Myths About Vein Disease and Vein Care
Vein care has improved in the last decade, with advancements in the tools we use and the methods in which we conduct treatments. But sometimes misinformation lingers, and at Illinois Vein Specialists, we pride ourselves in the education we provide to our patients on vein care and Vein disease to make sure they have all the information they need before, during, and after treatment.
Myth 1- Varicose and spider veins will always reoccur after treatment.
To state it plainly, this is not true.
The need for multiple treatments only occurred when physicians used the outdated method of vein stripping to treat spider and varicose veins, this was the case, but since then, we have moved on to more effective treatments in which one treatment is enough.
The field of venous and lymphatic medicine has made incredible progress with the treatment of vein disease. With state-of-the-art treatments, the need for multiple treatments is now below 5%.
When treating the indwelling veins with Endovenous Laser Treatment, the treated veins will not return. Mordern procedures offer the very best in complete venous closure post treatment. With Sclerotherapy, the veins treated during procedure will not return however, when treating spider veins, which are usually hormonal and you do have the ability to grow new veins that may require treatment in the future.
These modern treatments are safer and more efficient than old treatments like vein stripping, and because they are non-invasive, they pose little risk for complications during recovery with little to no downtime.
Myth 2- Women should wait to treat their vein disease until a time when they will no longer become pregnant.
Many physicians tell their female patients that they would have to live with their vein condition until they reached a point in their lives where they would no longer become pregnant. We have heard the same story over a thousand times from our female patients:
“I was told to wait until after all my pregnancies to get my veins fixed”.
Weight gained with pregnancy can cause can cause high blood pressure and lead to many vein-related complications like varicose veins. However, many of the women we treat had varicose veins before pregnancy or during their first or second pregnancy. Once treated, the pain, swelling, and discomfort associated with those veins complications will not reoccur and disappear from the body, so it makes little sense to us at IVS to have our female patients wait for treatment.
We believe that if you are a woman with a family history of varicose veins, it makes sense for you to be screened for Chronic Venous Hypertension (CVH) to help prevent needless suffering during or after pregnancy.
If a woman developed varicose veins during the pregnancy, once she has delivered the baby and sufficiently recovered, we recommend getting evaluated and treated before becoming pregnant again.
Myth 3- Varicose vein treatment is ONLY a cosmetic fix.
This myth is false.
This myth is one of the most harmful misconceptions about vein disease treatments, labeling vein care as only a cosmetic concern and not treatment for a legitimate disease. It also perpetuates the idea that there is no need to seek out treatment for conditions like varicose or spider veins unless they cause physical pain, which is a symptom that occurs very late in this insidious disease.
Varicose veins are a symptom of vascular Venous insufficiency and compromise and can lead to worsening pain and swelling or tired and achy legs. If left untreated, those with the disease will experience continuing pain, fatigue, and swelling of the legs and ankles.
Patients may also develop edema, an excess of watery fluid collecting in the leg tissue, deep or superficial vein thrombosis, blood clots in the legs, and even venous ulcers. These conditions can block entire veins and endanger the overall health of your leg. Embolisms can also break off and travel through the blood flow to the lungs, causing chest pain, difficulty breathing, or even death.
Those with vein disease should seek treatment because of the life-threatening risks of ignoring their conditions.
Myth 4- Insurance does not cover varicose vein treatment.
This myth is incorrect- insurance almost always covers varicose vein treatment.
We have seen that the initial diagnostic evaluation for venous disease is covered more than 90% of the time. Because recent research demonstrates the importance of treating chronic venous hypertension and varicose veins and the success and cost-effectiveness of early treatment for patients and insurance companies, many insurance companies have added varicose vein treatment coverage.
A diagnostic evaluation performed by a qualified phlebologist using ultrasonography determines coverage.
Myth 5- Vein stripping is the best way to treat varicose veins.
This myth is false.
Vein stripping is an outdated and painful treatment that requires weeks of recovery time. Even worse, vein stripping is only successful half of the time and can often make matters worse.
Sadly, some physicians still treat varicose veins with this outdated technique to treat varicose veins. At Illinois Vein Specialists, we use endovenous laser therapy (EVLT) to treat varicose veins because it only takes an hour to conduct and only requires a small incision to be made.
Because endovenous laser treatments are minimally invasive, patients can expect almost zero downtime for recovery, and you will be able to walk out of the office the day they receive the treatment, returning to their normal, daily activities right away.
You can also download a FREE copy of our Patient Guide for information on how we treat spider and varicose veins!