Mediplex - Medical Complex & Clinics in Antigonish, NS - Dr. Patricia Menard, Dr. David Cudmore, Dr. Jane Anne Howard

Vein Care FAQ's
What is vein disease?
Vein disease is the collapse or insufficiency of the veins.  This interferes with blood flow, allowing blood to escape the normal path, and collect in surrounding tissue.  In its mildest form, vein disease is merely uncomfortable and cosmetically unsightly.  In more severe forms, it causes pain, burning, swelling, and ultimately, in some cases, serious systemic consequences.

What are the warning signs of vein disease?
Early signs of vein disease are tired and heavy legs, pain, swollen ankles, varicose veins or spider veins in pregnancy, tingling, numbness, cramping and discoloration.

How did I get vein disease?
Heredity plays a major role in the onset of vein disease, and women are affected more often than men.  A history of trauma, child-bearing, hormone therapy or prolonged standing can hasten the onset of the disease.

Why should vein disease be treated?
Over time, without treatment, the affected veins may become larger and more numerous.  When there is weakness in the vein wall or a faulty valve, the valve stretches and no longer closes properly.  The veins become filled with blood that cannot flow normally, causing pain, swelling, discoloration, sores that will not heal, blood clots, and other problems.

How many treatments are needed?
Depending on the type and severity of the veins, the average number of treatments is between 1 and 5, however, as many as 10 treatments may be required.  The larger vessels only require a few (3 or 4) well-placed needles with a stronger solution.  They must be treated first.  The smaller spider veins may require many points of injection with a weaker solution.  In some cases, a referral to a surgeon for ligation (tying) of the veins is required.

What do I have to do after treatment?
Immediately after treatment you will be required to walk for 30 minutes.  After your walk you will go home and remove the tensor bandage and cotton balls and wash your legs with soap and water. Apply compression therapy (stockings) after washing your legs.  Wear stockings all day/evening for the length of time specified by the doctor.  The stockings should be removed at night.  

Are there any restrictions after treatment?
Avoid hot baths, hot showers, and alcohol for 48 hours. Do not apply moisturizing lotion for 24 hours after treatment.  Avoid tanning beds for at least 2 weeks (you may get an irregular tan but it is not harmful).  Apply sunscreen liberally when exposed to natural sunlight for 2 weeks.  You must wait 1 to 2 weeks for repeat sclerotherapy.  After injection of large varicose veins, in addition to the above, you will also have to avoid high impact activities, e.g. running, aerobics, heavy weight lifting, for 48 hours.

When will I see results?
Depending on the size of the veins treated, it may take weeks to months for the vein to be reabsorbed by the body.  Many people experience immediate pain relief after treatment.

Are the results long term?
Sclerotherapy treats affected veins.  It doe not alter the cause of the varicosed veins, which can be genetic, deep vein problems, weight, etc.  New varicosed veins may occur, and sometimes treated veins can re-open.  Occasionally a referral to a surgeon is required.

What is covered by MSI?
Superficial, spider veins and most other cosmetic treatments are not covered.  Painful varicose veins are covered by MSI – your family doctor may refer you for an evaluation.  Compression therapy (Sigvaris stockings or Bauerfeind stockings) may be covered under some extended medical plans.  
 
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