Woman with varicose veins applying compression bandageWhat are compression socks?

Compression stockings are specialized socks that cover from your ankle to your knee and sometimes as high as your thigh. The socks are tight and provide graduated pressure up the leg. Compression socks or stockings are pretty effective for treating a certain type of disorders such as varicose veins, chronic circulatory diseases, diabetics, chronic venous insufficiency, lymphedema, thrombosis and many other types of conditions, the purpose of the compression sock is to help reduce the edema of the legs, to prevent blood pooling, to help improve circulation and help reduce the risk of blood clot formation.

If you have been advised by your doctor to wear compression stockings, then you should probably ensure that you wear them each day – unless you’ve been instructed otherwise. Along with helping to prevent harmful and dangerous blood clots from forming, they are also sometimes used by individuals who have chronic venous insufficiency or have difficulties with varicose veins. Those who are known to have lymphedema or anyone suffering from post-phlebitis syndrome are also advised to wear them.

People who are diabetic will sometimes wear compression stockings in order to help prevent the occurrence of leg ulcers or to heal them.

If you have been diagnosed with chronic venous insufficiency, compression stockings could be a huge benefit to you and your personal health. They are often worn for this condition because it causes the veins in the legs to be unable to pump the right amount of blood back to the heart. This can cause the legs and ankles to swell up; compression stockings help to reduce the amount of swelling that occurs.

If you suffer from varicose veins, you will typically have enlarged veins that may be swollen after you’ve been on your feet for a lengthy period of time. These veins can be very painful and can also be connected with various other blood circulation problems. People who have varicose veins will wear these stockings on a daily basis – as a treatment for their condition.

Lymphedema is a condition where arms or legs will swell up due to blockages in the body that do not allow the lymph fluids to drain in the correct manner. Individuals with this condition will wear these stockings at night and also elevate their legs in order to reduce the amount of swelling that occurs.

The socks should be removed at night time or when sleeping and that is recommended that socks should be put on before getting out of the bed in the morning and be worn throughout the day, one should also rest and elevate the foot and leg area to reduce pain and inflammation, to wear compression socks will depend on the patient’s condition and also the risk of developing blood clots, some conditions require a long-term solution or even a lifelong use. There are no known complications with wearing compression stockings; however, there will be a sustainable amount of time before completely adjusting. You might complain of warm legs if wearing the socks in hot weather all day long. If you have an increased risk of forming blood clots in the leg, you should wear the stockings all day, removing them at night. For those with varicose veins and venous ulcers, they should be worn for years.

needle phobia

Practically anyone can experience needle phobia. The correct medical name is trypanophobia – an irrational and often intense fear of hypodermic needles or injections – though it is regularly labeled belonephobia; this term is incorrect since it denotes a fear of pins and needles, without reference to the medical aspects.

If you suffer from one or some of these symptoms whenever you begin to think about a needle, then there is the chance you have to some degree, a needle phobia.

 

  • Shortness of breath
  • Heart palpitations or accelerated heart rate
  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Sweating
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness or light-headedness
  • Fear of loss of control
  • Hot or cold flashes
  • Fear of fainting
  • And, even a fear of dying in some cases

 

The first important thing you need to know

The first important thing you need to know is that fear of needles is a learned behavior and this means that it is something you can overcome. People are born with only two built-in fears and they are the fear of sudden loud noises and the fear of falling. All the other fears are learned behaviors and because of this, you can overcome the fear. Your brain is a learning machine that works constantly trying to make sense of the world and to protect you. Because conscious thinking takes time and in some situations, a second or two thinking could make the difference between danger and safety your brain is designed to learn and protect you. So if it has learned a fear rather than being a conscious process it is something that runs at an unconscious level or in other words rather than thinking about it you just do it. And although in many situations this is very useful there are some situations where you need to be able to over-ride the learned response.

 

How to overcome the fear of needles?

 

In order to overcome your fear of needles, you need to do several simple things to overcome the fear and teach your brain a new response. Generally, the majority of people with a fear of needles can overcome the fear or phobia in just a couple of appointments and in some cases just one appointment. What we are looking to do is break the old learned response and to create a new more useful response.

When someone has a fear of needles particularly a strong fear it’s not uncommon to find that everything about how they think about it and perceive it is built around and on the idea of being scared. And unfortunately by doing that they are unwittingly re-enforcing their own fear. Most people with a fear of needles don’t wait until the injection is being done to start feeling scared. Typically they will start feeling afraid of hours, days, or weeks in advance. Now if you think about it if you are feeling anxious before the injection has started then obviously it’s actually not the needle causing it. That would be like the food making you feel sick before you eat it.

 

The first thing you have to do

 

So the first thing is to start paying attention to how you are thinking about it. Because we all have thoughts going through our minds all day long most people are consciously unaware of how they are thinking about things. Many people reading this will be hearing the words inside their heads as they read. We all think things to ourselves inside our head but have you ever taken the time to notice how you are thinking about something and whether your internal dialogue sounds calm and relaxed or anxious? When you think about having an injection do you imagine yourself there being calm and relaxed, anxious, or even panicky? Do you see yourself there in your mind’s eye picturing what things may look like or do you see what you’d see through your own eyes in the experience?

No matter how you are thinking about it they are your thoughts. And because they are your thoughts you can change how you think about needles.

 

Your brain responds literally

 

Your brain responds very literally. So if you are making scary pictures inside your mind your brain will respond to those images. The bigger they are and the more realistic they look the stronger the emotional response generated by your neurology. Also looking at them from the perspective of what it would look like in the experience, in other words, what you’d actually see through your own eyes in the experience will produce a stronger emotional response compared to watching yourself there from the perspective of what you’d see if someone had videoed it and you were watching it back on TV. Now notice what happens when you not only watch yourself there but also reduce the size of the image, put a border or frame around the image, make the colors look faded, and drain the detail out. What’s happened to the feelings that were associated with that image? Obviously there is a bit more to it than this but the important thing to realize is that your fear of needles isn’t who you are it’s something you do. Its behavior and behaviors can be changed quicker than you may think.

 

 

 

is laser vein treatment right for meVein Stripping v Laser Vein Treatment: Out with the Old, In with the New

A surgical procedure known as vein stripping used to be the most effective means of eliminating unattractive veins such as spider veins (telangiectasia’s), blue veins (reticular veins), and varicose veins. While posing a mostly cosmetic concern, these undesirable veins dampen self-confidence and can itch and hurt when they become severe. Laser’s vein removal including radiofrequency ablation, sclerotherapy, and endovenous therapy has now eased surgery off as the treatment of choice because it is fast, permanent, and nearly painless. No general anesthetic is needed because the procedure is minimally invasive only, and each session takes as short as 20 minutes.

Typical Method of Laser Vein Removal

The typical method of laser vein removal entails beams or pulses of laser energy being fired onto a target vein. Using a greater degree of heat, they shut off vein walls to stop blood from flowing until the destroyed veins shrink and are re-assimilated into the body in a period of three to six weeks. Medical school taught technicians can administer the treatment without any risk of scalding the bordering skin or killing local tissue. They are trained to supplement the procedure with cooling, whether using a cooling gel or chilled air from the laser instrument, so the patient feels as little stinging as possible.

Best Benefits from Laser Vein Treatment

Spider veins receive the best benefits of light-based or laser treatment because they are smaller and easier to diminish. No more than 10% of blood is channeled through these superficial veins so the disappearance of some has no ill effects on the body. Affected skin areas clear up and blood is redirected to healthier veins, resulting in more youthful-looking and evenly colored skin. Those who are prone to keloid formation are not advised to get any laser treatment on the skin.

Varicose veins necessitated a more invasive treatment that may involve the help of a vein care specialist, specifically, a Phlebologist. The use of anesthesia is required for cutting skin so a small tube can be slotted into the body for focusing laser energy on larger deep veins. Just about any restoration clinic or rejuvenating spa today can conduct laser vein removal for spider veins as capably as performing cellulite injections, wrinkles, or tattoo removal.

Laser Varicose Vein Surgery Treatment

Laser Vein treatments called EVLT treatments that utilize Endovenous Laser Treatment (EVLT) technology. EVLT treatment is covered by most health insurance plans and enables women and men of all ages to eliminate aching, throbbing, unsightly veins without conventional leg vein surgery such as varicose vein stripping. Treatment is quick and easy and requires no lengthy recovery.

Patient satisfaction with EVLT treatments is high. This treatment can be performed on an outpatient basis under local anesthesia and has the following advantages:

 Excellent aesthetic results
 Short procedure time
 Little downtime
 Minimal discomfort

What kind of Veins can be treated with EVLT laser treatments?

This is a treatment for the Greater Saphenous vein. This major superficial vein of the leg when incompetent is responsible for the development of most varicose veins. EVLT is an effective alternative to traditional surgical stripping of the Greater Saphenous vein.

Will all my veins be gone?

Most moderate to severe varicose veins are usually caused by venous reflux of the saphenous veins. You have two saphenous veins in each leg: a large one and a smaller one. Venous reflux is when blood flows backward towards your feet instead of towards your heart where it is supposed to flow. The result is blood pooling in your lower extremities, raising the pressure and making the vein bulge out and distend. Venous reflux is a medical condition that can result in pain, swelling, and open ulcers in the legs as well as tired and “heavy” feeling legs. Smaller varicose veins can be corrected with Sclerotherapy for cosmetic enhancement purposes.

Who is a candidate for Laser Vein Treatments?

Providing you are a candidate for treatment, the medical technician will arrange for a completely non-invasive mapping ultrasound which will be performed in an office. The ultrasound will show the effected saphenous veins and provide a ”map’ for the physician on the day of treatment.

What is the Laser Vein treatment like?

On the day of your laser vein treatment, a local anesthetic will be applied to the length of the vein to make the treatment virtually painless. With the assistance of ultrasound technology, a thin laser fiber will be threaded through a very small entry point, usually near the knee. Once inserted, targeted laser energy will be delivered inside the saphenous vein wall, closing the vein so that blood can be re-routed. The treatment takes about 1-3 hours and normal daily activities can be resumed immediately following the treatment with little to no discomfort. Treatment time can be under 1 hour, performed in an outpatient setting.

Does Insurance cover EVLT?

Most health insurance plans cover the cost of the ultrasound mapping appointment and a large percentage of the cost of the endovenous laser treatments needed. The amount of coverage depends on your health care policy. However, insurance will not cover any fees associated with sclerotherapy for cosmetic refinement. You may need to speak to your insurance company to make sure you are pre-approved.

What happens after Laser Vein treatment?

You will be able to return to your normal routine. Walking is encouraged for the next 3 – 4 days. The treated leg may feel slightly tender and you may experience some bruising and a feeling of tightness. Any discomfort should lessen in just a few days. Daytime compression hose is recommended for two weeks. With no large scars, there is minimal to no down time.

After treatment, blood no longer flows through the enlarged veins and the pooling of venous blood no longer occurs. The treated leg appears smooth and glowing again. Ready to be shown, again!

chronic veinous insufficiency in the lower legChronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI) is a condition wherein the leg veins are not able to pump enough blood back to the heart. It is caused by congenital absence of or damage to venous valves; venous incompetence from thrombi; and thrombi formation that is primarily caused by venous stasis, hypercoagulability, and endothelial trauma, collectively known as Virchow triad. This makes it more difficult for blood in the legs to return to the heart, which may lead the blood to pool in the leg veins, which may appear as varicose veins. The condition may come with various symptoms and may even lead some individuals to feel embarrassed due to the often unsightly appearance of varicose veins.

Risk factors for developing chronic venous insufficiency include deep vein thrombosis, obesity, pregnancy, family history of varicose veins, existing varicose veins, inactivity, smoking, being female, being over the age of 50, and those who go through extended periods of sitting or standing. It is important to recognize these risk factors and take proper steps that may help avoid the condition. This may be as simple as getting up to stretch one’s legs periodically at work or taking a minute or two to sit down if standing for an extended period. A doctor may offer specific advice depending on the risk factors present.

People with CVI have varicose veins due to the increased venous pressure on the legs. Complaints of leg discomfort are common primarily due to venous hypertension from prolonged standing. Patients would describe this as a burning sensation, dull ache, or heaviness in the legs. Leg edema is also present due to the damage in the capillary membranes. Skin changes in the legs can also be seen due to capillary proliferation, fat necrosis, and fibrosis of the skin and subcutaneous tissues. The skin appears reddish or brown due to hemosiderin deposition. Skin ulcers are often seen due to poor blood flow to the lower extremities.

As the seriousness of this condition may increase with time, it is important to see a doctor upon noticing any of the symptoms of the condition. Symptoms may include swelling in the lower legs or ankles (especially after sitting or standing for prolonged periods); aching in the legs; tiredness in the legs; newly appeared varicose veins; skin on the legs or feet begins to flake and/or itch; stasis ulcers; and skin that appears leathery on the legs. Waiting for these symptoms to go away will not be effective, so it is important to see a doctor immediately, as early treatment of the condition may lead to better results.

Chronic venous insufficiency is most easily treated when it is recognized in an early stage. Treatment may vary depending on the particular circumstances and some doctors may recommend a combination of treatment. Individuals may be encouraged to avoid long periods of standing or sitting, exercise on a regular basis, lose weight if they are overweight, elevate their legs above the heart, and wear compression stockings and practice good hygiene-especially when it comes to the skin. Some may be given antibiotics to treat any skin infections.

There are also surgical or minimally-invasive treatments available such as sclerotherapy; endovenous laser ablation, vein stripping or ligation, vein bypass, and others. Vein ligation is indicated for patients with severe leg pain, skin ulcers due to poor venous blood flow, and thickening and hardening of the skin in the affected leg. Sclerotherapy is also used to manage CVI; where the physician injects a strong chemical to the affected veins, scarring the abnormal vein, which results in the inability of the veins to fill with blood. The blood will then be returned back to the heart using other veins. Ablation can also be done where a catheter is inserted into the varicose vein, heating its walls and destroying the vein tissue.

Whether these surgical or minimally-invasive options may be helpful is something that should be discussed with a physician.

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Grand Junction Vein Center

2373 G Road #280
Grand Junction, Colorado. 81505
On the second floor of the Canyonview Medical Plaza
Tel: 970-242-VEIN (8346)