Frequently Asked Questions:
GVS, Varicose Veins, Spider Veins, EVLT
How does EVLT work?
Laser energy shrinks the vein walls, closing the faulty vein so that the blood cannot flow through it. This eliminates the vein bulging at its source. EVLT is a highly effective, FDA approved procedure.
Is loss of this vein a problem?
No. After treatment, the blood in the faulty veins will be diverted to the many other functioning veins in the leg.
What are the complications of this procedure?
Typically, only minimal complications have been experienced with EVLT.
Am I at risk from the laser?
No. Just as a precaution against accidental laser energy outside the body, you will be given a pair of special glasses to protect your eyes.
How successful is EVLT?
Published clinical studies show that EVLT has up to a 98% initial success rate.
Are the physicians performing my EVLT procedure well trained?
Prior to founding Georgia Vein Specialists, Dr. Kerwin was on faculty of Emory University School of Medicine and Dr. Rao was on faculty at Harvard University School of Medicine. Both attended Emory University School of Medicine for their medical degrees and are both Board Certified in the diagnosis and treatment of vascular diseases.
Who performs my vein mapping?
At Georgia Vein Specialists, only a physician will perform vein mapping. Other practices may use an ultrasound technologist to perform the exam. This could lead to a missed or incorrect diagnosis if one person performs the exam while another person interprets the study and treats the patient based on that exam.
Leading experts (such as Robert Min, MD of Cornell Vascular, one of the developers of laser vein treatment) advocate that the physician who performs the vein treatment also perform the vein mapping.
Who performs my sclerotherapy?
Our physicians, Drs. Kerwin and Rao, and our physician assistant perform the sclerotherapy procedures.
Who performs my laser treatment?
Drs. Kerwin and Rao perform all laser procedures themselves.
What are varicose veins?
Varicose veins are abnormally-dilated blood vessels. They are veins which return blood from the legs. Normally, blood in the veins travels in one direction (towards the heart) because of one-way valves in the vein. If these valves are not working, blood can back-up in the veins, causing the varicose vein to enlarge. Varicose veins can occur anywhere in the body, and are often found in the legs. While they are often unsightly, they can also cause pain, burning, aching, and other symptoms.
What are spider veins?
Spider veins are similar to varicose veins, but they are smaller. They are often red or blue and are closer to the surface of the skin than varicose veins. They can look like tree branches or spider webs with short jagged lines. They can cover a very small or very large area of skin.
What is sclerotherapy?
This is the most common treatment for both spider veins and varicose veins. The doctor injects a solution into the vein that causes the vein walls to swell, stick together, and seal shut. This stops the flow of blood, and the vein is eventually absorbed. In a few weeks, the vein should fade. Occassionally, the same vein may need to be treated more than once. Sclerotherapy does not require anesthesia, and is performed in the medical office. Sclerotherapy treatments usually last 20 minutes.
Will I need to take time off work?
There is usually no need to take time off of work.
Will I have to have any test done before treatment?
There is no lab work or pre-op necessary for vein treatments.
What happens during the doctor consult?
An initial consult includes a clinical exam, and an ultrasound by one of our highly-trained physicians or physician assistant who will determine the best course of treatment.
Can I have Sclerotherapy treatment while pregnant?
No, you cannot have Sclerotherapy treatment during pregnancy. However, you can have a consultation and an ultrasound to determine your treatment plan after your pregnancy and how to make you make comfortable during your pregnancy.
Can I be in the sun after having Sclerotherapy treatment?
Avoid direct sun exposure or tanning beds while there is bruising, brown streaks over the veins, or trapped blood in the veins (veins will feel firm and tender). If sun exposure is necessary, use sunscreen with SPF 25 or greater at all times.
Can previously treated spider veins come back?
If someone is prone to developing spider veins, regardless of the treatment they have received in the past, they may see new spider veins develop as they age.
Do I have to wear compression hose after my Sclerotherapy treatment? If so, what kind?
Yes, you should wear 30-40 mmHg compression hose for at least seven days after the procedure.
What are the medical staff’s credentials?
Prior to forming Georgia Vein, Dr. Kerwin was on faculty of Emory University School of Medicine and Dr. Rao was on faculty at Harvard University School of Medicine. Both attended Emory University School of Medicine for their medical degrees and are both Board Certified in the diagnosis and treatment of vascular diseases. Our physician assistant, Nancy Demester, is a medically trained, licensed healthcare provider. She obtained her MS of Medical Science, Physician Assistant degree from Emory University.
Can I bring my children to my appointment?
No, children are not allowed in the procedure room and cannot be left in the waiting room without a supervising adult.
Can I use my FSA to pay for vein treatment?
Yes, vein treatments are eligible.
Do we offer a payment plan?
Yes, we offer a variety of payment plans.
Will my insurance cover treatment?
Most insurance carriers provide coverage for EVLT and medically-necessary sclerotherapy.