Frequently Asked Questions

Here you’ll find some of the most frequently asked questions about varicose veins, spider veins and vein treatment options. If you have any questions not listed here, please feel free to give us a call.


FAQs About Varicose Veins

1. What is the cause of varicose veins?

Increased blood pressure in the veins is the leading cause of varicose veins. This pressure damages the tiny valves inside the veins responsible for pushing blood back toward the heart. When these valves become weakened or damaged, blood can collect and pool inside the veins.

Any condition that puts excessive pressure on the legs or abdomen can also lead to varicose veins. The most common include pregnancy, obesity, and sitting or standing for long periods. Chronic constipation and (in rare cases, tumors) can also damage vein valves and cause varicose veins.

Additional risk factors include age, family history, female gender, hormonal replacement or contraception therapy, and more.

2. How do I prevent varicose veins?

Unfortunately, there is no known way to prevent varicose veins from forming, especially if you are genetically predisposed to them. However, individuals can delay the onset of varicose veins through healthy lifestyle choices (e.g., regular exercise, avoiding a sedentary lifestyle, and maintaining a healthy weight).

High-risk individuals may also choose to wear compression stockings to support healthy blood flow and delay the onset of varicose veins. A few other tips include:

  • avoid high-heeled shoes,
  • elevate your legs above your heart throughout the day,
  • and limit your salt intake.

3. When should I worry about varicose veins?

If you have varicose veins and are experiencing increased swelling or pain in your legs, it could be a sign of a severe health problem, like a blood clot, especially if these symptoms come on suddenly.

If your skin becomes discolored (e.g., turns red or brown) and becomes hot or painful, seek immediate medical attention as this could result from chronic inflammation or progressive vascular disease.

4. Are varicose veins painful?

Common symptoms of varicose veins include bulging legs, heaviness, itching, swelling, skin discoloration, and pain. Legs may also be painful, achy, or sore, especially behind the knees. In some cases, individuals may also experience muscle cramps.

If you’re experiencing leg pain due to varicose veins, it may signify that something more serious is happening. Varicose veins that hurt can indicate a more serious problem, like a blood clot, open sore, or skin infection. Contact Dr. Tawfik’s office for a complete evaluation.

5. Are varicose veins dangerous?

Varicose veins typically aren’t dangerous and do not pose long-term health risks. However, severe cases of varicose veins may be a sign of chronic venous insufficiency, which can lead to open sores, bleeding, and skin discoloration if left untreated. Those with severe varicose veins are also at a higher risk of developing serious or life-threatening complications like blood clots (deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism.)

6. Can my varicose veins be cured?

Technically no, the conditions that cause varicose veins permanently damage the sensitive valves that control blood flow back toward the heart.

However, minimally invasive varicose vein treatments can quickly and easily treat the affected veins.  All Premier Vein & Vascular vein treatments are performed in the comfort of Dr. Tawfik’s office and use local anesthesia, such as topical numbing agents.

FAQs About Spider Veins

1. What is the cause of spider veins?

Spider veins are commonly caused by heredity, obesity, trauma, and fluctuations in hormone levels and can appear anywhere on the body.

While spider veins are often considered a cosmetic problem, they may signal the presence of other, more serious venous or health concerns such as venous insufficiency, liver cirrhosis, rheumatoid arthritis, or imbalanced thyroid hormones.

2. How do I prevent spider veins?

Unfortunately, there is no foolproof way to prevent spider veins, especially if you are genetically predisposed to them. However, implementing a few healthy lifestyle changes into your daily routine can stop existing spider veins from getting worse and prevent new ones from forming. Here are a few things you can do:

  • Get regular exercise.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Wear sunscreen.
  • Limit the use of hot tubs and saunas.
  • Avoid high-heeled shoes.
  • Elevating your legs above your heart throughout the day.
  • Limit your salt intake.

High-risk individuals may also choose to wear compression stockings and elevate their legs above their heart throughout the day to improve blood flow in their lower legs.

3. Are spider veins dangerous?

Spider veins are painless and tend to show up on the face or legs. While spider veins are often considered a cosmetic problem, they may signal the presence of other, more serious venous or health concerns.

Contact Dr. Tawfik’s office for a complete evaluation if you’re concerned about spider veins.

4. Do spider veins go away?

Spider veins will not go away on their own. While they typically do not cause much of a problem at first, they often worsen over time.

If you have spider veins due to a health condition, your spider veins may be permanent without treatment. In rare cases, they may disappear on their own (after several months), typically after pregnancy or after finishing certain medications.

5. Do spider veins hurt?

While varicose veins often come with symptoms of pain or discomfort, spider veins are usually not painful and typically don’t require medical intervention.

If you’re experiencing any pain or discomfort with spider veins, contact Dr. Tawfik’s office for a complete evaluation. Spider veins that are noticeably swollen, red, or very tender or warm to the touch may require immediate medical attention.

FAQs About Vein Treatment

1. Is vein treatment painful?

Dr. Tawfik has extensive training and experience in interventional cardiology, providing him a unique edge in safely and quickly performing today’s most advanced, minimally invasive varicose vein treatments. Each of these treatments is virtually painless. And in most cases, veins are closed using chemical or radiofrequency energy that gently heats vessels to close them.

2. Does vein treatment cause scarring?

You may be familiar with outdated vein treatments like vein stripping, which can cause pain and scarring. Thankfully this method has been replaced by quick, comfortable, minimally invasive procedures that produce remarkable results.

As an interventional cardiologist, Dr Tawfik often works on coronary arteries of the heart which are smaller in caliber than large varicose veins and are constantly moving with the beating heart.  Such intense conditions allowed him to master the technologies of today’s vein treatments, giving him a distinct edge in accuracy and efficiency over many providers.

He offers several advanced, minimally invasive vein treatments, including sclerotherapy, radiofrequency ablation, chemical ablation and ambulatory phlebectomy. Each of these treatments seldom causes scarring or other adverse effects.

3. Does vein treatment affect my circulation?

No, removing varicose veins does not adversely affect blood supply or circulation to the legs.

The affected veins are not functioning normally, meaning they aren’t supporting healthy blood flow. Veins riddled with stagnant pools of blood prevent the proper emptying of blood from the legs, increasing your risk for ulcers or blood clots.

Treating these veins improves blood circulation within the legs because it’s redirected and transported by other, healthy veins.

4. How long does vein care treatment take?

While vein treatment length and frequency largely depend on the severity, vein treatments typically take 30 and 45 minutes. If someone requires multiple veins treated in both legs, they may need several treatments on separate days over a few weeks.

It’s also important to know that, after some treatment, patients must wear compression stockings for 7-14 days (to reduce discomfort and bruising) and walk daily (to prevent blood clots and promote good circulation) for at least 15-30 minutes.

5. Does insurance cover varicose vein or spider vein treatment?

Vein treatment costs depend on a few factors, but primarily the type of vein treatment you need and whether the condition qualifies for health insurance coverage. In general, if your varicose veins are causing you symptoms, affect your ability to function or interfere with your quality of life, then the treatment is covered by most medical insurers.

At Premier Vein & Vascular, we accept most major insurance plans, including Blue Cross Blue Shield. Please call our office to determine whether your insurance provider is accepted.

6. Can I get treated for varicose or spider veins during pregnancy?

Spider and varicose vein treatments are not recommended during pregnancy.

Varicose veins that appear during pregnancy will typically resolve within 3 to 4 months postpartum. Contact your doctor or vein care specialist if you experience any of these vein symptoms: swelling, warmth, tenderness, redness, or bleeding.

Seek immediate medical care if you experience a rash on your leg or ankle or if the skin on the leg changes color or thickens.

7. Can I get treated for varicose or spider veins while breastfeeding?

It is ideal to wait until you are finished breastfeeding to have varicose vein treatments; however, this decision depends on your unique situation and the severity of your condition.

If you’re experiencing varicose veins that are incredibly painful, please call our office for a consultation.

8. What are the side effects of vein treatment?

As with any medical procedure, side effects are possible. However, in the right hands, vein treatment carries a very high success rate with rare side effects.  Side effects of minimally-invasive vein treatments may include bleeding, scarring, infection, blood vessel injury, blood clots, nerve injury, chronic swelling, lymphatic damage, or accidental injury to other adjacent structures. New abnormal veins may also develop after vein procedures.

Talk to us about the particular risks involved with your procedure.

Dr. Tawfik is fellowship trained in interventional cardiology. His extensive training and experience allow him to administer catheter-based techniques with utmost precision, lowering your risk of severe side effects.