Fact or Fiction?
Jun 05, 2013 11:27AM ● Published by Lisa Drake
By Dr. Gordon F. Gibbs
Dr. Gordon F. Gibbs is the Founder and Chief Medical Officer of Trinity Vein Institute in Arlington, Texas, and Rocky Mountain Vein Institute’s Colorado facilities. Dr. Thomas E. Eidson is the Associate Medical Director and Phlebologist at Trinity Vein Institute, and is Board-Certified in Family Medicine.
Recently, Dr. Gibbs sat down with Dr. Eidson and discussed some of the myths concerning vein disease and its treatment:
Q: Dr. Eidson, one of the myths about vein disease is that it is only cosmetic in nature, and not covered by insurance.
Dr. Eidson: “Yes, people often think that what we do is only cosmetic, but it's far from it. Of course, no one likes to be seen with bulging varicose veins, purple discolorations, or swelling in the legs. But appearance alone is rarely a person’s main reason for getting treatment. People come to us with complaints of leg heaviness, cramping, or restlessness; they have trouble sleeping, or problems that severely influence most of their day in a negative manner. Conditions such as varicose veins are often a sign of other medical issues. There are larger veins on the inside of the leg that are connected to the spider veins that bother people, but it's not necessarily the spider veins that are the problem. Spider veins are the result of the problem, and that’s why 98 percent of what we do is covered by health insurance.”
Q: Another myth we hear is that the treatment is worse than the problem.
Dr. Eidson: “Treating venous disease has improved over the years because of medical advancements. One advancement in particular, radio frequency ablation, allows us to employ ultrasound technology to locate the problem vein more precisely, insert a catheter, and seal the vein closed. Most of what we do involves just a small puncture in the skin, maybe a millimeter or two in length. Because the treatments are that simple, people walk right out. Treatment usually takes 30 minutes to an hour."
Q: Let’s discuss the myth involving the idea that after treatment the veins just come right back.
Dr. Eidson: “Immediately after a procedure, a patient will be fitted with a compression bandage to keep the walls of the vein close together for optimal treatment. After about two hours, the patient can change into graduated pressure stockings, which should be worn for about two weeks. A follow-up ultrasound scan within seven days after treatment ensures the treated vein is closed and determines whether any further veins require treatment. Because treated veins can reopen or new veins can develop, follow-up appointments are very important. We ask our patients to bring their compression garments to every follow-up visit. We recommend follow-up appointments after completion of our patients’ treatment plans at one month, three months, six months and one year.”
About Dr. Gordon F. Gibbs
The founder and chief medical officer of Trinity Vein Institute and Rocky Mountain Vein Institute, Dr. Gordon F. Gibbs is a Mayo Clinic trained interventional radiologist board certified in phlebology, diagnostic radiology and fellowship trained in vascular/interventional radiology. He is an active member of the American College of Phlebology and The Society of Interventional Radiology. Dr. Gibbs is also Medical Director of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology at St. Mary-Corwin Medical Center in Pueblo, Colorado. For more information, please visit http://www.trinityvein.com/, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 888.730.VEIN (8346).