- Heredity/Family History - You have roughly a 90% chance of having venous disease if both parents had vein issues.
- Age - Venous disease affects patients as early as late teenage years to their mid-nineties and with conditions progressing with age.
- Gender - Women are at a higher risk for developing venous disease (25%) compared to men (15%)
- Pregnancy - The chance of developing varicose veins increases with each pregnancy.
- Obesity - Obesity does increase the risk of venous disease, but only slightly.
- Standing Professions – Due to the nature of the disease process, standing professions such as; teachers, nurses, factory workers and construction personnel are more likely to develop varicose veins.
Varicose veins are secondary to venous disease (venous valvular insufficiency). The valves in the vein no longer close completely causing blood to pool in the vein, gradually weakening the vein walls. The weak vein walls become enlarged which leads to the development of varicose veins. Varicose veins often appear to be dark purple or blue and look rope-like, lumpy, twisted and/or bulging. Varicose veins can cause swelling, aching, and tired legs; create a burning, throbbing, or itching sensation; and cause muscle cramps and a general restlessness in your legs. These bulging veins can be symptomatic, resulting in leg pain, edema (swelling), skin discoloration and even leg ulceration. Those who suffer from varicose veins are likely to complain of their legs feeling heavy, swollen, tired, restless and achy. Often sitting or standing in the same position for too long a period of time will worsen their symptoms as the day progresses. An estimated greater than 20% of the adult population suffers from varicose veins. In the United States, that translates into more than 40 million Americans. Varicose veins require medical treatment.
Spider veins are very small varicose veins and often an indication of venous disease. Although they don’t usually cause discomfort, the deeper veins that often accompany them do. Many patients have a combination of both varicose and spider veins. While they may seek treatment for cosmetic improvement, many of our patients are looking for relief from pain.
Initially, we recommend a physical examination in our office. When you come to us, we will review your complete medical history and have you complete a venous risk assessment. Your circulation will be tested with a non-invasive ultrasound and an individualized treatment plan will be developed for you. The most common treatment for venous disease is endovenous ablation. Endovenous ablation is an FDA-approved, minimally invasive treatment that requires no hospitalization and no complicated surgery. The entire procedure, start to finish, will take about an hour. Performed under ultrasound guidance, we us energy to treat varicose veins by closing off the vein, preventing it from flowing in the wrong direction down the leg. Your body then naturally re-route blood to healthier veins. Patient’s walk-in and walk-out of the procedure experiencing very minimal to no pain during the procedure or post operatively.
Most treatments options are covered by insurance companies such as; Medicare, Blue Cross Blue Shield, United Healthcare, Aetna, Cigna as well as many other commercial insurance carriers. Call us at 256-715-7151 if you have any questions regarding your coverage or stop by our Huntsville office today and our insurance coordinator will be happy to assist you!
Sclerotherapy is one of the most effective treatments used for spider veins and small varicose veins. This procedure involves the injection of a FDA-approved sclerosing solution called Asclera®, which causes chemical endovenous ablation of the vein, which collapses and diminishes in appearance. Patients typically see a visual improvement of 70% - 90% of these vessels disappearing.
Patients report feeling very little, if any discomfort during or after their procedures. Tumescent solution is local anesthetic used to desensitize the treatment area.
Patients are walking immediately following the procedure; they typically resume normal activities within one day. The procedure is done in our office under local anesthetic with the procedure itself taking around one hour or less with the majority of patients returning to work the same day.
Vein stripping was the main treatment option for this condition performed by many surgeons up until the early 2000’s. This was often done in an operating room under general anesthesia and was painful procedure with a long recovery. Endovenous Thermal Ablation is new standard for treating this condition that Best Vein Care utilizes and allows us to perform the ablation procedure in our office with improved patient outcomes and very minimal to no pain. The complications of endovenous thermal ablation are far less than 1 in 1000.
Venous reflux disease is a condition that develops in the superficial venous system when the valves in your veins that keep blood flowing out of your legs and back to your heart become damaged or diseased. This causes blood to pool in your legs. Common symptoms of superficial venous reflux disease include leg restlessness, pain, swelling, heaviness and fatigue as well as varicose veins. This disease can also be referred to by many names such as; Chronic Venous Insufficiency, Venous Disease, Venous Reflux Disease and Venous Valvular Insufficiency.
Most patient report a significant improvement with their symptoms within 1-2 weeks following the procedure.
The incidence of a serious complication with the ablation procedure is extremely rare. A small number of treated patients have had transient paresthesia (numbness) and even fewer have had superficial clotting or DVT (<6). The risks of foregoing treatment far outweigh those of having the procedure performed. Our board-certified Plastic surgeon and staff are experts in the field of Phlebology (the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the veins) with our surgical suite properly equipped should the extremely rare instance an emergency should arise. Our physician and staff will discuss the nature, purpose, risks and benefits of our procedures in your initial consultation and anytime thereafter.
Unlike treatment you would receive in a hospital setting, Best Vein Care is focused solely on providing treatment for venous disease, varicose veins and spider veins rather a multi-specialty physician or practice. Most treatments are covered by commercial insurance carriers including Medicare, with the added benefit that our office based vein center provides patients with substantial savings by limiting the number of co-pays / out-of-pocket expenses that a patient would typically incur for treatment in a hospital based setting.
- Large, ropy veins
- Leg pain or aching
- Leg numbness or tingling
- Leg swelling
- Spider veins
- Restless legs
- Leg burning or cramping
- Skin discoloration
- Leg sores or ulcers
- Tired, heavy legs
- Venous ulcers
No. These veins are part of the superficial venous system, which is comprised of a large number of veins. When a vein’s valves become damaged or diseased, it prevents the proper blood flow back to the heart. In turn, the vein is no longer useful and cannot be repaired. When the diseased vein is ablated (closed) or removed, the blood is rerouted to healthy veins, restoring the proper blood flow. Damaged veins are no longer candidates for vein harvesting used in other procedures, i.e., open-heart surgery. However, as previously stated, our superficial venous system is comprised of a number of veins. For this reason, there are other healthy veins that can be used for vein harvesting used in other procedures.
Venous ulcers are areas of the lower leg where the skin has broken down exposing the tissue. Typically, skin discoloration as well as itching will occur around the ankle before a venous ulcer will form. Ulcers can range from the size of a penny to completely encircling the leg. They are painful, open wounds, which weep fluid and can last for months or even years if left untreated.
Gravity is the culprit. The distance from the feet to the heart is the furthest blood has to travel in the body. Consequently, these vessels experience a great deal of pressure. If vein walls and valves weaken, the reflux of blood can cause superficial veins to become varicose.
In simple terms, arteries pump oxygen-rich blood FROM the heart; veins return oxygen-depleted blood TO the heart.
Pregnancy does not cause varicose veins; rather, it can aggravate an existing tendency toward the condition. More blood circulates in the body during pregnancy to meet the demands of the developing baby. This increased blood flow can further deteriorate an already weakened venous system. The growing fetus can also press on the pelvic veins and hinder the passage of blood. Finally, some researchers speculate that hormones present during pregnancy may contribute to dilated vessels. Prominent, uncomfortable veins that do not diminish postpartum should be evaluated by a vascular surgeon; though, some insurance providers require a six-month waiting period postpartum be observed before treatment is a covered benefit.
People should not be too quick to identify any blue veins as being varicose veins in nature. Fair-skinned and/or thin individuals are prone to slightly more prominent veins. Varicose veins are slightly raised and typically more noticeable upon standing.
It depends. Leg aching and/or throbbing are symptoms of varicose veins and are most likely related to venous disease. However, since there may be other conditions related to your leg discomfort, it is recommended that anyone experiencing leg pain should have an evaluation by a vein specialist. Temporary relief of these symptoms may be achieved by avoiding prolonged sitting and/ or standing. If you have a standing profession or if you find yourself standing for an extended amount of time, shift your weight from leg to leg. When sitting for more than 30 minutes, try to elevate the legs above heart level. If that is not possible, stand up and walk around for a few minutes before sitting again. In either case, wearing compression hose is recommended.