Frequently asked questions
HOW LONG DOES A FIRST CONSULTATION TAKE?
WHAT WILL HAPPEN DURING THE FIRST CONSULTATION?
Upon arrival you are asked to fill in a questionnaire. Thereafter, you are invited to present your problem in detail to the doctor. This is followed by a physical examination and a accurate appreciation of the leg veins by duplex ultrasound.This assessment provides information about the position and the course of your veins, their shape and size as well as the direction and intensity of the blood flow. At the end of the consultation, the doctor sums up the findings and explains treatment options, if indicated.
WHO IS TAKING CARE OF THE COST?
The cost of the examination is a taken care of by the basic insurance. With certain insurance plans such as HMO or the “family doctor model”, a letter of referral is required.
WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF AN ULTRASOUND EXAMINATION?
Spider veins FAQ
WHAT IS THE SIGNIFICANCE OF SPIDER VEINS FROM A MEDIAL VIEWPOINT?
WHO TAKES CARE OF THE COST OF SPIDER VEIN TREATMENT?
HOW PAINFUL IS THE SPIDER VEIN SCLEROTHERAPY?
WHAT ARE THE CHANCES OF LASTING SUCCESS?
WHAT FOLLOW-UP TREATMENT DO WE RECOMMEND?
WHAT ARE THE RISKS?
WHAT OPTIONS ARE AVAILABLE TO REMOVE SPIDER VEINS ON THE LEGS?
Options to remove spider veins include sclerotherapy and laser treatment.
In this procedure, we inject the veins with a solution that scars and closes those veins, causing the blood to reroute through healthier veins. In a few weeks, usually a majority of the treated spider veins fade. Although the same vein may need to be injected more than once, sclerotherapy is usually effective if done correctly.
Sclerotherapy doesn’t require anesthesia and can be done in your doctor’s office. Side effects include swelling, itching and skin color changes in the treated area.
Laser treatment works by sending strong bursts of light into the vein that make the vein slowly fade and disappear. No incisions or needles are used.
The treatment is often less effective than sclerotherapy, particularly for larger veins. Side effects may include redness, bruising, itching, swelling and permanent skin tone changes.
After treatment, blood vessels fade over several months, but they may not disappear completely. Also, new spider veins can develop in the same area or elsewhere.
Thermal Ablation FAQ
HOW SUSTAINABLE IS THERMAL ABLATION?
CAN YOU ALSO TREAT TORTUOUS VEINS WITH THERMAL ABLATION?
Instead of phlebectomies, meandering varices can also be chemically ablated by sclerotherapy, be it in combination with thermoablation or with stripping of saphenous veins.
DOES THERMAL ABLATION ALSO WORK IN GREATLY ENLARGED SAPHENOUS VEINS?
CAN THERMAL ABLATION ONLY BE USED ON SELECTED PATIENTS?
In the United States and other countries, thermal ablation has largely replaced conventional “stripping” surgery.
The American Society for Vascular Surgery (SVS) and the American Venous Forum (AVF) have declared thermoablation to be the preferred therapy for varicose veins as early as in 2011.
The European Society for Vascular Surgery (ESVS) and the British National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) also recommend thermoablation as the preferred treatment.
In Switzerland, thermal ablation has been covered by basic insurance only since 2016. Therefore, not all physicians have the necessary experience to successfully carry out thermal ablation and to recommend it to their patients.
WHY CAN SOME ALTERNATIVE PROCEDURES BE PERFORMED WITHOUT LOCAL ANESTHESIA?
DO YOU RISK BURNS TO THE SKIN WITH THERMAL ABLATION?
WHAT IS ENDOVENOUS THERMAL ABLATION (ETA)?
A number of studies confirm that patients experience less bruising and pain, and fewer complications with ETA than with a conventional stripping operation.
ETA also results in little to no scarring and is invariably performed using local anesthesia in our outpatient surgical facility.
WHAT IS CHRONIC VENOUS INSUFFICIENCY (CVI)?
Varicose veins are often thick, bulging veins that can protrude well beyond the skin’s surface. Often misunderstood as a cosmetic issue, varicose veins can progress to CVI, which is a more serious condition.
HOW IS AN ETA PROCEDURE DIFFERENT FROM VEIN STRIPPING?
The ETA Procedure is minimally invasive. In contrast to vein stripping, the vein remains in place and is closed using a special catheter inserted through a small incision below the knee or near the ankle.
Vein stripping is usually performed in an operating room under a general anesthetic, while the ETA procedure is performed on an outpatient basis, typically using local anesthesia.
HOW IS ETA USING THE CLOSUREFAST - VENEFIT PROCEDURE DIFFERENT FROM LASER ABLATION?
Laser ablation, on the other hand, uses laser heat to collapse and seal the affected vein. The laser targets the blood in the vein, which causes the blood to boil. The results of ETA using the newest laser technology are similar to those of ETA using radiofrequency.
HOW LONG DOES THE PROCEDURE TAKE?
IS ETA PAINFUL?
DOES IT REQUIRE ANESTHESIA?
HOW QUICKLY AFTER TREATMENT CAN I RETURN TO NORMAL ACTIVITIES?
HOW SOON AFTER TREATMENT WILL MY SYMPTOMS IMPROVE?
IS THERE ANY SCARRING, BRUISING OR SWELLING AFTER AN ETA PROCEDURE?
PATIENTS REPORT MINIMAL TO NO SCARRING, BRUISING OR SWELLING FOLLOWING THE PROCEDURE.
IS AGE AN IMPORTANT CONSIDERATION FOR AN ETA PROCEDURE?
The most important step in determining whether or not an ETA procedure is appropriate for you is a complete ultrasound examination. Age alone is not a factor in determining whether or not the procedure is appropriate for you. However, ETA lends itself particularly well for old patients because of the avoidance of spinal or general anesthesia and of a hospital stay.
WHAT HAPPENS TO THE TREATED VEIN LEFT BEHIND IN THE LEG?
IS THE ETA PROCEDURE COVERED BY MY INSURANCE?
Many insurance companies pay for ETA procedures in part or in full if patients have a complementary insurance. We unfortunately don’t expect the full coverage in short-term by basic insurance.