The body’s veins are an integral part of the circulatory system, and many people are surprised to learn that the average length of all of the body’s veins would be approximately 30 feet if stretched out. These pathways provide blood flow, nutrient transfer, and more, but veins are susceptible to injury and disease.
Among vein disorders, varicose veins are some of the most common, and can lead to discomfort, pain, and more serious events. If you are diagnosed as varicose veins, your doctor can prescribe treatment based on your needs. VenaSeal is one method of treatment that may be recommended.
What Are Varicose Veins?
Varicose veins occur when reflux takes place in the circulatory system. In a healthy body, blood flows through the veins to the heart to be pumped into the arteries. Essentially, veins take blood from tissue and organs after it has been de-oxygenated, and then the heart transfers it back. Along the way, valves work to prevent reflux, or backflow, but when these valves are weakened, blood can lead to pressure and stretching in the tube-like structure of a vein. The result is a varicose vein, typically presented as enlarged bulges under the skin.
In some cases, varicose veins are harmless, but more serious problems can be caused by clotting issues, a heart attack, or stroke. Backed-up blood in varicose veins can pool in the stretched portion of the vein, and over time, this can develop into a clot that can limit blood flow and break free to cause blockages to the heart or brain.
Additionally, some people experience soreness and tenderness in the area of a varicose vein. Because these veins swell, they can also become very noticeable.
How Are Varicose Veins Treated?
Traditionally, the treatment for varicose veins has been to strip the vein in order to allow for the circulatory system to regulate itself and divert blood flow. Today, however, options exist that use radio waves to break up collagen in a vein to shrink it. This method, however, may not permanently solve the problem.
A more advanced and modern option is to use the VenaSeal Closure System. This procedure utilizes a specialized medical adhesive that is injected at the site of a diseased vein through a catheter. Once administered, the adhesive closes off the affected vein, eliminating blood flow and shrinking the vein permanently.
Does Medicare Cover VenaSeal?
Many Medicare recipients suffer from varicose veins. Although VenaSeal is a relatively new procedure, as of 2018, it may be covered by Medicare when it is deemed medically necessary. Keep in mind that cosmetic procedures do not qualify; however, because untreated varicose veins have the potential to lead to life-threatening conditions, treating them may be a matter of medical necessity to preserve life and improve overall health.
Medicare Part B may help cover VenaSeal treatment. Part B helps cover outpatient care, including doctor’s visits, outpatient surgery, medical supplies, and laboratory testing and diagnostics. If VenaSeal were to be administered in a skilled nursing facility or while formally admitted to a hospital, Part A might apply, but VenaSeal is not typically carried out on an emergency basis.
Original Medicare benefits also stipulate that VenaSeal treatment must be carried out at a Medicare-approved provider’s facility, and the provider must accept assignment. Medicare Advantage recipients will have at least the same Part A and Part B coverage as Original Medicare, but many offer additional benefits. Check with your plan for exact cost and coverage.