Frequently asked questions

Please go through the frequently asked questions to see some of the questions we get asked a lot.

Frequently asked questions

How does the blood get back to my heart if the varicose veins are removed?

Blood travels away from the heart through arteries and then back to the heart through veins. In the legs most of the blood (85-90%) flows back to the heart through the many deep veins within the muscles. Varicose veins occur on the surface of the legs and these surface veins, when working normally, carry only about 10% of the blood back up to the heart. Once these veins become varicose they are unable to send blood back to the heart and the deep veins have the capacity to take over. Therefore removing these non-functioning varicose veins does not have any affected on normal vein flow back up to the heart.

If I am planing to have a family, should I have my veins treated before pregnancy?

Varicose veins usually get worse during pregnancy. They can become more painful and troublesome depending on the severity of the veins before pregnancy. At times it is worth treating the varicose veins before pregnancy and an assessment at our clinic will clarify whether this is needed.

Endovenous Laser Ablation verses Radiofrequency Ablation?

Both Endovenous Laser Ablation and Radiofrequency Ablation are very effective treatments for larger varicose veins and are available at our clinic. The Endovenous Laser fibre is finer than the Radiofrequency fibre, so using the Endovenous Laser fibre may make the procedure more straightforward than Radiofrequency Ablation. The early models of Lasers caused more bruising than Radiofrequency but the newer generation of Lasers cause minimal bruising similar to Radiofrequency. Endovenous Laser Ablation has been more extensively researched and is the most used Endothermal treatment internationally. For these reasons we mostly use Endovenous Laser Ablation at our Varicose Vein Clinic.

Will my veins come back after treatment?

Recurrence after treatment is uncommon. The long-term success of treatment and the possibility of recurrence will be discussed with you at the initial assessment.

I don't have Medical Insurance, am I able to pay off in installments?

You may pay for your treatment in installments over 3 months. In special circumstances this could be extended.

What does it cost?

The initial assessment will cost $206. All treatment costs will be discussed at this appointment.

How long will it take for my veins to disappear after the treatment?

Fine spider veins will disappear after 4-6 weeks and larger veins take longer. Large varicose veins may take 6 or more months to disappear.

Is there much pain after the procedure?

Most people have minimal pain after the treatment. Sometimes the treated veins can feel tender and sometimes need pain relief such as Paracetamol (Panadol) and anti-inflammatories such as Ibuprofen (Nurofen & Brufen).

Is the procedure painful?

Most people cope with the procedure very well. A few find it uncomfortable particularly when giving the local anaesthetic to numb the vein for Endovenous Laser Ablation and Radiofrequency Ablation. After the procedure you will feel quite normal with none of the grogginess & pain you would feel after surgery. We will look after you during the procedure and usually we have good discussion about numerous topics to keep you distracted from the treatment. Most people say "that was much better than I expected".

Are there any side-effects and complications?

Side-effects are very uncommon and much less than surgery. Dr Connell will discuss this with you at the initial assessment.

Can I bring a support person?

Yes. You may bring one person into the treatment room with you during the procedure.

Can I fly after the procedure?

You may fly anytime after the procedure provided it is less than a 5 hour flight. You may take flights for 5 hours or more 2 weeks after any procedure.

How long do I have to wear stockings?

You will need to wear stockings for 2-3 weeks after the initial procedure. You may also need to wear stockings after follow-up checks, generally for 7 to 10 days. The stockings will be provided by our clinic and come both in nude or black colours.

Can I go back to the gym the next day?

Yes. You may go to the gym the day after the procedure but you shouldn't do any weight lifting of more than 15kgs for 2 weeks. You still need to do the 45mins walk each day for the 2 weeks.

Can I walk home after the procedure?

Yes. You need to walk for at least 20mins immediately after the procedure and walk a total of 45mins daily for the next 2 weeks. You may walk more than this if you wish.

Do I need a referral letter from my GP?

A GP referral letter is not essential. It is however preferable if you have complex medical problems. We will always write back to your GP with our initial assessment and any treatment sessions.

Is the procedure covered by Medical Insurance?

Varicose Vein treatments are covered by most medical insurers where medical necessity criteria apply. The Varicose Vein Clinic is an Affiliated Provider for Southern Cross Healthcare and a First Choice Provider for NIB Medical Insurance, which means we do all the paperwork for you. The medical necessity criteria means that varicose veins generally need to have symptoms such as aching, heaviness and swelling or skin problems such as varicose eczema, infection, skin discolouration for varicose ulcers to be covered by insurance. Usually the total cost of assessment and treatment is covered. Insurers such as Sovereign, Unimed, Accuro, AIA, Partners Life and others also cover varicose vein treatments. If you are insured with medical insurer other than Southern Cross Healthcare and NIB, you should arrange for prior approval before any planned treatment. Spider vein treatment is regarded by medical insurance companies to be a cosmetic treatment and is therefore not covered by medical insurance. It is important to note that if you have symptoms related to spider veins it may be because there are underlying varicose veins that are not visible on the surface. These can be detected by an ultrasound that is part of your initial assessment at the Varicose Vein Clinic. Therefore your treatment may be covered by your insurance.

How long does the procedure take?

For Endovenous Laser Ablation or Radiofrequency Ablation 60 to 90 mins. For Ultrasound Guided Sclerotherapy of Sclerotherapy 15-30mins. Immediately after the procedure you will need to walk for 20 mins.

Will I need time off work?

For the initial treatment most patients go back to work the next day and few return to work the same day. For the follow-up appointments you can go back to work the same day. If your work involves lifting anything heavier than 15 kgs, you shouldn't lift this amount or more for 2 weeks.

Contact us

Do you have a question or want to make an appointment?

Give us a call or go to the Contact Us page to send us a message.

09 520 9465