Knowing the Best Vein Treatment Options For You
For most of your life you will spend a lot of time looking after your legs. You will shave them, moisturize, and show them off to their best effect by wearing high heals and fake tan. For many years they will be fine, but as you age there is a risk that all that hard work will be undone and you will need to seek the services of a vein specialist and undergo varicose vein treatment.
The first thing you should notice will be the veins in your leg protruding and very often there will be pain and heaviness in the legs. Although you will probably know what is wrong, it will be necessary to visit a vein specialist and get a proper diagnosis. Once you have that, it will be possible to work out what will be done about it. The good news is that it is not a long-term treatment, and ones sealed off or removed, the veins cannot be reactivated so there will never be the same veins causing you problems. The bad news is that other veins can fall foul of the same condition and you will have to go through the procedures again to deal with the veins now causing problems.
Once the vein specialist has asked about your medical history, they will carry out an examination. One of the main things they will want to do is to see how swollen your legs are. Once they are sure that there is not too much of a problem with swelling they will went to test the viability of the veins. You will have to give very open and honest answers when you are asked about the pain level. You will still get treated even if you say you are not in a great deal of pain, as it is accepted that if left untreated, they will get worse and may eventually require invasive vein treatment.
The next step will to see if the veins are still fit for purpose, or if they are damaged to a degree that is preventing them from doing their job. This will be tested via an ultra sound and if a blood clot has formed, this will also be picked up, and all precautions taken to make sure that this is dealt with as this will be the most serious of conditions. This is completely non-invasive so there is nothing to worry about as you will not be subject to scaring or worse still, infection. A transducer – a device that the technician will hold in their hand – will be run over the legs in the area were the veins are most prominent. There will be a monitor and the transducer will send pictures to it, allowing the technician to see clear and concise images of the veins and the levels to which they are functioning. Once the technician has looked, a vein specialist will come in and give their opinion.
Varicose Vein Treatment
Now that all of the examinations have taken place, vein treatment can begin. The good news is that you will not need to clear your diary to accommodate a long stay in hospital. There is also no need to worry that there will be a long period of recovery needed or that the recovery is going to be painful or uncomfortable. At one time that would have been the case, but modern-day vein treatment is much less invasive than it used to be and normally it will be an outpatient’s appointment that needs to be booked. When arranging appointments, it will be worth checking if your insurance will cover any or all the costs. If there are medical reasons, it is very likely that you will be covered, but if it is just for cosmetic reasons, you are probably going to have to foot the bill of vein treatment yourself.
While some people will get varicose veins whatever they do, there are certain things that you can do to help keep yourself varicose veins free. Pregnancy can cause them, and it is understood that there will be many people who will take the risk to have a family. The reality is that there will not have to be vein treatment carried out on veins that appear during pregnancy, as they tend to disappear on their own a few months after the birth. It is only when there are more than 3 pregnancies that is it likely that some veins will not get back to the way they once were. It may take up to 12 months for this to happen, but it is better than undergoing vein treatment that is not needed. The ways you can limit the odds will be: –
- Keeping weight at a sensible level. The more overweight you are, the more risk of developing varicose veins you will be. Your vein specialist should explain all of this to you before you start your treatment as you cannot change the veins the way they are, but you may be able to prevent them returning later.
- Exercise – if you keep active, you should be able to keep your legs smooth and your veins working to the highest level.
- It may seem strange, but your choice of clothes can be an issue and require you to seek vein treatment. They can affect the way your blood moves around the body, and offer time create problematic veins. If they are too tight around the waist, the blood flow will be limited.
- Move around – it does not matter whether you are sitting or standing, if you do not change position and move a lot, then there are the risks of veins becoming varicose. Even a short walk around the office if you have a desk job is going to lead to improvements.
- The way you sit, and sleep can cause varicose veins. Whenever you can it will help to keep the legs raised and do not cross them when seated.
- Compression stockings may not be the sexiest items on the market, but they can keep your legs healthy and you away from the vein specialist. They will only be worn once there is a sign of the veins, and they will slowly squeeze your legs so that the muscles move and therefore blood is able to move around the veins more actively. If you can, get a prescription as they will be the perfect quality as your doctor will be able to determine the type you need to ensure that you get the correct level of compression.
The above suggestions will be ideal if you are in the early stages of developing varicose veins or they are not severe. As they get worse, you will have to look to further forms of treatment from the vein specialist and it is likely that you will be given the following options: –
- Sclerotherapy – there will be a solution injected into the small and medium sized veins. The vein will be closed up and blood will no longer be able to enter them. In a matter of weeks, you should notice the veins beginning to fade and eventually your legs will be clear again. Other veins will pick up the blood that can no longer go through the closed veins, but there is nothing to say that other veins will not become problematic in time. It is possible that it will take more than one session for the vein to close completely, you can carry on with your life as normal – there is no need for an anesthetic and you will only have to visit the usual office of your vein specialist.
- Foam Sclerotherapy – at one time it was only smaller veins that could be closed off this way, but now the larger ones can be as well.
- Lasers – these are now being used effectively for varicose vein treatment and they are able to deal with spider veins and other small veins. The vein will literally be blasted away as a strong light will be focused on it. There is no need to cut the leg at all, so healing is going to be a lot easier.
- Radiofrequency – here there is an invasion into the leg as a catheter will need to be inserted. It is going to be heated and as the catheter is removed from the leg, the vein will become hot, collapse and be sealed closed. When it is a large vein that is causing the problem, then this is the course of action that is likely to be taken. It is important that this is carried out by a vein specialist as you want to be sure that the results are perfect first time.
- Vein stripping – here a small vein will be decommissioned before it is able to reach one of the larger veins. A small incision will be made, and the vein will be removed from the body totally. Again, this is not going to require a stay in hospital, but you can be in and out in a day. There will not be any adverse effects as there are plenty of other veins who will take over the role of the one that has been removed.
- Phlebectomy – the skin is punctured and the smaller of the veins can be removed this way. There is minimal numbing for this as it is not painful and only the actual areas where the vein treatment will take place will be injected.
- Endoscopic vein treatment – this is only going to be required when the other procedures have either not worked or have been deemed not suitable as the veins are too damaged. Ulcers can be formed, and they need to be dealt with as a matter of urgency. A camera is placed inside the leg and the damaged veins are taken out the closed and now useless veins.
Vein Treatment Costs
Whichever vein specialist you go to see will have their charges. It is likely that a lot will be the same or pretty close, but it will be best to check on a few things before you undergo any sort of treatment or commit yourself to payments. It is worth checking what your insurance company is going to contribute. If you just want your legs to look better, it is possible that they will not pay anything. If this is the case. then you may have to carefully select the vein specialist, as it may be that you have to go with who you can afford rather than who you want to go with.
With sclerotherapy you can expect to have to pay a couple of hundred dollars for each leg that you have treated. If the outcome of your tests is that laser treatment is going to be the best form of vein treatment, then cost can vary. Depending on where you live and the condition of the veins, there could be a difference in the cost per leg.
If you do find that it is proving to be too expensive and you are not covered, then there are a couple of ways to sort out a sensible payment plan. Often your vein specialist will offer payment plans. This will work well for both sides as you will be able to get the treatment you want, and the vein specialist will receive payment, even if it is not a lump sum, up-front payment. There are also companies who will offer finance, and this works in the same way that car insurance will work. You will be provided with the money for the treatment and will then need to pay it back of an agreed period of time. As there will be interest charged, it is vital that you get the final monthly payment figure before committing yourself to the plan. You don’t want to take away from the relief of having vein treatment by replacing the worrying about that with the worry of how you will pay.