Cardiovascular and Vein-Specific Health (Things to Watch out For)

June 19, 2017

Cardiovascular Vein HealthAt the Vein Center of Florida and South Baldwin, we are discussing two topics that are especially relevant to our male patients —cardiovascular and vein-specific health. In honor of Men’s Health Month, we thought we should bring attention to a few things to watch out for this month – and every day of the year – because cardiovascular health isn’t simply seasonal. While many of the patients we treat for varicose veins are women, men may also suffer from chronic vein conditions and other vascular abnormalities.

Understanding High-Risk Vein and Cardiovascular Issues

During your consultation with Dr. Jimenez, each patient undergoes a patient specific vein assessment so that each individual has an idea of any existing vein abnormalities and understands what can be done to improve their condition. At The Vein Center of Florida, optimal vein health is our focus. We strive to educate each individual as to potential signals which may indicate that their spider veins and / or varicose veins may actually represent more significant underlying chronic vein insufficiency. Many men ignore or are unaware that their work, lifestyle, and eating habits may be impacting their cardiovascular system negatively. Making modifications to daily activities that increase these risks is certainly advantageous in obtaining a healthy heart and healthy vessels, as they profoundly influence one another.

The heart is the body’s central force, pumping oxygen-rich blood at high pressure through the strongest vessels in the cardiovascular system—the arteries. After the arterial delivery of oxygen throughout the body’s tissues and major organs, the driving force for recycling the blood are the veins. Veins are much more delicate vessels that draw oxygen-poor blood from all areas of the body, relying heavily upon the calf muscles in the legs to push the blood upward. Healthy veins and efficient venous return is essential for healthy legs. Inefficient veins allows for pooling of poorly oxygenated blood in the legs which can lead to additional medical problems such as:

  • Chronic Vein Insufficiency (CVI)—this condition affects millions of people all over the world. While it may be more common in women, many men are affected as well. High venous pressures due to increased weight gain, long periods of inactivity, and age, causes stretching and weakening of leg veins which can affect the ability to walk and perform activities comfortably. These side-effects increase over time without treatment. Varicose veins and sometimes spider veins are potential indicators that underlying veins are chronically insufficient. Patients may obtain significant benefit by recognizing these indicators and seeking help from a qualified professional who can offer recommendations for lifestyle changes and treatment.
  • Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)—DVT occurs based on a variety of factors – lifestyle, genetic predisposition, and years of unaddressed insufficiency. Diseases within the deeper veins are worrisome because this means that the central network of vessels, running along bone and between muscles, are unable to properly contain and mobilize deoxygenated blood. Stagnant blood in these deep veins can cause swelling and intense pooling of blood, resulting in the potential for venous ulcers and inflammation in the legs. In a percentage of patients, a DVT may break free from your vein walls and lodge in the lungs (pulmonary embolism) resulting in catastrophic consequences. This is definitely a worst case scenario, and most patients seek treatment before such an issue occurs, but all are not so lucky.

How to Reduce Your Risk and Improve Your Lifestyle

The American Heart Association estimates that there are over 350,000 cardiac arrest cases in the U.S. alone, and over 80 percent of all sudden cardiac deaths occur in males. Sudden cardiac death means that the heart stops pumping blood without warning, and is one of the conditions that may exhibit no signs in your daily life. Men are in a unique position because of the increase in stressors from social expectations, such as work and finances. Stress levels have reduced slightly over the last year, but it’s important that we take note of increased pressures affecting our physical and mental health connection. The following may improve risks of vascular and cardiac conditions:

  • Healthy eating. Choosing colorful fruits and vegetables in addition to lean meats and a diet of healthy fats.
  • Increase activity and variation of exercises. By adding a variation of high intensity and low impact exercises to your regimen, you improve vascular flow and strengthen your muscles for vascular support. Increasing cardiovascular exercise influences oxygen intake throughout the body and can lower stress on the heart.
  • Breathing exercises and mindful meditation. Take a few moments each day to check in with yourself. If your heart is beating faster than usual, taking a few deep breaths in 30-second intervals in attempt to lower your blood pressure and beats per minute.
  • Vascular assessments. These can give you a heads up so that you are more prepared for a vascular issue as soon as it occurs, and can possibly prevent life-threatening conditions. Know your body before problems happen, thereby having a better chance at extending your life.

Know your risk factors and whether or not you need to make changes to feel better, both physically and mentally. Men’s health begins with awareness – that means you need to pay attention to the signals your body is sending. Call Vein Center of Florida at 800-910-VEIN today to schedule your vein analysis with Dr. Jimenez.

Weight Gain and Vein Disease: How are the two related?

June 6, 2017

vein disease and weight gainVenous insufficiency and chronic venous disease are two conditions you have heard about in your consultation with Dr. Jimenez and likely during your visit with the cardiologist. Vein disease develops within the body based on external and internal stresses that affect the way in which one-way (upward) venous blood flow drives blood from the lower legs and organs to the heart. All of this venous blood moves against gravity and that action itself can be difficult if the veins are stressed, stretched and incapable of carrying excess blood. Years of patient care and clinical studies focused on vascular health make a distinct connection between weight gain and vein disease. But how are weight gain and venous disease related?

Veins, Valves and Their Function

At Vein Center of Florida, our goal is to share as much about vein care with you as possible, so you know what to expect and how to solve the problem. Vein disease, as mentioned above, starts with a variety of factors that contribute to the inability of veins in the lower sector of your body to push your blood from your legs to your heart. Venous valves keep the blood flowing in the proper direction. However, inefficient valve function results in excess blood waiting to circulate up from one part of the vein to the next, causing these veins expand. Expansion of the vein walls causes stretching, and that stretching continues until the vein is no longer able to resist and relax to its normal state, resulting in bulging visible veins. Bulging varicose veins are a sure fire way to tell this is happening to you.

Symptoms of Vein Disease:

  • Pain in the legs or heaviness
  • Tired/heavy legs
  • Discoloration in the ankles and calves (redness or dark tinge)
  • Tightness in the legs
  • Varicose vein formation
  • Fluid buildup or pedal edema
  • Pain relief upon elevation or position change
  • Tenderness
  • Restless legs
  • Ulcer formation
  • Itching or burning skin

While these symptoms of vein disease are common indicators, they’re not always present, and it’s a good idea to have a vein screening at some point in your mid-thirties at the earliest.

A Few Extra Pounds Can Affect Vein Health

Inactivity and extended periods of standing or sitting are a considerable issue no matter your size, however, adding excess weight and applying additional pounds of pressure on the body can cause serious exertion on the veins and their valves. If you’re already prone to vein insufficiency based on your family history, you want to make sure that you’re covering all of your bases and lowering your weight.

We think of the veins as pressurized tubes that work hard to move blood upward but the pressure in these veins can vary based on our position and how much weight pushes down on the lower half of your body at any given time from weight gain. Walking decreases the pressure on our veins because the calves help the leg veins pump; adding more weight, makes this mechanism ineffective. More pressure from above means more pressure is needed to move your blood. To lower the pressure in the legs and pelvic area, a reduced weight will improve the symptoms but long term awareness, activity and care are necessary.

A few types of vein conditions you may hear about in consultation with Dr. Jimenez include:

  • Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI)

Chronic venous insufficiency worldwide is a very common problem whether it’s the result of pregnancy, genetics, race, sex or immobility. Weight gain may initiate the process of vein pain and discomfort, often followed by restless legs and problems with movement if left unchecked. So if you’re feeling some of these things now, you may have chronic venous insufficiency which may symptomatically progress as you age.

  • Leaking Valves and Stressed Veins (Varicose Veins)

Overstretched and stressed veins, often purple and deep green, become prominent in the legs after significant weight gain and genetic factors. Varicose veins are stressed superficial veins prevalent in men and women over the age of 60, but they may occur in much younger individuals, especially with a family history. Women are at a greater risk of developing varicose veins than men, although they are very common in both sexes.

Activity, weight maintenance, and a nutritious diet can help to minimize the risk of developing significant venous disease, however, everyone should be educated about vein disease as early as possible. Call The Vein Center of Florida today at 800-910-VEIN for more information on vein disease and to schedule your vein screening.

For Stronger, Healthy Veins, Eat and Drink These Things

May 30, 2017

shutterstock_588193301Working out, eating well and maintaining low stress levels can keep your heart running efficiently, but what about your veins? A fit heart pumps blood vigorously through strong arteries. When the blood needs to cycle back to your heart, it flows through a network of veins. The only way your blood is permitted upward flow (against gravity) is by clear and elastic veins that can move blood in one direction back to your heart.

Valves within your veins act as doors that open and close to assist upward blood flow. It’s essential that your veins are able to resist the pressure that’s needed to move your blood. Without pressure-resistant qualities, your circulation patterns change as vein walls and their valves weaken. Varicose and spider veins are the results of vein disease. Healthy veins can make your life a lot easier which is why at Vein Center of Florida, we’ve composed a list of items you can eat and drink for stronger, clearer veins.

Fill Your Plate With Color

Every nutritionist around the world will tell you to color up your plate with fruits and vegetables because they are loaded with vitamins to supplement protein synthesis and metabolic function. All the latest studies that focus on vascular health and nutrition mention a Mediterranean diet which includes most things that grow on the vine and are organic. A Mediterranean diet also means seafood, so if you love sushi there some types, you should consider ordering over others to fight potential vascular disease.

Foods that contain a cholesterol combative vitamin B3 (niacin) include tuna, salmon, sardines, peanuts, chili peppers, green peas, bok choy, turnip greens and cantaloupe. While niacin keeps the veins clear of build up, it also reinforces strong vein walls by rebuilding the layered tissue (collagen and elastin) and helps reduce inflammation.

Drink Plenty of Water and Some Wine or Grape Juice

No one can argue the healing properties of water and that our bodies need it because, without it, we couldn’t survive. Water lubricates every tissue in the body, and it also creates balance. We drink water to detox our cells which can help with oxidative stress by offering additional molecules for excess oxygen to bind. Water also helps maintain functional muscles that support your veins when high pressure overcomes them.

You should ask your doctor if drinking a glass of red wine each night is healthy for you and the medications you’re currently taking. But drinking a small glass of red wine each night can have rejuvenating effects on your veins. If you veins swell and become inflamed, tannins found in red wine can help to tighten vein walls making them resistant to over stretching. Tighter veins mean your valves are less likely to leak which is where the main issue with varicose veins begins.

Eat Fiber

Less stress on your lower extremities is important. Fiber can help you release that stress that happens in the most private place—your bathroom. Eating regular fiber means that you’ll have an easier time in there without causing bouts of overexertion. Some of our favorite fiber-rich foods include:

  • Brown rice
  • Lentils
  • Raspberries
  • Pears
  • Avocados
  • Oatmeal
  • Flaxseed (try these in your pancakes)
  • Chia seeds (perfect for thickening overnight oats)

Vein conditions are linked to your genetic background, and you should think about having a screening for varicose veins and potential blood clots if your parents had vein problems. Eating these foods and drinking more fluids will help you boost your immune strength against varicose and spider veins. Schedule your appointment with Dr. Jimenez today to find out if you have an existing vein condition and how to fix it by calling Vein Center of Florida at 800-910-VEIN.

Tips to Support Impeccable Vein Health

May 23, 2017

shutterstock_621519020You always keep your ear to the ground when it comes to healthy tips for problem-free veins and Dr. Jimenez has a few for you. Impeccable vein health starts with the rest of your body including how supported your feet are, how much activity you get on a daily basis and how well you maintain an appropriate weight. Everything is a factor since your veins respond to pressures created by excess weight, inactivity and improperly supported feet. Instead of simply thinking in terms of your cholesterol levels and whether or not you’re alternating positions enough at work, let’s go a little deeper. Here are your tips for supporting vein health:

Be Active

In addition to changing your position if you’re someone who sits or stands for hours, being active and moving in between position changes is essential. Try setting a timer to get up and stretch your legs or take a walk around your home or office building. When your blood sits at the base of your legs, that pooling of fluid causes your veins to expand over time from pressure. To assist your blood in flowing upward to the heart, moving your calf muscles will propel the blood upward. Strong calves and surrounding muscle tissues mean supported veins. We also recommend trying out exercises that cause you to change your body’s orientation, so workouts such as pilates or yoga forces you to bend or lay on your back with elevated legs. Have some fun with it while you cultivate healthy circulation.

Elevate Your Legs at the End of the Day

Maybe you’re not into yoga, or you’re a teacher or doctor that sits or stands for a majority of your day. When your schedule doesn’t allow for a high amount of exercise or modified body positions, Dr. Jimenez recommends elevating your legs for a few minutes each night. This elevated position passively allows your blood to flow back to the upper portion of your body and your heart. By doing this, you can relieve stress on your veins in the lower extremities that have struggled all day. To see and feel the difference, you should do this every day and extend the position up to twenty minutes if you feel pain when walking or restlessness.

Maintain a Healthy Weight

Pressure on the lower body comes from added weight, and that means too much weight for your body style. During your next appointment with your GP or in consultation with Dr. Jimenez at Vein Center of Florida, ask them to check your weight and offer recommendations to reach an ideal weight. Often weight accumulates at the abdomen and adds pressure on your internal organs that also make it difficult for your legs veins to push your blood upward. When the pressure becomes too much, and veins are constricted, they’ll expand, valves will have trouble closing, and varicose veins start to appear. Losing a few pounds can maintain smooth blood flow and a healthy appearance in veins.

Wear the Right Footwear

If you’re having problems with your feet, such as arch support, or put unnecessary pressure on your calves, everything above your feet will suffer. Don’t think of your shoes as just protection from the ground, but as a starting point for a strong body. Wearing high heels stresses the calves and weakens them so that their ability to assist veins in pumping blood upward is reduced. Improper support and pain in the feet reduces circulation and can keep you from being active. Get yourself a pair of inserts that offer arch support and make you feel comfortable while you walk. You should pay attention to the fit of your shoes as well because this can negatively impact your vein health even if they’re slightly too big or too small.

Prepare for healthier veins as soon as you can and have a vein screening if you feel discomfort, or your parents had vein problems. Call Vein Center of Florida to get started today at 800-910-VEIN.

Spring Activities in Destin

May 16, 2017

Spring Activities in DestinWhen you think of Florida, white sandy beaches with beautiful sherbet sunsets take shape in your mind, and this image holds true to the area. Florida, and Destin, in particular, is known as one of the best places to jump into spring and summer. The weather at this moment is warm, but not as hot as it normally is during our peak point in June, when temperatures hover over 100-degrees. Spring is the perfect time to enjoy calm weather and family activities that cannot be experienced anywhere else. Destin is also at the central hub of spring activity, which is why Vein Center of Florida is located at its center.

Dr. Jimenez chose our location so our patients can see the potential of beneficial lifestyle changes and find motivation to achieve vascular health. When you have varicose and spider vein-free legs, the beach is where you want to be. At Vein Center of Florida, we are always ready to share some our favorite spots in Destin and the spring activities we enjoy.

Here is a list of our favorite spring activities in Destin:

Emerald Grand HarborWalk Village

On an easy Sunday morning, we like to head over to Emerald Grand HarborWalk Village to do some window shopping and have lunch. The beachfront view is relaxing and stress relieving, which is the perfect way to end the weekend. We encourage patients to walk as much as possible to improve circulation and strengthen leg muscles, and here you won’t even notice how much walking you’ll be doing because there are so many beautiful sights to see.

Henderson Beach State Park

Ask anyone what they want to do in Destin, and they’ll say they want to go to Henderson Beach State Park. The beach scene here goes on for miles on end, so put on your swimsuit or toss on some flip flops and take a walk, or have a drink at one of the beachside cabanas. Photo opportunities here are everywhere, so you can capture special moments with the perfect backdrop. Don’t forget to wear your sunscreen and find a spot on the beach to sit and watch the sun melt into water.

Destin is surrounded by beautiful beaches, rivers and memorable nature walks. There’s also golfing to ring in spring with your best swing. Spring is about shaking off the winter chill and getting outside. If you still feel like you want to reduce the appearance of varicose veins or some more recommendations in Destin, call Vein Center of Florida today at 800-910-VEIN.

How Can Ambulatory Phlebectomy Get You Spring Ready Legs?

May 10, 2017

Ambulatory PhlebectomyIt’s getting warmer out, and that means you’ll want to show off your legs. But for those that struggle with varicose and spider veins, spring and summer clothes are a scary thought. I can’t wear those shorts; they show off my veiny legs. You’re not sure when you started getting varicose veins on the backs of your knees, but varicose veins have kept you from dressing the way that you want for some time.

At Vein Center of Florida, we offer a series of treatments to reduce the appearance of and remove varicose veins. Our vein treatments include ambulatory phlebectomy, sclerotherapy, and EVLT. Since so many of you have asked, we’ll focus on a procedure that removes varicose veins by extraction–ambulatory phlebectomy. So how can ambulatory phlebectomy get you spring ready legs?

Understanding Ambulatory Phlebectomy

While the name ambulatory phlebectomy may seem unfamiliar, you’ve probably heard about microphlebectomy. This vein treatment works for patients that have a specific size varicose vein or several, that are too large for sclerotherapy injections and often too small for laser treatment. Before this minimally invasive procedure, there were surgical options that could take a few weeks to recover from and usually left a few larger scars.

With ambulatory phlebectomy, Dr. Jimenez can extract the damaged vein from the leg so that it’s gone forever. This treatment works best when the veins are affected in complex branches that run along the leg. Any tracks of varicose veins can be removed in one treatment through small pinpoint needle holes in the skin and there are no scars. Dr. Jimenez takes hold of these problem veins with a miniature, hooked tool that can pull the vein from your skin so it can be cut from the leg without surgery.

After your ultrasound vein screening with Dr. Jimenez to make sure there are no serious conditions that should be treated before you have ambulatory phlebectomy, he will recommend the treatment. If you’re someone who doesn’t want to take a few days off of work and just wants to see attractive legs so you can enjoy the spring, there’s no recovery from ambulatory phlebectomy. You can go home that same day and walk around or do your housework. You’ll need a compression stocking for support and comfort, but that’s all.

Don’t Worry About Removing Varicose Veins

During your consultation for ambulatory phlebectomy, you can ask any questions you have. The most common question when you consider varicose vein removal is whether or not it is safe to remove your veins. Dr. Jimenez will tell you that when your veins are damaged, you can think of it as a domino effect where one damaged vein produces several. In fact, removing these varicose veins is your best option. Ambulatory phlebectomy is safe and supports healthy circulation throughout the legs because you’re removing the obstacle that creates weak veins and their valves so that blood can flow upward without issue.

Spring is here, and if you want to see healthy legs, ambulatory phlebectomy can help you see them sooner. The treatment only takes one hour to complete. Call Vein Center of Florida today at 800-910-VEIN to schedule your appointment.

Legs and More: Where will You Find Spider and Varicose Veins?

March 28, 2017

spider varicose veinsWhen you think of spider and varicose veins, those visible lines on your legs are probably what come to mind. While the legs are the most common place to see these veins develop, they are not the only one. Check out these surprising areas where those visible veins might crop up.

Arms and Hands

While more unusual than the legs, it is not unheard of to see varicose veins appear on the arms and hands. However, bulging veins on the backs of the hands do not necessarily fall into this category. These veins may look varicose because the skin surrounding the veins has thinned and made them more prominent. However, treatment will likely involve restoring volume to the back of the hand rather than eliminating the vein. When varicose veins do appear, they can be treated in a similar fashion to varicose veins on other areas of the body.

Face

Spider veins can form on the face, creating a significant cosmetic nuisance. These veins are often caused by sun exposure or may be the result of an underlying medical condition. Facial veins can also appear with too much alcohol consumption or the use of certain medications. Spider veins on the face can often be treated with minimally-invasive procedures, clearing up your complexion and restoring your confidence in your appearance.

Breasts

Bulging blue veins can also appear on the breasts, particularly in women that have implants. These lines can also make a woman self-conscious about her appearance, especially when they develop in the cleavage. While these veins do not typically indicate a serious medical issue, they can be treated for cosmetic purpose, often using the same methods that are used to remove varicose veins on the legs.

Vagina

Most women never expect to get varicose veins “down there,” but it can happen. These veins often develop during pregnancy, when veins in the area can become damaged due to the additional pressure from the expanding uterus. Unfortunately, vaginal varicose veins can also be very uncomfortable.

Anus

Varicose veins in this area are more commonly referred to as hemorrhoids, and they can also be irritating and uncomfortable. These veins usually become damaged because of straining during bowel movements. In addition to their discomfort, hemorrhoids can bleed from time to time, which can be distressing to sufferers.

Most varicose veins are caused by an underlying vein condition known as venous reflux, which occurs when small valves inside the vessel stop working. This allows blood to reflux into the vein so the vein weakens and swells. These veins can often be treated by eliminating the damaged vein so that blood can reroute naturally to healthy veins nearby.

At the Vein Center of Florida, Dr. Jimenez primarily focuses on treating spider and varicose veins that appear on the legs. However, we can also address spider veins that appear on other areas of the body in certain patients. Contact the Vein Center of Florida & South Baldwin at 800-910-8346 to find out how our treatments can help you say goodbye to spider and varicose veins for good.

Vein Health 101

March 14, 2017

Vein Disorder TreatmentYou may not think much about your veins – until one of those bulging varicose veins suddenly appears on your lower leg. While it may seem like that vein came out of nowhere, there was an entire process that went on inside your veins to contribute to its development. To understand varicose veins, it is helpful to know how the veins function and what can go wrong inside of them to make those swollen vessels form. Check out these basics on vein health from the team at the Vein Center of Florida & South Baldwin.

What are Veins?

Veins are the vessels that move blood back to the heart. The arteries take the blood to all of the tissue and organs of the body, providing essential oxygen and nutrients the body needs to function. The veins then return deoxygenated blood back to the heart so the process can start all over again.

Unlike the arteries, the veins don’t have help from the pumping heart to get blood where it needs to go. Instead, they contain small valves that move the blood in a single direction. Muscle contractions throughout the body also help blood to continue pumping through the veins efficiently.

Types of Veins

Since our primary goal is to understand varicose veins, we will focus on the veins in the leg. There are three basic types of leg veins:

Deep veins are found near the center of the leg and are typically the largest type of veins. These veins carry blood from the smaller veins directly back to the heart. These are also the veins that are most vulnerable to blood clot formation, a condition known as deep vein thrombosis or DVT.

Superficial veins are those found closer to the skin’s surface. These veins are responsible for bringing blood from the outer skin and tissue to the main veins in the center of the leg. They are also the veins that are most likely to become visible as spider or varicose veins.

Perforator veins connect deep veins and superficial veins.

Vein disorders of the superficial veins are typically the ones that lead to the development of spider and varicose veins. Fortunately, there are many superficial veins in the body, which means if one becomes damaged, blood can be redirected to healthy veins nearby.

When Things Go Wrong

Varicose veins are frequently caused by an underlying vein disorder known as chronic venous insufficiency or CVI. This condition occurs when those small valves inside the vessel become damaged or wear out over time. The damage is more common in the lower leg veins because these vessels have to work much harder to move blood all the way up the leg to the heart. The valves in these veins are more likely to wear out because of all the pressure that is placed on them over a lifetime.

There are steps you can take to protect those hard-working lower leg veins and lower your risk for CVI and varicose veins. Maintaining a healthy weight avoids excessive stress on the veins, while regular exercise gives flexing calf muscles the opportunity to support the veins. It is also a good idea to avoid prolonged periods of sitting and standing, since this also places excessive strain on the vein.

Treating Vein Disorders

If CVI and varicose veins do appear, there are minimally-invasive treatment options to address the conditions. These treatments primarily focus on eliminating damaged veins so blood naturally redirects to healthy veins in the vicinity. Dr. Jimenez and the staff at the Vein Center of Florida & South Baldwin have numerous options in vein treatments that allow them to tailor your procedure to your precise needs.

Don’t suffer with CVI and varicose veins. To find out which treatment is right for you, contact the Vein Center of Florida & South Baldwin today at 800-910-8346.

Progression of Vein Disease

March 2, 2017

Progression of Vein DiseaseVein disease is a common condition that could affect as many as half of all adults by the time they turn 60. The key to effective treatment is to address the condition as early as possible. The Vein Center of Florida & South Baldwin have listed the major stages of vein disease to help you understand if your condition requires the evaluation of a vein specialist.

 

Spider Veins

In the earliest stage of vein disease, you might notice networks of red or blue lines on the leg that resemble a spider’s web. Known as spider veins or telangiectasia, these patterns can be an indication your lower leg veins are being over-taxed. This means small valves inside the vessels may be wearing out, allowing blood to pool inside the vein so that it enlarges and becomes visible on the skin’s surface. In most cases these are simply a cosmetic nuisance, however, in some cases, spider veins can signify an underlying more significant venous problem. If this is left unattended, this may progress to visible varicose veins.

 

Varicose Veins

Varicose veins are larger visible vessels that can be red, blue or flesh-colored and often protrude above the surface of the skin. These swollen vessels are nearly always found on the lower leg, often behind the knee. Varicose veins are a sign that your vein disease is progressing, particularly when they are accompanied by heaviness and pain.

 

Edema

Many times, progression of vein disease can be characterized by swelling of the lower leg, ankle, and foot. Also known as edema, this symptom can cause tightness in the skin. The symptom may improve when the legs are elevated, but will typically return when the elevation stops. The swelling may be worse at the end of the day, when the legs are fatigued.

 

Skin Discoloration

If the vein disease is not addressed at this point, it may continue to progress with signs that may become permanent even if the veins are treated later on. One of those signs is discoloration of the skin around where the varicose veins have appeared. The skin may turn red or brown and may take on a leathery look and feel. Skin may also become thinner at this stage, which can make the leg more vulnerable to injury.

 

Skin Ulceration

At this final stage of vein disease, skin ulcerations begin to form. These large, gaping sores can be the result of a small nick or scratch that quickly progresses to a more serious wound due to the poor circulation and increased pressure caused by the damaged veins. These ulcerations can be difficult to treat, often taking many months to heal completely. They also have a very high recurrence rate, particularly if the underlying cause of the vein disease is not detected and properly treated.

 

Because of the potential of permanent damage to the leg, it is best to treat vein disease before it progresses too far. Physicians like Dr. Jimenez that specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of vein diseases can provide you with an early diagnosis and the best prognosis for eliminating the varicose veins and other symptoms permanently.

 

If you have noticed some of the early signs of vein disease, it is best to seek care sooner rather than later. Contact the Vein Center of Florida & South Baldwin at 800-310-8346 to find out how we can help you treat your vein disease and eliminate unsightly varicose veins.

What’s the Difference between Vein Treatments?

January 1, 2017

Difference in Vein TreatmentsThere are many ways to eliminate spider and varicose veins today, which can make it difficult to know which treatment will serve your needs best. The right procedure for you will depend on the type of veins you want to treat, their size and their location. To help you understand the difference between the vein treatments now available at the Vein Center of Florida & South Baldwin, we have put together a few basics to help you distinguish between all of them.

Spider Vein Options

Spider veins are smaller, visible veins that often appear in a network on the surface of the skin. Cosmetic sclerotherapy is considered the “gold standard” for treating these vessels. The procedure injects a special solution directly into the visible veins, which seals the veins closed. The sealed vein collapses and is reabsorbed by the body over time. Blood reroutes naturally to healthy veins nearby so vascular function is not negatively affected by the procedure.

Procedures for Varicose Veins

Varicose veins are larger than spider veins and often protrude above the skin’s surface. They are usually found on the lower leg and behind the knee. These veins may also be accompanied by aching and swelling if the underlying condition that leads to the visible vessels has advanced.

There are more treatment options for varicose veins today. At the Vein Center of Florida & South Baldwin, we offer the following procedures:

Foam Sclerotherapy

This is an updated version of the traditional sclerotherapy technique that allows the injectable treatment to be used on larger varicose veins. Instead of injecting the liquid solution, this procedure uses a foaming agent that has a similar consistency to shaving cream. The thicker texture displaces blood inside the vessel so the vein walls can be sealed closed. Ultrasound imaging is used to guide the foam solution into the vessel and then monitors the vein after treatment to ensure it closes properly.

Endovenous Laser Treatment (EVLT)

Another effective option in treating larger varicose veins is an innovative therapy known as endovenous laser treatment or EVLT. This procedure uses a small fiber that is inserted into the visible vein using a very small incision. The fiber delivers laser energy into the vein, which seals the vein closed in a similar fashion to sclerotherapy. This is the most common treatment prescribed to patients suffering from larger varicose veins.

Ambulatory Phlebectomy

For some patients, the actual removal of a varicose vein is the best treatment option. Fortunately, this process can be completed with much less discomfort and downtime than surgical treatments of the past. Ambulatory phlebectomy uses very small incisions made along the length of the vein and a special tool that grasps the vessel and removes it from the leg in small sections. This procedure is often recommended to patients that have vessels too large to treat with sclerotherapy, but too small to safely treat with EVLT.

Vein Treatment Benefits

No matter which vein treatment turns out to be the best choice for you, you can rest assured your procedure will be minimally invasive and involve almost no downtime afterward. We perform all of our varicose vein treatments using local anesthetic and patients are able to return home or to other activities as soon as the procedure is over. Because the vein is completely eliminated, the results are considered permanent.

Don’t let too many choices in varicose vein treatments hinder you from getting the relief you need from painful vessels. Dr. Jimenez will assess your condition and help you select the best treatment option for you. To learn more, contact the Vein Center of Florida & South Baldwin today at 800-910-8346.