We don’t know exactly why leg veins occur, but we know that the tendency to develop them can be inherited and that conditions such as pregnancy and menopause, and occupations that require prolonged standing or sitting can increase the risk of developing veins.
Also, that tendency cannot be cured so veins can be treated to improve symptoms and appearance but may need more treatment over time.
To maximise the efficacy and longevity of treatment it is vital to keep good habits ongoing such as regular exercise, good weight control and wearing compression socks if required to do prolonged standing or sitting in the workplace.
Anyone with large veins or extensive veins on most aspects of the leg will be sent for a duplex ultrasound to assess size and origins of the veins and then the most appropriate treatment can be arranged.
After each treatment, some of the peripheral small veins will disappear or become less obvious so waiting a month or two between treatments can be very beneficial and mean less injections later. Once the feeding veins are treated, most spider veins are also injected with a more dilute sclerosant and occasionally they can be lasered if very small or under high pressure.
Important Information re changes in Medicare rebates for Sclerotherapy
Up until now, there has been a Medicare rebate available for the treatment of varicose and surface leg veins by Sclerotherapy, if those veins were greater than 2.5mm in width.
Recently, the requirements to be eligible for a rebate have changed.
Under new Medicare rules, now ultrasound images must demonstrate that a vein is “refluxing” or flowing backwards for more than 0.5 secs to qualify for a rebate.
This would apply to most larger varicose veins but would not apply to smaller skin veins.
Essentially this means that non varicose surface veins and spider veins on the legs are now considered “cosmetic” and no Medicare item number can be applied.