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Spider and Varicose Veins

Varicose veins are enlarged superficial veins you can see and feel through your skin. They most often occur in your legs and may appear dark blue or purple and twisted. They can be painful and occasionally can cause bleeding or ulcers. Spider veins are smaller red vessels that twist and turn. They are typically visible on the legs.

Varicose veins may be very painful. They may also cause a burning, heavy or aching feeling in your legs. Some people describe itching, throbbing or numbness. They are often associated with leg swelling. 

Varicose veins are more likely to occur in older women; however, they can occur in both men and women of any age. You may be at a higher risk for varicose veins if you are obese or pregnant or if you spend a long time standing at your job. This is more likely to occur in occupations like hair stylists, teachers and house cleaners.

At University of Miami Health System, our expert interventional radiologists can use minimally invasive techniques to destroy varicose veins, improve symptoms, and the appearance of your veins.

Why Choose UHealth?

Expert care from highly trained interventional radiologists. Our interventional radiologists and radiology specialists are experts in a variety of minimally invasive procedures — everything from treatments to clear blocked blood vessels to advanced cancer therapies like NanoKnife®.

Leading-edge imaging care in South Florida. Our doctors are also researchers discovering new ways to improve diagnosis and treatment. That means you can get some of today’s most promising advancements through clinical trials. You benefit from the latest developments that are fast-tracked from the lab to the bedside.

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Treatments


An interventional radiologist can use multiple minimally invasive techniques to destroy varicose veins. These minimally invasive surgical techniques have low risks of pain and bleeding and relatively fast recovery times. 

Sclerotherapy

During sclerotherapy, your doctor injects a special solution into the veins. This solution irritates the vein walls, causing them to collapse. Over the next few weeks, the veins are reabsorbed into the body. 

The entire procedure takes less than an hour. Your doctor will use local anesthetic to keep you comfortable during the injections, though you may feel some stinging. 

You will need to wear compression stockings for two weeks after your procedure to assist with healing and prevent complications. However, you will be able to return to walking and all your normal activities almost immediately.

Greater Saphenous Venous Ablation

During this procedure, you will receive a local anesthetic around your abnormal veins and moderate sedation. 
An interventional radiologist will then insert a thin tube (catheter) into the greater saphenous vein through a very small incision. This vein is a large abnormal vein which results in the varicose veins that are visible. They will then transmit laser or radiofrequency energy through the catheter, damaging the abnormal vein so it closes off. Your doctor will then remove the catheter and place a bandage on the incision site. The entire procedure takes about an hour.

You will be able to go home after catheter ablation and return to your normal activities. You will also need to wear compression stockings. The vein will fade away over the next few weeks to months. 

Phlebectomy

During this procedure, you’ll receive local anesthetic around your abnormal varicose veins and moderate sedation. 

An interventional radiologist will then remove the abnormal varicose veins with a device called a vein hook. This procedure is associated with bruising which will resolve in 2 to 6 weeks; however, the benefits are that the abnormal varicose veins are permanently removed. 

After the procedure you will have small steri-strips on the phlebectomy sites for approximately 1 week. 


Tests 

  • History and Physical Exam 

    Your doctor will ask about your veins and any symptoms you experience. They will also examine your varicose veins.

  • Ultrasound

    An ultrasound is a noninvasive imaging test that uses sound waves to create images of the blood flow in your legs. An ultrasound can reveal how well blood moves through your legs.

Accepted Insurances

Note: Health plans that are currently contracted with UHealth are listed below. However, please check with your insurance provider to verify that UHealth is part of your provider network.

  • Aetna WC
  • Aetna Affiliates/Signature Adm (ASA)
  • Aetna Behavioral Health
  • Aetna Elect Choice (EPO)
  • Aetna Florida Healthy Kids
  • Aetna HMO
  • Aetna Medicaid HMO
  • Aetna Medicare HMO
  • Aetna Medicare PPO
  • Aetna POS
  • Aetna PPO
  • Aetna UM Employee HMO 1
  • Aetna UM Employee HMO 2
  • Aetna UM Employee POS HRA
  • Aetna/Coventry Institutes of Excellence (IOE)
  • Amerigroup Florida Healthy Kids
  • Amerigroup Medicaid HMO
  • Argus Vision
  • AvMed Choice
  • AvMed HMO/POS
  • AvMed MDC and JHS Groups
  • AvMed Medicare HMO
  • AXIS
  • BCBS Blue Options Network Blue PPO
  • BCBS BlueCare HealthOptions HMO
  • BCBS BlueChoice PPC/PPO
  • BCBS Miami Dade Blue PPO Limited Benefits Plan
  • BCBS of Florida (All products except "SELECT" Plans)
  • BCBS of Florida (Commercial plans exclude HIX Select)
  • BCBS Traditional PHS/PPO
  • Beacon Health (ValueOption)
  • Beech Street PPO
  • Broward Health Medical Center
  • CarePlus Medicare HMO
  • Catholic Hospice
  • CCP/CMS Title XIX (Medicaid Enrolled in South Florida)
  • CCP/CMS Title XXI (Non Medicaid Enrolled in South Florida)
  • CCP/MMA (Broward County residents)
  • Charlotte County Sheriffs Office PPO
  • Cigna Affiliates
  • Cigna Behavioral Health
  • Cigna Dental HMO/PPO
  • Cigna EPO
  • Cigna HMO
  • Cigna Life Source (Intracorp is part of Cigna Lifesource)
  • Cigna MDCPS Jackson Sr. High
  • Cigna POS
  • Cigna PPO
  • Cigna Shared Administration
  • Clear Health Alliance SNP Medicaid HMO
  • Concordia Behavioral Health
  • CorVel WC
  • Coventry First Health WC
  • Coventry Health Care of Florida (HIP) HMO/POS
  • Coventry Health Care of Florida (HIP) PPO
  • Coventry Health Plan of Florida (Foundation) HMO
  • Coventry Health Plan of Florida (Foundation) POS
  • Coventry National PPO
  • Coventry Summit Medicare HMO
  • Coventry Vista Medicare HMO
  • Coventry First Health PPO
  • Delta Dental PPO
  • DentaQuest (ADI)
  • DIKLA
  • Dimension WC
  • Dimension Plus PPO
  • Doctor's Healthcare Plan
  • EHN PPO
  • EQUIAN (Health Systems International)
  • Europe Assistance/Global Corporate Solutions (Care Management Network)
  • eyeQuest
  • FCCI WC
  • Florida Community Care (FCC)
  • Florida Healthcare Plan (Affiliate of BCBSFL)
  • Florida PACE (FPC)
  • Freedom Health Medicaid HMO
  • Freedom Health Medicare HMO
  • Gallagher Bassett WC (MDCPS & FCSRMC)
  • Global Excel Mgt PPO
  • Great West (Cigna) HMO/POS
  • Guardian Life PPO
  • HAA Preferred Partners
  • Health First Health HMO/POS
  • Health First Health Medicare HMO
  • Health First Health PPO
  • Health Net Veterans Choice HMO
  • Heritage Summit Healthcare WC
  • Humana Behavioral Health (LifeSynch)
  • Humana Dental/CompBenefits/OHS
  • Humana EPO
  • Humana HMO
  • Humana Medicaid HMO
  • Humana Medicare HMO
  • Humana National Transplant
  • Humana PPO
  • Humana Premier
  • iCare Health Solutions
  • Interlink Health Services
  • International Kids Fund (IKF)
  • League Medical Concepts Federal Inmates
  • Life Trac
  • Magellan Behavioral Health
  • Magellan Complete Care SNP Medicaid HMO
  • MDAbroad
  • Medica Medicare HMO
  • Medical Development In't (MDI)-Federal Inmates
  • Medicus
  • Metlife Dental PPO
  • MHNet Behavioral Network (MHNet)
  • Molina
  • Molina Market Place
  • Molina Medicaid HMO
  • Molina Medicare HMO
  • Morgan White International
  • MultiPlan PPO
  • Naphcare (Federal Prisoners)
  • National Healthcare Solutions Inc.
  • Neighborhood HealthPlan HMO/POS
  • Neighborhood HealthPlan PPO
  • North Broward Hospital District PPO
  • Olympus Managed Healthcare
  • Optum
  • Positive Healthcare SNP Medicaid HMO
  • Positive Healthcare SNP Medicare HMO
  • Prestige Health Choice Medicaid HMO
  • Prime Health Services WC
  • Quality Health Management
  • Religious Order of Jehovah's Witnesses PPO
  • Rockport Healthcare Group WC
  • Royal Caribbean Cruises PPO
  • Sanus Health Corporation
  • Seasons Hospice
  • Simply Healthcare Medicaid HMO
  • Solstice Dental HMO/PPO
  • Start Healthcare Network
  • Sunshine
  • Sunshine AMBETTER
  • Sunshine Healthy Kids HMO
  • Sunshine Medicaid HMO
  • Sunshine Medicare HMO
  • Tricare South Prime HMO
  • Tricare South Standard PPO
  • United Behavioral Health (UBH)
  • UnitedHealthcare Affiliates
  • UnitedHealthcare Healthy Kids HMO
  • UnitedHealthcare HMO/POS
  • UnitedHealthcare Medicaid HMO
  • UnitedHealthcare Medicare Nursing Home Plan
  • UnitedHealthcare PPO
  • University of Miami Athletic Dept PPO
  • VUMI
  • Wellcare/Staywell Healthy Kids HMO
  • Wellcare/Staywell Medicaid HMO
  • Wexford Health State Inmates
  • Worldwide Managed Care