Vein Treatment Blog

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Why am I Getting Blood Clots?

What makes blood clots so potentially dangerous is the possibility of breaking loose and traveling to the lungs. If this problem, called pulmonary embolism, occurs, it can be life-threatening. To prevent the need for emergency treatment, be sure to visit your vein doctor to assess your vascular system. If you have symptoms or risk factors for blood clots, our vein doctors will recommend the best vein treatments to help restore your health. 

Blood Clot Risk Factors

  • Age 65+.
  • Recent surgery.
  • Varicose veins.
  • Birth control pills or hormones.
  • Past history of blood clots.
  • Family history of blood clots.
  • Cancer treatment.
  • Broken bone in the lower body; pelvis, hip or leg.
  • Bad bruise, accident or body trauma.
  • Obesity.
  • Being bedridden or using a wheelchair much of the time.
  • Heart disease.
  • Travel with limited body movement.

Preventing a Blood Clot Emergency

The best ways to help avoid blood clots include:

  • Keep moving. Don’t stand or sit still for more than 1 hour at any given time. If traveling in a plane, get up and walk around when allowed. If you’re driving or traveling by train, take advantage of regular opportunities to stop and stretch your legs. If you can’t get up for an extended period, do ankle circles, or point and flex your feet and toes, to keep your circulation going strong. 
  • Wear loose, comfortable, non-binding clothing and shoes.
  • Put your feet up, raising your legs 6 inches above your heart occasionally.
  • Wear compression stockings, if your doctor prescribes them.
  • Limit salt in your diet.
  • Don’t cross you legs.
  • Raise the bottom of your bed about 6 inches before going to sleep.
  • Visit your vein doctor for a quick, painless exam to assess your overall vein health. Even if you have no symptoms, or if you merely notice a varicose vein or two, our vascular surgeon can check for any impending circulatory issues. Depending upon what is found, your vein doctor can recommend minimally-invasive treatments or lifestyle changes to help you maintain your vein health for life. 

Serious DVT Clots May Have No Symptoms

The most serious complication of a blood clot is a DVT or deep vein thrombosis. DVT is so dangerous partly because it can have no symptoms at all to warn you of a serious health issue. When symptoms do appear they may include:

  • Red skin.
  • Swollen area.
  • Skin that is hot to the touch and tender.
  • If the clot has traveled to the lung, you may have trouble breathing. Call 911 and get emergency treatment. 

Get The Best Vein Treatment for Long Term Health

If you’re concerned about your vascular health or the possibility of blood clots, visit our vein center for a quick and painless examination. We can diagnose your condition and pinpoint problems using advanced ultrasound equipment. Contact United Vein Centers, with 9 locations in Florida and Colorado, today. 

What is the Best Treatment for Phlebitis?

Phlebitis is a type of vein disease where your vein become inflamed. This inflammation can cause swelling and pain. The area may also feel tender, itchy, and warm. It may throb or burn as well.

When a thrombus or blood clot causes the inflammation, it’s referred to as thrombophlebitis, and typically occurs in the veins of the leg. Vein treatments for phlebitis can help.

Phlebitis can be in the skin (superficial) or deep beneath the skin in the tissues or veins (deep vein thrombophlebitis, deep vein thrombosis or DVT).  Complications from a surgical or medical procedure can lead to superficial phlebitis.

Factors that could lead to thrombophlebitis include:

  • Staying in bed for many hours.

  • Being on a long airplane flight.

  • Sitting for long periods of time.

  • Being obese.

  • Smoking.

  • Having varicose veins.

  • Being pregnant.

  • Incurring anInjury to the legs or arms.

  • Being on birth control pills

  • Being on hormone replacement therapy (HRT).

  • Having a condition that increases the risk of blood clots.

If you notice any signs of pain, swelling and inflamed superficial veins on your legs, call your doctor. DVT requires immediate medical care.

Treatment for Phlebitis

The treatment option that will be best for you will depend various factions, including how severe your phlebitis is and how chronic. When venous reflux causes superficial phlebitis or other underlying causes, treatment typically starts with simple conservative measures you can do at home.

Home Treatment

Home treatment for phlebitis may include:

  • Taking an anti-inflammatory medicine like Ibuprofen.

  • Applying a warm compress to the area affected.

  • Leg compression stockings to improve blood flow and relieve swelling and pain. These also reduce your risk of DVT.

Medications

To treat superficial phlebitis, doctors may prescribe certain medications like diclofenac (Cataflam, Voltaren, etc.) or suggest ibuprofen. They may also prescribe you a topical anti-inflammatory medication like diclofenac gel.

If the doctor diagnoses deep venous thrombophlebitis or suspects there’s a chance it will develop, they may prescribe anti-coagulation medications (blood thinning). Usually, this is done by injection of fondaparinux (Arixtra) or low molecular weight heparin (Lovenox).

They’ll prescribe antibiotics if you have signs of infection.

Other Therapies

If venous reflux is the underlying cause, you may receive Endovenous Laser Treatment.

If it’s varicose veins causing recurrent thrombophlebitis or pain, you might require certain vein treatments like varicose vein stripping. With this procedure, the doctor removes your varicose veins surgically through small incisions.

Being active is the best way of preventing phlebitis. Engage in daily physical activity and exercise like swimming, walking, jogging, dance classes or cycling. Avoid sitting or lying down for prolonged periods. If you’ve been put on bed rest, wear compression stockings.

How do you check for a blood clot in your leg?

A blood clot in the leg, which is also known as "deep vein thrombosis" or "DVT," is a serious problem that requires treatment. Below is some information to help you recognize the symptoms of this condition so you can get the vein treatments you need. 

What Is a DVT?

A DVT is a blood clot that is usually in a deep leg vein. This condition can develop in people who have no risk factors. However, it often occurs when an individual has certain medical conditions that raise the likelihood of clot development, when an individual is taking certain medication or when an individual is immobile for a long period of time. 

Without treatment, a DVT can lead to serious complications that may even be life-threatening. 

Recognizing the Signs of DVT

In some cases, a DVT can occur without causing noticeable symptoms. However, if you have a DVT, you may notice any of the following signs:

  • Swelling in the leg. 
  • Pain in the affected leg that may feel like soreness or a cramp. 
  • Discoloration of the skin on the affected leg. 
  • A feeling of warmth in the leg. 

DVT symptoms usually appear in only one leg at a time but may appear in both, especially if more than one clot is present. 

Seeking Medical Attention

If you have noticed the signs of DVT or you have other reason to be concerned that a DVT may have developed, seeing an experienced physician is the best way to determine if a clot has developed in your leg. Depending on your symptoms and the results of a physical exam, the doctor may recommend several different tests to diagnose a possible DVT. Tests that may be used for diagnosis include CT scans, MRIs, venography, blood tests and/or ultrasound. 

To make an appointment with a qualified vein doctor, please contact United Vein Centers today. 

What causes inflammation of the veins?

Inflammation of veins, particularly those in the legs, has both potential cosmetic and health concerns.  In some cases, it erodes self-esteem.  In others, it causes discomfort or other significant medical problems.  Thanks to modern vein treatments, patients have a number of convenient options for managing and eliminating unsightly vessels.

Overview of Vein Inflammation

Inflammation of a vessel can mean the presence of vein disease that results in varicose or spider veins.  Varicose vessels appear as ropelike, bulging veins that are red, blue, or skin-colored.  The Office on Women’s Health reports that they most frequently develop on a thigh, inside the leg, or on the back of a calf.

Red or blue spider veins are similar but are smaller and develop closer to the skin’s surface.  They take their name from their web-like appearance and most often appear on the legs or the face.

As many as 55 percent of U.S. females and up to 45 percent of males experience vein issues.  Varicose vessels develop in at least half of those who are at least 50.

While spider veins primarily cause cosmetic issues, varicose veins can cause aching, throbbing, burning, itching, and skin ulceration.  Swelling could indicate a blood clot.  A vein might actually burst.

Vein specialists often initially recommend conservative, self-care measures such as wearing compression stockings or shedding excess pounds to manage abnormal veins.  However, many patients eventually opt to undergo noninvasive procedures such as laser treatment.

The Cause of Spider and Varicose Veins

A vein’s job is transporting blood from the extremities to the heart so it can pick up oxygen and recirculate.  According to the Mayo Clinic, contracting lower leg muscles team with stretchable vein walls during this process.  Small valves in a vein open and close to propel blood upward and prevent it from succumbing to gravity and falling backward.

When a vein loses elasticity or a valve malfunctions, pooled blood causes stretching.  The outcome is often vein disease leading to a varicose or a spider vein.

Risk factors include:

  • Aging
  • Being female
  • Genetics
  • Carrying excess weight
  • Extended sitting or standing

Vein Treatments for Inflamed Vessels

When conservative measure fail to manage a patient’s concerns, eliminating troublesome vessels is an option.  Vascular specialists offer same-day vein procedures that typically allow patients to resume their normal daily routines quickly.

Physicians perform spider vein treatment in a clinic or other outpatient facility.  During sclerotherapy, the vein specialist injects a special solution that causes each targeted vessel to close and eventually resorb.  Transdermal laser treatment is also known as pulsed light therapy.  It dissolves problem spider veins, after which the body absorbs them.

For eliminating varicose vessels, endovenous laser treatments cause little if any pain and employ ultrasound to guide the physician.  A second option is an ambulatory phlebectomy, during which the physician removes each vessel through a tiny incision above it.

What are some common symptoms of deep vein thrombosis (DVT)?

Deep vein thrombosis is a serious and potentially life-threatening condition. Learning to recognize these symptoms is important, as prompt treatment is necessary to prevent complications. 

What Is Deep Vein Thrombosis?

Deep vein thrombosis, or DVT, is a condition that occurs when a blood clot develops deep within the vein. This condition is most common in the legs. Deep vein thrombosis may be more likely to develop if you have certain medical problems, such as conditions that affect the way your blood clots. You may also be at a greater risk for developing a DVT if you spend a lot of time immobile, such as after an accident or a surgical procedure. However, DVT can develop in people who don’t have any of these risk factors. 

Symptoms of DVT

In some cases, deep vein thrombosis may develop without causing any symptoms. However, if symptoms do occur, they may include:

  • Swelling in the affected leg. 
  • Pain in the leg. 
  • A feeling of warmth in the leg. 
  • Red or discolored skin near the clot. 

Treating DVT

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of DVT, you should seek medical treatment as soon as possible. An experienced doctor will be able to determine whether you have a DVT and help you decide what treatment would be best for your condition. 

The treatment your vein doctor will recommend for DVT depends on the specifics of your condition. If your clot is mild or if other treatments aren’t appropriate, your doctor may recommend treatment with compression. For more serious cases, your doctor may recommend blood thinners or clot-busting medications. In other cases, the doctor may recommend placing a filter into a large vein in your abdomen to prevent clots from breaking loose and traveling to your lungs. Regardless of the treatment recommended, your doctor will monitor your clot until it resolves. 

To learn more about DVT vein treatments, please contact United Vein Centers today. 

Varicose Veins and Joint Pain: Are They Related?

Both varicose veins and joint pain tend to occur more commonly with age. In fact, millions of men and women suffer from aches and pains in their knee and ankle joints, as well as bulging varicose veins in their lower legs and feet. But are the two related? And can a single treatment offer relief for both medical issues? The answer is, it depends on the type of pain you’re having.

Varicose Veins and Joint Pain

Varicose veins are a sign of vein disease that most often occurs when the tiny valves inside your veins stop functioning properly. Normally, these tiny valves work in unison to help keep your blood flowing in one direction in your veins – back toward your heart. But age, disease and other factors can wind up damaging the valves. As a result, blood flow is slower, and blood can pool up inside the veins, stretching vein walls and causing ugly, bulging varicose veins.

That ugly appearance is just one sign of varicose veins. Other signs and symptoms include aches and pains in your legs, feet, and ankles, often accompanied by feelings of heaviness in the legs as well, especially during physical activity like walking.

Joint pain is most commonly associated with osteoarthritis, although other issues can also cause painful joints, including chronic diseases like lupus. Although the painful symptoms of both varicose veins and joint-related diseases may at times feel very similar – especially during physical exercise or strenuous activity – in fact, they’re almost always unrelated. That means that while varicose veins can’t cause joint pain specifically, they may cause similar symptoms that can make joint pain feel more severe.

Vein Treatments

Both varicose veins and joint pain tend to occur more often as we get older, and they may also be more common among people who are overweight since excess pounds place pressure on our joints as well as our veins. So how can you tell when your pain is caused by your veins and not your joints? By having a vein doctor perform a physical exam and a vein evaluation.

Many varicose veins are visible, but sometimes, diseased veins are located deep below the skin where they can’t be seen. Having a vein evaluation is the best way to identify deep vascular problems so you can receive vein treatments optimized for your needs. Today, cutting-edge, same-day vein treatments like laser treatment, radiofrequency treatment and sclerotherapy can be used to eliminate varicose veins and their symptoms without interfering with your busy lifestyle. Treatments are quick, and in most cases, you can get back to your regular activities within a day or so of your treatment. Plus, treatments can be combined and tailored specifically for your needs to ensure optimal results.

Improve your vein health – starting today.

As a leading vein doctor in Tampa, Florida, and the surrounding region, Dr. Gamal Wazni offers the most advanced vein treatments and same-day procedures to help men and women relieve symptoms and improve their vascular and overall health. If you have varicose veins or if you’re experiencing symptoms of aching, leg fatigue, swelling or other unusual issues, don’t delay treatment. Call United Vein Centers at 800-952-5954 or use our online contact form and request your vein evaluation today.

What Causes Surface Veins?

Although surface veins, also called spider veins, usually pose no medical threat, their appearance becomes a significant cosmetic issue for some patients.  Many people do not even notice these tiny red or blue vessels until they form clusters resembling a spider’s web.  Understanding the vein disease process that causes them as well as the vein treatments available to eliminate them helps put affected patients at ease.

What Are Spider Veins?

According to the Cleveland Clinic, spider veins are similar to but distinct from varicose veins.  These two vascular problems affect as many as 50 percent of American adults.  They are slightly more common in the female than in the male population. 

The medical name for a spider vein is a telangiectasia.  A cluster is most likely to develop on the legs, ankles, or face.

The job of one-way valves in veins is to keep blood traveling against gravity toward the heart from the extremities.  When a valve becomes defective, whether because of injury or vein disease, it can no longer close correctly.  This causes blood to fall backward and pool behind the valve.  As the pool grows, it expands the blood vessel, often resulting in a varicose or a spider vein.

Many factors can contribute to spider vein formation:

  • Genetics
  • Aging
  • Occupation or lifestyle that includes prolonged standing
  • Carrying extra weight
  • Hormonal fluctuations during pregnancy
  • Birth control pills
  • Hormone replacement therapy following menopause
  • Sitting with legs crossed for long intervals
  • Tight clothing
  • Health history that includes blood clots
  • Specific vein injury
  • Certain medical conditions, among them liver disease
  • Earlier vein surgery
  • Exposure to ultraviolet rays
  • Topical steroid use

Spider Vein Treatments

Since spider and varicose veins do not disappear on their own, resolution requires eliminating them.  This involves an outpatient treatment performed by vein specialists.

The University of Nebraska Medical Center notes that the two most common therapies are laser treatment and sclerotherapy.  Transdermal laser therapy, also called pulsed light therapy, uses light energy to close targeted vessels.  Sclerotherapy involves injecting a special substance that irritates vein walls and causes the vessel to eventually close. 

With both treatments, neighboring blood vessels pick up the circulatory workload of each eliminated vein.  These therapies offer patients the convenience of quickly getting back to work or resuming other typical daily activities.

It is important to note that no surface vein treatment can prevent abnormal vessels from forming in the future.  However, the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery suggests that patients with these problem veins can take steps to reduce their chances of developing new unwanted vessels.  They include:

  • Staying as active as possible
  • Avoiding standing or sitting for extended intervals
  • Getting to a healthy weight and then maintaining it
  • Wearing compression stockings
  • Avoiding exposure of the legs to excessive heat
  • Foregoing undergarments and other clothing with a restrictive fit

Understanding Vein Health: Vein Diseases & Conditions

Vein diseases and vein conditions are common. About one in three Americans over the age of 45 have some type of vein disease, according to the American Venous Forum. These vein diseases include varicose veins, spider veins, and venous insufficiency. These conditions can be embarrassing cosmetic problems, but they can also be associated with poor circulation. Fortunately, a number of vein treatments safely and effectively treat varicose veins, venous insufficiency, and other vein diseases.

About Veins

Veins are part of the circulatory system. The heart pushes blood through a complex network of arteries and veins. Arteries hold blood that is moving from the heart to the rest of the body. Veins contain blood that is going from the far reaches of the body back to the heart.

Gravity helps the arteries move blood down to your lower legs and feet, but gravity works against veins as they bring blood back up to your heart. Each beat of your heart pushes blood a short distance through your blood vessels, but gravity can pull blood downwards to accumulate in the lower legs. One-way valves located in various places throughout your veins open and close to trap blood in small segments in between heartbeats.

Sometimes these valves fail and this allows blood to move backward, or reflux, back down into your feet. Doctors refer to the failure of these valves as venous insufficiency. The accumulation of blood pooling in the lower legs presses against the veins, which react by bloating into varicose veins.

Symptoms of vein diseases vary. Symptoms of varicose veins include blue, twisted veins appearing on your legs. Symptoms of venous insufficiency include pain, swelling, cramps, skin changes, varicose veins, and sores on your legs.

Vein Treatments Safely, Effectively Treat Varicose Veins, Venous Insufficiency

Advances in medical technology have brought forth a number of vein treatments that quickly and effectively treat varicose veins, spider veins, venous insufficiency and other vein diseases.

Treatment usually involves irritating the inner lining of the diseased vein. Irritating the vein causes it to swell and seal shut. The treated vein breaks apart and is absorbed by the nearby tissue; the treated vein fades from view. Blood goes through nearby veins.

Endovenous laser treatment uses the power of laser light energy to treat varicose veins. Transdermal laser therapy uses pulses of light to treat veins. Sclerotherapy is a procedure in which a vein doctor injects a chemical to irritate the interior of a diseased vein.

A mini-phlebectomy is a slightly different type of vein treatment, in that the vein surgeon removes the diseased vein through tiny slits in the skin.

For more information about varicose veins, venous insufficiency, and other vein problems – and vein treatments – contact your local vein doctor.

Different Vein Treatment Options

If you struggle with spider veins and/or varicose veins, you may deal with embarrassment because of the appearance of your abnormal veins, as well as discomfort in the affected area. Fortunately, a variety of vein treatments are available to help patients resolve these conditions.

About Varicose Veins and Spider Veins

Spider veins are small veins that typically appear in web-like formations close to the surface of the skin. These veins appear blue, red or purple in color. They are common on the legs, chest, face, and neck, but they can appear anywhere. Varicose veins, on the other hand, are larger, gnarled veins that have become dilated because of venous insufficiency. Varicose veins are most common on the legs, and they may be located deep within the tissues, or they may be swollen above the skin’s surface. Varicose veins often cause uncomfortable symptoms, such as burning, tingling, numbness, and cramping.

Spider Vein Treatments

Two main types of spider vein treatments are available: transdermal laser treatment and sclerotherapy. Transdermal laser treatment uses pulsed light energy to close off spider veins and eliminate them. Sclerotherapy involves injecting a solution into the spider veins that causes them to collapse.

Varicose Vein Treatments

A variety of varicose vein treatments are available, but some of the most popular treatments are ambulatory phlebectomy and endovenous laser treatment. Ambulatory phlebectomy is a minimally-invasive procedure that involves removing the abnormal veins through small incisions made in the skin. Endovenous laser treatment, on the other hand, uses an ultrasound-guided laser to treat the inside of the varicose veins with laser energy. While ambulatory phlebectomy is best for veins located close to the surface of the skin, endovenous laser treatment is effective even on those veins located deep within the tissues.

If you are struggling with abnormal veins, effective treatments are available. Please contact United Vein Centers today to make an appointment with an experienced vein doctor and discuss your treatment options.

Spider Veins Vs. Varicose Veins

Spider veins and varicose veins may seem similar at first glance but the two types of vein disease are actually different. Each condition affects blood vessels, of course, but the two problems affect different areas of the body and respond to different types of vein treatment.

Both varicose veins and spider veins are signs of vein disease. In these two conditions, poor blood circulation causes the blood vessels to swell, twist and become more visible at the surface of the skin. Each vein disease responds well to treatment.

Varicose veins are large, swollen, and raised blood vessels that usually appear on a person’s lower legs, often at the backs of their thighs, knees or calves. These veins can be 3 mm or larger, and appear as red, purple or blue rope-like veins. In addition to ruining the smooth appearance of skin, varicose veins can cause heaviness, aching, swelling, itching, throbbing, night cramps, leg fatigue, and restless legs. Left untreated, poor blood circulation associated with varicose veins may sometimes lead to painful sores near the ankles, known as venous ulcers.

Spider veins, as their name implies, are veins that branch out like a spider web. They are usually quite tiny and delicate. Spider veins are typically a cosmetic problem, although spider veins lying close to the surface of the skin may bleed or bruise if bumped or scrubbed too hard.

Differences in Treatment of Varicose Veins and Spider Veins

Vein treatment for varicose veins and spider veins involve irritating the diseased vein in ways that cause the vein to swell and close. The treated vein eventually breaks apart and fades into nearby tissue. Vein doctors now perform these treatments in outpatient clinics.

Types of Varicose Vein and Spider Vein Treatments

Compression stockings

Compression stockings help alleviate both minor spider veins and minor varicose veins and are an important part of other types of vein treatment.

Ambulatory Phlebectomy

Ambulatory phlebectomy is a procedure in which a vein surgeon removes varicose veins through tiny slits in the skin.

Sclerotherapy

Sclerotherapy is a vein treatment that involves the injection of chemicals to irritate and close the diseased blood vessel. Vein doctors use sclerotherapy to treat spider veins.

Laser treatment

Laser treatment is appropriate for both varicose veins and spider veins. There are two main types of laser treatments for vein disease: endovenous laser treatment and transdermal laser treatment. Both work by using laser light energy to irritate the diseased vein. Endovenous laser treatment (EVLT) effectively treats larger varicose veins, which typically develop in the lower legs. Transdermal laser treatment is for spider veins and smaller varicose veins.

For more information about the differences between spider veins and varicose veins, contact your local vein doctor. Vein surgeons can also help you explore different treatments for vein disease, including laser treatment.