F A Q requently
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Is the Venefit™ Procedure painful?
A : Patients report feeling little, if any, pain during and after the
procedure. And many patients notice an immediate relief of
pre-procedure symptoms such as pain, leg heaviness and fatigue.
Q: Are the procedures covered by my insurance?
A : Most major health insurers cover the Venefit procedure.
Sclerotherapy and laser treatments are considered cosmetic
procedures. They are not generally covered by insurance
unless there is a cosmetic rider.
Q: What factors increase my risk of varicose veins and spider veins?
A : Increased age as you get older, the valves of the veins may
weaken and not work as well. Some people are born with
weak vein valves which increase your risk. During hormonal
changes and pregnancy, increase of blood in the body causes
damage to veins.
Q: Will I require Sclerotherapy and laser treatment for spider veins?
A : In many cases, to insure the best outcome sclerotherapy is
often recommended to treat the feeding reticular veins first.
Then a few weeks later the laser treatment can be performed
to complete the process.
Dr. Julio A Alvarez, MD, FACS
Dr. Daniel Leary, MD, FACS
Vascular Associates of WNY is committed to providing
you the peace-of-mind in knowing you have selected the
premier team in Vascular Surgery.
Dr. Julio A Alvarez, MD, FACS and Dr. Daniel Leary, MD, FACS
have over 50 years of combined experience in Vascular and
Endovascular Procedures. Covering all aspects of Vascular
Surgery including Carotid Endarterectomy, AAA Repair,
Lower Extremity Bypass Grafting, Minimally Invasive Repair of
Blocked Arteries and Venous Closure for Venous Insufficiency.
Our facility is equipped with state-of –the-art ultrasound
equipment to preform vascular studies; arterial and venous.
Q: Are spider veins dangerous?
A : Spider veins are rarely a serious health problem, but they can
cause uncomfortable feelings in the legs. They can cause
itching and burning.
Q: How long will I be out of work for any of the procedures?
A : Typically patients may return to work the same day as
sclerotherapy and laser treatments. Patients may return to
work the day following Venefit™ procedure.
Julio A. Alvarez M.D., F.A.C.S.
Daniel A. Leary III, M.D., F.A.C.S.
Joseph Gerbasi M.D., F.A.C.S.
Natalie A. Passmore, ANP-C
Vascular Associates of WNY
3030 Orchard Park Road, Suite B
Orchard Park, NY 14127
TEL 716-671-8393 • FAX 716-671-8398
& Spider Veins
Symptomatic Venous Disorders
The Venefit™ Procedure
Millions of patients suffer from cosmetically disfiguring leg veins and
Symptomatic Venous Disorders. About 50-55% of women and
40-45% of men in the United States suffer from some type of vein
problem. The same disease process can affect veins of any size:
however when larger veins fail, they are typically called varicose veins.
When smaller veins are affected, they are typically called spider veins.
Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI) is a progressive medical condition
that worsens over time and affects the veins and vessels in the
leg that carry oxygen-poor blood back toward the heart. Varicose
veins, which are enlarged veins in the leg that appear like twisted,
bulging cords, can progress to CVI if they remain untreated.
The Venefit™ procedure is a minimally invasive treatment for
varicose veins and Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI) in which a
physician will insert the catheter into the diseased vein, through a
tiny opening in the skin. The tiny catheter delivers radio frequency
(RF) energy to the vein wall. As the RF energy is delivered and the
catheter is withdrawn the vein wall is heated, causing the collagen
in the wall to shrink and the vein to close. Once the diseased
vein is closed the blood is re-routed to other healthy veins.
Unlike painful vein stripping surgery or laser ablation, the catheter
delivers uniform, consistent heat to each segment. As a result,
the Venefit™ procedure causes less bruising and allows for rapid
patient relief and recovery. The Venefit™ procedure is commonly
performed in an office or an outpatient setting and is covered
by most health insurance in the United States.
The Venefit™ procedure eliminates the need for groin surgery and
general anesthesia. The procedure also results in little to no scarring
and is generally performed using local anesthesia in the office
setting. Patients will typically resume normal activity within a day.
Healthy leg veins are designed to allow blood to flow against
gravity from the legs back up toward the heart. Inside the veins
are tiny valves that open and close to help control the flow and
pressure. CVI occurs when stresses on the venous system like
pregnancy, age or standing for long periods of time weaken and
stretch the vein structure. When the veins become weakened or
diseased, the blood flow is obstructed and blood pools in the legs.
This impaired blood flow (or reflux) causes veins to expand,
lose form and protrude from beneath the skin.
Chronic Venous Insufficiency Symptoms
Of the over 30 million Americans affected by varicose veins or CVI,
only 1.9 million seek treatment annually, while the vast majority
remain undiagnosed and untreated. Without treatment, those with
the disease may experience progressive symptoms that can be
debilitating and significantly impact quality of life. In fact, more
people lose work time over vein disorders than from artery disease.
Those who suffer from CVI may experience:
• Leg heaviness and fatigue • Leg or ankle swelling
• Leg pain, aching or cramping • Skin changes
• Ulcers, open wounds or sores
Stab Phlebectomy is an additional method of surgical removal
of varicose veins at the surface of the skin. Small incisions are
made next to the vein and sections of the vein are removed
through these small nicks. This procedure is frequently done
in the office setting using local anesthesia. Normal activities
may be resumed after a few days. A decision by the physician
will be made during your evaluation as to which procedure
would be most beneficial.
& Spider Vein
Reticular Vein & Spider Vein Treatment
Reticular Veins are formed by larger veins that are located deeper
in the skin surface. They are usually blue or purple in color, and
frequently feed areas of spider veins which are closer to the surface.
The reticular veins are usually about 2mm in diameter and often
do not protrude. They may form unattractive clusters of veins
predominately located on the inner part of the thighs, backs of the
legs and ankles. They can cause symptoms of pain and discomfort.
Sclerotherapy is often used to treat reticular veins and spider veins.
Sclerotherapy involves injecting a sclerosing agent into the vein.
The agent damages the wall of the vein, causing the vein to
collapse on itself, seal shut and then is reabsorbed by the body.
Individual results may vary, and many patients may require
multiple injections for complete treatment success. A typical
session lasts 15-45 minutes; one injection is usually administered
per inch with multiple injections per session.
Spider veins are closer to the surface of the skin than varicose
veins. They are often red or blue, they can look like tree branches
or spider webs with their short jagged lines. They can be found
on the legs and on the face and can cover either a small or very
large area of skin. Spider veins can be caused by a backup of
blood, hormonal changes, exposure to the sun and injuries.
Laser treatment can effectively treat spider veins. The technique
sends a very strong burst of light through the skin into the vein.
This makes the veins slowly fade and disappear. Not all skin
types and colors can be safely treated with lasers.
No needles or incisions are used but the heat from the laser
can be uncomfortable. Cooling with ice helps. Treatments
usually last between 15 to 60 minutes. Generally 2-5 treatments
are needed to remove spider veins in the legs