Arteries vs. Veins: What’s the difference?

October 12, 2017

Spider & Varicose VeinsAt the Vein Centers of Florida and South Baldwin, we specialize in removing unsightly and painful varicose and spider veins. Varicose and spider veins are conditions that affect a large population of people, especially women. Understanding how the veins work and how these natural deformities are caused is essential in understanding how to treat them.

What do veins do?

Veins, a member of the circulatory system, work in tandem with the heart and their counterpart, the arteries. While veins and arteries exist for similar reasons, mainly blood transportation throughout the body, their essential functions are quite different.

Veins are blood vessels in the body that transport oxygen-depleted blood back to the heart. After blood has been circulated to the organs and has been stripped of its oxygen and nutrients, the veins transport it back up to the heart to begin the process anew. The veins also transport waste, such as carbon dioxide, away from the organs.

Veins often pump blood against the flow of gravity and make use of valves to prevent the blood from flowing downwards. When the valves do not function properly, the blood begins to pool and the veins expand, creating bulging varicose veins. This occurs most frequently in the veins in the lower legs, since they have to work much harder to move the blood against gravity and the body’s own weight to the heart.

What do arteries do?

Arteries are the roadways that provide our organs with substances they need to survive and function. These essential vessels carry oxygenated blood from the heart to all the tissues of the human body.

The heart pumps the blood through the arteries, increasing pressure inside to move the blood in a single direction. Arteries can maintain that high blood pressure due to their strong lining and flexible walls that allow for the additional push of blood. Because of this unique design and the assistance they receive from the heart, they do not need valves to prevent backflow.

Our Vulnerable Veins

Because arteries do not need valves to keep blood moving efficiently, they are not prone to the same issues veins are. Valves tend to break down as the body ages, which can be exacerbated by weight gain, smoking and a sedentary lifestyle. Veins also transport blood largely upwards, creating additional strain on those tiny valves that can lead to damage and the backflow of blood into the vessel.

Veins are a crucial part of the human anatomy. Unfortunately, they are vulnerable to damage, leading to the unsightly appearance of spider and varicose veins. When left unchecked, these swollen vessels can also cause fatigue in the legs, pain, aching and skin changes. The longer varicose veins go untreated, the harder they can be to treat successfully.

If bulging, unsightly or painful veins have disrupted your life in any way, give the Vein Centers of Florida and South Baldwin a call today. We offer full vein assessments and a variety of minimally-invasive treatment options to eliminate unattractive, uncomfortable spider and varicose veins. You can reach our Pensacola location at 850-607-7570, our Destin location at 850-837-443 and our Foley location at 251-971-8346.

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.

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.

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.

Winter and Your Veins

February 14, 2017

Winter and Your VeinsYou may not be giving your veins much thought this season, as cooler temperatures allow you to hide unsightly, visible veins under tights and pants. However, out of sight and out of mind won’t give you the sexy, vein-free legs you want when warm weather rolls around again. In addition, if those swollen vessels are causing physical symptoms like pain and swelling, you are destined to suffer all winter long if you don’t seek treatment for your condition sooner rather than later. Fortunately, there are plenty of good reasons to use the winter months to treat those unattractive, uncomfortable varicose veins.

 

Time to Treat, Time to Heal

Vein treatments have come a long way since invasive surgical procedures. Today’s procedures are performed on an outpatient basis and often require no anesthesia. In most cases, patients are able to return to their daily activities as soon as treatment is completed. These procedures have proven just as effective as surgery, if not more so, with less trauma to the body and less disruption to the patient’s schedule.

When you decide to move forward with your vein treatment during the winter months, you may find the scheduling at Vein Center of Florida is much more flexible. With fewer people thinking about their veins this time of year, appointment times may be more available than in the spring when there is a rush to get those legs summer-ready. In addition, treating veins in the winter offers ample time for healing if you do experience any side effects like bruising or swelling after your procedure.

The Sun Factor
Most of our vein treatments at Vein Center of Florida require you to keep your treated legs out of the sun for a few days. UV rays can affect healing after your procedure, which could mean skin discoloration for some patients. By treating your veins during the winter, it is much easier to keep your legs out of direct sunlight until they are fully healed.

Goodbye Symptoms!

You may not see your varicose veins during the winter season, but if you suffer discomfort as a result of your swollen vessels, you will certainly know they are there. Pain, restless legs and swelling of the lower leg and foot are common symptoms associated with varicose veins and a sign your vein disorder may be progressing. By seeking treatment now, you will enjoy relief from those uncomfortable symptoms, sometimes as soon as your procedure is over. Whether you spend your season participating in winter sports or simply curling up by the fire, the relief you experience with significantly increase your quality of life.

Multiple Treatment Options

The Vein Center of Florida & South Baldwin offers a variety of vein treatments, which allows us to tailor your procedure to your specific needs. Dr. Jimenez will discuss your concerns with you and perform a complete evaluation of your veins before determining which procedure will work the best for you. All of our treatments feature excellent, long-lasting results for our patients, ensuring each person we treat enjoys full satisfaction from their procedure.

 

Don’t let varicose veins affect your winter season. Contact the Vein Center of Florida & South Baldwin today at 800-910-8346 to find out which vein treatment is the right one for you.

Are You at Risk for Spider Veins?

February 7, 2017

Risk for Spider VeinsNo one welcomes the appearance of those visible networks of lines known as spider veins. Why do some people get them and others don’t? While there is no way to tell for sure if you will develop spider veins at some point, there are some factors that put you at higher risk they will make an appearance. Some of those risk factors are under your control, while others you won’t be able to do much about.

The Problem with Genetics

One of the biggest factors influencing whether you will develop spider veins (and one that you can’t control, unfortunately) is your family history. If one or both of your parents have spider veins, you are much more likely to get them as well. This may be due to the fact that spider veins can appear because of faulty veins, particularly the hard-working veins in the lower legs. Weak veins may be a family trait, which increases your odds for those visible vein networks.

The Hormone Factor

There is a reason why spider veins tend to appear around pregnancy or menopause. The small, superficial veins of the body can be vulnerable to the hormonal fluctuations that accompany these events. During pregnancy, the problem can become even more pronounced as the expanding belly puts additional stress on vessels. Some women also find spider veins make an appearance when they begin taking hormone replacement therapy.

The Link to Your Weight

There is a definite association between visible spider veins, weight gain and a sedentary lifestyle. When you don’t work your legs regularly, the calf muscles don’t provide the support the lower leg veins need to move blood back up the legs to the heart. This can allow the vessels to wear out or become damaged over time. When you pack on a few extra pounds, the additional weight further stresses the veins and increases the odds they will swell and become visible on the skin’s surface.

How Your Job Plays a Role

Even your occupation can have an impact on whether you will eventually see those unsightly spider veins appear. Professionals that log long hours on their feet, such as hair stylists, flight attendants and healthcare workers, put a lot of wear and tear on the lower leg veins, increasing the odds they might become damaged over time. By the same token, people that work behind a desk all day may also be at higher risk, since their calf muscles are never working to give the lower leg veins the support they need.

Sun Dangers

Stress on the veins is not the only reasons spider veins appear. Veins can also become visible due to too much sun exposure. The UV rays can damage the skin around the vessel, making the vein more apparent. This problem is particularly prevalent in fair-skinned individuals that are already more vulnerable to sun damage overall. In addition to spider veins appearing on the legs, this problem can result in the formation of the visible vessels on the arms and face.

Treatment Options

Fortunately, you don’t have to live with unattractive spider veins forever. If they do appear, there are a number of effective and minimally-invasive procedures that will eradicate those vein networks. At the Vein Center of Florida & South Baldwin, we offer proven therapies like sclerotherapy and endovenous laser ablation to eliminate those vessels from the inside out. These procedures are performed on an outpatient basis and patients are usually able to return to their regular activities immediately following treatment.

If you have spider veins you would like to eliminate, contact the Vein Center of Florida & South Baldwin today at 800-910-8346 to find out which vein treatment is right for you.

Are Spider Veins Only a Cosmetic Issue?

April 27, 2016

Are Spider Veins Only a Cosmetic Issue?

Spider veins are visible networks of veins that often appear on the thighs, behind the knees or along the calves. They can also appear on the arms or even on the face around the nose and cheeks. These red, blue or purple lines may form a pattern similar to a spider’s web. Because the networks can grow rather large, spider veins can become a fairly significant cosmetic problem. Do the problems associated with spider veins also extend beyond their aesthetic concerns?

What Causes Spider Veins?

There are a number of factors that can go into the formation of spider veins. Some of those include:

  • Heredity
  • Sun exposure
  • Hormonal fluctuations
  • Some medical conditions
  • Some types of medications
  • Trauma to the skin

When spider veins appear on the legs, particularly the lower legs, another cause may also be involved. A venous condition known as venous reflux occurs when there is damage to the vessels that prevents blood from flowing through them as efficiently. This can lead to blood refluxing back into the vessel, which leads to weakening and swelling over time. If the condition is left unchecked, spider or varicose veins can appear.

Dangers of Venous Reflux

When spider veins are caused by venous reflux, the underlying condition can worsen over time. As blood continues to pool inside the vessels, you may notice your legs feel tired or achy by the end of the day. Some spider vein sufferers also experience leg cramps or restless legs, particularly at night when they try to go to sleep. The increased pressure inside the vessel can also create problems on the skin, such as itching or burning around the area of the spider veins.

Spider veins can also become a greater cosmetic concern as the networks may enlarge and become more noticeable. Whether you are experiencing physical symptoms with your spider veins or simply feel uncomfortable with their appearance, there are options for treating these veins relatively quickly and painlessly today.

Spider Vein Treatment Options

At The Vein Center of Florida & South Baldwin, we offer a number of minimally-invasive treatments that allow us to customize your treatment to your specific condition. Sclerotherapy, an injectable procedure that treats spider veins from the inside out, continues to be a top choice in spider vein treatment for many of our patients. This procedure uses a fine needle to inject a special solution directly into the visible vein, which causes the vessel to seal closed. The vein is reabsorbed by the body, while blood is rerouted to healthy veins nearby.

Sclerotherapy takes just a few minutes to complete in most cases and does not require any type of anesthesia. Patients may experience a mild burning sensation as the solution goes into the vein, but this only lasts for a minute or two. After treatment, you will be able to return to your regular activities right away, without any telltale signs you just had a vein treatment done.

The results of sclerotherapy will continue to improve in the days and weeks following your procedure. Some patients will need more than one sclerotherapy session to achieve full results. However, once those results are obtained, they should be permanent since the vein is destroyed completely. If additional spider veins develop, they can also be treated with additional sclerotherapy injections.


If you are dealing with embarrassing, painful spider veins, don’t suffer any longer. Contact The Vein Center of Florida & South Baldwin today at 800-910-8346 to find out which vein treatment is the right one for you.

Say Goodbye to Spider Veins Before the Holidays!

November 25, 2015

Goodbye veins for the holidays
Spider veins can be a real cosmetic nuisance, particularly during this time of year when holiday parties are in full swing. If you are embarrassed about the appearance of spider veins on your legs, Dr. Jimenez at the Vein Center of Florida & South Baldwin can help. He offers one of the most reliable vein treatments available today at his Pensacola, Destin and Foley offices, giving patients the smoother, clearer look they are hoping for.

What are Spider Veins?
Spider veins are small, superficial veins that usually develop as red or blue networks on the skin’s surface. They get their name from their appearance, which might resemble a spider’s web. Spider veins are caused by many different factors, including heredity, hormonal changes, sun exposure and skin trauma. In most cases, these veins are not accompanied by any symptoms. However, some patients may begin to experience heaviness and pain in their lower legs, particularly at the end of the day, which can be attributed to spider veins.

What is Cosmetic Sclerotherapy?
Cosmetic sclerotherapy is an injectable treatment that has been used for decades to eliminate unsightly and sometimes uncomfortable spider veins. This procedure delivers a special solution known as a sclerosing agent directly into the affected vein. The solution irritates the lining of the vessel, causing it to seal shut. The vein is eventually reabsorbed by the body and blood is rerouted through healthy veins nearby.

How does it Work?
Sclerotherapy is a relatively quick procedure that may take just a few minutes to complete, depending on the number of vessels to be treated. No anesthesia is required and most patients report little discomfort during the procedure. All sclerotherapy is performed by Dr. Jimenez right in our office. After treatment, patients are usually able to return to their daily activities immediately.

Will I See Results by Christmas?
Sclerotherapy can offer quick results for superficial veins, with some patients achieving desired results in just one treatment session. However, more stubborn veins or larger networks may require more than one treatment session to eradicate them. Dr. Jimenez usually recommends spacing those treatment sessions about 4-6 weeks apart to allow for full healing of the treatment area and the best possible results.

Don’t start the holiday season feeling self-conscious about your spider veins. Now is the perfect time to contact Vein Center of Florida & South Baldwin and find out how we can help you say goodbye to those bothersome veins for good. Contact us today at 800-910-8346.