Conservative treatment for vein conditions is often the first line of attack in addressing a variety of symptoms. These non-invasive options require no medication or surgical procedures and can be beneficial in preventing or slowing the progression of vein disease.
Conservative treatment options include one or more of the following:
- Leg Exercise – walking
- Leg Elevation – regular elevation of the legs in the evening
- Anti-inflammatory pain medications
- Use of compression stockings
- Massage therapy
- Weight loss
- Dietary and lifestyle changes
- Avoid crossing the legs while sitting
- Avoid standing for prolonged periods of time
At Advanced Vein Care Center, we have discovered a combination of regular physical exercise and use of compression stockings sometimes can be an effective method for warding off the painful symptoms of vein disease. Both treatments specifically address the calf muscle, which is responsible for helping to move blood back up the veins to the heart. For more information on preventing or managing vein conditions, contact Advanced Vein Care Center.
Compression Stockings – Questions & Answers
They are usually a helpful addition to the procedures required to treat venous insufficiency. More importantly, however, most insurance carriers require a certain period of “conservative trial of treatment” using compression stockings (along with leg exercise, elevation, and pain medications) before they will cover the vein procedures (EVLT and phlebectomy). Thus, for most patients, the compression stockings are necessary to be used as conservative treatment prior to their vein procedures.
Most insurances require between 6 weeks to 6 months of conservative trial period using compression stockings. Medicare requires 3 months.
Some private insurance carriers cover their purchase, and some do not. You are encouraged to check your own insurance policy. Medicare and Medicaid policies usually do not cover the purchase of compression stockings, unless there is an active, open venous stasis ulcer.
Those insurance companies that require compression stockings’ as a conservative trial usually require the tight, heavy-pressure compression stockings, with pressure of greater than 30 mmHg. Lesser pressure stockings with 15-30 mmHg pressure may be used for your comfort, but they do not qualify as conservative treatment to get the vein procedures covered.
If used as a conservative treatment, only those stockings with greater than 30 mmHg pressure will suffice for the insurance requirement, and these require a prescription from your physician or provider.
Putting on the compression stockings, especially the thigh-high stockings, is very difficult for some patients. A variety of techniques for donning and doffing the stockings are available, “tricks” such as rubber gloves, a donning device, open toe stockings, etc. However, some patients have severe arthritis of their hands and wrists; they have no one to help them put them on daily; and some have developed complications from its use such as skin wounds, blisters, and neuropathy. In the end, if it is impossible for you to use compression stockings despite best and reasonable effort, it will be considered as a failure to improve on conservative treatment using compression stockings, in which case, further vein procedures would be the next step.
However, there are “higher tech” compression devices that use “velcro wrap” if you are in dire need of compression stockings and yet are unable to donn and doff the standard stockings. These usually are not covered by insurance, unless there is an active venous stasis ulcer present. They are available for purchase.
Yes. Please see our Patient Information section for EVLT.
We look forward to creating a customized treatment regimen ranging from compression stockings to other procedures we offer. Give our Springfield, MA office a call at 413.732.4242 to schedule an appointment or use the form below.