varicose veins frequently asked questions

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What causes varicose veins?
  • Who gets varicose veins?
  • What problems can varicose veins cause?
  • What can be done to deal with varicose veins?
  • When to see a vascular surgeon?
  • Is my consultation with the vascular surgeon Dr. Hunter covered by MSP?
  • What is the cost of varicose vein removal procedure and is it covered by MSP?
  • Is there a long waiting list for the varicose vein removal by vascular surgeon Dr. James Hunter?
  • What does removing the veins using a microsurgical technique involve?
  • What activities can I do the next day?
  • How long will it take to heal?
  • What are the risks and benefits of these different approaches to varicose vein therapy?
What causes varicose veins?

Varicose veins are normal veins that have become stretched. This stretching pulls the vein valves apart which in turn increases the pressure on the vein accelerating this dilating (stretching) process. Varicose veins are non-functional veins.

Who gets varicose veins?

Anybody can get varicose veins. The most frequent cause of varicose veins is pregnancy due to increased pressure on the walls of the leg veins. Age and genetics also play a role. Often varicose veins are just bad luck.

What problems can varicose veins cause?

The vast majority of varicose veins produce no symptoms and cause no medical problems. If varicosities worsen, they can cause significant venous hypertension leading to itching, leg swelling and surrounding skin damage which can progress to skin ulceration. Blood flow in very large varicosities tends to be sluggish and can lead to superficial thrombophlebitis (clotting). Varicose veins can cause a cosmetic concern for patients.

What can be done to deal with varicose veins?

There are multiple approaches to treat varicose veins. Common approaches include injecting or burning varicosities with a laser to create thrombophlebitis (clotting) with scarring of the veins. Other common approaches are to remove the varicosities through stripping or via a microsurgical technique.

When to see a vascular surgeon?

If concerned about the problems related to varicose veins noted above, a vascular assessment would be useful.

Is my consultation with the vascular surgeon Dr. Hunter covered by MSP?

With a doctor’s referral, the initial consultation fee of $100 is covered by MSP.

Read more about our patient referral procedure.

Download VVC BC Patient Referral Form

What is the cost of varicose vein removal procedure and is it covered by MSP?

The cost of the procedure varies depending on the extent of the patient’s problem and is determined by Dr. Hunter during the initial consultation.

Most patients’ varicose vein removal micro-surgery costs range $450 – $950, making it an affordable and reliable option. For medical (non-cosmetic) reasons, a portion of this procedure cost can be covered by MSP.

Is there a long waiting list for the varicose vein removal by vascular surgeon Dr. James Hunter?

At Varicose Vein Clinic of BC, we are usually able to schedule the initual consultation within 2 weeks and a varicose vein removal procedure – within a month.

What does removing the veins using a microsurgical technique involve?

The varicose veins are removed under local anesthetic in the office using micro incisions (2mm).
There are no stitches as the incisions are closed with steristrips which peel off in approximately one week. The leg is wrapped with a pressure dressing which can be removed the next day for showering. You will need a ride home and require leg elevation for three to six hours.

What activities can I do the next day?

Post-procedural activity is dependent on the extent of the veins removed. There are no restrictions on activities the next day but if the varicose veins removed are extensive a day or two off work may be advisable. Acetaminophen or an anti-inflammatory may be used for pain.

How long will it take to heal?

Any bruising will resolve in two to three weeks. The area of vein removal may be lumpy which will slowly dissipate over four to six weeks.

What are the risks and benefits of these different approaches to varicose vein therapy?

Weighing all the risks and benefits of available methods in the treatment of varicose veins Dr. James Hunter’s primary approach is to remove varicose veins using a micro incisional technique. This procedure is safe, very effective and produces excellent cosmetic results. Read more about varicose veins treatments.

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Varicose Vein Clinic of BC offers minimally invasive treatments to rid you of your varicose veins quickly, efficiently and with little or no downtime.

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