Answers to Seven Frequently Asked Questions about Varicose Veins

Varicose Veins FAQ

If you have varicose veins or are concerned that you might develop them, consider these answers to common questions to better educate yourself on preventing and treating venous disorder.

What are varicose veins?

Varicose veins are nonfunctional superficial veins that are visible through the skin. They are often purple or blue in color and may bulge at the surface of the skin, making them a common cosmetic concern among sufferers.

What causes varicose veins?

Varicose veins are caused when blood valves fail and are no longer able to properly move blood through your circulatory system. When the valves fail in an individual vein, blood pools in that vein, and it becomes a varicose or spider vein that’s visible through your skin. Some common causes of varicose veins are pregnancy, obesity, poor blood circulation caused by standing or sitting for long periods of time, alcohol consumption, and frequent wearing of high-heeled shoes.

What kind of doctor treats varicose veins?

While many doctors can treat varicose veins, varicose vein specialists are called phlebologists. Phlebologists are medical doctors that undergo several years of continuing education after receiving an M.D. to become specialists in treating venous disorders. Find a phlebologist near you.

How do you prevent varicose veins?

Exercising regularly and alternating between sitting and standing throughout the day are good ways to prevent varicose veins from developing. Wearing compression stockings is also a good way to prevent varicose veins from developing by improving blood circulation in the legs where venous disorder is most likely to develop.

What are the symptoms of varicose veins?

The most common and obvious symptom of varicose veins is visibility through the surface of your skin. Spider veins appear as blue or purple veins in the shape of spider webs or spider legs. Varicose veins usually protrude through skin, are large in size, and may bulge. Other symptoms of varicose veins include leg pain, restless leg syndrome, and fatigue.

Is there a cure for varicose veins?

Varicose veins can be treated and eradicated through many different procedures. Common methods include sclerotherapy, endovenous laser treatment, Veinwave, and VenaSeal. A doctor will perform an ultrasound of your varicose veins prior to treatment in order to determine the extent of your venous disorder and to recommend which treatment is right for you. These treatments are minimally invasive and can be performed in your doctor’s office. Find out how much treatment might cost.

Will health insurance cover varicose vein treatment?

In some situations, your health insurance may cover treatment costs, but it really depends on the severity of your venous disorder, whether or not your varicose veins are affecting your quality of life, and the type of coverage and plan you carry. To find out for sure if your health insurance will cover treatment, you can call your insurance company to ask, or you can have your doctor submit a predetermination to your insurance carrier to find out if treatment is covered by your plan.