The recommended compression is 20-30 mmHG (measured in millimeters of mercury). Knee highs, as opposed to thigh highs, are usually adequate and much more comfortable. Ted hose, as often used in hospitals, are not tight enough and will not help.