A vein is a blood vessel that transports blood to the heart. Veins that have become twisted and enlarged are described as varicose. Pressure in the veins when standing and walking may explain why they are most commonly found in the lower body.
A variant condition known as spider veins is a cosmetic concern for some people. This is different than varicose veins, which cause pain and may evolve into more serious issues. Though unusual for most people, potential complications range from minor bleeding to ulcers to thrombophlebitis or blood clots.
Cosmetic Vs. Medically Necessary Surgery
The distinction between cosmetic and medical necessity is important for those with Medicare insurance because Medicare does not cover cosmetic surgery aside from a few exceptions. Examples of exceptions, according to Medicare.gov, include surgery necessary due to an accidental injury, surgery intended to increase functionality in a deformed body part, and prostheses to reconstruct a breast for breast cancer survivors. Medicare coverage does include most surgical procedures deemed medically necessary.
Medicare Benefits for Vein Surgery
Medicare Part A insurance helps cover hospital inpatient charges. Under Part A, Medicare coverage includes semi-private rooms, food, general nursing and pharmaceutical drugs connected with the inpatient treatment. However, treatment for varicose veins is generally a low-invasive procedure that can be performed on an outpatient basis. Part B insurance is designed to help with the cost of medically necessary physician services, outpatient care, home health care and other medical services. If the surgery will be on an outpatient basis, you may be offered a choice between an ambulatory surgical center and a hospital outpatient facility.
Keep in mind that staying the night in a hospital setting does not necessarily denote inpatient status. To qualify as an inpatient, your doctor must initiate a formal inpatient admission process. If you are an outpatient for greater than 24 hours, the facility must provide you with a Medicare Outpatient Observation Notice, otherwise known as MOON. To understand the benefits granted, it is important to know whether your Medicare coverage payout is based on inpatient or outpatient status.
Treatment and Prevention of Varicose Veins
Endovenous laser varicose vein surgery involves a procedure that closes and shrinks the enlarged, bulging veins and produces scar tissue within the blood vessel, creating a seal. Veins in proximity accomplish the critical task of carrying the blood to the heart. Doctors may recommend this procedure to patients suffering from painful inflammation of veins or irritation of the skin covering varicose veins.
Though there is no scientifically proven prevention of varicose veins, Mayo Clinic recommends the same approach that someone with the condition might take to treat it. This includes basic healthy-lifestyle strategies, such as exercise, weight management, high-fiber and low-salt diet, leg elevation, avoidance of high-heel shoes, and alternation between seated and standing positions throughout the day.