Frequently Asked Questions about Vein Disorders
The staff at Total Vein Treatment Centers, along with Dr. Jerome Naifeh, welcomes your questions about possible problems you may be having with your veins and encourage you to contact us for a free consultation at our clinic in Plano, TX. In the meantime, here are some answers to a few general frequently asked questions.
What are Varicose Veins?
Approximately 10 to 20 percent of adults are affected with varicose veins. These are described as enlarged veins, sometimes bluish in color, that extend down the leg. They may occur in bunches or appear to twist beneath the skin. This condition can occur in any part of the leg, but is generally observed on the inner part of the leg between the groin and the ankle or back of the calf. If this condition is left untreated, symptoms are likely to become worse and may lead to open non-healing sores.
What causes varicose veins?
Veins have valves that prevent blood flow from going in the wrong direction. When these valves fail to work properly, the blood flows back down the leg and into the superficial veins. This is known as venous reflux. As a result, the superficial veins enlarge and become varicose. Successful treatment results in stopping the blood flow from the highest location of valve failure. Varicose veins so often happen in the legs because of gravity as blood travels from the feet to the heart. When the vein valves fail, the vessels experience increased pressure, resulting in backflow which causes swollen and distorted veins.
Who is at risk for varicose veins?
Women have more varicose veins than men. The condition increases 50% in people over 50. Contributing conditions to varicose veins include genetics, obesity, pregnancy, hormonal changes at menopause, extended standing, and prior vein diseases, or vein inflammation during the formation of a blood clot.
What are varicose vein symptoms?
Symptoms of varicose veins include leg pain, itching, hyperpigmentation, leg fatigue, leg pain that may awaken the patient from sleep, burning leg pain, and vein hemorrhage. In addition, feet and ankles may swell, legs cramp and the skin around the varicose veins may become inflamed.
What is the short-term treatment for varicose veins?
Initial advice for treatment of varicose veins is the abbreviation: E.S.E.S. That stands for Exercise, Stockings, Elevation, and Still. Exercising, wearing compression hose, elevating and resting the legs may provide some relief from the symptoms of varicose veins, but these activities will not prevent them from getting worse. These techniques do not address the underlying disease. Losing weight has been shown to be helpful.
What are Spider Veins?
The tiny veins in the skin are called spider veins if they become enlarged. These veins may be hair thin or the width of a spaghetti noodle. Spider veins should be treated with an ultrasound exam to properly diagnose the vein disease.
How are spider veins treated?
To avoid unsatisfactory results, proper evaluation of any underlying vein disease is necessary. At Total Vein Treatment Centers, we use sclerotherapy to treat veins. The vein is shut down using a tiny needle filled with a solution. In most cases, it is nearly painless. In the process, the reticular veins or surface feeder veins are treated first, then after a few weeks, the spider veins are treated. Compression stockings are used after treatment. A healing period is necessary. Most spider veins look better after a few weeks, but best results are seen after a few months. The number of sessions depends on the size of the spider veins.
What is Sclerotherapy?
The sclerotherapy procedure involves injecting a solution into the vein causing a chemical alteration to the vein resulting in the vein closing. After the underlying sources of venous reflux have been addressed, this procedure is the most effective approach. After the treatment, leg wraps and stockings are utilized, depending on the size of the vein being treated.
What is Ambulatory Phlebectomy?
Ambulatory phlebectomy is considered a surgical procedure which treats surface veins through multiple incisions made along the varicose vein in which the vein is removed out of the leg using forceps as hooks. Another procedure involves microvascular techniques removing all or portions of the varicose vein. These procedures are performed under local or regional anesthesia in an operating room or in the office procedure room.
What is Vein Stripping?
Historically, vein stripping involved all or part of the vein being tied off and pulled out because of valve damage in the vein. Now considered a rather outdated procedure, stripping was done under general anesthesia and could cause swelling and bruising, greater pain, greater disability and longer recovery. Today, ablation has taken the place of vein stripping.
When is VNUS Closure Used?
VNUS closure is the process used to stop reverse blood flow within the saphenous vein, eliminating the need to physically remove the vein. This process can be performed in the office with a local anesthesia. Closure is done with radiofrequency ablation, using radiofrequency energy and a catheter to heat the inside of the vein. Candidates for the procedure are required to have an ultrasound in the area to see if the procedure is necessary. There are risks, as with any procedure, but potential complications are less likely than with traditional surgery.
Do you use Lasers for Vein Treatment?
We prefer foam injections. Lasers have been used for the treatment of spider veins of the legs. Many physicians who are not experts in vein disease may use lasers, but they do not address the underlying vein abnormalities. Injections are less painful, more cost effective, and just as efficient. No vein is too small to inject, so results are often more satisfactory with injections.
What are your office hours?
Total Vein Treatment Centers are open Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
What medical insurance do you accept?
We are participating providers of most private major health insurance carriers as well as Medicare.
What can I expect at the first appointment?
We will go over your medical history and an examination of your abnormal veins will be conducted. An examination using ultrasound will be performed if necessary. A plan of treatment will then be described. If you are wanting treatment of simpler spider veins, we can begin on your first visit if we are informed about this in advance, prior to your appointment.
What is your policy concerning cancellation?
Occasionally, patients don’t notify us when something causes them to miss their appointment. This leaves a gap in the schedule where someone else may have been seen. In the event you need to cancel, please allow us to know within two working days of your appointment.
We Are Accepting New Patients
If you have additional questions, please schedule a free consultation by contacting our Plano clinic.