Many of our proud service members and their dependents suffer from varicose veins. Varicose veins are thick, bulging veins that often appear on the lower extremities. They often appear dark blue or purple in color and can cause pain, swelling, burning, throbbing, and aching sensations in the legs. Although anyone can develop varicose veins, people who are pregnant, older, overweight, or have familial history of varicose veins are at an elevated risk compared to the general public. If you are looking for more information about Tricare insurance varicose vein treatment, you have come to the right place!
What causes varicose veins?
Varicose veins can be caused by a variety of factors, but the most common contributing condition is valve incompetency in the veins that carry blood from the legs to the heart. As blood flows towards your heart from your legs, small valves positioned inside the veins open to allow outward blood flow, then rapidly close to prevent blood from flowing backwards. When these valves malfunction, weaken, or otherwise fail to stop blood from flowing backwards, the blood pools in the leg veins, leading to increased pressure that results in the thick varicose veins that people notice. Although this condition is rarely dangerous, it can be incredibly uncomfortable and can lead to more serious conditions such as ulcers and blood clots if left untreated.
What treatments are available?
Your doctor will first perform an ultrasound and physical exam to gather your symptoms, discuss your risk factors, and determine the cause of your varicose veins. A bilateral ultrasound of your legs is often performed to locate the exact position of the incompetent valves, the presence of any blood clots, and any other contributing factors. If your varicose veins originated from a medical condition such as incompetent valves, then there are several simple procedures that can be done to correct the problem. One such procedure is called an ablation and is done in the doctor’s office or surgical center under ultrasound guidance. Ablations of the lower extremities are relatively simple procedures that require only local anesthesia – patients are awake and responsive for the entire procedure. The procedure is quick, easy, and effective for correcting the underlying causes of varicose veins. After an ablation, most patients are scheduled for sclerotherapy sessions to correct the veins that appear on the surface of the leg. Sclerotherapy is also done under ultrasound guidance and requires no general anesthesia. Both procedures are incredibly safe and highly effective at fixing the underlying causes of varicose veins and reducing the visual appearance of varicose veins and spider veins that you may already have.
Is varicose vein treatment covered by Tricare?
Tricare Insurance generally covers ablations and ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy sessions. Dr. Peter Mann at the Secret Vein Clinic is an expert vascular surgeon with decades of experience in treating varicose veins. Our facility is contracted with Tricare and is able to see the majority of Tricare patients and dependents with few hassles. In some situations, a referral from your primary care doctor or your local military health clinic is required. Either way, please contact our office at (858) 412-3353 for more information about scheduling an appointment as a Tricare patient, varicose vein treatments, or any other questions.