Here are some Frequently Asked Questions about our treatments & office.

Questions frequently asked about our office:

Q:  What are your hours?
A:  We are open Monday – Friday, 8 AM - 5 PM

Q:  Where are you located?
A:  We are located at 1136 E. Stuart Street, Suite 4102, Fort Collins, CO 80525.  Our office is in the building with the Clock Tower.

Q:  Do you take my insurance?
A: Total Vein Care works with most major insurance carriers.  We are happy to assist you in clarifying your coverage and authorizing covered treatments.  Most major health plans, including Medicare and Medicaid, provide coverage for endovenous ablation, phlebectomy, and some medically indicated sclerotherapy procedures.   For other questions on payment options, please see the section above and call Total Vein Care for additional help.

Answers to questions often asked by our patients about treatments:

Q:  Can I drive myself to and from Total Vein Care on the day of my procedure?
A:   In some instances, you may drive yourself for procedures performed on the left leg.  However, because you receive local anesthesia that may affect your ability to feel the gas and brake pedals, we prefer you bring someone to drive you home after procedures on the right leg.

Q:   How long does endovenous ablation take?
A:  The procedure itself takes approximately 15-30 minutes.  However, we recommend allowing approximately 1 hour to include time for check in, preparation, and postop instructions.

Q:  Are any of the procedures painful?
A:  Radiofrequency or laser ablation requires local anesthesia because heat is used to damage the vein.  There is little or no pain during the procedure.  Similarly, the non-thermal technologies, requiring no local anesthesia, are not painful.  Laser ablation is the only one of these technologies associated with pain and bruising after the procedure.

Phlebectomy requires the use of local anesthesia and it is, therefore, not painful.  The sensation of having the veins pulled out of the small incisions is sometimes described as “weird” by patients, but pain is not an issue.  It seems remarkable that, following an endovenous radiofrequency ablation and phlebectomy, no more than 10% of our patients require an Advil or Aleve after surgery.

Sclerotherapy of spider and reticular veins was painful in the days hypertonic saline was used.  Today’s detergent agents are much more mild.  When these sclerosants are mixed with lidocaine, injections produce a mild sensation of heat for no more than a second or two.

Q:  What are the possible complications associated with endovenous ablation?
A:  Endovenous ablation is a low risk procedure.  The most significant complication, deep venous thrombosis, occurs only once per thousand procedures.  Fortunately these are rare.  An EHIT (endothermal heat induced thrombosis) is a postoperative finding that resembles a clot.  However, it has ultrasound features that distinguish it from a true blood clot.  We have known for over a decade that these do not behave like DVTs and their discovery does not require the use of blood thinners.  EHITs are followed with ultrasound and usually resolve within 2-4 weeks.  These occur in 1 per 100 procedures.

Another complication is a sensory nerve injury.  This usually occurs with thermal treatments below the knee, because the saphenous and sural nerves are more intimately associated with the saphenous veins further down the leg.  These nerve injuries rarely produce more than a paresthesia, or area of numbness.  Injuries such as these, produced by heat, are usually temporary because the nerve can often regenerate.  The medical literature reports the frequency of these nerve injuries as 3 per 100 procedures.  With the increasing use of non-thermal technologies, they should become rare.

Q:  Is age an important consideration for endovenous ablation?
A:  No.  Because general anesthesia is not used for outpatient venous procedures, there is little risk other than the general health of the patient.  For an appropriate medical indication, a healthy elderly patient can benefit from any of these venous treatments with minimal risk.

Q:  How soon will I be able to return to work and/or my normal lifestyle?
A:  Many patients resume normal activities immediately.  The only restrictions placed on a patient following an endovenous ablation are avoidance of hot baths or high intensity leg exercises, such as squats or lunges, for 1 week following the procedure.  Pain and tiredness of the legs often improves immediately after an ablation.  Patients often tell us  their symptoms are gone by the time they reach the door to leave.  Leg swelling and skin damage require more time, although swelling is often greatly improved after only a few days.

Q:  How effective are endovenous ablation and other venous treatments?
A:  Endovenous ablation, with both thermal and nonthermal technologies, is successful at eliminating a refluxing vein well over 90% and usually over 97% of the time.  Phlebectomy should almost always be successful in the hands of a well-trained surgeon.  Resolving varicose veins with sclerotherapy, on the other hand, is probably successful less than 70% of the time.