Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Sclerotherapy Q&A with Alison Scheib, PA-C – Part 3

In our two previous posts we spoke with Alison Scheib, PA-C and sclerotherapy specialist at the Vein Healthcare Center, about post-treatment issues with sclerotherapy. In our final installment, we ask her some of the most popular questions that arise about this procedure. 

What are the most common side effects after treatment?
The most common side effects are bruising and tenderness of the treated veins. The bruising is usually fully resolved within two weeks and the tenderness responds well to heat and elevation. I do want to add that patients who follow the post-procedure guidelines for care will help promote the most effective healing. After each sclerotherapy session, compression stockings should be worn for 10 days, in most cases.

How much does sclerotherapy cost and does insurance cover it?
Costs vary, but it’s usually about $300-$500 per session based on how the vein is visualized (light-assisted vs. ultrasound). Insurers describe sclerotherapy as an “adjunct” procedure and will cover it in part or in full if a bigger procedure has been done in the past, such as radiofrequency or laser ablation, or if there is an open ulcer. Patients should work with their treatment provider to understand their health insurance coverage.

What is the one question that patients ask you the most?
“Will it hurt?” Everyone’s experience is different, but most people describe it as very tolerable. It is always possible to stop the procedure or take a break if someone does find it very uncomfortable, but most patients say there is only minor discomfort. The medicine is pH balanced and vein access is with a 27-32g (very small) needle so it’s really just a very small perceivable pinch.

If you have any questions about sclerotherapy, or what to expect before, during or afterwards, feel free to contact us at the Vein Healthcare Center: email connect@veinhealthcare.com, or call (207) 221-7799.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Sclerotherapy Q&A with Alison Scheib, PA-C – Part 2

In our last post, we discussed the basics of sclerotherapy with Alison Scheib, PA-C and sclerotherapy specialist at the Vein Healthcare Center. Now we talk with Ali about what to expect after a sclerotherapy procedure.

What should someone expect right after sclerotherapy?
Immediately following the procedure, there may be mild itching of your legs. It typically resolves within an hour. For the next few days, there may be some tenderness and bruising. About two weeks following the procedure, you may feel hard bumps in the area of the treated vein, which usually disappear over the course of several months.

How will the leg look or feel a week after sclerotherapy? A month?
Usually, the changes noticed in the first two months are improvement in symptoms. Patients have reported to me that their legs feel lighter, or without pain. The large, lumpy veins slowly disappear, usually 2-6 months after the procedure, and the smaller veins may disappear over the following six months. All veins clear up large to small, high to low. 

Are the results of treatment with sclerotherapy permanent?
Yes, once the vein has collapsed, it typically gets reabsorbed into the body and is permanently gone. Because that vein no longer exists, it cannot cause problems in the future. That said, all the veins in the body have the same genetic makeup and have generally been exposed to the same environmental stresses and, in theory, have the same risk of failing. In other words, if a patient has one bad vein, it is very likely that at some point they will have other bad veins. It’s important to note that healthy lifestyle changes can make a big difference in managing chronic venous issues and preventing future problems.

Can you go to work after treatment? What about exercise?
Yes, you can go to work after treatment. However, you should avoid heavy lifting and strenuous physical activity while standing for the first five days following sclerotherapy. Walking is great exercise after treatment. In fact, walking 30 minutes a day is a post-op requirement!

To read the conclusion of our conversation with Ali, click here. We ask some specific questions about common side effects and whether sclerotherapy is covered by insurance. Plus, the one question that patients ask most…