If you suspect that you have varicose veins or a vein specialist has confirmed the diagnosis already, the next steps are crucial for your vein and overall health. For some people, varicose veins never progress past their current state. However, others may find the symptoms become increasingly worse. Worse yet, they could indicate a more serious underlying condition. Seeking non-surgical treatment of varicose veins is sometimes your best option.

At-home care for varicose veins

At a minimum, there are things you can start doing right away to reduce the symptoms and possibly keep your varicose veins from getting worse. These at-home care practices include:

  • Wearing compression stockings to reduce swelling and aid blood flow, helping slow down their development.
  • Exercising more regularly. Swimming, walking and, running are particularly effective.
  • Cutting down on foods high in fat and sugar.

When to see a specialist about non-surgical treatment of varicose veins

If you are experiencing symptoms like itching, swelling, and tired, achy legs, it is time to seek treatment with a vein specialist. These days, there are non-invasive treatment options available that do not require extensive surgery–as long as the condition is caught in time. These options are virtually pain-free, with no downtime, so you can pick up right where you left off with your life.

Diagram of a normal functioning vein with healthy vein valves, a varicose vein with damaged vein valves and then an image of how the varicose vein looks when compressed by wearing medical-grade compression stockings.

 

The benefits of non-surgical treatment for varicose veins are many, and include:

  • Fast recovery
  • 98% success rate
  • Extremely effective
  • No hospitalization
  • No general anesthetic
  • Medicare rebates apply
  • No downtime or time away from work

The vein specialists at Grand Junction Vein Center can help determine if you are a good candidate for non-surgical treatment of varicose veins. Contact us today to schedule your consultation.

 

varicose veins bleedingInvasive varicose vein surgery is usually necessary to repair severely damaged veins. But how do you know if your varicose veins have progressed that far?

Fortunately, there are many types of varicose vein surgery. These types range from minimally invasive to invasive, which most vein doctors will recommend first. They may even recommend conservative steps like wearing compression stockings or losing weight before even considering minimally invasive or invasive surgical treatment procedures.

What’s the Difference Between Invasive and Minimally Invasive Vein Surgery?

A minimally invasive varicose vein surgery is typically an outpatient procedure performed under a small amount of local anesthetics. It usually involves making small incisions to allow access to the damaged vein.  Doctors will then use the incision to insert a small catheter. This is used to give access to a laser, radiowave, foam, or sclerosant solution being used to treat the vein.

Minimally invasive vein procedures are usually completed in under an hour. They often only require a small bandage over the incision area.

On the other end of the spectrum is invasive varicose vein surgery. This type of procedure is much more intense and is used to completely remove a damaged vein from the body.   General anesthesia is often required and recovery time is substantially longer. Roughly 10% of severe varicose vein cases result in invasive vein surgeries.

That is why early detection and treatment are so important.

If you have symptoms of varicose veins such as enlarged veins that are bluish or purplish in color, you may want to consider seeing a vein specialist.

Other signs and symptoms of varicose veins include:

Itchiness around the affected site
Feeling of heaviness on the legs
A throbbing sensation on the lower extremities
Worsening pain after sitting or standing for a long time

Call Grand Junction Vein Center at 970-242-VEIN (8346) today to set up an appointment if you are concerned about your veins. You may be avoiding a more serious condition down the road.

Varicose Vein At-Home Treatment

treat varicose veins at homeYou may be wondering: How do I treat varicose veins? Is it possible to avoid seeing a specialist? Or do I need surgery?

While some varicose veins require medical treatment, others can be managed effectively at home. For instance, if your symptoms are on the mild side, you might be able to manage them and even reduce their severity. Here are a few tips to help you on the way to home care:

  • Wear compression stockings to assist blood-flow.
  • Exercise regularly. Try swimming, cycling, and walking to increase your muscle tone and stamina without putting a lot of pressure on your tissues.
  • Eat more high-fiber foods like fruits and veggies. Add more foods with higher amounts of flavonoids like apples, cherries, and blueberries to your diet for even greater benefit.
  • Wear loose-fitting clothing and avoid tight or high-heeled footwear. The last thing you want to do is cut off your circulation or put strain on your lower legs and feet.
  • Where possible, rest and elevate the legs at the end of the day. Sitting or standing all day is not good for your circulation.

When to Seek Professional Varicose Vein Treatment

After trying all of these, if the symptoms of your varicose veins persist or seem to be getting worse, then it’s probably time to speak to a vein specialist. They can help you evaluate your treatment options. This is especially true if your varicose veins start to interfere with your daily life. On the other hand, if you ignore the problem, you risk more serious issues like blood clots, ulcers, chronic swelling, and skin issues like eczema and discoloration.

Medical treatment of varicose veins is nothing to be afraid of. Most of the time, it can be done non-surgically through a treatment plan customized to your needs.

Is it time for you to see someone to treat your varicose veins? Call Grand Junction Vein Center today at (970) 242-8346 and we will get you taken care of right away.

Human foot with varicose veinsMost people think of varicose veins as only affecting your calves or thighs. But if you have twisted veins in your legs, it’s not hard to realize that you may have them in your feet as well. In fact, this is a relatively common occurrence.

A lot of people suffer from varicose veins in their feet and even in their ankles. That is why is so important to understand what causes varicose veins in the feet and ankles. Knowing how to manage and treat them is also crucial to overall vein health.

Causes of Varicose Veins in the Feet

Varicose veins and spider veins occur in the feet and ankles when there’s a chronic venous insufficiency (CVI). Chronic venous insufficiency is a condition in which the veins aren’t able to properly pump blood into and out of an area of the body. In this case, it involves the feet and lower legs.

CVI causes the blood to pool into the veins closer to the surface of the skin. This leads to the bulging and twisted veins that are associated with varicose veins. As it progresses, it can lead to weakened and even damaged vein walls. These symptoms can range from purely aesthetic to more serious conditions.

The problem is, having varicose veins in the feet can directly affect your day to day activities. Any discomfort from these veins can cause painful walking, driving, and even sitting. It and can also lead to discoloration, swelling, pain, and irritation in the skin.

When to Seek Treatment for Varicose Veins in Your Feet

Varicose veins in the feet and even their smaller cousins, spider veins, can be a problem in the long term. That is why you need to keep an eye on your legs and feet for any signs of worsening symptoms. As always, Grand Junction Vein Center is here to assess your varicosities at any stage. We can tell you if you need treatment or if there are other options to manage your condition.

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.

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!

Varicose veins are not just unsightly blemishes under the skin. That is because not treating varicose veins can lead to a host of serious medical conditions. Most patients with varicose veins. In most cases, patients who report symptoms of itchiness, fatigue, pain and discomfort in the legs, and swelling of the skin will only get worse if the patient chooses to delay seeing a medical professional. In extreme cases, however, there is a potential to develop the life-threatening conditions below.

Hyperpigmentation


The discoloration known as hyperpigmentation results when excess blood leaks into the tissues of the leg. Symptoms include painful swelling and inflammation as parts of their skin become dark.

Lipodermosclerosis

The tissues of the leg can become firm and heavy when they are left inflamed for a long period of time. In these cases, the patient may experience a feeling that their legs are becoming increasingly tender. At that point, it may become difficult to move or relax. This condition of stiffening or hardening of the leg tissues is known as Lipodermosclerosis.

Venous Leg Ulcer


Chronic venous insufficiency or CVI is a condition similar to varicose veins that occurs when blood pools in the superficial and deep leg veins.  Over time, CVI can result in the breakdown of areas of the skin to reveal the flesh underneath, signaling the formation of venous leg ulcers. Tending to get larger over time, venous leg ulcers cause pain and discomfort in the legs.

Spontaneous Bleeding


As above, varicose veins can break down the walls of the skin over time, bringing the varicose veins closer to the surface. When this happens, the slightest scratch or scrape can lead to excessive blood loss. Patients may experience significant blood loss if the condition goes untreated, even if they do not experience much pain associated with these minor injuries.

Superficial Thrombophlebitis


The weakening of the veins and decreased blood flow can also cause inflammation of the veins just beneath the surface of the skin. Called Superficial thrombophlebitis, a range of symptoms occur, including redness of the skin, an increasing tenderness of the vein, as well as ongoing pain or swelling of the legs.

Deep Vein Thrombosis

Deep Vein Thrombosis is the by far most serious condition related to untreated varicose veins. Patients with DVT describe a pulling sensation in the legs, stemming from a blood clot, followed by a feeling as if their nerves are being pinched. Increased redness and swelling in the legs continue, as the danger of the blood clot traveling further up the body becomes potentially life-threatening.

As you can see, neglected varicose veins can have major implications for your health. Whether your varicose veins are mild or severe, the sooner you seek treatment, the better. Click here to schedule your free vein screening today!

Operation of varicose veins surgery hospital operation medical procedure surgery for leg in emergency room

Varicose veins surgery is among the most commonly performed kinds of surgery. Varicose veins can lead to several skin problems due to lack of circulation, and patients suffering from these effects should consider varicose vein surgery. The surgery is not for everyone, as there are several options for treating varicose veins that are less severe than a surgical procedure.

If the veins are causing health issues that cannot be resolved, however, it is important to talk to your doctor about the option of surgery.

Vein surgery is the only permanent solution to the problem. Because this method removes the engorged blood vessels, it is incredibly effective for patients who desire both medical and cosmetic improvement.

The main procedures to remove varicose veins are:

Vein ligation and stripping

This involves making two incisions (cuts): One at the top of the leg just below the groin, and one behind the knee or at the ankle. The vein is first tied off or clamped where the top incision is made (vein ligation). A long wire is then inserted into the vein via the lower incision and pushed up through the vein. Finally, a button-like cap is attached to the lower end of the wire and the entire vein is pulled out through the incision near the groin.

Another surgical procedure involves making several very small cuts (just a few millimeters wide) are made along the affected vein. A small hook is then used to pull the vein out of these cuts as far as possible. The vein is then cut and removed in several pieces. This technique is mainly used for smaller veins, like those that branch off from larger veins. It is meant to prevent the sort of scarring that can occur when bigger cuts are made during other kinds of procedures.

Surgery can very effectively relieve varicose vein symptoms: In more than 80% of people who have varicose vein surgery, it improves symptoms like pain, swelling and itching or makes them go away completely, and their legs look better afterward.

Both of the above surgical approaches can lead to pain, wound infections, bleeding, swelling, scarring and discoloration of the skin. About 15% of people who have varicose vein surgery experience one of these side effects. Serious complications such as thrombosis or nerve damage are very rare.

New varicose veins can develop after surgery. In studies that looked into this matter, 30 out of 100 people who had surgery had developed new varicose veins after two years.

It is usually possible to leave the hospital on the same day as having varicose vein surgery. But it can take quite a while for the swelling to go down and the wounds to heal. You may have to wait up to three weeks before you can go back to work.

At Grand Junction Vein Center, our specialists use less invasive methods, including Venefit™ and Sclerotherapy to achieve highly desirable and lasting results. Call us today to schedule your free vein screening.

Varicose Vein Treatment

If you are suffering from varicose veins, getting treatment should be on the top of your list. Vein diseases not only create hideous abnormalities in the physical appearance of the skin but also become quite a burden to the individual suffering from it. Sure, having knotty and swollen veins protruding out from the skin in your legs is not exactly an eye-pleasing sight. But the issue is more than just skin deep. It is indicative of degenerating veins and heart trouble and can cause some serious pain to the patient. And as the condition will advance, this pain will move on to cause skin troubles, pigmentation and even ulcers in extreme cases.

When we talk about varicose vein treatments, you will be happy to know that the condition is very much manageable and a variety of varicose vein treatment options are available for a patient to choose depending upon the severity of the case.

Compression stockings

Wearing compression stockings all day is often the first approach to try before moving on to other treatments. They steadily squeeze your legs, helping veins and leg muscles move blood more efficiently. The amount of compression varies by type and brand.

You can buy compression stockings at most pharmacies and medical supply stores. Prescription-strength stockings also are available and are likely covered by insurance if your varicose veins are causing symptoms.

Some additional treatments are:

Sclerotherapy: This is a painless solution injection treatment that collapses the vein so that it can then be reabsorbed back into the bloodstream. Physicians generally recommend sclerotherapy for small to medium varicose veins. Types of sclerotherapy for varicose vein treatment include:

Laser-assisted — the least invasive and most advanced

Foam sclerotherapy — for larger, more difficult-to-treat veins

Ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy — for large, deep veins that once required surgical treatment

The advantage of sclerotherapy is that it can eliminate varicose veins with no pain or downtime. The disadvantage is that the technique may not work for larger, more extensive varicose veins. You may also have to go back for follow-up treatments in order for your veins to completely disappear.

Vein Stripping: This is a surgical procedure during which the surgeon makes small cuts near the damaged vein and removes the entire vein. Doctors sometimes do vein stripping together with other procedures, such as ablation.

Most physicians say that the main advantage of vein stripping is that it’s a permanent treatment because the affected vein is totally removed. But like any surgical procedure, it comes with some risks and requires more recovery time than less invasive methods of varicose vein treatment.

Vein Ligation– A piece of thread known as a suture is tied around the leaking blood vessel preventing the blood from leaking backward and swelling the vein.

Thermal ablation (also called radiofrequency ablation): “Thermal ablation, which has been around for about a decade, involves using a laser or radiofrequency energy to heat the inside of the veins. “This destroys the vein wall, the vein shrinks, and the body absorbs it over time.” Thermal ablation tends to work well as a varicose vein treatment, but it can cause a little bruising and discomfort for the first week or so on.

We use the Venefit™ radiofrequency ablation procedure at our Grand Junction office. We can discuss the pros and cons of all of our varicose vein treatments during your free vein screening.

Veins usually become less visible within one to two weeks. The procedure requires some local anesthesia, but most people have little pain after the procedure and can return to their normal activities the next day.

Varicose veins that develop during pregnancy generally improve without medical treatment within three to 12 months after delivery.

man with varicose veinsWe focus so much on varicose veins in women, but the fact is, men get them, too. Actually, approximately 45 percent of men get varicose veins at some point in their lives.

However, varicose veins are more common in women. This is because of the hormone progesterone, which can contribute to the development of varicose and spider veins. Men produce this hormone in smaller quantities.

Other factors that can increase one’s risk of developing varicose and spider veins are, in no particular order:

Age (the risk increases with age)
Family history
Obesity
Standing or sitting for long periods
Pregnancy

Varicose veins often appear as enlarged veins that are bluish or purplish in color. They may even be bulging and twisted.

Other signs and symptoms of varicose veins include:

Itchiness around the affected site
Feeling of heaviness on the legs
A throbbing sensation on the lower extremities
Worsening pain after sitting or standing for a long time

If you have tried elevating your legs, wearing compression stockings, and exercise do not relieve your tired and achy legs, you may need to seek medical treatment. At Grand Junction Vein Center, we can evaluate your condition and present options. Call us today!

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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)