What Are Varicose Veins?
If your legs feel tired, heavy or achy at the end of the day, or if you have restless legs, night cramps, or spider veins, you may have varicose vein disease. Approximately 30 million American adults have vein disease. While there are several risk factors associated with varicose veins, varicose veins can arise no matter your age, gender, race/ethnicity, or family history. Varicose veins can cause swelling, cramping, aching, and skin changes. These skin changes include bulging varicose veins, spider veins, an itchy rash, brown discoloration, and ulcers. They can detract from quality of life and may sometimes be a source of embarrassment, causing you to avoid wearing clothing that shows your legs.
Fortunately, the days of surgical intervention with lengthy hospital stays, frequent complications, and prolonged recovery are over for most patients. Extensive surgical procedures have largely been replaced by minimally invasive procedures while maintaining excellent results and decreasing recovery time and risks.
Why Choose Us?
Dr. Jensen has extensive training in the treatment of varicose veins and is Diplomate of the American Board of Venous and Lymphatic Medicine. When conservative treatments do not work, Dr. Jensen focuses on minimally invasive treatments of the superficial vein system, including endovenous laser ablation, ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy (endovenous chemical ablation), ambulatory phlebectomy, and sclerotherapy. Using these minimally invasive techniques in the outpatient setting, Dr. Jensen and his team are able to safely identify problematic veins and effectively treat them.
These minimally invasive treatments are performed in the office with minimal discomfort and downtime. They can breathe new life into your legs, help you feel healthier, prevent further progression of vein disease, and restore your confidence.
Click below for more information about each of these treatments
- Conservative therapy
- Endovenous laser ablation
- Ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy (Endovenous chemical ablation)
- Ambulatory phlebectomy
- Cosmetic Sclerotherapy
Frequently Asked Questions
What causes vein disease?
The purpose of veins is to bring blood from the body back the heart. When leg veins bring blood from the legs back to the heart, they must overcome the force of gravity. One-way valves allow blood to make a steady progression from the feet upward without requiring high pressures to push the blood back toward the heart. Normally, these valves prevent blood from washing back down toward the feet. However, if the valves do not work correctly, they will leak blood in the wrong direction. This is call reflux. Reflux ultimately increases the pressure inside the veins. As the pressure inside the veins increases, blood and fluid leak out of the vessels and cause swelling, inflammation and changes in the skin as described below.
What are the most common symptoms of vein disease?
Vein disease can present in a variety of ways. While many health-related conditions can mimic the symptoms of vein disease, a simple work-up at your first office visit may help to clarify the role that your veins may play in causing your symptoms. The most common symptoms of varicose veins include:
- Throbbing pain
- Leg swelling
- Bulging veins or spider veins
- Pink or brown rash by the ankles
- Hardening of the skin
- Restless legs
- Night cramps
- Sores or ulceration
- Delayed healing
A simple ultrasound procedure may help us determine if your symptoms could be related to vein abnormalities.
What are the risk factors for varicose veins?
Varicose veins can occur in men and women of all ages. However, there are several risk factors for vein disease. These risk factors include:
- Female gender
- Family history of varicose veins
- Occupations that require long periods of standing or sitting
How can I get tested for vein disease?
A simple ultrasound test performed by one of our highly-trained ultrasound technologists can be performed to determine if your veins may be causing your symptoms. An ultrasound uses sound waves to create a picture of your veins. From it we can determine the size of your veins, the direction of blood flow, and other important measures that may lead us to a diagnosis of vein disease. There is no pain or harmful radiation from an ultrasound exam.
What should I expect during a vein consultation?
If you have symptoms of vein disease and would like to have a consultation with Dr. Jensen, please contact our office to make an appointment. A vein consult consists of two parts:
- Ultrasound examination: As part of your workup, an ultrasound exam will be performed by one of our experienced ultrasound technologists. Please note that if you do not have any symptoms (achiness, swelling, pain, etc), an ultrasound does not usually need to be performed. When scheduling your consultation, please let our office staff know your particular situation and we will be happy to help you determine whether or not an ultrasound is recommended.
- Face-to-face consultation with Dr. Jensen: Following your ultrasound examination, Dr. Jensen will perform a thorough interview and examination which will focus on your medical history and vein-related symptoms. He will review your ultrasound results with you and help develop a tailored plan of action which will address your concerns.
Does my insurance cover my vein treatments?
Most insurance carriers will cover the diagnosis and treatment of symptomatic varicose vein disease. However, they will not generally cover treatment for spider veins. If you have any questions about your coverage, you may contact your insurance company to verify your benefits. We can assist you by providing the codes needed to verify your coverage. Please contact our office with any questions.
I don’t have symptoms but I still have spider veins that bother me.
Spider veins can be frustrating and bothersome for patients, causing unsightly red, purple and blue vessels that can cause you to be self-conscious and avoid wearing shorts. Spider veins can be treated with sclerotherapy. This is a safe and easy procedure in which Dr. Jensen carefully injects a small amount of medicine into the spider veins, causing them to close. Treatment of spider veins is considered cosmetic and is not covered by insurance. However, our goal is to provide an excellent treatment at a reasonable price. If you are interested in sclerotherapy, please call the office to schedule a cosmetic consultation.
What things can I do to treat my varicose veins prior to my appointment?
If you have symptoms that point toward a diagnosis of varicose vein disease, you may initiate a regimen of conservative therapy prior to your appointment. Insurance providers usually require that patients perform a three month trial of conservative therapy prior to receiving therapy for their varicose veins. Please refer to our conservative therapy page for more detailed information.
Are vein treatments therapeutic or preventative?
Both! Treating varicose veins will often provide therapeutic relief by improving symptoms associated with varicose veins, restoring youth which has been subtly lost over time. In addition, the treatment of varicose veins can prevent the progression of vein disease over time, saving you years of decreased quality of life. Patients who have varicose vein disease or who are at high risk for developing varicose veins may benefit from periodic monitoring. Dr. Jensen can help you determine an appropriate level of follow up given your particular situation.