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It's Not Just in Vein

Over 50 percent of Americans suffer from some type of venous disorder. The most common types are varicose and spider veins. Recent advances in the treatment of varicose and spider veins have made it possible to treat these diseased veins safer, with quicker recovery and better outcomes.

Varicose veins are enlarged veins that can be flesh colored, dark purple or blue. They can look like cords or ropes and can appear twisted and bulging. This is a sign that the circulation returning blood to the heart may not be flowing properly. Varicose veins are usually found on the backs of calves or on the inside of the leg. Leg veins have the tough job of carrying blood back to the heart against the force of gravity and the pressure of body.

The squeezing of leg muscles pumps blood back to the heart from the lower body. Veins have valves that act as one-way flaps to prevent blood from flowing backwards as it moves up the leg. If one of these valves becomes weak, blood can leak back into the vein and collect there. Pooled blood enlarges the vein and it becomes varicose. Spider veins can also be caused by the back up of blood.

Varicose veins usually enlarge and worsen over time and can cause other health problems. Early treatment is important because the risk of phlebitis (inflammation of the vein), blood clots and skin ulcers increases if varicose veins go untreated.

Spider veins are similar to varicose veins, but are smaller. They are frequently red or blue and are closer to the surface of the skin. Spider veins are usually found on the legs or face.

The Vein Treatment Center at Indiana Regional Medical Center offers state-of-the-art treatment for varicose and spider veins. The type of treatment recommended at the consultation will depend on the results of an ultrasound scan and the location and size and type of vein disorder. One option is sclerotherapy which involves injection of a solution into the vein and is often used in conjunction with laser. This is considered the gold standard of care for the treatment of small to moderate sized leg veins according to The American College of Phlebology. Laser ablation is used for some varicose and spider veins. The Vein Treatment Center at IRMC has the newest laser equipment available. The laser treatment has shown to have very high success rates with few side effects.

Advances in vein treatment has made most vein procedures minimally invasive with minimal recovery time and no need for hospitalization.

Treatment of varicose veins is not considered a cosmetic procedure and is often covered under health insurance. The potential problems resulting from the damaged veins may make it a medically necessary procedure in the eyes of many major insurances carriers. Some healthcare insurances require the wearing of compression stockings prior to any invasive procedure.

Contributing Factors for Varicose & Spider Veins

  • Pregnancy
  • Age
  • Hormonal changes
  • Obesity
  • Leg Injury
  • History of blood clots
  • Family history
  • Occupations that require long periods of standing or sitting

Reduce your chances of getting varicose & spider veins

  • Wear sunscreen to protect your skin
  • Exercise regularly to improve your leg strength, circulation & vein strength.
  • Focus on exercises that work your legs
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Do not cross your legs when sitting
  • Elevate your legs when resting as much as possible
  • Do not stand or sit for long periods of time. If you must stand for a long time, shift your weight from one leg to the other every few minutes. If you must sit for long periods of time, stand up and move around or take a short walk every 30 minutes.
  • Wear elastic support stockings and avoid tight clothing that constricts your waist, groin, or legs
  • Eat a low salt diet rich in high-fiber foods

For more information or to schedule a no obligation consultation, please call: The Vein Treatment Center at Indiana Regional Medical Center at 724.357.8147.

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