Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Do you provide second opinions if I need one?
A. Dr. Golan encourages second opinions, and many of those people become patients of NSV. If you’ve visited another provider, especially one that advocates multiple procedures in both legs or recommends treatment of a leg that doesn’t bother you, please call us to get a second opinion.
Q. Where are you located?
A. North Shore Vascular is conveniently located in Northfield, in the middle of Chicago’s North Shore suburbs. See a map and get directions from where you live or work.
Q. Does Dr. Golan perform arterial vascular surgery procedures as well as vein procedures?
A. Yes, in addition to Dr. Golan’s vein procedures done in Dr. Golan maintains an active surgical practice and is an attending physician Evanston Hospital, Highland Park Hospital, Glenbrook Hospital and Skokie Hospital of NorthShore University HealthSystem – where he performs most arterial procedures.
Q. What exactly are varicose veins compared to spider veins?
A. Actually, they are very different vein conditions although people, understandably, sometimes get them confused. Varicose veins are enlarged, bulging, often twisted, purple or blue colored veins most commonly on legs or feet – and caused by poorly functioning valves. Typical symptoms often include “ropey” cord-like veins that are swollen above the surface of the skin, pain, heaviness or tiredness in legs, swelling of ankles or lower legs, skin discoloration and dryness around ankles. Spider veins are a less serious medical condition than varicose veins. Spider veins are tiny purple or red blood vessels located in the skin of the leg near the surface. They appear as tiny branching lines that, at times, can resemble a spider’s web; hence the name.
Q. Can I have both varicose veins and spider veins?
A. Indeed, you may have both medical conditions at the same time, but spider veins are not varicose veins – and one does not lead to the other.
Q. Does Dr. Golan perform vein procedures on men as well as women?
A. Yes, on a regular basis. While the majority of people suffering from vein conditions are women, many men also experience varicose vein and spider vein problems. Dr. Golan has performed vein treatment on thousands of women and men over his 30-year career as a vascular surgeon in the Chicago area.
Q. How does Dr. Golan treat varicose veins?
A. Most typically with a laser. Endovenous Laser Therapy (EVLT which is also called Endovenous Laser Ablation) is a highly effective, safe, and proven treatment for varicose veins. It is FDA approved, relatively pain-free, requires a short recovery time and causes minimal discomfort, bruising and swelling – and can be done in the office versus a hospital. In some cases Dr. Golan will treat varicose veins with other procedures: Microphlebectomy or Sclerotherapy (which is most typically used to treat spider veins).
Q. How does endovenous laser therapy work?
A. A laser fiber is inserted into the varicose vein through a tiny puncture in the skin. The laser does not actually remove the affected vein but seals it, permanently closed – and prevents blood from pooling in it – which effectively eliminates it.
Q. Is the laser vein procedure painful?
A. The procedure itself is pain free. Afterwards, patients may experience mild discomfort in the thigh of the affected leg which can last about a week. Typically, patients need only an anti-inflammatory like ibuprofen to minimize the discomfort. The post- procedure recovery is usually uneventful, with patients experiencing minimal discomfort, bruising or swelling.
Q. What will my recovery time be?
A. You can resume normal activity in 24 hours, but vigorous exercise should be avoided for 1-2 weeks.
Q. Do you use any herbal supplements as part of your vein treatment?
A. We offer Arnica Montana to patients as a homeopathic supplement. In our experience, Arnica helps decrease bruising and swelling after the laser procedure.
Q. Will there be scars on my legs after my laser surgery?
A. No – the incisions are very small, no stitches are required, and the bleeding is minimal.
Q. How long until my legs will look great again?
A. Usually, after a laser vein procedure by Dr. Golan, your legs will look great – without the telltale varicose veins – in just a couple weeks. But that timeframe can vary some depending on the severity of the original varicose veins.
Q. Will my insurance cover laser varicose vein treatment?
A. Usually, yes – if specific criteria are met. Most insurance plans require “conservative treatment” which consists of wearing compression stockings, elevating the legs and taking oral anti-inflammatory medication for a period of time. Then, if symptoms are not relieved, most insurance carriers will approve the procedure. At North Shore Vascular, we do our very best to comply with the guidelines given by all insurance carriers.
Q. How do you treat spider veins versus varicose veins?
A. With a treatment called Sclerotherapy which has been the accepted standard for many years. A liquid “sclerosing” agent is injected into the small varicose or spider vein. It irritates the vein wall causing it to close. At North Shore Vascular, we use Sotradecol® and Asclera, the only FDA-approved drugs for sclerotherapy. We purchase Sotradecol® and Asclera from approved manufacturers in the U.S. unlike some vein centers which purchase the product from compounding pharmacies. At NSV, patient safety is never compromised.
Q. Does the sclerotherapy procedure hurt?
A. Not really – some patients describe an itching sensation which lasts for a few minutes, but that’s usually it.
Q. Will my spider veins disappear right away?
A. No – the discoloration fades over time – with optimal results being seen in 3-6 months.
Q. Will my spider veins come back?
A. Treated spider veins will not return, but new ones can form at any time.
Q. Will my insurance cover sclerotherapy for spider veins?
A. When very specific, strict criteria are met, some insurance carriers may pay for sclerotherapy to treat small varicose veins. Insurance companies never cover spider vein treatment as it is considered a cosmetic procedure.
Please contact North Shore Vascular if you have any other questions or would like to schedule an appointment.