Varicose Veins

What are Varicose Veins?

Veins have one-way valves that prevent blood from flowing backwards due to the pull of gravity. If the valves function properly, blood travels through the vein without any problems. But if the valves are faulty, meaning they allow the blood to flow backwards within the vein, the blood starts to pool. The blood then pushes against the walls of the veins causing them to enlarge, resulting in varicose veins. They usually occur near the surface of the skin and appear as bulging veins with a purplish hue.

Common Symptoms

The symptoms of varicose veins tend to vary based on the severity of the condition.

  • Painful, achy, or tingling feeling in the legs
  • Mild swelling in the ankles and feet
  • Slight discoloration or a change in the skin surrounding the varicose veins
  • Clearly visible veins just under the skin’s surface
  • Treatment Options

    Clarivein®

    The rotating tip allows the Interventional Radiologist to create a smaller incision site than other ablation techniques.

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    Endovenous Laser Ablation

    Endovenous Laser Ablation (EVLA) uses laser energy delivered in a thin fiber optic probe under ultrasound guidance to treat varicose veins.

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    VenaSeal™

    The VenaSeal™ closure system is the only procedure that uses an advanced formulated medical adhesive that closes varicose veins.

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    Health Insurance is Accepted.

    What are the steps of a varicose vein treatment at Medicus?

    1. Complimentary Consultation

    During the consultation, your questions will be answered by Dr. Steven Tidwell and will determine if you have varicose or spider veins.

    2. Ultrasound Diagnosis

    If you have varicose veins, an ultrasound will be performed by Dr. Steven Tidwell. After the ultrasound, he will be able to recommend the best treatment option for your unique case.

    3. Vein Treatment

    Treatment is scheduled following your ultrasound. Each of the varicose vein procedures are minimally invasive and allows for zero downtime. If you have health insurance, we will handle all of the insurance claims for you.

    4. Follow-up Visits

    You will see the doctor for a follow-up visit after your treatment for an ultrasound to ensure closure of the treated vein.

    How are vein problems diagnosed?

    An Interventional Radiologist can assess your clinical situation through an ultrasound evaluation. The ultrasound is important because it determines which veins are not functioning properly and allows the physician to create a "game plan" to present you with your best treatment option.

    Why does Dr. Tidwell perform every ultrasound at Medicus Veincare?

    Board Certified Diagnostic Radiologists such as Dr. Tidwell are specifically trained in ultrasound imaging during their four-year residency training program. His post-graduate fellowship in vascular and interventional procedures allowed him to expand his expertise with the vascular system and its irregularities, and he combines those skills to accurately diagnose and treat varicosities. An ultrasound technologist does not have this training, or diagnostic ability.

    Patients should be aware that since an ultrasound is required not only for the initial diagnosis of varicose veins, it is also an integral part of the procedures that eliminate them. It is important to choose a physician who relies on his own training and experience to accurately determine the underlying cause of symptoms, and treat them with familiarity and expertise.

    What is Interventional Radiology?

    Interventional Radiologists are specialized doctors who specialize in minimally invasive, targeted treatments performed using imaging for guidance. Many conditions that once required surgery can be treated less invasively by Interventional Radiologists with vein treatments that offer less risk, less pain and less recovery time. They have the ability to access the abnormal veins and navigate through their twists and turns – skills that are developed in Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology training.

    Interventional Radiology is a recognized medical specialty by the American Board of Medical Specialties. These specialized radiologists are certified by the American Board of Radiology.

    What are varicose veins?

    Veins that have become bulging, elongated, thickened and rope-like are called varicose veins. Normally, one-way valves in veins keep blood flowing against the force of gravity. When the valves do not perform their function, blood can flow backwards or reflux within the vein.

    Varicose veins can develop through a combination of these faulty vein valves and weakened vein walls. Under a variety of circumstances, normally toned, elastic vein walls can become weak and allow the recirculating blood to flow backward in the vein causing the blood to pool and the vein to bulge.

    What is venous insufficiency?

    The reflux of blood in faulty veins result in what is known as venous insufficiency, a very common condition that results in the pooling of blood in the vein and, in turn, creates varicose veins.

    Is the loss of a vein a problem?

    Not at all. After treatment, the blood in the faulty veins will be naturally diverted to the many normal veins in the leg.

    Is there any downtime?

    No, there is no downtime associated with any of the vein procedures. You can go back to your normal activities right away. Each of the treatment modalities are minimally-invasive and do not require any sedation, only local anesthetic.

    What are the symptoms of venous insufficiency or varicose veins?

    Symptoms include aching, throbbing, fatigue and heaviness – all of which worsen as the day goes on. Many people find that they need to sit down in the afternoon and elevate their legs to relieve symptoms.
    People who have venous insufficiency can have symptoms even without visible varicose veins.

    What happens if I leave my varicose veins untreated?

    Varicose veins are a result of vein disease and will only continue to get worse if left untreated. Some patients progress to develop skin changes and ulcerations, in addition to swelling and discomfort.

    Venous leg ulcers form when the varicose veins push against the surface of the skin, allowing the skin to become thin and break down.

    Do I need to wear compression stockings?

    Yes, you will need to wear compression stockings for up to two weeks after treatment to ensure complete closure of the vein. We sell many types and colors of compression stockings to suit your lifestyle.

    However, the VenaSeal procedure does not require the use of compression stockings.

    Does my insurance cover treatment for varicose veins?

    The treatment of varicose veins is considered medically necessary by insurance companies. Our insurance specialists will process all claims and will follow-up with your insurance company as necessary. After your consultation, we will advise you by phone or email of any deductibles, copays or co-insurance amounts that you may owe. If you do not have health insurance, we offer a cash rate.

    We accept most major insurance companies including: Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield (Florida Blue), Cigna, Coventry, Medicare, Multiplan (BeechStreet, PHCS) and United Healthcare. If your insurance company is not listed, please call us. We may participate with your specific insurance plan.

    Health insurance does not yet cover the VenaSeal procedure. Please contact us regarding pricing for this treatment.

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