FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What causes varicose veins?
Varicose veins are caused by the downward flow of blood or reflux in superficial veins of the leg that should be returning to the heart. This is most often caused by incompetent valves in one or several major superficial veins and leads to the development of visible varicose veins underneath the skin.
How does the laser work?
The laser seals the veins responsible for reflux, thereby shutting off the pathway for venous reflux that leads to visible varicose and spider veins.
What are the treatment alternatives?
Surgical vein stripping is an alternative to laser treatment. It involves larger incisions under general anesthesia and a significant recovery time. In addition, it typically has a lower success rate than laser therapy.
How much does the treatment cost?
The treatment of symptomatic varicose veins with an endovascular laser is covered by most insurance companies. After your consultation, we will petition your insurance company to cover the procedure. We perform sclerotherapy and ambulatory phlebectomy for symptomatic varicose veins and it is usually covered by insurance. Spider veins are considered cosmetic and can be treated with sclerotherapy for a reasonable standard rate.
Do you accept my insurance?
Treatment of symptomatic varicose veins is covered by most insurance providers, including Medicare. Once you and your physician have decided on a treatment plan, we will check and go over your benefits with you.
Will the laser procedure hurt?
EVLT is a minimally invasive procedure performed through a small tube about the size of spaghetti. It is inserted in a vein usually just above the knee through a tiny nick in the skin which leaves no visible scar. A special anesthetic is also administered along the course of the vein, usually totaling 5-7 injections depending on the length of vein segment to be treated. Any post-procedure discomfort is most commonly taken care of with ibuprofen or Tylenol.
When can I go back to my normal activities?
You may resume normal activities immediately, and walking after the procedure is encouraged. Strenuous activities such as running or exercising at the gym can be resumed in 7-10 days.
How soon will I notice a difference in my symptoms?
The symptoms of leg heaviness and swelling associated with venous reflux improve immediately after the procedure. Small visible varicosities and spider veins often fade over a few weeks but may require sclerotherapy or phlebectomy to disappear entirely.
Do I need a referral from my doctor?
No, you may contact us directly to make an appointment. We will write your primary care doctor a letter letting them know we consulted with you.
Do you participate in any health plans?
Our Interventional Radiologists are providers or preferred-providers for most local HMO, PPO, and POS plans. Feel free to call our office with questions regarding coverage details for your particular plan. We accept assignment for all Medicare claims, and are providers for the Wisconsin Medical Assistance and Badger Care programs.
I am pregnant and have varicose veins. Am I eligible for treatment?
Treatment is not recommended for women who are pregnant or nursing.
How can I make an appointment?
Simply call our office at 715.832.2200, Monday-Friday, 9 am to 5 pm or make an online appointment request.