Frequently Asked Questions

And Answers from Our Vein Doctors

Find more information about spider veins and radiofrequency vein ablation


1. What is venous reflux?

The veins within the legs have one-way valves that should snap shut when one is standing. Blood within the veins should only travel in one direction, back towards the heart. When these valves are diseased, the blood pools within the calf and has difficulty returning back to the heart. This causes the veins to stretch out and become rope-like in the leg.


2. My varicose veins are in my calf. Why is my vein doctor talking about first treating a vein in my thigh?

The varicose veins within the calf may have appeared because there is a vein called a “truncal” vein within the thigh that is abnormal. This truncal vein can only be seen with an ultrasound machine. In order to treat the varicose veins in the calf it is first necessary to seal the truncal vein and allow the varicose veins that branch off it to decompress.


3. What are the risks involved with thermal ablation?

Thermal ablation is one of the safest medical procedures on the market with a well-documented history of safety and success. As with any medical intervention, potential risks and complications exist. Your physician will review the potential complications at the time of the consult. Potential complications include blood clot (less than 1%), bruising, phlebitis, infection, tingling and numbness from nerve injury, and/or skin burn.


4. Is thermal ablation painful?

Although some people are more sensitive than others, patients generally report little pain. Once the treated vein is numbed, it is very unusual to feel any pain or heat associated with the treatment.


5. Do I need the veins that are being closed?

Once the veins become diseased, they no longer serve any useful function and only act to cause symptoms. Additionally, once diseased, these veins will progressively worsen with time.


6. What restrictions do I have after treatment?

There are few restrictions after vein treatment. Patients are expected to wear compression stocking for a week after the procedure. Walking is encouraged, although strenuous activities such as running or bicycling are not encouraged for one week.


7. What is the recovery time after each procedure?

Patients can resume normal activity after vein treatment, with the exception of strenuous exercise, which can be resumed 72 after any treatment. 


8. What are compression stockings?

Compression stockings are medically prescribed stockings that exert a predetermined amount of pressure on the veins within the legs. This pressure helps collapse the veins and prevents blood from pooling within them. After the procedure, compression stockings aid in preventing inflammation of the veins and accelerate recovery.


9. How long do I need to wear compression stockings?

After any vein treatment, patients need to wear compression stockings for 1 week as  much as possible.


10. Is my procedure covered by insurance?

Thermal ablation, microphlebectomy, and foam sclerotherapy are typically covered by most insurance plans. Spider vein sclerotherapy is considered cosmetic and is most commonly not covered by insurance plans. Your physician can discuss your insurance coverage further at the time of consultation.


11. What does a vein consultation entail?

The vein consultation typically takes an hour and consists of a comprehensive ultrasound of the legs performed by a well-trained technologist experienced in venous imaging. The vein doctor completes the ultrasound at the time of the consultation in order to best map out the anatomy and come up with the best treatment plan. Your physician will then go over the results and provide a detailed explanation of his recommendations to get your legs looking and feeling great.


12. Why choose the Vein Center at Brinton Lake?

We understand that there are many practitioners out there treating veins. We believe that the Vein Center at Brinton Lake is unique in that we offer a comprehensive array of treatment options that can manage the smallest to largest veins. Our practice is patient-centered with a strong emphasis on direct physician involvement in the work-up of the disease. We do not rush patients out from the office and instead dedicate all the time that is needed to make sure that each and every patient has a firm grasp of vein care issues and a solid understanding of his or her treatment plan.