Endovenous Thermal Ablation

Endovenous thermal ablation, also known as endovenous ablation, is a big-sounding name for a varicose vein treatment commonly called “laser therapy.”

Patients suffering from varicose veins or incompetent veins have a variety of options for treatment available to them, and one of the newer techniques utilizes a laser or high-frequency radio waves to create intense local heat in the varicose vein.

The use of radio waves or laser energy can cauterize and close the varicose veins in the legs.

Benefits of Endovenous Thermal Ablation

There are several reasons patients prefer endovenous thermal ablation over other kinds of treatments. The procedure offers a variety of benefits making it one of the most convenient choices available.

Minimally Invasive

Endovenous thermal ablation is less invasive than other kinds of treatments used to deal with varicose veins, and laser therapy leaves virtually no scars.

Pain Relief

Patients who are suffering from pain caused by varicose veins will find that endovenous thermal ablation can relieve them of the pain and discomfort of varicose veins.

No Scarring

Endovenous thermal ablation will also dramatically reduce the unsightly disfigurement caused by varicose veins, leaving patients with virtually no scarring or staining.

Quick and Convenient

Laser therapy is a relatively quick treatment that can be performed in an outpatient setting with only local anesthetic. It treats varicose veins by damaging the walls of the incompetent veins, shrinking them, and closing them off so that blood cannot flow through the varicose vein.

How Does It Work?

The treatment requires mapping the vein with an ultrasound. After a local anesthetic is given, a thin fiber is inserted through a tiny entry point. The thermal energy or laser is delivered to treat the faulty vein.

Patients should plan to have a relative or friend drive them home after the treatment, but recovery time is very fast. Patients are typically encouraged to walk immediately following the procedure and normal daily activities can be resumed immediately.

Some patients may experience minor, temporary soreness and bruising, but that can be treated with over-the-counter, non-aspirin, pain relievers.

Take Back Your Legs From Varicose Veins

What can you begin doing to help lessen the effect of your varicose veins?

Let’s just come out and say it. Varicose veins are the worst. They’re uncomfortable, there’s not a whole lot that you can do to make them completely go away naturally, and they make you self-conscious about your legs when there’s nothing else to wear but shorts in this southern heat. And while there are some cases where they can lead to more serious medical issues, for the most part, they’re just plain annoying. But there are things that you could be doing during your daily activities that may be making your varicose veins worse.

Keep Your Blood Flowing

Varicose veins and spider veins are caused when the valve in a vein is weakened, causing the blood to pool in the vein. This causes the veins to enlarge, and become visible below the skin. You’ll hear a lot that sitting for long periods of time can make your varicose veins worse, and that’s true. If you have a desk job, it’s best to get up and move around every hour or so just to keep that blood flowing. But it’s not just sitting that’s the problem. Standing for long periods of time is also a major contributor to spider and varicose veins. Basically, if you’re not getting your blood pumping, it’s hindering, instead of helping, the issue.

So when you’re at the office, don’t just stand up and stretch. Move around! Take a walk, even if it’s just to refill your water bottle. The movement will help, and it will make your legs feel less uncomfortable.

Elevate Your Feet

If moving around isn’t an option for you, make sure your feet are elevated when you’re seated. It’ll still get your blood going, even if you aren’t mobile.
Exercise is one of the main ways to prevent varicose and spider veins. So if you see them start to emerge, take your legs back, one step at a time.

The Trouble With Veins

Ever watch Olympic weightlifters, see their bulging veins and look down at your legs while you’re sitting on the couch and see the same bulging veins? Obviously, there has to be a difference, right? They’re lifting ten times their weight and while you may work out, you’re definitely not benching your co-worker after work. There is a difference and if you’re experiencing bulging veins, you may be in trouble. If you suffer from chest pains, shortness of breath, heaviness of legs, discoloration in legs, swelling, cramping or throbbing, or ulcers near the bulging veins you should seek medical care.

Many Causes to Consider

The main causes for bulging veins outside of bodybuilding are as follows:

  • Pregnancy – due to the pressure on the veins, circulation becomes more difficult and it can cause varicose veins to appear.
  • Old Age – they say growing old doesn’t come easy, and unfortunately, along with everything else that seems to be giving up on you, bulging veins can also join that stack of aging issues. This is due to the muscle within the vein becoming weak and allows the blood to pool.
  • Venous Insufficiency – this is where the valves in your veins that make it where the blood can not flow backward are not working so the blood just ends up pooling instead of pumping as it should.
  • Obesity – while sometimes it seems like everyone is blaming everything on inactivity, it is true that the more stagnant your legs are the more likely you are to get bulging veins. Diabetes also falls under the same category. The more unhealthy you live, the more likely you are to have bulging veins.
  • Thrombophlebitis – honestly this is just a big mouthful of a word to say that you have a blood clot in your vein.

There are ways to combat some of these without seeking medical attention. I will state though that if you have the following situations it is more life-threatening and medical attention should be sought out immediately: Blood clot, infection, tumor.

Changing For The Better

You can make lifestyle changes such as exercise, watching your weight, and compression socks to ease the issues you may be experiencing. You can also go the route of laser surgery or vein stripping to name a few. However, for the general case of bulging veins, remaining active and maintaining a healthy lifestyle of watching your weight can seriously reduce your risk of varicose veins. So why wait? It’s 2017; a year to make some good choices and changes.

Contributing Blogger, Amanda Smith

The author is not a doctor and does not claim to offer medical advice.  Any and all information in the is article should not be treated as such.  Please consult your physician for further information.

Vein Disease

Vein disease is something most people just see on really long infomercials trying to sell some product to get rid of it. Lotions, lasers, clinics, they’ll try to sell it all in either the most mundane voice-over or by someone who is way too excited about it. Varicose veins, Spider veins, and reticular veins- what’s the difference? How do you know if you have it or not? What can be practically done about it?

Types of Vascular Diseases

Probably the more known vein disease is varicose veins. Typically, they are shown as the thick, wavy veins that protrude out of the skin. However, that is not the only form that it comes in; swelling, discoloration of skin, and ulcers may appear. Symptoms can include heaviness in the legs, itching or burning, lower leg swelling, and night cramps.

Spider veins are a bit different, they look like an average vein but spread out in a web-like fashion and visible to the eye. Spider vein issues include; swelling, consistent soreness, clotting, ulcers, and changes in skin color.

Reticular veins are short, wavy lines of the vein that can be seen on the skin. This type seems to be almost like the beginning stage for the other two however it does not have the same symptoms and is more cosmetic. But where did all this information come from?

How The Vein Company  Can Help

The Vein Company website lays it all out in a very user-friendly format. They explain the difference between each disease with pictures. While most websites that are in the top search for any type of ailment normally end up with the diagnosis of something unrelated and dramatic such as cancer, The Vein Company stays on topic. They even have a quiz to assess whether or not you might actually have a vein disease; through simple yes or no questions, it leads the quiz taker to a result that can help them to consultation if needed.

The Vein Company allows you to schedule a consultation with them right on their website too. No need to do the research, take the quiz then find somewhere to go, it’s all laid out for you and is easily assessable. They even have a Frequently Asked Question section to put any remaining concerns to rest. This company truly has you covered with any aspect needed for the issue of vein disease. So the question now remains will you finally find somewhere to get rid of these health problems or will you be stuck with them in this New Year?

Not Just Women are Affected By Varicose Veins

Traditionally, with age comes a release of the classic signs of attractiveness like wrinkle-free arms, mole-free faces, and varicose-vein-free legs. But in spite of being associated with aging women, varicose veins are far from being a classic sign of aging beauty. While often seen as a primarily cosmetic concern that has an emotional effect on women these bulging veins affect both women, and men, and both youth and golden-aged people.

Men Are Affected, Too!

In spite of the cosmetic implications, the appearance of varicose veins is a treatable medical condition that flows throughout the world with little preference for gender. An estimated 56% of men are stricken with the condition, according to British research. The men and women who find themselves with bulging veins have more to worry about than appearance. Varicose veins can lead to conditions like skin-bleeding, skin discoloration, skin ulcers, and a “heavy leg” sensation.

This condition has a strong genetic component, where veins in the lower extremities expand when standing erect, and then do not return to their original position. Those genetically predisposed to weaker vein walls are at risk of developing varicose veins. Thankfully for men, overcoming a genetic predisposition for varicose veins doesn’t require anything outrageous. Experts say that exercising is the easiest way to maintain a consistently strong blood flow and keep the walls of the veins strong and in top condition.

Also, men who enjoy those pepperoni pizzas, flaming hot buffalo sauces, and tasty hot sausages may have to simmer those habits down in favor of a good, healthy vein flow. Research indicates that a high sodium diet most certainly contributes to the development of varicose veins.

Move Your Body, Get Blood Flowing

And finally, the last and most difficult task performed in order to avoid those popping varicose veins: GET UP! While many of us have the misfortune of working in an office where our bums do most of the heavy lifting all day, this unhealthy habit leads to blood pooling and exaggerated veins. While doing a full-on bodybuilding session in the middle of the office is far from optional for most of us, 55-year-old you will thank you kindly or years to come for taking those extra bathroom breaks.

Because varicose veins are often marketed as a mere cosmetic problem strictly for older women, men of all ages are done a huge disservice. If symptoms of restless leg syndrome, pain in calves after walking, and muscle cramps, consistently affect you, regardless of gender, then non-cosmetic treatment plans might be the option.

The author is not a Doctor and does not claim to offer medical advice.  Any and all information in this article should not be treated as such.  Please consult your physician for further information.

Benefits of Sclerotherapy

Why Sclerotherapy May be Your Best Option

Sclerotherapy is a proven medical procedure that has been used since the 1930s to eliminate spider veins and varicose veins. It is a quick and simple procedure with a proven success rate. If you have irritating varicose veins, sclerotherapy may be the treatment option for you.

Causes of Varicose and Spider Veins

Spider veins and varicose veins are swollen blood vessels that can be seen through the skin. They affect 80 million people in the United States and can be caused by several factors such as heredity, pregnancy, and other hormonal influences, a history of blood clots, or working in an occupation that requires standing for long periods of time.

Symptoms of varicose veins and spider veins affect the legs and include aching, cramping, tiredness, numbness, throbbing, burning, or tingling. Sometimes more severe complications can occur such as darkening of the skin, ulcers, or thrombosis.

Treating Veins With Sclerotherapy

There are many treatments for spider veins and varicose veins, but sclerotherapy is the most common for mild cases.  During this procedure, a chemical is injected into the affected veins, which makes them collapse. This causes blood to move through healthier veins instead. The collapsed veins are then reabsorbed into the skin and fade completely within a few weeks. Depending on the size of the veins, 3-4 treatments are usually required.

Sclerotherapy has many benefits. Each treatment only takes about 15-30 minutes, and it’s almost painless. You can get back to your daily routine almost immediately. It is much less expensive than surgical methods and has a very high success rate of relieving the painful symptoms and ugly appearance of varicose veins and spider veins.

If you suffer from spider veins or varicose veins, consider sclerotherapy as a treatment option.

Symptoms of Bulging Veins

Bulging veins are a common symptom of several conditions such as pregnancy, thrombophlebitis, and old age. They often come in the form of varicose veins and spider veins and usually appear in the legs. These veins can be swollen, distorted, dilated, and discolored.

Causes

Healthy veins have valves that keep blood from flowing down as it is pumped up through the leg. Bulging veins occur when these valves malfunction and allow blood to flow backward and pool into the vein. They can be caused by a number of conditions that affect the vein directly or not. For example, bulging veins are often caused by swollen veins or thrombophlebitis, but they can also be caused by more general states of being such as pregnancy, old age, obesity, or lack of movement.

Other causes of bulging veins could include blood clots, abdominal tumors, low body fat, or genetics.

Symptoms

There are an array of symptoms that can let you know you might have bulging veins. Bulging veins in the legs can cause:

  • Skin darkening
  • Itchy rash
  • Swelling
  • Achy or throbbing legs
  • Crampy or heavy legs

Bulging veins don’t always affect only your legs, though. They can also go along with symptoms of other conditions that impact different areas of the body. You may experience symptoms of diabetes, for example, with skin ulcers near the feet, damage to blood vessels, or wounds that heal slowly. Other symptoms of pregnancy, obesity, or thrombophlebitis could also indicate bulging veins.

Sometimes, bulging veins can be a sign of a more serious medical condition. Seek immediate medical attention if you experience sores or ulcers on your ankles, thickening of the skin around your calf and ankle, warmth and redness in the leg, bleeding from an injury to your vein, or a pulling feeling in your leg. These could be symptoms of life-threatening conditions such as blood clots, tumors, or infections.

Treatment

In the early stages, bulging veins may be treated with compression socks and exercise. This may also help future bulging veins from forming. More serious cases of bulging veins should be treated by a doctor. Common treatments include different therapies, medicines, and procedures, and are often minimally invasive.

Complications

Once you’ve determined you do have bulging veins, it’s important to treat them properly. Leaving bulging veins untreated increases your risk of potential complications such as skin ulcerations, blood clots, and increased swelling and pain.

Prevention

Reduce your chances of forming bulging veins by keeping your body healthy. Exercise regularly and monitor your weight. This will ensure proper circulation and help you avoid putting too much pressure on your legs. Avoid crossing your legs or wearing high heels for long periods of time. This will help your blood flow through your veins properly. Maintain a healthy, low-salt diet rich in fiber. Though not all bulging veins can be avoided, following these tips will reduce your chances and keep you healthy.

*Author is not a doctor and does not claim to offer medical advice.  Any and all information in the is article should not be treated as such.  Please consult your physician for further information.

7 Common Myths About Varicose Veins

Simply put, varicose veins are enlarged veins that occur when blood stops flowing backward.

Myth: If You Have Them, You Can Tell

It is commonly believed that varicose veins are very obvious, and are easily seen at the surface of your skin. However, these veins go far back into your body, and what you’re seeing may just be a small portion of a big picture. For people who have more muscle or fatty tissue on their legs, these veins can easily be hidden, leaving those suffering in the dark about the source of the associated pain.

However, today doctors commonly perform ultrasounds to check on the blood flow in your legs. This test uses high-frequency sound waves and is non-invasive. The use of this test allows doctors to see how blood is flowing through your veins. Another method that is less commonly used is the angiogram, during which a special dye is injected into your veins so that doctors can perform an x-ray test and see your blood flow.

Myth: Only Women Can Get Them

Yes, they are more common in women. No, they do not solely impact women. Nearly 15% of men will acquire varicose veins in their lifespan. The weight gain that is an onset of pregnancy leads to an increase in pressure on the legs, which can lead to varicose veins in pregnant women. However, some other common causes are heredity and pressure on the legs.

Myth: It Only Occurs at an Older Age

The varicose vein problem is primarily genetic. Patients as young as age 13 can be treated for this issue, and it can come at any age. The onset of varicose veins can also be from an increase in hormones, commonly impacting women in pregnancy and menopause.

The older you get, the greater the impact of varicose veins can be. Your veins degenerate, and if these remain untreated, they will become more painful.

If you are at a risk for varicose veins based on family history, consider visiting a specialist to see your risk and the current condition of your veins.

Myth: The Extent of Their Impact is Purely Cosmetic

If you notice your veins are more prominent, you may not give it much attention. They’re easy to cover up with makeup and seem to be harmless. However, most people with varicose veins will notice a dull pain in the legs, cramping, throbbing, and aching. Dryness of the skin may occur as well, leading to itchiness in the afflicted area.

A percentage of people with varicose veins may incur more serious complications, including ulcer formation, skin discolorations, and bleeding.

However, anyone who suffers from varicose veins is at risk for a severe type of blood clot, deep vein thrombosis. The best way to avoid these complications is to consult a doctor when you first notice signs of varicose veins or if you have a family history of the disease. Awareness of these potential risks can save you from a lot of trouble in the future.

Myth: Surgery is the Only Solution

While more severe cases require more intensive treatment, there are less invasive alternatives that will help reduce your varicose veins. Laser therapy and sclerotherapy can be performed by dermatologists. Some medications can be used to seal the veins, thus eliminating their presence.

The more intensive surgery, endothermal ablation, can be used to deliver heat to veins through a needle, which may be a more painful alternative. However, sedation is typically used for this process to make it less painful. You have an abundance of veins in your body that will continue to function even when the varicose veins are closed.

Myth: It’s Not Covered by Insurance

The reduction of varicose veins is not cosmetic surgery. Varicose veins are a serious medical problem and are addressed by insurance companies. The steps of the procedure are also typically covered, such as the initial consultation and the diagnosis. Because they have the potential to cause blood clots, ulcers, and potential heart failure, treatment is seen as necessary preventative medicine by insurance companies.

Myth: Treatment Causes Further Complications

With modern advancements in technology, varicose veins only resurface about 5% of the time, which should reduce concerns about future issues. The minimally invasive procedure rarely leaves scars, and only impairs you after surgery for a few days.

 

*Author is not a doctor and does not claim to offer medical advice.  Any and all information in the is article should not be treated as such.  Please consult your physician for further information.

Home Treatments For Varicose Veins

Varicose veins are defective veins that often appear bulgy and discolored. They are typically treated through minimally invasive procedures such as endovenous thermal ablation or other closure systems. In minor cases, however, varicose veins can sometimes be treated at home.

Keep in mind that at-home treatments are only advisable for people who are not experiencing serious or painful symptoms. These home treatments can relieve minor symptoms, slow down the progress of varicose veins, and prevent complications such as sores or bleeding.

Wear Compression Stockings

Compression stockings can improve blood circulation and relieve some symptoms of varicose veins. They fit tightest at the foot and gradually loosen as they fit higher up the leg. They most commonly help with swelling and aching. For very mild symptoms, you may want to try support pantyhose or knee-high socks.

Take Care of Yourself

In some cases, taking better care of yourself can relieve your symptoms. Self-care methods include:

  • Exercise
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Elevating your legs
  • Avoiding long periods of sitting or standing

After an Injury

Scratching, bumping, or cutting over superficial varicose veins can sometimes cause minor bruising or bleeding. Small blood clots may also form in the vein. Most of these problems, however, can be safely treated at home.

  • If you bump your leg hard enough to cause bruising, elevate it and apply a cold compress as soon as possible for 1-2 hours. This may help minimize bruising.
  • Cutting or scratching the skin over the vein may cause abnormal bleeding. If this happens, elevate your leg and apply firm pressure with a clean bandage for 15 minutes. Check the cut every 15 minutes until the bleeding as stopped.

Blood Clots in Superficial Veins

Signs of blood clotting in superficial veins include tenderness and swelling over the vein. The vein may also feel firm. In the case of blood clots, you should visit your doctor and follow their instructions. Blood clots can be very serious and require expert medical advice.

For more information about varicose veins, check out our varicose vein treatment page.

 

*Author is not a doctor and does not claim to offer medical advice.  Any and all information in the is article should not be treated as such.  Please consult your physician for further information.

The Dangers of Artery Diseases

The carotid arteries are much like the coronary arteries, in that they carry blood to a vital organ. Coronary arteries carry blood to the heart, carotid arteries make sure the brain is getting its adequate blood supply.

The health of your arteries is crucial in all aspects and must always be considered. Very similar to how you don’t want plaque in your coronary arteries, or any blockage for that matter, carotid arteries must be treated the same way. In your coronary arteries, it could lead to a heart attack, in your carotid arteries, it could lead to a stroke, or as some call it, a brain attack. Over time, the fatty substances or cholesterol build up around the walls of the carotid arteries and make them more narrow and harder for blood to travel through freely. If the arteries become blocked and cut off the blood supply to the brain, a stroke can occur.

Strokes and Atherosclerosis

Any time oxygen to any source of the body is cut off is not good. Oxygen travels by way of blood to the brain, and when the veins either constrict or are clogged, this can cause a stroke. If a stroke victim has no blood flowing to the brain for three hours or more, the damage is usually permanent. Atherosclerosis is when the arteries and veins that stem from them have narrowed due to age, cholesterol or another blockage, or plaque. Atherosclerosis is often the culprit of heart attacks, strokes, and peripheral vascular disease. A stroke may occur if any of the following happens:

  • A piece of plaque breaks off of the artery walls
  • The artery becomes severely narrow
  • A blood clot forms an obstruction
  • A vein that has atherosclerosis ruptures

Although these are the typical reasons for strokes, they don’t always occur because of the aforementioned reasons. Sometimes bleeding in the brain can cause a stroke, along with atrial fibrillation, high blood pressure, and cardiomyopathy.

Factors for Carotid Artery Disease

While many factors can contribute to artery diseases, there are few that are more severe and can contribute to stroke-causing diseases and illnesses. The following conditions may lead to stroke or atherosclerosis:

  • A family history of atherosclerosis
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • A sedentary lifestyle
  • Diabetes
  • Abnormally high lipid counts

Symptoms of Stroke

There are many signs of a stroke, and not all of them, if experienced, mean a stroke was had. However, if any of these occur to you or someone else, get medical help as soon as humanly possible:

  • Sudden loss or blurring of vision
  • Weakness or numbness on one side of the face or body
  • Sudden dizziness
  • Inability to speak or formulate thoughts or words
  • Sudden confusion
  • Sudden severe headache
  • Problems with memory or recalling familiar names

Again, if any of these symptoms develop, or are recurring, contact a medical professional as soon as you’re able to.

Staying Healthy

We all want to be and stay healthy, but we don’t always want to do what is necessary to live up to this standard. Unfortunately, our bodies are only as strong as what we put in them, how we treat them, and in part, genetic features. If you’re predisposed to any type of ailment, chances are your risk is higher than others. Eating right, eating less, and moving your body are great keys to success and staying on this planet as long as you’re able.