Vascular Disease FAQ from Southern Illinois Vein Center

Vascular Disease and How to Treat It


What are varicose veins?

Varicose veins are large, sometimes bulging blue and purple lines that appear on the lower extremities. Varicose occur when the walls of superficial veins weaken and blood flow back to the heart is impeded. In some cases, varicose veins will not have any other accompanying symptoms. However, many patients experience heaviness, pain or swelling in the legs as a result.


Why should I consider varicose vein treatment?

There are two reasons to pursue treatment for varicose veins. First, if you are experiencing painful symptoms as a result of your vein disease, treatment can effectively eliminate those symptoms. Even if you are not currently experiencing physical problems as a result of your varicose veins, treatment can eliminate unsightly lines on your legs that make you feel self conscious. It can also reduce your risk for more severe problems, like thrombosis, leg ulcers, or vein ulcerations, in the future.


How do your vein treatment procedures differ from stripping?

The treatments we offer have advantages over traditional vein stripping done in the past. First, vein stripping often required the use of a general anesthesia and a significant recovery time. Many of our patients require no anesthesia and most are back to work the next day. Our procedures also carry a much lower risk of recurrence than vein stripping, meaning that treated varicose veins will not return.


How long does vein treatment take?

The time involved varies, depending on the type of procedures done and the number of veins requiring treatment. Most vein treatment procedures take an hour or less to complete.


Are the treatments uncomfortable?

Patients are usually pleasantly surprised by the low level of discomfort they experience both during and after vein treatments. Because most treatments simply require the use of a needle, patients who can tolerate blood draws easily will not have a problem with these treatments. Most post-procedure discomfort can be effectively managed with over-the-counter medication.


Will treatment require time off work?

Recovery time for most vein treatments is fairly short, with many patients returning to work the day after treatment. In fact, patients are encouraged to walk as soon as possible after treatment and regularly for the next two weeks to speed recovery. There are some restrictions on air travel, hiking, biking, tubing or tanning after treatment. We will discuss the specifics of your restrictions at your initial consultation so you know what to expect.


Will I need more vein treatments?

Some of our vein treatments do require more than one session to achieve the desired results. Treated veins will not return, but that doesn’t mean you won’t see similar conditions in other lower extremity veins. Our vein clinic recommends a yearly follow up to catch new varicosities early so subsequent treatment will be minimally invasive.


Will my insurance pay for my vein treatment?

Most insurance companies consider treatment of symptomatic lower extremity vein disease to be medically necessary and often will authorize treatment when criteria for medical necessity have been met. Our vein clinic will work with your insurance company to verify coverage prior to your procedure. That way, you will know ahead of time if you will be responsible for any out of pocket expenses. Some insurance companies require photos as part of their pre-authorization process.


Do you have more questions? Our Vein Treatment Team is Here to Help!

If you have any other questions or concerns click here to contact us online or call us at 618-998-8346. You can also call to schedule an appointment, or request an appointment online. We look forward to seeing you!

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