Whether you’re dealing with unsightly spider veins or painful deep vein issues, it’s often difficult to make that first step toward treatment. Not only due to the nerves that come with that first visit, but because it’s hard to know the extent of your vascular issues.
At Ozark Regional Vein & Artery Center, we understand your concerns and do everything in our power to ensure a comfortable patient experience. We work with our patients to determine the extent of their vein issues and get to know them on a personal level before beginning treatment. We also have a highly experienced team that’s capable of diagnosing your specific vein problems and developing custom treatment plans based on your needs.
When it comes to diagnosing vein issues, our specialists divide treatments into two separate categories: medical and cosmetic. In this blog, we’ll go over the difference between the two and how they impact your insurance. We’ll also go over how Ozark Regional Vein & Artery Center is equipped to provide the highest quality spider and varicose vein treatment in Rogers.
What’s the Difference Between Medical and Cosmetic Vein Issues?
At a basic level, both medical and cosmetic vein issues occur when the one-way valves that pump blood to the heart weaken. Weakened valves cause our blood to flow backward and pool up in the vein, which causes noticeable spider and varicose veins. In more drastic scenarios, all of that blood accumulation can lead to issues such as blood clots in the future.
The first thing we’ll do when you call for an appointment at Ozark Regional Vein & Artery Center is ask you a series of questions. These questions will help us determine your specific needs for spider and varicose vein treatments in Rogers. Specifically, it will help our team classify whether your best options are for cosmetic treatment or medical treatment.
Cosmetic Vein Issues
The difference between the two has to do with your symptoms. For instance, cosmetic vein issues are, essentially, exactly what they sound like. They aren’t necessarily painful, but they’re unsightly and can be a source of embarrassment or internal distress. Many patients choose to wear clothing that covers these veins due to self-consciousness.
The most common vein issue that falls into the cosmetic category is spider veins. These are the tiny, narrow veins that form a web-like pattern across your legs. Though they are damaged veins, they usually aren’t accompanied by any pain and don’t pose risks to your long-term health.
There are a number of reasons that a person may develop spider veins. Genetics play a major role, meaning that if a family member suffers from spider veins, you’re at a higher risk as well. Sitting and standing for long periods of time (usually at work) also play a factor, as does pregnancy.
Medical Vein Issues
Medical vein issues, on the other hand, are the more serious vein issues that we see. Medical vein issues are usually accompanied by symptoms such as pain, fatigue, swelling, restless legs, and more. These symptoms are likely a sign of vein issues such as varicose veins, venous reflux, or deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
Varicose veins occur in the superficial veins near the skin and are quite common, affecting roughly 15 percent of the U.S. population. They’re also twice as likely to affect women compared to men. Sometimes varicose veins are merely cosmetic, but many do experience pain and other symptoms with the condition. The pain, along with the fact that they’re larger, differentiates them from spider veins.
Venous reflux disease is a progressive condition that can worsen over time, with or without the presence of varicose veins. Nearly 40% of people in the United States have some form of venous reflux, and the severity of the issue can differ greatly. Superficial venous reflux may result in visible spider or varicose veins, while deep venous reflux can result in potentially more serious issues like DVT.
DVT occurs when there’s a blood clot within your deep vein system. Your deep veins account for roughly 90% of your legs’ blood flow to the heart. In some cases, a blood clot can result in the death of the tissue, also known as necrosis. DVT and other severe vein issues may also lead to changes in skin pigmentation and ulcers.
In the event of a blood clot, you may notice symptoms such as shortness of breath, chest pain, cramping, swelling, and even coughing up blood. It’s important to seek emergency medical help immediately if you have the symptoms of a blood clot. If left untreated, the clot can potentially break off and spread to the lungs or brain, which can lead to death.
Available Treatments For Spider and Varicose Veins
Though vein issues can take their toll on both your physical and your mental health, the good news is that both are entirely treatable. Ozark Regional Vein & Artery Center offers a number of highly advanced treatments for both medical and cosmetic vein issues. Our highly experienced team makes the process simple and straightforward, ensuring both minimal treatment time with long-term relief.
There are numerous spider and varicose vein treatments at our disposal that we can use during your procedure. The type of medical or cosmetic treatment used will depend both on your specific plan, as well as your comfort level with each treatment. After an initial consultation, we’ll place you in a comfortable treatment room where one of our providers will perform the procedure.
Treatment time, regardless of whether the issue is medical or cosmetic, will usually last under an hour. You’ll need to wear compression stockings following your procedure and follow certain recovery procedures. However, there’s no additional downtime associated with any of our procedures. This means that you can return to normal activities immediately following treatment!
When it comes to varicose veins and other medical treatments, Dr. Haney and our staff will utilize ultrasound guidance in your treatment to ensure complete accuracy. For spider veins and cosmetic issues, we’ll utilize visual guidance. Our treatments include:
It’s important to note that, because venous reflux is a progressive disease, it’s important to seek treatment sooner rather than later. In particular, waiting to treat your medical vein issues can not only make the issue more painful to deal with, but it can also lead to potentially irreversible damage.
And even though treatment is a highly effective way to help your vein issues, it isn’t a cure-all. We highly recommend utilizing preventative care measures in your everyday life as a way to supplement your treatment.
A few methods for preventing vein issues include:
- Wearing a proper-fitting pair of compression hose with the right amount of pressure. Sometimes, insurance companies may require this up to 3 months prior to beginning treatment.
- Elevating your legs 3 times per day for 15 minutes at a time. This helps fight against the pull of gravity that keeps the blood pooled in your veins and promotes upward blood flow.
- Daily exercise and physical activity. Sitting and standing, along with weight, age, and genetic factors, all play a role in developing vein problems. Consistently exercising with activities you enjoy (such as walking, biking, dancing, and more) help make it easier to get the movement your body needs and benefit both your physical and mental health!
What’s the Impact on My Insurance?
In terms of insurance, the difference between cosmetic treatments and medical treatments is that insurance companies don’t cover cosmetic treatments. This is because cosmetic treatments are considered optional and not essential for the everyday functions of life. There are different classifications of medical treatments for vein issues for insurance purposes.
For these classifications, we use what’s known as the Clinical-Eitological-Anatomical-Pathophysiological (CEAP) scale. This scale helps us determine the severity of your vein issues on a scale of 0-6, with 0 being the least severe and 6 being the most.
Most spider vein issues fall in the “C1” category. This means that there’s nothing physically wrong with you and that your issues are merely cosmetic. As a result, insurance likely won’t cover you for treatment.
On the other hand, “C6” is the most extreme classification. A 6 classification means that you have an open venous stasis ulcer, which is the most severe issue that we treat. This medical vein issue is potentially life-threatening without treatment, which means that insurance will help cover the costs.
Learn More About Spider and Varicose Vein Treatments in Rogers
Ozark Regional Vein & Artery Center is the only practice in Northwest Arkansas that provides all the highest quality vein treatments available, and we focus only on vein treatment. Dr. Haney and our expert staff have over 75 years of combined experience in the industry, ensuring you get the best leg vein procedures available in Rogers.
Helping people is what we do, and we welcome you to contact us if you have questions about vein issues and insurance. No matter your issue, we can guide you toward a solution that will ease your discomfort. With our world-class vein care and focus on patient education, you’ll achieve actual results every time.