Many people suffer from varicose veins, those ropy blue lines that show through the skin or stick up above it. Age, pregnancy or other hormonal shifts, gravity, and other factors can cause their formation. They’re unsightly, and can be uncomfortable. Most people who have varicose veins would like to be rid of them, but unfortunately, there aren’t many solutions that actually work. Sclerotherapy is one of the only proven ways for getting rid of varicose veins. It involves injecting a solution into the vein that irritates it, causing it to collapse and disappear from view.
If you’re choosing sclerotherapy, make sure you’re choosing it because you really want it, not to please someone else or to fit an imagined ideal. No one else can make the choice for you; it’s your body, and you’re in charge of it. After you do your research and understand the procedure, if you believe that sclerotherapy is right for you, then proceed. You can learn more about the sclerotherapy procedure, its risks and benefits, in our Education Wiki.
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the average surgeon’s fee for a single session of sclerotherapy is $331. Keep in mind that this is only an average; the cost varies according to several factors, including the size of the area where sclerotherapy will be performed, the region, and the particular clinic, so you should check with the provider(s) you’re considering to determine the exact fee for the procedure. Ask what’s included in that fee, to make sure you aren’t surprised by extra costs when you get the bill later.
In most cases, the provider’s fee includes all of the expenses of the procedure. However, you should check to be sure that there won’t be extra charges for certain items, such as local or general anesthesia (the use of general anesthesia for this procedure is rare, but does occasionally happen), medications, and any topical products you need for your skin after the treatment.
It’s also important to make sure you have access to a little extra money, via financing or savings, in case you have medical complications from the procedure (for instance, if you develop an infection). Your insurance usually will not cover complications from an elective surgery. While complications from this procedure are not common, they do happen to a few people, and so you should be prepared in case that rare person is you.
Will Insurance Cover It?
Medical insurance does not cover cosmetic dermatology, with very rare exceptions. If you believe that you may be one of those rare exceptions (which would mean that there is a functional, rather than purely cosmetic, reason to have your procedure), then you can call your insurance company to be sure. Usually, you’ll need to pay all of the costs above: the surgeon’s fee, any extra fees, and any postoperative complications that may arise.
What Are the Financing Options?
To many people, paying hundreds or thousands of dollars up front seems impossible. However, if you don’t already have the money saved, you have many options available for financing. Many physicians offer financing plans for their patients. You can also get a medical credit card or other credit card, often with an attractive introductory interest rate; a medical loan, personal loan, or home equity loan from your bank; a loan from your 401(k); or loans or gifts from family and friends. Even if your credit isn’t great, you’d be surprised how many options you have. For more details about the financing options for your procedure, check out our Cosmetic Dermatology Financing page.