Tri-State Vein Center, P.C. located in Dubuque, IA

505 Cedar Cross Road, Suite A
Dubuque, Iowa 52003
Telephone: 563.583.VEIN (8346)

FAQ

CVI Resources

Greater than 30 million Americans are affected by venous disease, including varicose veins and the more serious form of the disease called chronic venous insufficiency.

Additionally, the symptoms of venous disease can be not only uncomfortable, but in its most serious form can be debilitating -thus having a severe impact on the patient's well-being.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF CHRONIC VENOUS INSUFFICIENCY (CVI)

If varicose veins are left untreated, chronic venous insufficiency is often the result. Chronic venous insufficiency can cause pain, swelling, restlessness, leg fatigue as well as permanent skin discoloration, skin damage, and in some instances, ulcers. These symptoms worsen over time causing a significant impact on the individual's quality of life and activities of daily living.

Unfortunately, many people think varicose veins are only a problem for those who are concerned about how their legs look. As a healthcare provider, YOU may be the first person to begin this very important patient education.

WHO IS AT RISK FOR CVI?

Chronic venous insufficiency can occur at any time. However, as with many illnesses, age is a risk factor. Other risk factors include: pregnancy, family history, weight, activity levels, and occupation. Those who have jobs that require long periods of sitting or standing are especially at risk.

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

As a health care provider, you may be the first person to identify a patient's complaints of leg discomfort as being potentially serious. A referral to a vein specialist who can also perform a simple ultrasound to diagnosis CVI is vital. Additionally, reassuring a patient that there are minimally-invasive treatment options available that are covered by most insurance plans may be all the initiative he or she needs to take the next step to improving their overall health.

HOW IS CVI DIAGNOSED?

The first step in diagnosing CVI is to perform a complete vein history which will identify the patient's genetic and risk factors as well as current health status. This can be done via a patient appointment or via a free vein screening which are periodically scheduled throughout the year. Next, a bilateral duplex ultrasound will be performed in order to determine the exact size of the veins as well as identify if reflux is present. Following the ultrasound Dr. Jenkins will discuss the available treatment options with the patient.

TREATMENT OPTIONS:

Endovenous Radiofrequency Ablation

Involves the insert ion of a thin, flexible catheter into a diseased vein. Using radiofrequency energy the catheter is heated causing a destruction of the wall of the vein in effect dosing the vein. The blood that used to flow through the enlarged diseased vein will then find its way into other, healthier veins.

Sclerotherapy

Involves the injection of a chemical/medication into a diseased vein causing destruction of the endothelium of the vein. The inflammatory process produced by the damage doses the vessel. As with the endovenous ablation, blood will then reroute itself into other healthier veins.

Microphlebectomy

Involves the removal of large ropey varicose veins through very small incisions.


General Resources

Does my health insurance cover varicose vein treatment?

Varicose vein treatment is generally a covered by health insurance providers. That being said there are medical necessity criteria established by the insurance companies that need to be met prior to authorization of varicose vein treatment. The Tri-State Vein Center has research the medical necessity criteria of each and every health insurance company we are in network with. We are well versed in what is needed to get treatment provided for you.

What can be done for the wound on my lower leg that just does not want to heal?

70% to 90% of all lower extremity wounds / ulcers are caused by venous problems. If you suffer from such a condition you would greatly benefit from an evaluation at an accredited Vein Center. Ultrasound evaluation of the veins within the legs would be obtained. This would give the physician an idea of what definite vein treatment is needed to get the wound to heal. The wound itself would require local care and compression dressings.

Do I have to wear compression stockings prior to having my varicose veins treated?

The health insurance companies have established medical necessity criteria that needs to be met prior to preauthorization of varicose vein treatment. The vast majority of health insurance companies have a compression stocking trial period of 6 weeks to 3 months. The Tri-State Vein Center has searched each health insurance company that the center is in network with, and knows the compression stocking requirement of that company.

What are some of the common symptoms one experiences with varicose vein and venous reflux disease?

  • Pain
  • Burning
  • Itching
  • Heavy Sensation
  • Ache
  • Swelling
  • Shin Changes
  • Ulcerations.

What causes varicose veins?

Varicose veins are dilated veins which can be blue, red, or flesh colored. They may appear as twisted cords or rope-like structures. They bulge and are often raised above the skin surface. The varicose veins that the Tri-State Vein Center can treat, involve a person's thighs, calves, and the inside of the legs. They are caused by weak or damaged valves within the veins. Our heart pumps oxygen rich blood and nutrients throughout the body via arteries. Our veins carry the blood back to the heart. To keep the blood within the vein moving back toward the heart, the valves within the veins act as a one-way flap. The valves keep blood from flowing backward as it moves up the legs against gravity. If the valves weaken or become damaged, the blood can leak back down the legs and collect in dilated veins called varicosities. This medical condition is called venous reflux disease or venous insufficiency.

What are some the risk factors for varicose veins and venous reflux disease?

  • Family History - If you have family members with varicose veins your risk for having them increases. Approximately half of all individuals who have varicose veins have another family member with similar problems.
  • Pregnancy - With a pregnancy there is a huge increase of the amount of blood within one's body. The developing baby and uterus puts pressure on the veins. More varicose veins appear with each additional pregnancy.
  • Lack of movement - Prolonged sitting or a standing profession may cause your veins to work harder to get the blood to return to your heart. This increased work causes the valves to wear out.
  • Obesity- Being overweight puts increased pressure on your veins. This leads to the development of varicose veins and venous reflux.
  • Age - As we get older, the valves weaken or wear out.

How is the diagnosis of venous reflux made?

A medical history concerning your leg veins will be taken. Questions about prior treatment of varicose veins and your history of possible blood clots will be asked. You will be asked about the symptoms you are experiencing. Your legs will be examined in the sitting, as well as standing position. An ultrasound evaluation will be ordered of your legs.

What are the top five professions that would result in vein problems?

  • Medical Professionals
  • Flight Attendants
  • Office Staff
  • Factory Workers
  • Service Professionals

Spider Veins Resources

What are spider veins?

Spider veins are small varicose veins which are close to the skin surface. They are often red or blue in color. They get their name from their appearance on the skin, which is that of tree branches or spider webs. They are found on the legs and face and involve a small, or very large area of the skin. They are caused by the backup of blood within the vein system. They can also come from hormonal changes, sun exposure, and injuries. Spider veins appear more commonly on the legs due to pressure of one's body weight, force of gravity, and the need to carry blood from the tips of one's toes back up to a person's heart.

Spider veins are rarely a serious health problem. They may cause a burning or itching sensation. The spider veins may be a sign of blood backing up in the deep veins within the leg that are not readily seen. In this case a person may experience aching pain, throbbing, and a heavy sensation within the legs.

What can I expect during an evaluation for spider veins?

A medical history regarding your leg veins will be taken. Questions about prior treatment of varicose veins and possible blood clots in the past will be asked. You will be asked about the symptoms you may be experiencing. Your legs will be examined in the sitting as well as standing position. An ultrasound evaluation will be ordered of your legs. This will check for blood flow within your veins and possible blood clots. If there is no additional findings in regards to your spider veins treatment options will be discussed.

How are spider veins treated?

  • Sclerotherapy - A medication is placed into the spider veins via injection. The medication destroys the lining of the vein, causing the vein to scar down and disappear.

A person will generally require several sessions to obtain the desired results.

What are the risks to consider when undergoing treatment of spider veins?

  • Skin discoloration
  • Pain
  • Scarring
  • Ulceration
  • Allergies to agents or materials used
  • Need for additional therapy

When considering treatment for spider veins you need to understand that this is an extremely personal decision. You need to decide if the benefits will achieve your desired goals and if the risks and potential complications are acceptable.


Varicose Veins

What are varicose veins?

Varicose veins are dilated veins which can be blue, red, or flesh colored. They may appear as twisted cords or rope-like structures. They bulge and are often raised above the skin surface. The varicose veins that the Tri-State Vein Center can treat, involve a person's thighs, calves, and the inside of the legs. They are caused by weak or damaged valves within the veins. Our heart pumps oxygen rich blood and nutrients throughout the body via arteries. Our veins carry the blood back to the heart. To keep the blood within the vein moving back toward the heart, the valves within the veins act as a one-way flap. The valves keep blood from flowing backward as it moves up the legs against gravity. If the valves weaken or become damaged, the blood can leak back down the legs and collect in dilated veins called varicosities. This medical condition is called venous reflux disease or venous insufficiency.

How common are leg varicose veins?

Within the United States it is estimated that 50 to 55 percent of women and 40 to 45 percent of men suffer from some sort of vein problem. For persons over age 50, varicose veins affect more than half of the population.

What factors contribute the development of varicose veins?

There are many things that are associated with the possibility of having problems with varicose veins.

  • Age - As we get older, the valves weaken or wear out.
  • Gender - Our sex plays a role in varicose vein development. Women are more apt to develop problems with varicose veins.
  • Family History -If you have family members with varicose veins your risk for having them increases. Approximately half of all individuals who have varicose veins have another family member with similar problems.
  • Pregnancy - With a pregnancy there is a huge increase of the amount of blood within one's body. The developing baby and uterus puts pressure on the veins. More varicose veins appear with each additional pregnancy.
  • Obesity- Being overweight puts increased pressure on your veins. This leads to the development of varicose veins.
  • Lack of movement - Prolonged sitting or a standing profession may cause your veins to work harder to get the blood to return to your heart. This increased work causes the valves to wear out.

What symptoms might I experience if I have varicose veins?

Beside the obvious symptom which is the bulging ropey veins, a person may have any of the following symptoms.

  • Pain
  • Burning
  • Itching
  • Swelling of the legs
  • Leg heaviness
  • Skin changes or skin ulcerations

How are varicose veins diagnosed?

A medical history concerning your leg veins will be taken. Questions about prior treatment of varicose veins and your history of possible blood clots will be asked. You will be asked about the symptoms you are experiencing. Your legs will be examined in the sitting, as well as standing position. An ultrasound evaluation will be ordered of your legs. This will tell us about the blood flow within your veins and possible blood clots.

What are the treatment options for varicose veins?

One of the options available to treat varicose veins at the Tri-State Vein Center includes treatment by a catheter using radiofrequency waves to destroy the lining of the vein with heat. An ambulatory phlebectomy may be recommended to remove a large bulging vein. Sclerotherapy is a technique which injects a medication into the varicose vein. This medication destroys the lining of the vein causing blood flow to stop and the vein to scar. The techniques used are individualized and based on the physical and ultrasound findings.

I had lots of purple spider veins right above my knees on both sides of my legs. During my Sclerotherapy treatment there were just little needle pricks. Really no pain and it didn't take long. After sclerotherapy I was never restricted from anything and my legs did not hurt. I was so happy when summer came and I could were shorts and a swimsuit without the normal embarrassment.

Connie (age 68)

Copyright © 2017 Tri-State Vein Center.
All Rights Reserved.
Login to the Patient Portal