Many factors may raise your risk for varicose veins, including family history, older age, gender, pregnancy, overweight or obesity, and lack of movement.
Having family members who have varicose veins may raise your risk for the condition. About half of all people who have varicose veins have a family history of them.
Getting older may raise your risk for varicose veins. The normal wear and tear of aging may cause the valves in your veins to weaken and not work well.
Women tend to get varicose veins more often than men. Hormonal changes that occur during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause (or with the use of birth control pills) may raise a woman’s risk for varicose veins.
During pregnancy, the growing fetus puts pressure on the veins in the mother’s legs.
Overweight or Obesity
Being overweight or obese can put extra pressure on your veins. This can lead to varicose veins. For more information about overweight and obesity, go to the Health Topics Overweight and Obesity article.
Lack of Movement
Standing or sitting for a long time, especially with your legs bent or crossed, may raise your risk for varicose veins. This is because staying in one position for a long time may force your veins to work harder to pump blood to your heart.
(Article Source: http://1.usa.gov/111EXeE)
Not all varicose and spider veins can be prevented. But, there are some steps you can take to reduce your chances of getting new varicose and spider veins. These same things can help ease discomfort from the ones you already have:
Wear sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun and to limit spider veins on the face.
Exercise regularly to improve your leg strength, circulation, and vein strength. Focus on exercises that work your legs, such as walking or running.
Control your weight to avoid placing too much pressure on your legs.
Don’t cross your legs for long times when sitting. It’s possible to injure your legs that way, and even a minor injury can increase the risk of varicose veins.
Elevate your legs when resting as much as possible.
Don’t stand or sit for long periods of time. If you must stand for a long time, shift your weight from one leg to the other every few minutes. If you must sit for long periods of time, stand up and move around or take a short walk every 30 minutes.
Wear elastic support stockings and avoid tight clothing that constricts your waist, groin, or legs.
Avoid wearing high heels for long periods of time. Lower-heeled shoes can help tone your calf muscles to help blood move through your veins.
Eat a low-salt diet rich in high-fiber foods. Eating fiber reduces the chances of constipation, which can contribute to varicose veins. High-fiber foods include fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains, like bran. Eating less salt can help with the swelling that comes with varicose veins.
(Information found in this blog was provided by: http://1.usa.gov/nyWEKB)
Preparing for your appointment may come with a few questions or concerns. Rest assured, we will always be here to guide you in the right direction!
First, your doctor may need to look at your bare legs to diagnose any varicose veins, spider veins or possible conditions like swelling or edema that could stem from vein insufficiency. Next, your primary care doctor may recommend that you see a doctor who specializes in vein conditions. In the meantime, there are some steps you can take to prepare for your appointment and kick-start your improvement.
What you can do:
Write down any symptoms you’re experiencing, including any that may seem unrelated to varicose veins.
Write down key personal information, including a family history of varicose veins or spider veins, diabetes and even lifestyle (working conditions, smoker, etc.).
Make a list of all medications, as well as any vitamins or supplements that you’re taking.
Write down questions to ask the Medical Assistants and/or Doctor.
List your questions from most important to least important.
Some basic questions to ask include:
• What is likely causing my symptoms?
• What are other possible causes for my varicose veins?
• What kinds of tests will I need?
• How are varicose veins treated?
• I have other health conditions. How can I best manage these conditions together?
• Are there any activity restrictions that I need to follow?
• Should I see a specialist? Will my insurance cover seeing a specialist and treatments, if advised? (Most insurances will cover the treatment of chronic venous insufficiency, as it is a medical necessity to treat.)
• Are there any brochures or other printed material that I can take home with me? What websites do you recommend visiting? (www.elpasovein.com has great information on causes, symptoms, treatments as well as assessment tests)
What to expect from your doctor:
Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions. Being ready to answer them may reserve time to go over any points you want to spend more time on. Your doctor may ask:
• When did you first notice the varicose veins?
• Do you have any pain? If so, how severe is your pain?
• What, if anything, seems to improve your symptoms?
• Does anything appear to worsen your symptoms?
Even before your appointment, you can begin utilizing preventative measures to help your vein condition. But please note that these are only preventative measures and not treatments. Once you see or are diagnosed with vein insufficiency (varicose or spider veins), your body can never naturally repair this condition and we advise seeing a vein
specialist for treatment.
*Try not to stand or sit in one position for more than 30 minutes at a time.
*Elevate your legs when you’re seated
*Wearing compression stockings will help alleviate some of the pain you are having and will help with the blood flow in your legs.
(Information found in this blog was provided by: http://bit.ly/1ayRoTA)
El Paso, Texas — Physician’s Imaging & Vein Care Clinic has been awarded a three-year term of accreditation in ultrasound as the result of an extensive review by the American College of
Radiology (ACR). Ultrasound imaging, also known as sonography, uses high-frequency sound waves to produce images of internal body parts to help providers diagnose illness, injury, or other medical problems.
The ACR gold seal of accreditation represents the highest level of image quality and patient safety. It is awarded only to facilities meeting ACR Practice Guidelines and Technical Standards,
following a peer-review evaluation by board-certified physicians and medical physicists who are experts in the field. Image quality, personnel qualifications, adequacy of facility equipment, quality control procedures, and quality assurance programs are assessed. The findings are reported to the ACR Committee on Accreditation, which subsequently provides the practice with a comprehensive report they can use for continuous practice improvement.
The ACR is a national professional organization serving more than 36,000 diagnostic/interventional radiologists, radiation oncologists, nuclear medicine physicians, and medical physicists with programs focusing on the practice of medical imaging and radiation oncology and the delivery of comprehensive health care
What causes varicose veins and spider veins?
Varicose veins can be caused by weak or damaged valves in the veins. The heart pumps blood filled with oxygen and nutrients to the whole body through the arteries. Veins then carry the blood from the body back to the heart. As your leg muscles squeeze, they push blood back to the heart from your lower body against the flow of gravity. Veins have valves that act as one-way flaps to prevent blood from flowing backwards as it moves up your legs. If the valves become weak, blood can leak back into the veins and collect there. (This problem is called venous insufficiency.) When backed-up blood makes the veins bigger, they can become varicose.
Spider veins can be caused by the backup of blood. They can also be caused by hormone changes, exposure to the sun, and injuries.
How common are abnormal leg veins?
About 45 percent of women and 25 percent of men in the United States suffer from some type of vein problem. Varicose veins affect half of people 50 years and older.
What are the signs of varicose veins?
Varicose veins can often be seen on the skin. Some other common symptoms of varicose veins in the legs include:
Aching pain that may get worse after sitting or standing for a long time
Throbbing or cramping
Rash that’s itchy or irritated
Darkening of the skin (in severe cases)
Should I see a doctor about varicose veins?
You should see a doctor about varicose veins if:
The vein has become swollen, red, or very tender or warm to the touch
There are sores or a rash on the leg or near the ankle
The skin on the ankle and calf becomes thick and changes color
One of the varicose veins begins to bleed
Your leg symptoms are interfering with daily activities
The appearance of the veins is causing you distress
If you’re having pain, even if it’s just a dull ache, don’t hesitate to get help.
If you have additional questions or for more information about varicose veins and spider veins visit elpasovein.com or call 915-257-6625
(Information found in this blog was provided by: http://1.usa.gov/15JfHBl)
What are Varicose Veins?
Varicose veins are thought to be hereditary but can also be caused by a person’s weight and lifestyle. Varicose veins occur near the surface of the skin when the valve within the vein that ensures blood travels in the right direction to the heart stops working correctly. This allows blood to return back to the legs where it accumulates causing the varicose vein. In men, it is possible to have these veins in the groin area also, although it is rare to have them anywhere else on the body.
How Do Varicose Veins Affect Men and can they be Prevented?
Varicose veins can occur in men of any age and are just as likely to affect men as they do women, although it is often the case that men are less likely to seek medical treatment until the veins become so swollen, painful and pronounced that they are unable to ignore them any longer. This delay can lead to a need for more extensive surgery than may not have been necessary had help been sought at an earlier stage. Varicose veins may be less of a cosmetic concern for men as wearing trousers covers up the problem, however the veins that look the worst are not always those that cause the most severe of symptoms.
There are ways to prevent this problem occurring in the first place and to stop them getting worse once they start to develop. An increase in physical exercise – especially exercise that causes the calf muscle to contract – can help to stop blood collecting in the veins. The best types of exercise includes climbing stairs, walking, cycling and swimming. Eating a healthy high fibre, low fat, low salt diet and maintaining your weight at a healthy level can also stop the appearance and worsening of these veins. Wearing support stockings and ensuring that you do not spend long periods of time sitting or standing can also help.
What are the Symptoms of Varicose Veins?
Some of the symptoms of varicose veins include the skin in the vein area becoming blue due to the leakage of blood cells from the affected veins, swollen joints or dermatitis or eczema in the area of the veins. Other symptoms can involve having pain in the area of the veins which becomes worse after taking exercise or standing still for a long time. Additionally, experiencing frequent cramping of the vein area or hardness of the skin and fat below the skin around where the veins are is not uncommon.
What Treatment is Available and What are the Risks?
Some less problematic varicose veins can be relieved (but not cured) by not standing up for prolonged periods of time and by wearing a support stocking, while more severe cases may require medical treatment. One of the most common and least painful treatments for varicose veins in men is carried out by inserting a laser into the vein and shrinking it back to its usual size using the heat generated from the laser. This can be carried out as an outpatient procedure in around an hour using a local anaesthetic. It is then normal to be able to return to work the following day and to normal activities within two.
However, vein stripping to remove superficial varicose veins is the more traditional type of treatment for this problem. This procedure involves tying off the vein and then removing it. Recovery can take two to three weeks and it may be necessary to wear compression stockings for two weeks as well. There are also some non-surgical ways of treating varicose veins including anti inflammatory medication, exercise and injections to shrink them. Once the vein has been removed, the blood will find an alternative way of returning to the heart.
Any risk in removing a varicose vein is minimal and is usually limited to bruising or infection around any cut that has been made. If there is any history of thrombosis within your family, then you need to make your surgeon aware of it as the development of clots can be a rare complication in this type of surgery. Once varicose veins have been removed, around a third of people develop more of them within five years. Varicose veins are not curable and so treatment is carried out simply to relieve painful symptoms and to reduce the visibility of the veins.
(Article Source: http://threadveinremoval.cliniccompare.co.uk/varicose-veins-men)
What are varicose veins?
Varicose veins are swollen veins that may bulge near the surface of the skin. These blue or purple, sometimes squiggly veins are most likely to show up in your legs, though you may also get them in your vulva or elsewhere. (In fact, hemorrhoids are really just varicose veins of the rectal area.)
You may have little or no discomfort from them, or they may make your legs feel heavy and achy. The skin around a varicose vein may also itch, throb, or feel like it’s burning. The symptoms tend to be worse at the end of the day, especially if you’ve been on your feet a lot.
Many women first develop varicose veins – or find that they get worse – during pregnancy. As your uterus grows, it puts pressure on the large vein on the right side of your body (the inferior vena cava), which in turn increases pressure in the leg veins.
Veins are the blood vessels that return blood from your extremities to your heart, so the blood in your leg veins is already working against gravity. When you’re pregnant, the amount of blood in your body increases, adding to the burden on your veins. And your progesterone levels rise, causing the walls of your blood vessels to relax.
You’re more likely to get varicose veins if other members of your family have had them. They’re more common in women than men, and if you have them, they tend to get worse with each successive pregnancy and as you get older. Being overweight, carrying twins or higher multiples, and standing for long periods can also make you more susceptible.
The good news is that varicose veins tend to improve after you give birth, particularly if you didn’t have any before you got pregnant. And if they don’t get better, there are a variety of ways to treat them.
You may have also noticed tiny blood vessels near the surface of the skin, especially on your ankles, legs, or face. These are called spider veins because they often appear in a spider- or sunburst-like pattern with little branches radiating out from the center (though sometimes they may look more like the branches of a tree or separate thin lines with no particular pattern). These don’t cause discomfort, and they typically disappear after delivery.
What can I do to prevent varicose veins?
You may be able to prevent them or at least minimize them. Here are some tips:
Exercise daily. Even just a brisk walk around the block can help your circulation.
Strive to keep within the recommended weight range for your stage of pregnancy.
Elevate your feet and legs whenever possible. Use a stool or box to rest your legs on when you’re sitting, and keep your feet elevated on a pillow when you’re lying down.
Don’t cross your legs or ankles when sitting.
Don’t sit or stand for long periods without taking breaks to move around.
Sleep on your left side. Wedge a pillow behind your back to keep yourself tilted to the left and elevate your feet with a pillow. Since the inferior vena cava is on the right side, lying on your left side relieves the vein of the weight of the uterus, thus decreasing pressure on the veins in your legs and feet.
Wear special support hose. Graduated-compression stockings, which are twice as thick as normal pantyhose, work best. These stockings are available from medical supply stores and pharmacies. They’re tight at the ankle and get looser as they go up the leg, making it easier for blood to flow back up toward your heart. As a result, they help prevent swelling and may keep your varicose veins from getting worse.
To prevent blood from pooling in your legs, put the stockings on before getting out of bed in the morning, while you’re still lying down, and keep them on all day. Heavy-duty support hose may be bothersome, especially in hot weather, but bad varicose veins can be more uncomfortable.
Are varicose veins ever serious?
Varicose veins may itch or hurt, and they can be unsightly, but they’re generally harmless in the short term – so treatment, if needed, can wait until after pregnancy. A small percentage of people who have varicose veins develop small blood clots near the skin’s surface (a condition called superficial venous thrombosis). When this kind of clot develops, the vein may feel hard and rope-like, and the area around it may become red, hot, tender, or painful.
These clots usually aren’t serious, but be sure to call your healthcare practitioner if you think you have one. Occasionally the area surrounding a clot becomes infected (in which case you may have fever or chills), and you’ll need to be treated promptly with antibiotics. Also call your practitioner right away if either of your legs becomes significantly swollen or has sores, or the skin near the veins changes color.
Don’t confuse superficial venous thrombosis with a serious condition called deep venous thrombosis (DVT), in which clots develop in the deep veins, usually in the legs. Pregnancy makes you more susceptible to DVT whether or not you have varicose veins, but it’s not common. Your chance of getting it either during pregnancy or in the weeks after you give birth is about 1 in 1,000. (Women with blood clotting disorders or on prolonged bedrest are at higher risk.)
If you develop DVT, you may have no symptoms, or you may have sudden, painful swelling in your ankle, leg, and thigh. It may hurt more when your foot is flexed or when you’re standing, and you may have a slight fever as well. If you notice any of these symptoms, call your practitioner immediately.
If a clot is suspected, you’ll have a special ultrasound evaluation of the involved area. If you do have one of these clots, you’ll need to be hospitalized and treated with medication to thin your blood.
Left untreated, the clot could break away and travel to the lungs, a life-threatening condition called a pulmonary embolism. Signs of a pulmonary embolism include shortness of breath, painful breathing, a cough (or coughing up blood), a panicky feeling, and a rapid heartbeat – and should prompt a call to 911.
Is there any way to get rid of varicose veins?
Varicose veins often improve within three to four months after giving birth, though sometimes it takes even longer, and sometimes they don’t improve much at all after you’ve given birth. (This is more likely if you’ve had multiple pregnancies.)
During this time, it’s a good idea to continue to wear support hose, exercise regularly, avoid prolonged sitting or standing, and elevate your legs whenever possible. But if your varicose veins persist and become too uncomfortable to live with, or even if you’re just unhappy with how they look, you have a variety of treatment options. Ask your practitioner to refer you to a specialist.
(Article Source: www.babycenter.com)
Symptoms of varicose veins, a very common condition in adults, include the following:
Purple, dark red or blue leg veins easily visible at the skin’s surface
Leg veins that appear ropy, bulging or knotty
Legs that ache, throb or feel generally uncomfortable
A burning or itching sensation in the legs
Leg fatigue when walking more than a short distance
Restless leg syndrome that keeps you awake at night
Spider veins, unlike varicose veins, seldom cause physical discomfort, but many people seek treatment because they can be unsightly. Spider veins are the tiny roadmap-like or cobwebby veins, usually blue or red, visible through the skin on the head, neck, chest, or arms.
What are varicose veins and why do I have them?
In healthy leg veins, blood is carried from the extremities back to the heart, conducted by valves. Sometimes these valves weaken or fail altogether in a condition called venous reflux. When this happens, the blood ceases to move steadily and can pool or even reverse course, resulting in the bulging and knottiness characteristic of varicose veins.
Varicose veins can appear any time throughout adulthood. Typical causes include heredity, physical stress, pregnancy and weight gain.
How are varicose veins, spider veins and other vein problems treated?
As a leading El Paso vein center, Physician’s Imaging & Vein Care Clinic offers a range of effective treatment for vein problems, including RF ablation, EVLT, ambulatory phlebectomy and sclerotherapy. Our expert medical staff will evaluate your vein conditions and make a recommendation as to the best approach.
Most patients seek vein treatment because of the discomfort and/or unsightliness of varicose veins and spider veins. Regardless of the reason, it is very important to talk to a specialist about your veins, as conditions such as these can be indicative of more serious pulmonary problems. If you are a patient in greater El Paso, Texas area, including (Juarez) Mexico, and up to Las Cruces, NM, contact us today to find out about free screenings and other ways to begin your treatment plan.
The specialists at our El Paso vein treatment clinic use a range of state-of-the-art approaches to treating vein problems. In years past, a vein surgery procedure called ligation & stripping was thought to be the only effective treatment for varicose veins. Although that treatment is still occasionally used, there are many other less invasive options available today as well, and the medical staff at Physician’s Imaging & Vein Care Clinic will go over all of your options with you. Our vein specialists are some of the most experienced in the US, having performed over 3000 vein ablations during 2010 alone.
No matter what procedure is ultimately decided upon, most treatment plans begin with duplex ultrasound, a diagnostic method that gives your surgeon ultrasound images of the path, size and blood flow of affected veins not easily visible with the naked eye. Duplex ultrasound is painless and non-invasive.
RF Ablation / VNUS Closure
Under the trademark name VNUS Closure or VNUS ClosureFast, radiofrequency (RF) ablation works by using a catheter to direct radiofrequency energy into the vein walls. As a result, the damaged vein shuts itself down and the blood flow is redirected to healthier veins. Bruising and discomfort are minimal, and patients return quickly to a normal activity level.
Endovenous laser treatment
As one of the leading new treatments for varicose veins, endovenous laser treatment (EVLT) is done under local anesthesia. Once the skin is numbed, laser energy is directed at the varicose vein using a laser fiber. The energy causes the vein walls to shrink and collapse, and the body eventually reabsorbs it while also redirecting blood flow to healthier veins. Benefits of endovenous laser treatment include its brief duration (usually less than two hours), its high success rate and its minimal level of discomfort. Patients are usually able to return to normal activity levels within a few days.
Our El Paso vein clinic uses the ThermaLite 1470nm laser for endovenous laser treatment. This advanced laser technology uses a higher wavelength to specifically target water (rather than blood) within the vein wall, providing precise heating than earlier-generation lasers (e.g. 810nm, 980nm).
Varicose veins that are large and close to the surface of the skin often react well to ambulatory phlebectomy, a procedure in which the surgeon applies a local anesthetic and then makes a very small (1 mm) incision through which the diseased vein can be extracted. Compression bandages are usually recommended for about two weeks afterwards to facilitate healing.
Vein Gogh is a very recently developed treatment for spider veins on the face, head or other parts of the body. In the VeinGogh procedure, a very fine needle point is inserted under the surface of the skin and an electric pulse is directed through the needle to cauterize the vein. The blood coagulates and the vein wall collapses, without affecting any of the surrounding skin.
Sclerotherapy is another popular treatment for spider veins. The term refers to the sclerosing or chemical agent that is injected into a spider vein through a tiny needle. The sclerosing agent causes the vein to corrode, after which it is reabsorbed by the body. This minimally invasive procedure inflicts little if any discomfort or bruising.
UGS (Ultrasound guided sclerotherapy)
Ultrasound guided sclerotherapy uses a similar approach to normal sclerotherapy but deploys the additional technology of ultrasound imaging to locate damaged veins far below the surface of the skin. This enables your physician to ensure proper placement of the sclerotherapy needle even when the affected veins are beyond view. Like non-ultrasound counterpart, it results in few if any negative aftereffects.
If you suffer from problem veins, one of these treatments is right for you. Patients in the greater El Paso, Texas area, including Mexico (Juarez) and up to Las Cruces, NM, are urged to find out about our free screenings or call today for a consultation.
Closure is a registered trademark of VNUS Medical Technologies, Inc. (San Jose, CA)
VeinGogh is a trademark of Refine USA, LLC
Have you always wanted to take the first steps toward treating your varicose veins but don’t know where to go and how to begin? Just about 80 million people have the same problem and wait until it is too late and the problem progresses into a venous leg ulcer. Don’t be that person! Call Physician’s Imaging & Vein Care Clinic today to schedule your FREE screening and learn more about your chronic venous insufficiency. Moreover, many people are amazed when they find out that nearly all health insurance plans will cover the treatment, being that it is medically necessary.
Physician’s Imaging & Vein Care Clinic is one of the fastest growing vein care clinics in El Paso, Texas and the surrounding West Texas territory. With TWO convenient locations to serve you, we specialize in the treatment of varicose and spider veins that could lead to chronic venous insufficiency or even venous leg ulcers. We also offer all types of ultrasound services to all our patients. Our attending Physician, Dr. Joseph B. Furlong, is a Board Certified Interventional Radiologist and a leading expert in the treatment of venous reflux disease. Having performed over 6,000 successful procedures and counting, Dr. Furlong and his courteous staff at Physician’s Imaging & Vein Care Clinic can help you get rid of your varicose veins comfortably, safely and effectively! Also, don’t forget to ask us about our FREE compression stockings offer!
Call Us Today!
1800 N. Mesa, Ste. 100
Phone: (915) 257-6625 East:
1111 Hawkins Blvd., Ste. 2-A
Phone: (915) 257-6621