Testimonial – Cindi
Cyndi: Varicose veins are often considered a cosmetic issue, but did you know a lot of common like problems could be caused by varicose veins? Dr. Gamal Wazni from United Veins Centers is here today, to help us understand varicose veins better. Welcome back to Daytime Dr. Wazni.
Dr. Wazni: Thank you.
Cyndi: A lot of people have really heavy, tired, achy legs at the end of the day. What is that caused by?
Dr. Wazni: It’s caused by vein disease. What happens is, it’s usually inherited, passed on from your mother, father or grandparents. The veins right under the skin become diseased, enlarged, when they become enlarged they hold blood, as they hold blood you’re like start to feel heavy, they swell and ache.
Cyndi: What about this happens to my mom quite a bit, she gets a charley horse in the middle of the night. Just this cramp that wakes her out of a deep sleep. Is that vein disease?
Dr. Wazni: That’s very common symptom of vein disease. What ends up happening is the blood settles in these bad veins and gets stuck. So it ends up causing a cramp. It forces you to get out of the bed and walk around, that will move the blood from these veins and you’ll feel better.
Cyndi: Is it always obvious to the naked eye that somebody has varicose veins or can they be under the surface and you don’t know they are there, you just know you have a lot of pain?
Dr. Wazni: Correct it’s not always obvious. There are a small subset of patients who have these symptoms of discomfort, but do not not have visible varicose veins.
Cyndi: What about restless leg syndrome? We hear that a lot. We hear about people going on medication to settle their legs. What could cause that?
Dr. Wazni: Varicose vein disease is a very common cause of restless legs. The blood gets stuck in the bad veins and your body as a defense mechanism tries to move it. So your legs shuffle and become restless.
Cyndi: What happens if you just avoid treating it? Do you say okay well I’ll just use my heating pad or cold pack or whatever I have to do, but I don’t want to have to get this treated. What can happen over time?
Dr. Wazni: Well it’s a disease that gets to worse with time. So let’s take a look at the progression of vein disease. When you take a look at the progression, it starts out with bulging veins in most cases. Then as the blood pools, you will get swelling in the legs. After years of swelling and accumulation of blood, the skin starts to change, becomes thickened and discolored and then lastly the unhealthy skin starts to break down and you’ll get ulcers in your legs.
Cyndi: So that looks like it could be really dangerous. Then once you get into that ulcers stage, what does that mean for a person? How hard is it to fix at that point?
Dr. Wazni: It can be fixed, but it is the last stage of vein disease and those are our more severe patients, but we can help them.
Cyndi: So how do you go in and fix varicose veins then? Because there used to be a time when people had to get something called stripping done and it was really invasive procedure and it took weeks to heal.
Dr. Wazni: Correct. We’ve been fixing veins disease for over a century and we’ve been doing it with stripping, but these days we use sophisticated medical lasers. We no longer perform vein stripping. These sophisticated lasers are small laser fibers that are inserted into the veins just under the skin. Once they are in the vein, they actually burn the vein closed.
Cyndi: And you don’t need those veins obviously, there’s still plenty of veins left in your legs.
Dr. Wazni: Correct. These are diseased veins.
Cyndi: Okay and as far as coverage for something like this?
Dr. Wazni: It’s a medical problem. So just as vein stripping was covered years ago, the laser procedures to remove your varicose veins and their symptoms is covered by Medicare, Blue Cross/Blue Shield and all major carriers.
Cyndi: And recovery is?
Dr. Wazni: There is no downtime.
Cyndi: No downtime?
Dr. Wazni: No downtime. With laser procedures there is no downtime.
Cyndi: Dr. Wazni, thanks so much for telling us all about this today. You can see the dates for upcoming screenings right now on your TV screen and for more information you can call 1-800 Vein Doc or go to the website UnitedVeinsCenters.com and make your appointment today. You don’t have to live with varicose veins.
We will be right back with more Daytime so don’t go away.