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Ask Southern Arizona Laser & Vein Institute

We want you to understand everything about your condition and have all your questions answered before you proceed with any treatment. Below are answers to some of the questions we're asked most frequently about the procedures we offer. You'll also find links to far more detailed information about the procedures we perform at SALVI.

At your initial consultation or pre-op meeting, we'll look forward to answering any additional questions you might have.

What are varicose veins?

Varicose veins are diseased blood vessels that have become permanently dilated (enlarged), and can no longer efficiently carry blood back to the heart.

Can varicose veins affect my health in a negative way?

Left untreated, varicose veins can cause pain, swelling, inflammation (phlebitis), skin ulcers, and blood clots. 

What causes varicose veins?

While the specific causes for developing varicose veins are not yet known, many contributing factors have been identified that can put you at higher risk. Some of these risk factors include the following:

  1. Occupation – Prolonged standing or sitting increases blood pressure on the closed valves. Such inactivity therefore weakens your veins and leaves your legs susceptible to varicose vein development.
  2. Gender – Statistically, female patients are four times more likely to develop varicose veins than males. Increases in weight, progesterone levels, blood volume and pelvic vein pressure contribute to the development of various venous problems in 70% of pregnant women. In fact, 20% of all women will develop full-blown varicose veins due to hormonal changes that occur during puberty, pregnancy, menopause, hormone replacement therapy and from taking birth control pills.
  3. Heredity – Varicose veins are likely to run in your family. In nearly 70% of patients, defective vein walls and/or valves are the cause of their varicose veins. A review of your family history will determine if you are at greater risk for developing varicose veins.
  4. Age – The frequency and severity of varicose veins increases with age. Tissue fibers deteriorate as we age, which leads to the appearance of wrinkles, dilated and tortuous blood vessels and varicose veins.

What procedure and treatment options does SALVI offer?

Southern Arizona Laser & Vein Institute medical staff perform a variety of treatments, including Endovenous Radiofrequency Treatments, Sclerotherapy and Microphlebectomy.

The links below provide more detailed information about these treatments and procedures. Simply click on the procedure that interests you to download additional information, including patient pre-operative and post-operative instructions.

Endovenous RadioFrequency Ablation Treatment (RFA)

Microphlebectomy Vein Treatment


Is Vein Treatment covered by insurance?

Most insurance companies at least partially cover costs associated with vein treatments that are deemed medically necessary. At your initial consultation our staff will discuss the prescribed treatment, associated costs and payment arrangements, including your insurance coverage.

Before your consultation, please check your policy and/or call your insurance provider to find out what your policy covers. For your convenience, SALVI accepts most major credit cards.

Before and After Photo - Laser Vein Treatment

What should I wear to my treatment?

Wear loose, comfortable clothing, such as sweat pants or skirts. Your legs will be wrapped following your procedures, so be sure you can easily put your clothes on again once your treatment is completed. Jeans or tight fitting clothing are not recommended. We also suggest you wear flat sandals, slippers or shoes that can be easily slipped on when you are ready to leave. Tennis shoes, high heels or boots are not recommended.

Are there any risks associated with vein treatments?

Each treatment we provide at SALVI is FDA approved and extremely safe. However, as with any medical procedure, there are risks. These include bruising, skin blisters, blood clots, allergic reactions or less than satisfactory results. Please be sure to discuss these risks and any concerns you may have with Dr. Probstfeld.

Before and After Photo - Laser Vein Treatment

Does the color of my clothes and/or undergarments matter?

Dark clothing may absorb heat during your treatment. For your comfort, we recommend patients wear clothing that is light in color, including undergarments.

Can I eat before my treatment?

You may have a small meal before your treatment. However, we do suggest that you not drink coffee for several hours before treatment.

NOTE:  Eating fresh pineapple the day before your treatment may reduce bruising.

Are there any other things I should avoid before my treatment?

Do not apply any lotion or cream to your legs the day of treatment. We also encourage you to avoid sun exposure, tanning booths and/or artificial tanning lotions for seven (7) days prior to treatment.

What should I bring with me to my initial appointment?

In order to expedite the check-in process, we ask that you bring completed forms with you to your initial consultation. Please also bring a list of your current medications, including over-the-counter medications and vitamin supplements, as well as any questions you may have so we can review them with you.

>> Click here to download patient forms

Will I need to wear compression stockings after my treatment?

Yes. Dr. Probstfeld will discuss the need for compression stockings at your initial consultation. For your convenience, you may purchase compression stockings at our offices.

Can I drive home after my treatment?

While vein treatment should not impede your ability to drive, we strongly suggest that you make alternate arrangements for transportation. You may be given a sedative at the time of treatment, so it might not be safe for you to drive.

Before and After Photo - Laser Vein Treatment

When can I resume normal activity?

For the first three (3) days after your treatment you should avoid prolonged sitting or standing. In most cases, you will be asked to take walks in those first days after surgery.  You should be able to resume normal light activity three (3) days after your treatment. Heavy and/or strenuous exercise should wait until ten (10) days after treatment.

Where can I learn more?

There are several online resources that offer links and information to help you learn about the procedures offered at Southern Arizona Laser & Vein Institute. Please click on the respective images below for links to these outside sources.

Did you know?

Can varicose veins negatively affect my health?

Left untreated, varicose veins can cause pain, swelling, inflammation (phlebitis), skin ulcers and blood clots. Utilizing the latest treatment techniques, once these veins are eliminated legs usually feel lighter and more energetic as a result of improved circulation. Protect your circulation. Consider treatment now!

What are spider veins?

Unsightly and embarrassing spider veins are the tiny relatives of varicose veins. Like varicose veins, spider veins are also caused by heredity, pregnancy, estrogen medications, prolonged standing or sitting, sedentary lifestyle and injury to the legs. But unlike varicose veins, spider veins are not dangerous; they are simply enlarged venules (tiny veins). Together, varicose veins and spider veins affect more than half of the population by age 55.

Why is an evaluation necessary?

In its early stages, varicose vein disease can be invisible. From the largest varicose veins to the smallest spider veins, diseased veins are caused by leakage or backwards flow of blood (also known as reflux) through weakened valves located inside veins below the surface of the skin. Over time, the pressure from this leakage feeds into and causes the veins on the skin surface to stretch and dilate.

In order for your veins to be treated properly, the location of this venous reflux must be identified. This is accomplished through a Venous Duplex Scan, which is an advanced ultra sound imaging test that creates a “map” of your veins by pinpointing the location of the damaged valves.

This test is painless, non-invasive, and takes about 30 minutes to perform. In most cases, this initial test is covered by Medicare and most health insurance plans. Armed with this important information, Dr. Probstfeld can then determine the best treatment plan, estimated costs, and a clear picture of the anticipated outcome you can expect.

Want to know more?

Learn more about the procedure options offered at Southern Arizona Laser & Vein Institute by visiting our Procedures page for answers to other questions you may have. 


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Email us if you'd like us to send you more information.  Or call us today to set an appointment for your evaluation with Dr. Probstfeld, our board-certified surgeon. 

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