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.

Summer is Coming: Are Your Legs Ready?

March 2, 2016

Summer is Coming: Are Your Legs Ready?” width=Florida temperatures are still fairly chilly, but that doesn’t mean warmer weather isn’t on its way. When the thermometer starts to rise, will your legs be ready for shorts season? If your answer is “no” because of unsightly varicose or spider veins, perhaps now is the time to check out the treatments available to help you greet summer with style and confidence. At Vein Center of Florida & South Baldwin, we are ready to give you a hand with your summer preparations, with vein treatments to eliminate those swollen vessels and give you smoother, more appealing legs for the season.

A Common Problem

The American Society for Vascular Surgery estimates that 20-25 million adults in the U.S. suffer with varicose veins. Those numbers add up to around 33 percent of women and 17 percent of men. More people in the U.S. miss work for problems with varicose veins and other vein disorders than for arterial disease.

Varicose veins become more common as people age. As many as half of all Americans age 70 and over may have at least a few varicose veins. Although the condition may be quite common, that does not make it less embarrassing for those with protruding vessels that make them self-conscious about wearing shorts and bathing suits.

Causes of Spider Veins

Spider veins are usually smaller than varicose veins and close to the surface of the skin. However, these visible vessels often appear in networks that resemble a spider’s web. The network can become quite large, often creating as much of a cosmetic embarrassment as varicose veins. There are many reasons why spider veins might develop, including:

  • Heredity
  • Hormonal fluctuations
  • Some types of medication
  • Sun exposure or damage
  • Trauma to the skin

Causes of Varicose Veins

Varicose veins are frequently caused by an underlying vein condition known as venous insufficiency, which occurs when tiny valves inside the veins wear out and affect blood flow through the vessels. Risk factors for this condition include:

  • Heredity
  • Significant weight gain
  • Older age
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Prolonged periods of sitting or standing

No matter what the cause of your spider or varicose veins might be, the treatment options are the same. These procedures remove the swollen, visible vessels from the body, creating a clearer, smoother look to the skin. If risk factors remain after treatment, there is a chance additional varicose veins can develop in the future. For this reason, it is important for patients to address those risks whenever possible to reduce the likelihood of additional veins developing.

Dealing with Symptoms

Spider veins are not typically accompanied by many symptoms. However, varicose veins can become symptomatic and quite uncomfortable at times. Common symptoms of varicose veins include aching, swelling and cramping of the lower legs. Some sufferers might also notice changes to the skin around the vein, due to changes in blood flow to the area. These skin changes can also cause significant embarrassment, particularly in the summer months when skin-baring clothing becomes the norm.

Treatment Options

The good news is that there are a number of treatments to eliminate varicose veins, including their unsightly appearance and their uncomfortable symptoms. At Vein Center of Florida & South Baldwin, we offer a variety of minimally-invasive treatments that allow us to customize your procedure to your specific needs. All of our treatments involve little or no discomfort and patients are usually able to return to regular activities as soon as the procedure is over.

Don’t let spider or varicose veins get in the way of your summer fun. Contact Vein Center of Florida & South Baldwin today at 800-910-8346 to learn about your choices in vein treatment and find out which procedure is right for you.

5 Reasons to Consider EVLT this Year

February 17, 2016

Consider EVLTIf you are dreading the upcoming spring season due to bulging, painful varicose veins, we have good news for you. Minimally-invasive treatments are now available to eliminate those unsightly vessels and their uncomfortable symptoms. At Vein Center of Florida & South Baldwin, we offer a variety of varicose vein procedures that will give you clearer, more beautiful legs without a major disruption to your daily life. Check out these five reasons why one of those procedures, endovenous laser therapy or EVLT, might be the right option for you.

Modern Technology

EVLT utilizes laser energy to seal varicose veins closed so they collapse. The vessels are reabsorbed by the body over time and blood naturally reroutes to healthy veins nearby. The laser heat is delivered into the vessel using a narrow fiber, so discomfort, bleeding and bruising is kept to a minimum. Lasers are a common tool used in both cosmetic and medical treatments today, so their safety and efficacy have been well documented.

Minimally-Invasive

Unlike surgical procedures of the past that involved significant discomfort and recovery time, procedures like EVLT are considered minimally invasive. This means they can be performed right in our office in less than one hour using local anesthesia, reducing patient risk and discomfort. Patients are usually encouraged to get up and walk around immediately following their procedure and there is no recovery period after treatment to worry about.

Safe and Effective

With many years of use now under its belt, the safety and efficacy of EVLT has been well documented. Clinical studies have shown the procedure is around 98-percent effective in eliminating varicose veins, which is comparable to most of the other varicose vein treatments today. In addition, the ability to perform the procedure using local anesthesia has greatly reduced anesthesia-related risks that were common with more invasive surgical procedures.

No More Symptoms

In addition to the cosmetic benefits seen with EVLT, patients report a significant reduction or even complete elimination of symptoms like pain, leg cramping, heaviness in the legs and swelling of the lower leg and foot. In some cases, relief from these symptoms was seen almost immediately following treatment. In addition, patients with symptomatic varicose veins may find they qualify for insurance coverage for EVLT if their symptoms are well documented.

Permanent Results without Scarring

EVLT, like other veins procedures today, offers permanent elimination of varicose veins and their uncomfortable symptoms. Because the procedure uses narrow fibers to deliver laser energy directly into the vessel, treatment involves micro incisions that require no sutures and lead to no scarring after treatment. This is good news for patients that are looking for a way to eliminate unattractive varicose veins to give them greater confidence in shorts and swim suits.

At Vein Center of Florida & South Baldwin, we offer EVLT as one of our treatment options for our patients. This procedure typically takes less than one hour to complete and patients are usually able to return to their daily activities as soon as treatment is over. Results will be seen right away and continue to improve as the vein is reabsorbed by the body and disappears completely from sight.

Don’t dread the upcoming spring season because of unsightly, uncomfortable varicose veins. Contact Vein Center of Florida & South Baldwin today at 800-910-8346 to find out which vein treatment is right for you.

Vein Benefits of Meeting Weight Loss Goals

February 2, 2016

“Vein Benefits of Meeting Weight Loss GoalsDid you start 2016 with the resolution of finally shedding those extra pounds? If you are sticking with that goal, you may find the benefits of weight loss are even more far-reaching than you think. Even your veins may reap the advantages of a lighter body, particularly if you have swollen, tortuous veins that are causing you significant discomfort and embarrassment. At Vein Center of Florida & South Baldwin, we have some very good reasons why weight loss might be very good for your veins.

The Problem of Varicose Veins

Varicose veins are a visible problem that often start far below the surface. Veins are responsible for carrying deoxygenated blood back to the heart. Tiny valves inside the vessels keep the blood moving in a single direction. When those valves become damaged, blood can pool inside the vein, causing swelling and varicosity.

Once a vein is damaged it cannot correct itself. If it is left unchecked over time, the condition can worsen and cause uncomfortable painful symptoms. Aching, leg cramps and swelling can become severe enough to keep you from enjoying certain activities and the embarrassment of the veins can prevent you from wearing certain types of clothing.

How Weight Affects Your Veins

Your lower leg veins are more vulnerable to this sort of damage because they are taxed with the difficult job of moving blood against gravity back to the heart. When you gain weight, it adds additional strain to the lower leg vessels, increasing their risk for damage. If you gain weight after the varicose veins have already developed, the additional pounds can increase your risk for developing physical symptoms with your veins.

The Weight Loss Solution

Weight loss is an excellent way to relieve some of the stress on your overworked veins in your lower legs. Losing weight before you develop varicose veins may actually decrease the likelihood they will develop in the future. If you lose weight after the veins have begun to protrude, you can lessen your chances for developing painful symptoms or reduce the discomfort of symptoms that have already appeared.

When Varicose Veins Get in the Way of Your Weight Loss

Unfortunately, painful varicose veins can sometimes get in the way of your weight loss efforts. If leg fatigue and pain are keeping you from adhering to a consistent exercise program, you may need to seek out vein treatment before you can reach your weight loss goals. Fortunately, there are a number of minimally-invasive vein treatments today that can eliminate those unsightly vessels and their symptoms without putting a major crimp into your daily life.

At the Vein Center of Florida & South Baldwin, we offer a variety of treatments to eliminate both spider and varicose veins. Laser technology, injectable treatments and minimally-invasive procedures have replaced surgical vein treatments of the past that resulted in significant discomfort and lengthy recovery periods. All of our procedures are performed on an outpatient basis and patients are often able to return to their daily activities as soon as treatment is over.

If varicose veins are keeping you from achieving your weight loss goals, don’t suffer any longer. Contact Vein Center of Florida & South Baldwin today at 800-910-8346 to find out which vein treatment is the right one for you.

Vein Treatments to Get You Ready for Spring Break

January 27, 2016

“Vein Treatments to Get You Ready for Spring BreakThe temperatures outside may say it’s still winter, but spring is right around the corner. If you plan to spend time relaxing on one of our beautiful beaches, now is the time to get rid of unsightly spider and varicose veins that are interfering with your beach body and your self-confidence. At Vein Center of Florida & South Baldwin, we offer a wide range of minimally-invasive vein treatments to eliminate visible veins and their uncomfortable symptoms.

Spider Veins Begone!

Spider veins are a significant cosmetic nuisance. These vein networks usually don’t cause any symptoms but they can become noticeably large and embarrassing. Take care of those visible veins with cosmetic sclerotherapy that eliminates unattractive spider veins with simple injections of a sterile solution into the unwanted vessels. This causes them to seal closed so they can be reabsorbed by the body.

Cosmetic sclerotherapy takes just a few minutes to complete and involves little discomfort during and after the procedure. Patients are able to return to daily activities as soon as treatment is over. Within a matter of weeks, those pesky veins will fade from view.

Injections for Varicose Veins

Sclerotherapy can also sometimes be used for larger varicose veins on the lower legs. In this procedure, a thicker foam solution is injected into the vein that effectively displaces blood inside the vessel so the walls can be sealed shut. Like cosmetic sclerotherapy, the treated vessels are reabsorbed by the body while blood is rerouted through healthy veins nearby.

The foam injections are guided to the swollen vessel via non-invasive ultrasound imaging. The entire procedure takes less than 30 minutes to complete and involves little or no discomfort. Patients can return to work or other activities immediately following the procedure. Results will improve in the weeks following treatment.

Lasers “Zap” Visible Veins

Another option for larger varicose veins is a laser procedure known as endovenous laser treatment or “EVLT”. This procedure uses a narrow laser fiber, inserted directly into the vein supplying the varicose veins, to heat the vein and seal it closed. Like veins treated with sclerotherapy, the vessel will collapse so that it can be eliminated by the body’s natural processes.

EVLT involves incisions so small, there is no need for stitches. Most patients are able to return to their daily schedule immediately following treatment. The procedure typically takes 30 minutes or less, so you can zap those unwanted veins with minimal disruption to your daily life.

If you are considering vein treatment in anticipation of spring break activities, it is best to begin your treatment as soon as possible. While some patients will only require one treatment session to see great results, others may need a second treatment session about four weeks after the first to achieve full results.

If you are ready to say goodbye to unsightly spider and varicose veins, we can help. Contact the staff at Vein Center of Florida & South Baldwin at 800-910-8346 to schedule your personal consultation with Dr. Jimenez and find out how we can help you bid farewell to those visible vessels for good.

5 Resolutions to Make for Your Veins this Year

January 20, 2016

“New
New Year’s resolutions may not be a new concept to you, but have you ever considered making a resolution for healthier veins? The truth is that varicose veins are a common problem for adults over the age of 50, creating a significant cosmetic nuisance and even causing discomfort to some sufferers. By making resolutions that will benefit your veins in 2016, you may be taking the first healthy step to keeping varicose veins at bay.

Healthy Eating

Foods high in a special type of nutrient known as flavonoids can help promote healthy veins and blood flow, while possibly relieving uncomfortable symptoms of varicose veins. Flavonoids can be found in a variety of foods, including citrus fruits, berries, bananas, onions, sweet potatoes and garbanzo beans. Try to add a flavonoid-rich food or two to your diet daily to reap the greatest benefits from these power-packed nutrients.

Daily Exercise

Daily workouts of the calf muscle gives those hard-working leg veins a break from moving blood back up the body to the heart. When the calf muscles flex, they push the blood back up the vessels, reducing the risk that those veins will become damaged or wear out over time. Low-impact exercise like walking, swimming and biking tend to be the best options.

Comfortable Clothing Options

Did you know the simple decision of what to wear in the morning can impact the health of your veins? When you wear clothing that constricts around the midsection, you inadvertently place more strain on the veins in the lower leg. When that pressure is constant, it may lead to damage to the vessels, which can lead to the formation of varicose veins. Choosing looser clothing allows the blood to pump freely so the veins remain healthy and strong.

Taking Breaks

Many of us have jobs that require us to sit behind a desk or remain on our feet most of the day. Both of these positions can strain the veins and lead to varicose vein formation over the long term. To alleviate that risk, take frequent breaks throughout the day to walk around and get your calf muscles flexing. You can also elevate your legs above your heart at the end of the day, giving your veins a break from pumping blood against gravity all day long.

Getting Support

If you already have varicose veins, or you have a high risk of developing them due to family history, there is an additional step you can take to keep your vein condition in check. Compression stockings offer gradient support from the feet up the leg to make it easier for your vessels to pump blood to the heart. These stockings are available over-the-counter or with a doctor’s prescription, depending on how much support you need.

If you already have varicose veins that are causing embarrassment and discomfort, perhaps 2016 is the year you finally say goodbye to those bulging vessels for good. At Vein Center of Florida & South Baldwin, we offer a variety of non-surgical vein treatments to eliminate varicose veins with minimal discomfort and downtime. To learn more, contact our office today at 800-910-8346.

What You Need to Know about DVT

January 11, 2016

“Deep
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a potentially serious condition that is sometimes associated with varicose veins. While DVT can go undetected for some time, possible complications from the condition can become life-threatening if DVT is left unchecked. The staff at Vein Center of Florida & South Baldwin wants to educate their patients about DVT to help prevent serious complications from occurring.

What is DVT?

DVT is a condition in which a blood clot forms in a deep vein of the body, usually the leg. The clot may not cause any symptoms or problems as long as it remains in its original location. However, these clots sometimes break free from their initial location and travel through the bloodstream. If they reach the lungs, it can lead to a complication known as a pulmonary embolism. Pulmonary embolisms block blood flow to the lungs. If immediate medical treatment is not provided pulmonary embolisms can result in death.

Who Gets DVT?

It is difficult to predict who will develop DVT. However, there are a few factors that can increase your risk for this condition:

  • A history of blood clots or blood clotting disorders
  • Prolonged bed rest due to illness, injury or surgery
  • Long days of travel by plane or car
  • Smoking
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Some medical conditions
  • Pregnancy
  • Taking some types of hormones

Symptoms of DVT

Many people with DVT do not know they have the condition because no noticeable symptoms are present. When symptoms do appear, they often include leg pain or swelling. If a pulmonary embolism occurs, symptoms often will become more noticeable and may include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Feeling dizzy, fainting
  • Accelerated pulse
  • Coughing up blood

These symptoms indicate a life-threatening situation is occurring and emergency medical attention is required.

Benefits of Imaging

Doctors that specialize in the treatment of varicose veins typically offer vein screenings to determine whether any underlying medical vein conditions exist. Screening tests are non-invasive and commonly utilize ultrasound technology to visualize blood flow through the vessels and scan for any possible problems. These tests can detect DVT as well as a condition known as chronic venous insufficiency or CVI. This condition is characterized by damage or weakening of the vessels and is a common cause of varicose veins.

Treatment Options

Treatment of DVT most commonly involves the use of blood thinning medications. Sometimes, more invasive procedures involving vascular catheters with “clot dissolving” medicines, inferior vena cava filters, or surgeries may be recommended.

Vein screenings help us determine why varicose veins formed and if other medical conditions exist that require treatment. The information collected from these tests also allows us to customize vein treatment to the precise needs of each patient. Once the screening is complete, treatment options for varicose veins might include injectable procedures or treatments using lasers to eliminate unsightly varicose veins without surgery.

Vein treatments today involve little discomfort and almost no downtime afterward. If you would like to learn more about how to eliminate your varicose veins and their potential complications, contact Vein Center of Florida & South Baldwin today at 800-910-8346.

If Veins are the Problem, Why is My Skin Changing?

December 30, 2015

Vein and Skin Problems
If you have suffered from varicose veins for some time, you may begin to notice changes to your skin around the area of the vessel. This can be a puzzling development; if the problem is with the veins, why is the skin changing? It is important for varicose vein sufferers to understand how and why these skin problems occur, so they can seek appropriate vein treatment before further complications arise.

Cause of Varicose Veins

To understand how skin changes can occur with varicose veins, you need to first know what causes those swollen veins to develop in the first place. Varicose veins are often a result of an underlying vein condition known as chronic venous insufficiency or CVI.

This condition occurs when veins begin to wear out or weaken, allowing blood to pool in the veins instead of getting passed up the vessel to the heart. The extra blood inside the vessel leads to weakening and swelling of the vessel and the appearance of varicose veins. It is commonly seen in the lower legs because the veins in this area have to work much harder to push blood against gravity and the body’s own weight, back to the heart. The extra work makes these veins more susceptible to damage.

CVI and Skin Problems

CVI places additional pressure inside of the veins in the lower leg. This can reduce blood flow to the skin and tissue, so those areas do not get as much of the oxygenated nutrients they need to thrive. This can lead to skin irritation and inflammation, which gradually changes the color and texture of the skin. If this condition remains unchecked, leaving the skin and tissue starved for oxygen and nutrients, the skin changes can become permanent.

Types of Skin Changes

There are a number of different skin changes that can occur as a result of CVI:

  • Redness and irritation
  • Skin may become dry and itchy around the varicose vein (known as venous dermatitis)
  • Skin color will eventually change to deep red or brown
  • Swelling can lead to hardening and tightening of skin
  • Skin texture can change, becoming thick or leathery
  • Open sores can form around the ankle (known as venous ulcers)

When significant changes begin to occur to the skin, they can become permanent in some cases. In addition, venous ulcers can grow quite large and become very challenging to treat effectively. It is best to treat varicose veins at the first sign of symptoms, to avoid these more serious changes and complications.

Seeking Treatment

If you are starting to notice irritation or skin changes around your varicose veins, do not wait to seek treatment. Fortunately, there are a number of minimally-invasive treatment options that effectively eradicate varicose veins while eliminating symptoms and potential complications. To learn more about your options in vein treatments, contact Vein Center of Florida & South Baldwin today at 800-910-8346.

Do you have risk factors of varicose veins?

March 4, 2015

What are risk factors of varicose veins?

Do you have ugly, painful, swollen varicose veins on your legs? Do you have unsightly spider veins?

If you answered “Yes” to either question, you should know these risk factors increase your chances of venous insufficiency, a progressive vein disease that only gets worse over time. The most important risk factors of vein disease include:

  • Varicose veins or a family history of varicose veins.
  • Deep vein thrombosis (DVT), which can lead to a blood clot.
  • Obesity or weight issues.
  • Pregnancy or recently pregnant.
  • Extended periods of standing, sitting or inactivity.
  • Being over age 50.
  • Being a woman – you have a higher chance of getting this disease than a man.
  • A recent injury or trauma.

If you have any of these important risk factors of vein disease, you should schedule an appointment with Dr. James Jimenez of The Vein Center of Florida and South Baldwin. After all, he performs all patient consultations, evaluations, and vein treatments himself and he’s a pioneer in Endovenous Laser Treatment (EVLT™).


For a FREE Varicose Vein Screening with a Doppler ultrasound evaluation and no doctor referral required, call 1-800-910-VEIN now.

Sincerely,
Dr. James Jimenez

The Vein Center of Florida & South Baldwin
Trust our experience. Love your results.
www.VeinCenterofFlorida.com

 

 

How To Prevent Varicose Veins

February 19, 2015

No matter where you live, unsightly varicose veins can be a hindrance on everyday life. This is especially true for people who live near the endlessly sunny beaches of Florida. Having large, visible veins can make people self-conscious when they should be enjoying themselves. The good news is that there are often easily treatable reasons for these veins, and the Vein Center of Florida specializes in their treatment.

Varicose veins are caused by veins expanding from too much blood being forced through them, making them swell and increase in size. This is often caused by things like being overweight or with age. Being heavily overweight can cause you to put more pressure on your legs than your body can handle, forcing blood into your veins form the pressure applied. On the other hand, varicose veins increase during old age regardless of weight. This is because the tissue of your veins becomes weakened, allowing it to expand easier even with normal pressure. Sometimes as a combination of these reasons, pregnant women also can experience an increase in varicose veins.

While there are many reasons for varicose veins to show up, there are also just as many countermeasures to prevent them. The key to general varicose vein health is to try not to stress your veins by overworking them in any way. If you are overweight for example, losing weight would be the first step to improving vein health. Other good tips are to try not to wear clothes that are tight enough to affect circulation, and to avoid sitting or standing for long amounts of time.

While the above advice will help improve vein health, often times it takes the skill of a specialist to make sure that your veins are not only going to improve in look and in health, but also stay that way in the future. Getting a professional opinion on the specifics of your unique vein issue is extremely important, as there are often specific procedures and plans that only a specialist can assist you with.

At the Vein Center of Florida there are many people with an intimate knowledge in the field of phlebotomy. Come in and see what we can do for you at our free screenings, and take the first step to freeing yourself from uncomfortable, ugly veins.