Even though vein disorders like varicose veins can be unsightly and uncomfortable, many people do not seek treatment for their condition.

The primary reason for suffering in silence is often the concern over cost. The general assumption is that the expense of varicose vein treatment will have to come out of the patient’s own pocket. However, vein treatments may be covered by your insurance company more often than you think.

Cosmetic or Medical?

Vein concerns can be both cosmetic and medical. While small, superficial spider veins may primarily be an aesthetic concern, some spider veins and varicose veins can be attributed to an underlying vein disorder known as superficial venous reflux. This condition occurs when small valves inside the veins, which normally keep blood flowing in a single direction, become damaged. This allows blood to reflux back into the vessel, which eventually causes the varicosity.

When superficial venous reflux is left untreated, it can progress and become painful enough to interfere with your daily activities. The condition can also cause changes to the skin due to the increased pressure in the veins. These changes can become permanent if they are not addressed in a timely fashion. Open sores known as venous ulcers can also form where the skin has changed, which can be very challenging to treat completely.

Determining Insurance Coverage

Because varicose veins can often be attributed to superficial venous reflux, treatment for the condition may be covered under most insurance plans. However, you and your physician must be able to demonstrate that your veins are due to a medical condition and not simply a cosmetic nuisance. Some of the factors insurance companies will consider include:

  • Symptoms you are experiencing (pain, aching, swelling of the lower legs)
  • The duration and severity of your symptoms
  • Whether your symptoms interfere with you performing daily activities
  • Incidences of phlebitis (vein inflammation) or bleeding veins
  • A current venous ulcer or a venous ulcer that has healed

In addition to documentation of these symptoms and potential complications, insurance companies may require you to try conservative treatment for a period of time before they will cover a treatment. Conservative treatment usually includes regular elevation of the legs, over-the-counter pain medication and compression socks. Once you have tried conservative treatments for a period of time – often three months – and they have not brought significant relief, insurance companies are likely to cover other vein treatments.

Finding the Right Vein Treatment Option

When your insurance company is ready to cover your vein treatment, you will also need to determine which specific treatments are included in your coverage. At Vein Specialists of the Carolinas, we offer different vein treatment options so you should be able to choose the procedure that qualifies with your provider. Some of our options include:

  • Sclerotherapy – an injectable treatment used for spider veins and small varicose veins
  • Varithena
  • Clarivein
  • Venaseal
  • Foam Sclerotherapy – used for larger varicose veins
  • Radiofrequency Ablation – uses radiofrequency energy to close damaged veins
  • Microphlebectomy – removes large veins in small sections, using micro-incisions

Finding the Right Vein Practice

At Vein Specialists of the Carolinas, Dr. Draughn’s focus is solely on Venous Disease. He was recently rated “Best of Charlotte”. Dr. David Gardner Draughn, MD, FACS, RVT, RPVI, RPhS is a Diplomate of the American Board of Surgery and the American Board of Venous and Lymphatic Medicine (commonly known as “board certified”). Dr. Draughn, his PA Katherine Fernandez, and Dr. Putterman will work with you and your insurance company to ensure you receive the most effective treatment for your specific needs. All of our procedures are performed on an outpatient basis and involve little or no downtime.

To learn more about treatments for varicose veins, contact Vein Specialists of the Carolinas in Charlotte: 704-544-5245 or Gastonia: 704-861-2072.


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