Vein Treatment FAQ
What is Venous Insufficiency?
Venous insufficiency is a condition in which the veins in our legs are enlarged and stretched out causing the valves to not function properly. Blood in our legs is able to return to our heart and lungs, defying the laws of gravity, because of one way valves in our leg veins which prevent the back-flow of blood. With venous insufficiency, instead of traveling one direction back to the heart, blood now travels through these diseased veins in two directions. This backward flow of blood causes pressure to build up and can lead to many symptoms.
What are the symptoms of Venous Insufficiency?
Venous Insufficiency can cause leg cramping, tired legs, achy or heavy feeling in the legs, “Charlie Horses” and restless legs. Only a small percentage of people with venous insufficiency will develop visible varicose veins so the diagnosis is often missed. Often these symptoms are incorrectly attributed to other conditions such as low potassium or dehydration.
What causes Venous Insufficiency?
There are many causes of venous insufficiency including family history of vein problems, pregnancy, years of prolonged standing especially on concrete surfaces, prolonged sitting, chronic leg crossing, obesity, and avid exercising as well.
What is the treatment for Venous Insufficiency?
We are pleased to offer treatment for venous insufficiency in our ProActive Procedure Suite. The EVLT procedure, which stands for EndoVenous Laser Therapy, is a minor surgical procedure in which the diseased vein is closed with a laser. During the procedure, a local anesthetic is used to numb the area where the laser will be inserted. A small needle is used to access the vein and then a laser is inserted into the vein. The energy from the laser is used to close the diseased vein. Your body will re-route the blood to your healthier veins that do not have insufficiency so that many, if not all, of your symptoms will improve.
How long is the EVLT procedure?
The procedure itself only takes about 10 minutes but the total time you will spend in the office will be about an hour to an hour and a half.
Will the EVLT procedure be painful?
We are pleased to offer mild intravenous relaxation medicine for the procedure in addition to the local anesthetic. This helps to enhance your comfort during the procedure although you will remain awake throughout the procedure. For your safety, when you receive the relaxation sedation medicine you will need to bring someone to drive you home and will not be able to return to work or drive a vehicle for the rest of the day. You may return to work the day following the procedure. If you prefer to not receive relaxing medicine and just local anesthetic, we are happy to accommodate that and you will be able to drive and return to work the same day. Either way you will be up and walking immediately after the procedure.
How do I know if the procedure was successful and everything is healing properly?
You will return to the office a couple of days after each EVLT procedure for a brief ultrasound scan of the treated vein to ensure that the vein remains closed and to double-check your healthy veins to make sure that no blood clots form.
Are there any restrictions of my activities after the EVLT procedures?
You will wear compression stockings for 2 weeks after your EVLT procedure at all times except when you are sleeping. ProActive is pleased to offer compression stockings for purchase that will be fitted to you. For the two weeks following each procedure, you will not be allowed to travel by airplane and you are also advised against any car or train rides over an hour in length to reduce the risk of blood clots. No getting in a bath, pool, hot tub, lakes or ocean for 2 weeks after your procedure to avoid infection. Showering is permitted beginning the day after the procedure. No strenuous activity/exercise is advised for 2 weeks after each procedure. We DO want you to walk for 10 minutes per hour on the day of and the day after the procedure while you are awake.
How will I feel after my procedures?
Feelings of numbness, tightness, achiness and general soreness are normal and expected the first day or so after the procedure. Bruising is very common and will commonly last for a few weeks after the procedure. We are available 24/7 if you have any questions or if you are experiencing any symptoms that concern you.
Will my insurance cover the EVLT treatments?
Most insurance plans will cover the EVLT procedure as a medical treatment for venous insufficiency. Our team will coordinate your benefits with your insurance company and review your coverage with you.
If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to call us at 901.297.4000.