Landis Vein Care Clinic - Frequently Asked Questions

What are varicose veins?
Varicose veins are veins that have become abnormally swollen and enlarged, usually due to malfunctioning valves in the vein.  They are sometimes bluish in color and stick out from the surface of the skin, often appearing as worm-like and winding.

What causes varicose veins?
Heredity is the number one contributing factor causing varicose and spider veins. Women are about twice as likely to suffer from abnormal leg veins.  Hormonal factors including puberty, pregnancy, menopause, the use of birth control pills, estrogen, and progesterone affect this process. It is very common for pregnant women to develop varicose veins during the first trimester. During pregnancy there is an increase in hormone levels and blood volume, which in turn cause veins to enlarge. In addition, the enlarged uterus causes increased pressure on the veins. Varicose veins due to pregnancy often improve within 3 months after delivery. However, with successive pregnancies, abnormal veins are more likely to remain.

Other predisposing factors include aging, standing occupations, obesity and leg injury.

How are they treated?
There are many ways to treat varicose veins today.  The use of gradient compression stockings aids in the recirculation of blood.  Sclerotherapy can be used to treat both spider and varicose veins and endovenous laser therapy helps to stop the formation of varicosities at their source.  Microphlebectomy can also be performed to remove small pieces of bulging or visible varicose veins.

What is sclerotherapy?

Sclerotherapy is a way of treating varicose veins by injecting a substance that causes the collapse or closing of the vein.  Many patients who select this treatment for cosmetic reasons notice improvement in the way their legs feel afterward. We use two FDA approved chemicals called sodium tetradecyl sulphate (STS) and Polidocanol. Hypertonic saline is no longer useful.

What is Endovenous Laser Treatment?
Endovenous Laser Treatment (EVLT) is an alternative to stripping the greater saphenous vein.  A small laser fiber is inserted into the damaged vein.  A series of pulses of laser light causes the vein to collapse and eventually seal off of the vein.  This procedure is done in the office under local anesthesia and takes around 45 minutes.

What does my insurance company require and will they pay for treatments?
Many insurance companies cover varicose vein treatments after a trial of conservative therapy.  Some insurance companies require predetermination in order for your procedure to be covered.  At your initial consultation we will review your policy coverage and let you know if there are any requirements that need to be fulfilled prior to treatment.  It is however, your responsibility to know your insurance co-payments and deductibles.

Spider veins are considered cosmetic by nearly all insurance companies and will need to be paid for out of pocket. 

Can I be cured of varicose veins?
Varicose veins can be successfully treated but not cured. The treatment of veins does not change a person’s predisposition to certain factors. Therefore, some patients may return for varicose vein maintenance.

What do the treatments cost?

Some procedures involving symptomatic varicose veins may be covered insurance. It is always best to contact your insurance carrier to find out about your policy. We participate with most major insurance companies, and can obtain preauthorization if necessary.
Spider vein therapy is considered cosmetic and is not covered by insurance. Cost is discussed at your consultation.
We accept MasterCard™, Visa™, and Discovery™ credit cards.