Varicose Veins – Noninvasive Treatment

Varicose veins are swollen, twisted, painful veins that have filled with blood.

Alternative Names

Sclerotherapy; Laser therapy – varicose veins; Radiofrequency vein ablation; Endovenous thermal ablation; Ambulatory phlebectomy; Transilluminated power phlebotomy; Endovenous laser ablation; Varicose vein therapy

Description

Varicose veins usually develop in the legs. They often stick out and are blue in color.

  • Normally, valves in your veins keep your blood flowing up toward the heart, so the blood does not collect in one place.
  • The valves in varicose veins are either damaged or missing. This causes the veins to become filled with blood, especially when you are standing.

The following treatments for varicose veins can be done in a doctor’s office or clinic. You will receive local anesthesia to numb your leg. You will be awake, but will not feel pain.

Sclerotherapy works best for spider veins. These are small varicose veins.

  • Your doctor will inject salt water (saline) or a chemical solution into the varicose vein.
  • The vein will harden and then disappear.

Laser treatment can be used on the surface of the skin. Small bursts of light make small varicose veins disappear.

Phlebectomy treats surface varicose veins. Very small cuts are made near the damaged vein. Then the vein is removed. One method uses a light under the skin to guide treatment.

This may be done along with other procedures, such as ablation.

Ablation uses intense heat to treat the vein. There are two methods. One uses radiofrequency energy and the other uses laser energy. During these procedures:

  • Your doctor will puncture the varicose vein.
  • Your doctor will thread a flexible tube (catheter) through the vein up to your groin.
  • The catheter will send intense heat to the vein. The heat will close off and destroy the vein and the vein will disappear over time.

Risks

These treatments are generally safe. Ask your doctor about specific problems that you might have.

This article originally came from the New York Time Health Guide.

Advancements in Varicose Vein Treatments

Within the last few years, there have been tremendous advances in the treatment of varicose veins. The most dramatic advance has been the introduction of non-surgical techniques that have virtually replaced traditional surgical therapy known as vein stripping. This newer procedure makes use of a laser to heat and close the troublesome veins that are leaking and causing the veins to enlarge. These minimally invasive solutions to varicose vein disease offer: elimination of a hospital-based procedure, quicker recovery times and an overall improved patient satisfaction.

The North Shore Vein Center, the largest vein center on Long Island, is one of the few facilities in the country with experience using all of the currently available advanced methods in non-invasive varicose vein care. We have a fully accredited outpatient ambulatory surgical facility staffed by RVT certified sonographers, a fully certified vascular laboratory and physicians who are triple board certified in General Surgery, Vascular Surgery and Phlebology. No other vein center on Long Island can claim that level of certification and expertise.

At the Center, the initial visit includes the consultation and venous ultrasound workup. We then submit the appropriate documentation for insurance authorization if medically indicated. The second visit usually involves treatment. We inform all of our patients presenting with superficial venous disease that the initial management, therapy, follow-up and procedures to treat recurrences are managed in the office. Hospitalization no longer plays a role in the treatment of varicose veins.

For more information on how to schedule a free vein screening with Dr. Mark Schwartz at The North Shore Vein Center, call 516-869-VEIN (8346).

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Olympian Champions Vein Treatment

At the 1992 Summer Olympics, swimming legend Summer Sanders won two gold medals, one silver and a bronze for the U.S. swim team. Years later, after the birth of her second child, this healthy, active athlete developed varicose veins- a precursor to chronic venous insufficiency (CVI).

Fast-forward to 2012. Sanders has had her veins successfully treated and her legs no longer feel “achy and heavy, especially after a long day.” She is now the national spokesperson for Rethink Varicose Veins, an educational campaign that encourages those suffering from varicose veins to learn more about their condition and to speak with a vein specialists about treatment options.

The campaign started as a joint effort of the American College of Phlebology (ACP), Society for Vascular Surgery (SVS) and American Venous Forum (AVF). This year, the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) joined the coalition. In fact, Sanders helped open the 2013 APMA Annual Scientific Meeting in July.

Dr. Joseph Caporusso, SPM and immediate past president of APMA, found Sanders’ story to be “enlightening, and even inspirational.”

“Podiatrists play a role in keeping America walking, and venous disease is a common component of that,” he said.

For Dr. Caporusso, the venous-related conditions he encounters most often are varicose veins, which affect the feet and ankles, and ulcerations, usually on the inside ankle toward the midline of the body. He says that podiatrists also have patients with unexplained calf pain; they must determine whether the patients has Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), which could be life threatening.

More than 30 million Americans suffer from vein disease each year, but less than 10% seek treatment. Efforts like Rethink Varicose Veins can go far in educating the public that venous disease is a health concern worthy of diagnosis and treatment, especially when different medical professionals take a team approach toward patient care.

“Many of our colleagues work with vein specialists and vascular surgeons, and our partnership with this campaign allows us to go even further,” said Dr. Caporusso.

Vein Heathcare News originally published this information.

 

Diet Can Affect your Vein Health

TIP TUESDAY: Your diet could affect your vein health! To help improve the health of your veins try:

1) Amping up on antioxidants

  • Improves the function of your vascular system
  • Vitamin C helps to build & protect strong blood vessels
  • Find antioxidants in berries- blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and blackberries

 

2) Filling up on Fiber

  • A high-fiber diet promotes healthy digestion and improves blood flow over time
  • Suggested daily fiber intake for average women is 21-25 grams/day and 30-38 gram/day for men
  • Find good sources of fiber in whole wheat varieties of bread or pasta, oatmeal, brown rice and air popped popcorn

3) Drink More Water (at least 8 glasses a day)

  • Keeping hydrated is great for your entire body, but is especially important for healthy veins and proper blood flow
  • Try drinking a glass of water before every meal, keeping a bottle at your desk and in your car to always have it easily accessible

4) Slow down on your Sodium Intake

  • High amounts of sodium can cause the body to retain fluid and could increase damage to the veins

 

Veins Unveiled

Vein problems are common in the U.S. and around the world. By age 50, nearly 40% of women and 20% of men have some type of significant vein disorder. Vein disorders are manifested in a variety of ways. Varicose veins are large, blue, ropy structures which bulge in the skin and are often unsightly as well as painful. Spider veins are small blood vessels in the skin, either blue or red, and are often arranged in clusters or branches. Stasis dermatitis is the red or brown skin color change around the ankle and lower leg, caused by chronic venous stasis. Venous ulcers develop on the inside of the ankle most commonly, but sometimes on the outside as well.

The treatments to eliminate varicose veins and all vein abnormalities have improved dramatically in the past 10 years. Newer, less invasive methods have proven far superior to the old stripping operations. Leg pain is relieved, leg swelling often goes away within a couple of weeks and the unsightly veins disappear. Many of our patients wear shorts after years of hiding their legs. Quality of life is significantly improved in most of our patients, for they can again become active. Equally important, Medicare and all insurance companies pay for many of these procedures. All procedures can be performed in our Vein Center, hospitalization is unnecessary. All patients with symptomatic vein insufficiency can be treated, almost regardless of age.  We have treated patients as young as 16 and as old as 95.

For more information on how to schedule a free vein screening with Dr. Mark Schwartz at the North Shore Vein Center, call 516-869-VEIN (8346).

Varicose Vein:

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High heels are not fashionable for your veins.

If you wear a heel that is more than 1.5 inches high every day, your calf muscle will not be effectively pumping blood out of the leg. You can try this at home. Feel how the calf contracts when you walk in lower heels and then switch to high heels. The foot simply moves forward in high heels, and you won’t feel your calf contracting as you walk.

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10 Things You Should Know About Veins

Varicose_veinsWe have studied this basics about veins in our school days that veins are major part of our circulatory system which carry blood towards our heart. It contains deoxygenated blood coming from tissues to heart is carried in veins. There few important things which one must know about veins.
Ten things you should know about veins are as follows:

1. Veins are elastic tubes or vessels that carry blood from your tissues or organs of the body back to the heart.

2. They are usually situated closer underneath the skin.

3. Each vein is made up of 3 layers:

  • A layer of membranous tissue inside
  • A layer of smooth muscles in middle
  • A layer of connective tissue outside

4.Veins are different from arteries. But both of them are important for the blood flow within the body.

5. After oxygen and nutrients are delivered to the body tissues by the arteries and capillaries a network of venules and veins carry blood and waste products back to the heart.

6. Venules are smaller tubes who pick the deoxygenated blood and transfer it to veins which carry it to heart.

7. The veins throughout the body support many systems and are important for cardiovascular health and many functions of blood.

8. Veins are strong and flexible but can be affected by varicose veins, chronic venous insufficiency, deep vein thrombosis etc. 10 Things you must know about Veins

9. Deep vein thrombosis is a clot inside the vein. It occurs usually post surgery, prolonged hospitalization, immobility, or side effects of oral contraceptive pills. While varicose veins are enlarged and tortuous. Varicose veins are commonly seen in leg with people who do standing work for long time.

10. Adapting to healthy lifestyle and treatment you can prevent and manage these diseases.

by DR MANISHA R DEOKAR in HEART HEALTH

10 Tips For Staying Healthy In Summer

The following is one in an ongoing series of columns entitled Staying Healthy Tips by Elson M. Haas MD. 

 

  1. Stay cool and hydrated. Drink water, at least two to four cups (16-32 ounces) upon rising, and similar amounts if you are going out for activities and exercise. Carry water with you in a hard plastic container (more stable polycarbonate rather than polyethylene that leaches plastic into the water). You may also use a traveling water filter. Check your local water stores or www.realgoods.com. Most people need two to three quarts of liquid per day, and more in hot weather or with sweating and exercise. Review Chapter 1 of Staying Healthy with Nutrition or Chapter 7 of The Staying Healthy Shopper’s Guide for further information on Water.
  2. While enjoying the sun and outdoors, protect yourself from overexposure to sunlight by wearing a hat and using natural sunscreens without excessive chemicals. Carry Aloe Vera gel for overexposure and have an aloe plant growing in your home for any kind of burn. The cooling and healing gel inside the leaves will soothe any sunburn. It works great.
  3. Keep up or begin an exercise program. Aerobic activity is important for keeping the heart strong and healthy. If you only work out in a health club, take some time to do outdoor refreshing activities — hiking, biking, swimming, or tennis. Reconnecting with these activities will help keep your body and mind aligned.
  4. Enjoy Nature’s bounty – fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables at their organic best. Consuming foods that are cooling and light — fresh fruits, vegetable juices, raw vital salads, and lots of water — will nourish your body for summertime activities. Include some protein with one or two meals. There are a number of light, nourishing proteins that don’t require cooking. Most of these complement fruits and vegetables nicely– nuts, seeds, sprouted beans, soy products, yogurt, kefir, and cottage cheese. Fish and poultry can also be eaten.
  5. Take some special summer time with your family, kids, and friends who share the enjoyment of outdoors. Plan a fun trip if you’re able and motivated for a day or longer — hiking in the wild, camping, playing at the river, or a few days resting at the ocean. Rekindling our Earth connection has benefits that last beyond this season, continuing to enrich the whole of your life.
  6. Relax and breathe. You’ve been working hard. This is the season to slow the pace a bit and absorb the light that stimulates your hormonal message center. Leave your cell phone at home or take a week off from TV. In many European countries, most of the population has a month off during the summer.
  7. Sun teas are wonderful. Use flowers and leaves (or tea bags) in a clear half- or one-gallon glass jar filled with spring water. Hibiscus or red clover flowers, peppermint, chamomile, or lemon grass are all good choices, or use your local herbs and flowers that you learn are safe, flavorful, and even medicinal. Leave in the sun for two hours or up to a whole day. Moon teas can also be made to enhance your lunar, dreamy side by letting your herbs steep in the cooling, mystical moonlight. Add a little orange or lemon peel, or a sprig of rosemary and a few jasmine flowers.
  8. Nutritional supplements can support you with a greater amount of physical energy, enhancing your summer activities. The B-complex vitamins are calming to the nervous system and helpful for cellular energy production, while vitamin C and the other antioxidants protect your body from stress, chemical pollutants, and the biochemical by-products of exercise. Helpful summer herbs are Siberian ginseng as an energy tonic and stress protector, dong quai is a tonic for women, hawthorn berry is good for the heart, and licorice root will help energy balance and digestion.
  9. Use the summer months to deepen the spiritual awakening begun in the spring. Begin by checking your local bookstore or the web for ideas that interest you. Plan a vacation that incorporates these new interests and provides you time to read, relax, contemplate, and breathe.
  10. Above all, give yourself the time to truly experience Nature. This can happen, even in a city park, if you relax and let in your surroundings. When traveling, take activities for the family and your first aid kit for bites, bee stings, and injuries. Check for ticks after your hikes. Watch for overexposure, take time in the shade, and drink your water.
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