Varicose Veins FAQ - Spider Veins Treatment FAQ


1. How can I prevent varicose veins and spider veins?

More than 25 percent of all adults will develop varicose or spider veins in their lifetime. They affect women more commonly than men. While heredity, leg injury, pregnancy, and being overweight are contributing factors, there really is not much you can do to prevent them.

2. Do I need these veins?

No, these abnormal veins are working against you. While you definitely need your normal leg veins, varicose veins are abnormal, diseased veins that are making your circulation worse. Normal leg veins carry blood up the leg back toward the heart; but in varicose veins, blood is going the wrong way down the leg, which leads to many symptoms. Once the bad vein is removed or treated, the blood is redirected to healthy veins and moves back up the leg much faster, and in a more normal fashion. Normal circulation is restored and symptoms are treated.

3. Will my insurance cover a spider or varicose vein treatment?

Most insurance companies, as well as Medicare, now cover the diagnosis and treatment of varicose veins and venous insufficiency. However, some insurance companies may first require you to try conservative management, such as wearing compression stockings for several weeks or months before approving laser ablation treatment. Prior to your treatment, our office staff will assist you in determining what will be covered, and if there are any out-of-pocket costs.

Cosmetic treatments, such as sclerotherapy injections for spider veins, are generally not covered by insurance.

4. Will I need more vein treatments in the future?

Our success rate in treating varicose veins and spider veins at the Fairfax Vein Center is extremely high, and the chance of these veins coming back is very low. Laser ablation is highly successful. It is possible, especially with spider veins, to develop new veins over time in a different part of the leg.

5. What will happen if I don’t treat my varicose veins or spider veins now?

Vein problems in the leg generally worsen over time. While it is hard to predict how long this will take, progression is usually measured in months or a few years, and can be different for each individual.

6. What is a duplex ultrasound?

A duplex ultrasound is a specialized ultrasound examination that uses reflected sound waves to see how blood flows through a vein. This noninvasive imaging technology helps our doctors diagnose your specific problem and provide the most effective treatment.

7. When can I start running and exercising again?

Resuming strenuous activity depends on your treatment. After sclerotherapy for spider veins, you can begin exercising after 24 hours. However, with microphlebectomy or laser ablation, we recommend that you wait two weeks to allow for best healing, and to reduce the chances of the vein reopening.

8. When can I resume air travel after vein treatments?

We ask that you avoid any long plane or car trips for three weeks after any of our vein treatments. This is to avoid increasing your risk of developing a blood clot or deep vein thrombosis.

9. Why should I choose the Fairfax Vein Center?

The Fairfax Vein Center is the leading center for the treatment of vein problems in Northern Virginia. Our well-known, board-certified physicians are assisted by an experienced and welcoming staff, and provide 24-hour availability. We have treated more than 10,000 patients in the metropolitan area, using the most effective and up-to-date techniques.

10. When will I see results from varicose vein or spider vein treatment?

Patients typically can expect to see results within 1-2 weeks post procedure.

11. Will I need to take time off of work?

Patients are able to return to work the day after and resume normal daily activities shortly after their outpatient procedure.

12. What are the different types of veins in my legs?

There are three main types of veins in your legs. The most important are the ''deep'' veins that course through the center of the leg. These lie deep within the muscles and bring most of the blood back to the heart. The ''superficial'' veins lie under the skin, but outside of the muscles. Even though you can't see these veins, they are the ones that cause varicose veins. Finally, there are tiny veins that are within the skin, called spider veins.

13. Are there any dangerous side effects to treatments for spider and varicose veins?

The most common side effect is minor discomfort and bruising. Current vein treatments are very safe and dangerous side effects are rare. Side effects such as infection or serious blood clots occur in less than 1% of patients.

14. Is it OK to postpone treatment?

Generally, yes, unless you have a problem such as a venous ulcer. Our doctor can discuss your individual treatment plan at the appointment if you wish to delay treatment.