Commonly Asked Questions to Our Cardiology Practice

1. WHAT ARE THE CAUSES OF VARICOSE VEINS (VENOUS REFLUX)?

Healthy leg veins contain valves that open and close to assist the return of blood back to the heart.

Varicose veins and spider veins develop when these valves malfunction or get damaged.

As a result, the normal outflow of blood from your legs gets interrupted and legs become congested leading to symptoms like these:

  • Varicose veins
  • Spider veins
  • Pain
  • Swollen limbs
  • Leg heaviness
  • Fatigue
2. HOW COMMON ARE VARICOSE VEINS?

Varicose veins and spider veins are present in nearly 40 percent of the adult population. Approximately 25 million people in the United States suffer from this condition.

3. HOW DO I KNOW I HAVE VENOUS REFLUX?

Unsightly varicose veins, spider veins or skin changes are typical signs of venous problems or incompetent veins.

Leg pains, heaviness, swelling, and restless legs are manifestations of venous reflux when the symptoms occur at the end of the day or at night and improve when walking.

Although, in some patients symptoms may vary.

Using ultrasound to scan your leg (s) our physicians will determine if venous reflux is present and if you will benefit from treatment.

4. HOW IS VENOUS REFLUX TREATED?

Venous reflux disease treatment starts with conservative care, such as:

  • Exercise
  • Compression stockings
  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Weight loss

If these measures fail, we apply treatments to eliminate incompetent veins and valves and re-route blood flow to healthy veins.

Comprehensive vein treatments include:

  • Laser
  • VNUS ClosureFast
  • Microphlebectomy
  • Sclerotherapy

VeinGogh Thermolysis System

5. ENDOVENOUS LASER AND CLOSUREFAST VEIN TREATMENT FOR VARICOSE VEINS

A fiber is placed into the diseased vein. The energy closes off the leaking vein which prevents further backftow of blood. The treated vein is no longer needed since it was already non-functional and blood is re-routed to healthy veins.

Endovenous procedures are effective minimally invasive treatments performed in office allowing you to resume activities in one to two days.

6. MICROPHLEBECTOMY FOR BULGING VEINS

In addition to laser treatment, some patients with large varicose veins may require tiny incisions to remove the bulging veins. This is also performed in the comfort of an office with minimal discomfort.

7. SCLEROTHERAPY AND VEIN GOGH'" THERMOLYSIS TREATMENT FOR SPIDER VEINS AND RED SPOTS

For almost Bo years, sclerotherapy has been used to reduce the size and visibility of varicose veins and spider veins. A tiny needle is used to inject a sclerosing solution into the vein. The solution irritates the vein, causing it to collapse and eventually disappear.

Newer technology is superficial laser or VeinGogh thermolysis that can also treat the smallest of veins. Energy is applied to the vein by a tiny needle touching the vein through the skin.

This treatment can be used on sensitive areas of the face and legs to include:

-Nose
-Cheeks
-Chin
-Neck
-Knees
-Ankles

What type of testing is used to assess my leg symptoms?

All forms of ultrasound vascular studies including Lower Extremity Venous Ultrasound, Lower Extremity Artery Ultrasound, Ankle Brachial Indexes, PPG, and Abdominal Aorta and Iliac Arteries and Venous Ultrasounds.

Is endovenous laser ablation effective?

Yes. Five year results in thousands of patients have demonstrated that this procedure is more effective than traditional vein stripping and successful in >90% of patients.

How does saphenous laser ablation work?

Thermal energy is delivered to the vein wall and this causes the leaking, diseased vein to close off so it does not continue to leak blood into the varicose veins.

Is this covered by insurance?

Most insurance companies cover endovenous laser procedures and phlebectomy, the same as any other outpatient procedure, if you have pain and have attempted medical management (compression stockings, weight control and elevation).

Does this require hospitalization?

No, this is an office procedure and takes about 1 hour. You will be given a local anesthesia, lidocaine, and an oral sedative.

Are other treatments necessary?

You may still require sclerotherapy or tiny incisions to remove additional varicose veins after this procedure. We will also do an ultrasound several days after the procedure to check the status of the treated vein.

Does it hurt?

Some patients are more sensitive than others but few really complain of significant pain during or after the procedure. Patients typically describe an aching, burning or pulling sensation.

How long is the recovery period?

We encourage walking the same day and return to normal activities the next day. You should delay strenuous exercise for one week.

What is the difference between the laser procedure and radiofrequency ablation (CLOSURE procedure)?

Both procedures are FDA-approved, non-surgical methods of treating varicose veins. They are very similar in terms of how you are treated and what you will experience. The results for both procedures are excellent and this becomes a physician preference. The main difference is in the type of energy delivered by the catheter. One procedure is not proven better than the other

Does loss of this vein cause problems with drainage of the leg?

No. An incompetent saphenous vein is essentially a non-functioning vein and blood that would have flowed through the vein has already been diverted into other healthy veins to drain the leg.

Why should I choose The Cardiovascular & Vein Center of Florida?

Our physicians are a unique group of board certified cardiologists who are dedicated to comprehensive, non-surgical management of venous disorders. They have successfully performed thousands of endovascular procedures. Our doctors and staff are committed to making you feel comfortable and well cared for throughout your evaluation and treatment. We look forward to the opportunity to assist you.