Why Treat Varicose Veins?
Most people seek treatment for varicose veins to relieve discomfort like pain, swelling, itching or tingling and other uncomfortable symptoms. In normal leg veins, leaflet-like valves help pump blood back to the heart, but when these valves don’t function properly, blood flows backwards and pools within the vein. Left untreated, these bulging veins can lead to more serious medical problems, such as venous leg ulcers or varicose eczema. Up to 35% of people in the United States are affected by varicose veins, but treatment typically alleviates symptoms as well as the unsightly appearance.
Getting the Best Treatment at Medicus Vein Care
Interventional Radiology is the only specialty dedicated to minimally-invasive procedures that utilize ultrasound technology. Dr. Tidwell, a board-certified Interventional Radiologist, personally performs all ultrasounds and the vein procedures, ensuring all Medicus patients gain from the expertise of a specialist.
- Free consultation
- Customized treatment plan
- Treatment performed in-office
- Immediate relief
- Fast recovery
- Local anesthetic only—no sedation
In addition to offering free comprehensive consultations, Medicus Vein Care accepts most insurance plans, including Medicare.
Frequently asked questions
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. They usually occur near the surface of the skin and appear as bulging veins with a purplish hue.
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 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.
What is Interventional Radiology and why is it important for vein care?
Interventional Radiologists are specialized doctors who specialize in minimally invasive, targeted treatments performed using imaging for guidance. 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 Radiologists are specifically trained on ultrasound technology to not only diagnose, but to also treat venous conditions. The varicose vein treatments we perform at Medicus Vein Care rely on the ultrasound skill to not only diagnose the varicose veins, but are also used during the treatment itself, as well as each follow-up visit to ensure vein closure.
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, find the abnormal veins, and treat them with familiarity and expertise.
What are the symptoms of varicose veins and venous insufficiency?
Symptoms include aching, throbbing, fatigue, itching, tingling and heaviness – all of which worsen as the day goes on. Mild swelling in the ankles and feet often occur. 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.
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" and to present you with a treatment plan.
How are varicose veins treated?
Using an ultrasound, Dr. Steven Tidwell maps out the veins in your leg to pinpoint the faulty vein that needs to be treated. To treat this faulty vein, he inserts a very small probe using an ultrasound to follow and guide it to the proper position. He will then remove the probe, sealing the vein with either thermal energy or a surgical-grade glue.
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. The blood flow of the faulty veins are already being 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. In fact, we want you to stay active after treatment!
Each of the treatment modalities are minimally-invasive and do not require any sedation, only local anesthetic.
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 over time and break down.
Is there anesthesia involved with the treatment?
No, only local anesthetic is used. Patients find the discomfort from the procedures are minimal and some even fall asleep during the procedure. The procedures allow for zero downtime and you can return to your normal activities immediately after treatment.
Are laser fibers ever re-used?
No, we never re-use laser fibers or any procedure component.
Do I need to wear compression stockings?
Does my insurance cover treatment for varicose veins?
Yes, the treatment for 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 glue procedure, except Medicare. Please contact us regarding pricing for this treatment.
Steven Tidwell, M.D. founded Medicus Vein Care to offer the best diagnosis, care and treatment for spider and varicose veins.
The Medicus Experience
Our vision is to give each patient the highest quality of vein care while providing a tailored experience; we believe these two traits define our practice.