This is a continuation of often-asked questions regarding treatment of veins.
Does Insurance Cover Vein Treatments?
Insurance will cover treatments they consider medically necessary. So, if you have symptoms such as pain, aching, fatigue, cramps, heaviness, restless legs, and/or signs such as swelling, sores, bleeding or blood clots in your lower extremities AND we can identify problems in the veins with a properly done ultrasound, your situation will be considered medically necessary.
However, if you have only spider veins, then that condition is considered cosmetic and insurance will not pay. Patients should remember that spider veins mean that you have some form of venous disease; so if you have spider veins and you have symptoms then you need to be evaluated for a more serious underlying problem with the larger veins that supply pressure to the spider veins. Find more anatomic definitions here: http://www.fivestarvein.com/anatomic-terms/
Do I Have to go to the Hospital to Have My Surgery?
No! Almost all procedures done on the venous system can be done as an outpatient. I do them in my office operating rooms.
Will I Be Put to Sleep for My Slideshow Operation?
No. We do not put anyone under general anesthesia. If fact, we do not use intravenous sedation to “knock the patient out” for a while. We use a special type of local anesthesia called “tumescent anesthesia” invented by a California physician in 1984. We also offer patients some mild medicines to relax them. However, many patients choose to take no oral medicines because they wish to drive themselves home after the procedure.
I Don’t Like Needles or Any Pain. Why Can’t You Just Put Me Out?
We choose not to, and this is why. Every treatment method in medicine comes with its own set of complications. Every study ever done comparing general anesthesia with tumescent anesthesia methods comes down on the side of the local anesthetic with regards to complications.
For example, take the most extreme complication—death. The only deaths reported in liposuction operations have been in those patients done under general anesthesia. There have been zero deaths reported doing liposuction under local tumescent anesthesia. And so it goes for the potential of other complications.
If you can do the operation properly, it is best done under local. The down side is that there is occasional mild transient pain. Most of the time the patient feels a few mosquito bite needle sticks. Usually patients sleep through most of the procedure.
What is the Down Time After Surgery? How Long Will I Be Out of Work? How Soon Can I Resume My Daily Activities?
The good news with proper treatment of bad veins with the endovenous (inside the vein) laser is that not only will there be a 90-95% success rate but there is essentially no down time. In fact, part of the post operative instructions includes walking daily. Most patients can return to work the next day.
There can be some mild soreness in some patients but this is not significant. Narcotic medications are not needed and patients can immediately resume normal activities. The only activity restrictions are a temporary hold on aerobic activity until the treated area heals; or a 2-3 day wait on returning to work if your job entails vigorous physical activity.
In Part 3 of our series, we will discuss the use of medical support hose, risk of blood clots, and others.
Schedule your visit with Dr. Ruess of Five Star Vein Institute to get the answers to your questions regarding your vein health. Click here to find out more information.