Varicose Vein Treatment Maryland

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How quickly can I resume normal activity after the procedure?

A. Patients are walking immediately following the procedure, and patients typically resume normal activities within one day.

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Varicose Vein Treatments

More than 25 million Americans, or about 25% of the adult population, suffer from symptomatic venous insufficiency and varicose veins, resulting in more than 2 million workdays lost per year. Venous insufficiency is a common condition caused by impaired blood flow from leg veins to the heart. Diseased or damaged valves in the vein allow the backward flow of blood down the legs. Varicose veins are the result, where prominent, elongated veins appear rope-like and bulging just under the surface.

For some, varicose veins and spider veins are only a cosmetic concern. But a majority of people with venous insufficiency have uncomfortable leg symptoms, including aching, cramping, burning, swelling, and restless leg. In severe cases, venous insufficiency leads to skin ulceration and disability. Some patients can also develop superficial clots in the bulging veins, a painful condition called phlebitis.

American Access Care of Baltimore can help reduce and even eliminate some of these conditions. In addition to treating varicose veins, we offer several procedures based on radiologic image-guided surgery to treat a variety of conditions.

After your varicose vein treatment, you can expect to wear compression hose for two weeks after each session, then Ace Bandages for two days. This will help avoid trapped blood in treated bulging veins. If you develop trapped blood, it can hurt, and we will treat it by needle aspiration during a follow-up visit.

Comprehensive Evaluation

We sit down with each patient and perform a comprehensive evaluation to determine the most effective course of action and methods of treatment.

Our standard patient preparation procedures include:

  • obtaining paperwork from your patient service coordinator, including a nursing assessment sheet
  • greeting you and offering an opportunity to use the restroom
  • bringing you back into a well-lit room on a stretcher
  • asking you to disrobe from waist down and providing you with warm blankets
  • assuring you have not taken heparin/lovenox that day, aspirin, plavix, Coumadin, and aggrenox for five days, and NSAIDS for two days
  • recording allergies and medications
  • starting a peripheral IV, offering valium
  • measuring your legs for stockings if you don’t have your own
  • providing you with a varicose vein consent sheet

Endovenous Laser Venous Ablation

Laser and radiofrequency ablation are minimally invasive and highly effective techniques to treat certain varicose veins, in particular large, non-functioning saphenous veins that often are the reason varicose veins occur. During either procedure, the leg is cleansed, and a series of injections is done to anesthetize and protect the tissues around the vein. This is called "tumescent anesthesia." Energy, via laser or radiofrequency, is the directed to the inside of the vein, effectively removing it from circulation. The vein scars down, and the immune system removes it.

Recovery after laser or radiofrequency ablation is much faster than for surgical stripping. There is bruising over the inner thigh, and you may experience some discomfort. But you will walk out of our office and can expect complete recovery in two weeks.

Use of laser and radiofrequency ablation is covered by most insurance policies, but only if your varicose veins are associated with symptoms of pain, restless leg, aching, bleeding, or skin changes ranging from discoloration (typically at the ankle) to ulceration. If the procedure is done for cosmetic purposes, it is not covered.

Laser and radiofrequency ablation are successful in treating over 90% of saphenous veins.

To treat persistent bulging veins, you may require additional sclerotherapy treatments after successfully completing a laser or radiofrequency ablation.

Sclerotherapy for Spider Veins

Sclerotherapy is a versatile technique that can be used to treat varicose veins, as well as saphenous veins or perforators, replacing the need for laser or RF ablation. Sclerotherapy involves needle and small catheter placement into multiple sites. Two to four 30-45 minute sessions are usually required for an effective treatment.

Advantages include fewer needle sticks, since there is no need for tumescent anesthesia, minimal discomfort, little bruising, and fast recovery. Sclerotherapy has a success rate of just over 90%. It often requires more than one session.

Unlike laser and radiofrequency ablation, sclerotherapy is not covered by third party payors at this time.

Radiofrequency Closure Procedure

The endovenous radiofrequency ablation (or VNUS Closure®) procedure is a minimally-invasive vein treatment used to treat the great saphenous vein, small saphenous vein, and other superficial veins. It uses a patented radiofrequency catheter inserted into the vein, which applies RF energy to heat the vein. This causes the vein to collapse and seal shut. The VNUS Closure procedure has been FDA-approved since 1999, and over 250,000 procedures have been performed worldwide.

The endovenous radiofrequency ablation procedure has shown success rates of 90%. Possible side effects include bruising, swelling, and numbness, but these are generally only temporary. Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a rare complication.

Endovenous radiofrequency ablation is usually covered by most insurers (e.g., Medicare and private insurers). Eligibility generally requires proof of medical necessity and previous conservative therapy (like compression stockings). We will consult with your physician or individual insurance carrier to determine your specific coverage criteria.

Flouroscopic Assisted SoTradecol Embolization (FAST/E)

If you want the latest and least invasive treatment for varicose veins, this is it. Fluoroscopic Assisted Sotradecol Embolization, or FAST/E, is the newest technique to treat varicose veins. Like sclerotherapy, there are few needle sticks and no need for tumescent anesthesia. Unlike sclerotherapy, FAST/E typically involves one comprehensive session, although a second session is often desirable.

Advantages of FAST/E include no tumescent anesthesia, minimal or no bruising, and fast recovery. Like sclerotherapy, just over 90% of patients are successfully treated using FAST/E.

FAST/E is covered by some third party payors, but the technique is so new that other payors are not yet covering it.

Need more information or would like to request an appointment? Call 410-931-9729 today.