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RCI Vein Clinic Frequently Asked Questions

What is an interventional radiologist?

Interventional radiologists are physicians who specialize in minimally invasive, targeted treatments. They offer the most in-depth knowledge of the least-invasive treatments available coupled with diagnostic and clinical experience across all specialties. They use x-ray, MRI and other imaging to advance a catheter in the body, such as in an artery, to treat at the source of the disease internally. As the inventors of angioplasty and the catheter-delivered stent, which were first used in the legs to treat peripheral arterial disease, interventional radiologists pioneered minimally invasive modern medicine. Today, interventional oncology is a growing specialty area of interventional radiology. Interventional radiologists can deliver treatments for cancer directly to the tumor without significant side effects or damage to nearby normal tissue.

Many conditions that once required surgery can be treated less invasively by interventional radiologists. Interventional treatments offer less risk, less pain and less recovery time compared to open surgery.

How do I schedule a consultation with an interventional radiologist to discuss vascular procedures or other conditions?

To schedule a consultation, please call our clinic at 319-261-0636.
Office hours are 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Will I need a referral to come for a consultation?

No physician referral is needed for a consultation, unless your insurance requires it.
Call 319-261-0636 to set up an appointment.

Should I be tested for peripheral arterial disease?

Get tested for PAD if you are over age 50 and:

  • Have a family history of vascular disease, such as PAD, aneurysm, heart attack or stroke
  • Have high cholesterol and/or high lipid blood test
  • Have diabetes
  • Have ever smoked or smoke now
  • Have an inactive lifestyle
  • Have a personal history of high blood pressure, heart disease or other vascular disease
  • Have trouble walking that involves cramping or tiredness in the muscle with walking or exercising, which is relieved by resting
  • Have pain in the legs or feet that awakens you at night

Can I have endovenous ablation if I have had vein-stripping surgery?

If varicose veins appear after traditional vein-stripping surgery, an ultrasound consultation can diagnose if the saphenous vein (the large superficial vein in the leg) is still present. If it is, endovenous laser therapy can be performed. If it has been successfully removed, you may still benefit from other therapies to treat your recurrent varicose veins.

How long before I see results or improvement in symptoms?

People experiencing pain or fullness in their legs usually feel better in 7-10 days. It is common for people to see physical improvements in their legs in 4 weeks, but it may take up to 6 months before full results are evident.

How soon after treatment can I return to normal activities?

Patients typically return to normal activities within a couple days.

Will my insurance cover varicose vein procedures?

Many insurance companies are covering the treatment of vein disease when it is associated with symptoms such as pain, heaviness, fatigue or swollen ankles. If you are a candidate for a procedure, prior authorization from your insurance company may be needed.

Will my insurance cover my spider veins treatment?

Spider vein therapy is considered cosmetic, therefore it is not a covered benefit by insurance company contracts.

Do I need to wear compression stockings?

Compression stockings are a first line of defense in treating venous conditions. They are required by insurance companies prior to approval for procedure reimbursement.

Where do I have the vein procedure done?

Our interventional radiologists perform vein procedures at the RCI Vein & Interventional Clinic as an in-office procedure.

How do I reach an interventional radiologist for an after-hours emergency?

You may reach an interventional radiologist 24/7 by calling the RCI Vein & Interventional Clinic answering service at 319-261-0636.

It’s opened up the opportunity to be active with my kids, to be working and not have the pain.


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