Approximately 50-55 percent of women and 40-45 percent of men suffer from venous disorders, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on Women’s Health. Despite the prevalence of venous disorder, there are a lot of myths about the condition. Medical Director and Co-Owner, Bob Abrahamsen, M.D., shared his thoughts on common misconceptions.

Myth #1: Varicose veins are just a cosmetic issue.

Dr. Abrahamsen: In some circumstances, varicose and spider veins can be treated solely for aesthetic reasons. However, venous disorders commonly cause aching, throbbing, and itching in the legs. Many of our patients seek treatment because of their high level of discomfort. Additionally, if venous disorder is left untreated, it can progress into an advanced stage that can result in dermatitis and/or chronic wounds.

Myth #2: Varicose veins can only be treated with invasive surgery.

Dr. Abrahamsen: This was the case years ago, but now technology has advanced – allowing for quicker, more efficient, outpatient procedures. At Advanced Vein Center, we use Endovenous Laser Treatment, or EVLT, to close off varicose veins with targeted heat. We make a small incision, where we insert the catheter into the vein. This technique is so precise that it does not require any suturing, and leaves little or no scarring. Most patients are able to return to their normal routine the same day.

Myth #3: My insurance won’t cover the treatment.

Dr. Abrahamsen: Coverage is always determined on a case-by-case basis, so patients should verify their coverage with their insurance company before pursuing treatment. At our practice, we participate with most insurance companies. We also accept Medicare and MaineCare.

Myth #4: Pregnancy, high heels and crossing your legs causes varicose veins.

Dr. Abrahamsen: There is no single cause for venous disease. As with most medical conditions, a combination of risk factors and lifestyle choices can attribute to varicose veins. When evaluating our patients, we always take their full medical history into account.

Myth #5: Varicose veins are always visible.

Dr. Abrahamsen: Venous disease can be tricky, because problematic veins can be too deep for the eye to see. It is a common misconception that in order for varicose veins to need treatment, they must look like bulging, twisting, rope-like veins. However, deep varicose veins can cause achy legs, itchy rashes, swelling and discomfort. Ultrasound technology allows us to see veins deep below the surface. At AVC, we use Ultrasound technology to ensure we have high-quality imaging and testing.

If you like to learn more about treatments for varicose veins, be sure to give us a call at 207-772-1820! We always offer free leg screenings, and would be happy to meet with you to discuss treatment options.