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How Should I Choose a Vein Specialist?

Once you decide you’re ready to get treatment for varicose or spider veins, or for other vein disease issues, it’s decision time. You probably have lots of questions about choosing a doctor and we understand it can be confusing. So here’s a bit about how to choose a vein specialist, courtesy of Dr. Gamal Wazni and United Vein Centers in Tampa, Florida.

What’s a Vein Specialist?

First, all vein specialists are physicians. They may be doctors of medicine (MD) or doctors of osteopathy (DO). In either case, the physician has attended medical school and residency. In addition, most complete specialty education that may include surgical training, interventional vein treatments or both. All physicians in the US must have a license to practice. Most are also board-certified. However, there’s really no such thing as a vein specialist; only doctors who care for people with vein disease and vein problems. Instead, there are doctors who practice various medical specialties and treat vein disease as part of their practice.

Vein Treatment and Medical Specialties

Part of the reason the term vein specialist can be confusing is that doctors who offer these services could be cardiologists, radiologists, vascular surgeons or even general practitioners who have completed additional training. Cardiologists are initially trained in internal medicine before completing a fellowship in cardiology; their focus is the heart and vascular system (blood vessels). Radiologists are trained in the use of imaging techniques like X-rays to diagnose and treat disease. Interventional radiologists are most likely to be vein specialists, as they receive additional training in treating vein problems with a combination of imaging techniques and medications or other therapy. Vascular surgeons may perform any of the treatments the other specialists do, but they also perform surgery.

How to Make a Choice

No matter who you choose to treat your vein disease, first cover the basics: training, licensure and board certification. The next question is whether your problem requires surgical or medical care. Your family doctor can help with this one if you aren’t sure. For example, very large, deep varicose veins may require surgery. Next, you want to ask about the doctor’s experience. Acquiring technical skill in vein treatments takes lots of practice. The final issue is how well you and the doctor “fit.” For example, do you feel safe with this doctor? How’s your communication? Are all your questions answered? A personality mismatch will affect your physician-patient relationship and may affect your care, especially if you have communication problems.

We believe you’ll find what you’re looking for at United Vein Centers. Our doctors offer a variety of minimally invasive treatments for spider veins, varicose veins and other vein problems. Dr. Wazni has extensive experience and was one of the first physicians to use lasers in treating varicose veins. His training and many years of experience make him uniquely qualified to deal with any of your vein problems. Please contact us today for answers to your questions or to schedule an appointment.

 

 

 

How to Enjoy Florida Weather: Don’t Hide Your Legs!

If you have annoying vein problems, don’t hide. Instead, see your Tampa vascular surgeon. As Florida residents, we all enjoy the privilege of gorgeous, sunny weather nearly all year long. Unfortunately, you can’t truly enjoy living in FL if you feel a need to constantly hide your legs due to untreated varicose veins. Clothing that covers the legs can be very uncomfortable here in Tampa, especially if you want to go outdoors. True, wearing loose clothing and natural fibers helps you stay cool. But why not give yourself true freedom (to wear anything you want) for relaxed comfort in the Tampa sun? Your vascular surgeon can help you do that.

Healthy Legs Look and Feel Terrific

If you’re not affected by “shorts anxiety” point, made above, here is another good reason to seek help from your vascular surgeon: vein health. If you suffer from physical pain or restless, itchy legs due to circulatory issues (like varicose veins or other vascular problems), you could be avoiding healthy exercise. Leg pain may keep you from full enjoyment of the fun (and healthy exercise opportunities) that many Tampa residents enjoy, with access to the beach and the excellent weather. Your vascular surgeon can help you be as active as you’d like, without leg pain.

Vascular Surgeons Offer Quick, Effective Treatment for Vein Problems in Tampa

The term vascular surgeon leads some people to think that we only offer “major surgery” for vein problems. In fact, your vascular surgeon has many options to treat your vein problems–most are advanced treatments that require little discomfort or downtime. The point is, there is no reason to let varicose veins or leg pain hold you back, or restrict your life, any longer.

Learn the Source of Your Leg Pain

Whether or not you have visible, bulging or discolored leg veins, leg pain or other symptoms can mean you may have underlying vein problems. You owe it to yourself to check in at the local vein clinic for a painless exam that allows expert diagnosis from our vein surgeon. Beyond ridding your of unsightly spider veins or varicose veins, we can quickly diagnose any not-so-obvious veins problems lurking beneath the surface. This can help prevent future varicose veins, eliminate leg pain and help protect your health long term. 

Get Expert Treatment for Vein Problems from our Vascular Surgeon in Tampa

If your life is restricted in any way, including social anxiety due to varicose veins or physical leg pain and possible vein disease–we can help. Make an appointment for an exam and assessment of your leg health at our Tampa vein clinic. Tampa vascular surgeon Dr.Wazni and his team use their years of experience, plus advanced diagnostic ultrasound equipment, to diagnose and treat any circulation problems you are experiencing. Contact us today. 

What’s A Duplex Ultrasound?

Unlike Superman, who could use his X-ray vision, modern medicine depends on technology to see inside the human body. One of the tools health professionals use is the duplex ultrasound. You may also hear this test called a Doppler test duplex exam, duplex scan, peripheral vascular ultrasound, ultrasound, ultrasound exam, vascular lab test or vascular ultrasound. Of these, the term peripheral vascular ultrasound probably describes it the best and is the most accurate. Here’s some basic information on the duplex ultrasound from Dr. Gamal Wazni, of United Vein Centers in Tampa, Florida.

What is a Duplex Ultrasound?

Traditional ultrasound was developed as an offshoot of the radar technology used by planes and sea-going vessels. Sound waves are bounced off the structures in the body to create pictures of organs and blood vessels. The duplex ultrasound (duplex means having two parts) adds the ability to bounce sound waves off moving objects, like the blood circulating through the veins. That’s why peripheral vascular ultrasound is such an accurate term; the veins are part of the peripheral vascular system. The result is a recording that allows the test to indicate the speed and force of the blood flow.

What is Duplex Ultrasound Used For?

The ability to look at blood flow in real time is the key to a duplex ultrasound’s value. An ultrasound is an in-office procedure that is not invasive like an arteriogram and there is no risk of bleeding. Ultrasounds can be used to examine most parts of the body and can show what the blood flow looks like in the legs, kidneys, abdomen and other areas. An ultrasound can show if there’s a blood clot or blood vessel disease in a vein. Your vein doctor might recommend a duplex ultrasound to evaluate varicose veins or to see if you have a condition called venous insufficiency.

What’s the Procedure Like?

A duplex ultrasound is performed in the doctor’s office or a vein clinic. It should always be performed by a credentialed technician. In most cases, the test takes about 30 minutes. First the technician spreads a special gel over the area under examination. The gel is used to help transmit the sound waves. The technician slowly moves a wand or hand-piece over the area. The wand transmits the sound waves through the tissue and is connected to a computer that receives the readings and converts them into pictures. As the blood moves through the arteries, it is transmitted through the system as a swishing noise. During the test, you’ll usually be asked to hold still or even hold your breath for a minute. As soon as the test is finished, you can go about your usual activities – there is no recovery time and no side effects or complications.

The technician sends the results directly to your doctor, who can discuss them with you immediately. Depending on the findings, your doctor will make recommendations for future care. If you have questions or want to schedule a vascular disease assessment, please contact us.

 

 

 

 

 

Common Spider Vein Treatment Options

Spider Veins Defined

 

Named after their tendency to look like spider webs, spider veins spread out beneath the skin in unsightly and sometimes painful networks of red, blue, or purple tendrils. They appear as a result of age or disease and share the same underlying pathology as varicose veins. In fact, the two conditions often appear together when the elasticity of veins begin to wane causing internal valves to lose functionality. As a result, blood begins to pool under the natural effects of gravity, causing a great amount of internal pressure to build.

 

The principal difference between spider veins and varicose veins lies in their relative size and appearance. While varicose veins are quite large and often budge and protrude, spider veins are typically smaller and lie beneath the smooth and unbroken surface of the skin. However, despite their small size, spider veins can cause many of the medical issues that are common to varicose veins, including throbbing, aching, and itching. Of course, they also can become quite unsightly as they begin to spread out over larger and larger areas.

 

Seeking Treatment

 

Whether they want treatment for medical or purely cosmetic reasons, people have long sought to rid themselves of spider veins Historically speaking, very little could be done to combat or eradicate this unfortunate condition. Modern medical practices brought surgical techniques such as “vein stripping” that allowed physicians to remove many types of varicose veins. However, the delicate nature of spider veins has traditionally made such procedures exceedingly difficult.

 

Today, individuals who suffer from spider veins can choose among several safe, effective, and minimally invasive treatment techniques. Most of these treatments fall under one of the following two categories:

 

  • Sclerotherapy – A non-invasive procedure that requires no anesthesia and can be performed in your doctor’s office whatsoever, sclerotherapy takes only a few minutes to complete and can significantly reduce the unsightly appearance and painful effects of spider veins. Using a small hypodermic needle and one or more chemical solutions, doctors perform injections on all affected veins. The solution causes the vein to rapidly close and collapse before gradually reabsorbing into the body.

 

  • Transdermal laser treatment – Rather than using a chemical, laser surgery closes diseased veins by sending strong bursts of light into the vein. Like the chemical solutions of sclerotherapy, these bursts of light seal off diseased veins and cause them to collapse for subsequent bodily reabsorption. Ideal for spider veins, which are typically close to the surface, transdermal laser treatments work by pulsing light beams directly through the skin from the outside in an extremely minimally invasive procedure.

 

For more information about sclerotherapy and transdermal laser procedures for the treatment of spider veins, contact a highly skilled and knowledgeable representative at United Vein Centers.

5 Things to Know About Sclerotherapy

Spider veins can spread across your legs, making you hesitant to wear shorts and skirts. Although spider veins, which resemble blue, red or purple spider webs, can be a common source of embarrassment, they aren’t difficult to treat.  Sclerotherapy has long been the treatment of choice for these veins, especially when they form on the legs. Many people are candidates for the treatment. If you’re thinking about it, here are a few important things to know. 

What to Know About Sclerotherapy

1. Treatment is Quick

Although the exact length of treatment varies based on the size of the area the doctor is treating, for the most part, sclerotherapy is a quick procedure. It can take as little as 10 minutes if just a small area is being treated. Larger areas might need up to an hour for treatment, according to the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery.

2. You Might Need Multiple Treatment Sessions

The treatment helps eliminate spider veins by causing those veins to collapse and fade away. The collapsed veins are eventually reabsorbed by the body and the blood that flowed through them is redirected to other blood vessels in the body.

That said, some people need a few treatments before they see full results. Usually, the treatments are spaced about a month apart, which allows your surgeon to evaluate your results and determine if a second session is needed.

3. You’ll Want to Wear Compression Stockings Afterwards

While the spider vein treatment won’t interfere with your life too much, since the treatment takes such a short amount of time and you’ll be able to return to most activities right away, there is one thing you might want to be aware of. Your surgeon might strongly recommend that you wear compression stockings for  a few weeks after the treatment. The stockings will put a gentle pressure on the legs, helping the veins to fade from view and to help improve the circulation of the remaining functioning veins.

4. It’s a Good Idea to Avoid the Sun After Treatment

You’ll also want to avoid sun exposure on the treated area afterwards. The chemical solution injected into your veins does cause some inflammation in the area. Exposure to the sun’s UV rays can cause the inflamed area to darken. Skin discoloration is more common in people who have darker complexions.

5. Treatment is Usually Very Effective

Sclerotherapy wouldn’t be the "gold standard" spider vein treatment if it weren’t effective. As the Cleveland Clinic notes, the treatment usually eliminates up to 80 percent of spider veins in a treated area after just a single session. Very few people, less than 10 percent, don’t see any results from their treatments. 

If you’re ready to say goodbye to your spider veins, contact the board-certified surgeons at United Vein Center to learn more about sclerotherapy and other vein treatment options.

Do I Need a Vein Clinic?

Summer’s coming and you’ve been looking at those twisting, bulging veins on your leg – that could mean no shorts in your future. Or maybe it’s that dark purple cluster of small veins on your ankle or behind the knee. While neither of these conditions is life-threatening, they could be an indication that it’s time to head to your local vein clinic. Here’s how a vein clinic can help you, courtesy of Dr. Gamal Wazni at United Vein Centers in Tampa, Florida.

What’s a Vein Clinic?

A vein clinic is a step up from the average doctor’s office. In some ways it’s more like an outpatient diagnostic and treatment center, with the focus on vein disease and related problems. Most vein clinics offer services to help diagnose varicose veins or other vein problems like phlebitis, such as a duplex ultrasound or other diagnostic tests. In addition, you can receive what is known as non-invasive or minimally invasive treatment for varicose veins and spider veins. You don’t need to go to a hospital and the procedures are typically performed in an hour or two, after which you can go straight home.

What Conditions are Treated in a Vein Clinic?

Varicose veins and spider veins are the two conditions most often treated in a vein clinic. Actually both are the same thing; spider veins are just much smaller and can occur in places other than the legs. Both result from a failure of tiny flaps of tissue in the vein called valves. This allows blood to flow backward and pool in the vein. In most cases, neither condition causes distressing symptoms, but they do affect your appearance (especially when spider veins occur on the face) and many people seek treatment for that reason. Varicose veins may also cause symptoms like burning, itching or pain in the legs, which is another reason people seek treatment.

What Treatments are Available?

Vein clinics differ as to what services they offer. However, most provide sclerotherapy and laser treatments. Sclerotherapy is the injection of a special solution or foam into a varicose or spider vein. The solution is very irritating to the vein wall, and in response, the vein swells and then collapses. Pressure is applied with a bandage or special elastic stockings to help the vein scar closed. Laser treatments also irritate the vein, but with special high-energy heat. The beams are transmitted to the vein through the skin, so no incisions are necessary. Ambulatory phlebectomy is used to remove large varicose veins through tiny incisions in the skin. Local anesthesia is all that’s necessary for these procedures and most people resume normal activities (except for strenuous exercise) the next day.

Whatever your vein problems, a vein clinic is an excellent place to get the correct diagnosis and have them treated. These procedures don’t take much time and you can get everything you need at United Vein Center. Please contact us to schedule an appointment or if you have any questions.

 

 

Caught in the Web of Spider Veins? We offer Quick, Effective Treatment

Spider veins come about due to blood backing up in the capillaries (tiny blood vessels) just beneath the skin’s surface. Some people refer to them as broken capillaries. Spider vein treatment destroys these tiny vessels and improves the appearance of your skin.

Why Do I Get Spider Veins? Can I Prevent Them?

Spider veins are caused by many of the same conditions as larger varicose veins. Particularly common causes of spider veins include:

Sun exposure

How to avoid: Wear sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat. If you can, avoid spending significant time in direct sun during the midday hours, when the rays are strongest. Certain medications can make you more sun-sensitive than you normally are, so be extra careful with sun exposure when taking these to avoid sunburn and spider veins. Your physician or pharmacist will typically warn you when prescribing, or the warning will be listed on the accompanying literature.

Hormonal fluctuation

This is obviously unavoidable in most cases. Fluctuations occur during puberty, when taking birth control pills, as well as during menopause and pregnancy. If you develop spider veins and/or varicose veins due to pregnancy, for example, wait and observe them after giving birth. If they haven’t disappeared by about 3 months after you’ve given birth—see your vein doctor in Tampa for quick and virtually pain free spider vein treatment.

Injury

How to avoid: Don’t be rough with your skin. Repeated rough treatment, like washing with harsh skin cleansers or using rough facial clothes can lead to capillary damage. Some people are more susceptible to this damage than others, particularly those with sensitive or light skin. As for accidental injuries, you can’t always avoid accidents, such as a ball hitting you in the cheek when playing catch with your kids. These accidents can cause spider veins to appear in response since the injury causes pressure within the capillaries, which can create spider veins. 

Other causes include:

Heredity, obesity, and jobs where you must be on your feet most of the time, including: hair stylists, teachers, food servers, nurses and factory workers. In addition, wearing clothing that constricts blood flow to your legs can cause pressure that leads to spider veins and varicose veins.

Treating Spider Veins

Spider vein treatment options include sclerotherapy and a variety of laser treatments. Your vein specialist will recommend the best treatment option(s) for your particular spider veins. Treatment choices depend upon how widespread the spider veins are, where they are and other factors.

Get Expert Treatment for Spider Veins in Tampa

If webs of spider veins on your legs, ankles or face are inconveniencing you or limiting your lifestyle, we can help. Make an appointment for spider vein treatment at our Tampa vein clinic. We’ll help you say goodbye to annoying spider veins. Contact United Vein Centers today. 

Venous Disease and Proper Treatment

If you have venous disease symptoms, or a close relative has had vein problems, be sure to care for your vein health by visiting your vein doctor in Tampa. If you haven’t had symptoms yet, an exam can reveal potential problems and help you make lifestyle changes to avoid vein disease. If you have noticed varicose veins or other symptoms of vascular disease, seeing your vein surgeon is imperative to help reverse or improve your condition and maintain your vein health for the long term.

Venous disease is an umbrella term that describes vein problems including:

  • Varicose veins and spider veins
  • Chronic venous insufficiency
  • Phlebitis (vein inflammation)
  • DVT (deep vein thrombosis, serious blood clot)
  • Secondary vein disease (vein problems that are complications from diabetes, heart disease or other health problems)
  • Leg ulcers
  • And related blood vessel problems and circulatory issues

What are the Symptoms of Venous Disease?

  • Achy painful legs, especially lower legs/calves
  • Heavy-feeling legs
  • Itchy legs
  • Tired legs
  • Swollen legs
  • Leg rash
  • Leg numbness or pins and needles
  • Skin changes in texture or color, such as hardening or darkening

Vein Disease Treatment Options

See your Tampa vein doctor for proper diagnosis. Your vein doctor can help you sort though all of the treatment options to find the best for you. Many people with venous disease need more than one type of treatment and regular monitoring of their vein health. Luckily, most treatments are minimally invasive and quick. Provided you get treatment and follow your surgeon’s advice about lifestyle changes, you can enjoy good vein health throughout your life.

Here are some of the treatment options for a variety of venous disease conditions:

  • Sclerotherapy or microsclerotherapy is typically used for small or medium varicose veins. In this procedure, your vascular doctor injects a special solution into the diseased vein, permanently closing it. Circulation is improved as blood flows through nearby healthy veins.
  • Endovenous thermal ablation is often accompanied by ultrasound to help locate the diseased vein and guide the laser to the right spot. Your vein surgeon inserts a catheter (thin tube) into the varicose vein and activates the laser’s heat energy. This causes the vein to collapse.
  • Ambulatory phlebectomy is used for large varicose leg veins. In this procedure, the diseased vein is removed using a tiny, hook-shaped instrument, through several tiny skin punctures with local anesthesia.
  • Vein stripping surgery, where your vascular surgeon removes a large varicose vein through tiny incisions in the ankle area, knee and groin.
  • And more.

Get Expert Spider Vein Treatment in Tampa

Are you suffering from symptoms of venous disease, such as varicose veins or aching legs? Make an appointment for expert diagnosis and vein treatment at our Tampa vein clinic. We’ll help you say goodbye to annoying spider veins. Contact United Vein Centers today.

All About Vein Disease

Vein disease – the technical medical term is venous disease – is a catch-all term. It may refer to a variety of different problems. The key is that all the problems occur in the venous system. The conditions may be minor or primarily cosmetic issues or can actually be life-threatening. Here are the basics about vein disease from Dr. Gamal Wazni, of United Vein Centers in Tampa, Florida.

Vein Disease – Varicose Veins

To some extent, varicose veins and vein valve failure mean the same thing. The valves are tiny flaps of tissue inside the veins meant to prevent blood from flowing backwards. Unlike arteries, which have plenty of force behind the blood flow, veins rely on muscle contractions in the legs to pump blood back up to the heart. Each time the heart beats, there is a slight pause in which only the valves keep blood from going back down due to gravity. The valves can wear out over time, which leads to blood pooling in the veins and distending them into what we call varicose veins.

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How Duplex Ultrasound Works in Vein Treatment

It goes without saying that blood flow is absolutely essential to maintaining good health. A lack of adequate blood flow, otherwise known as venous insufficiency, can cause a wide range of medical issues from the purely cosmetic (superficial spider veins) to the extremely serious (heart attacks and strokes).

For centuries, doctors had to rely on outward signs and symptoms in order to diagnose and treat blood flow problems. Today, however, doctors can look beneath the skin to see how blood is flowing in real time using a device called the duplex ultrasound

How Duplex Ultrasound Works

The “duplex” part of the duplex ultrasound signifies the fact that this device combines two different types of ultrasound technology. Using traditional ultrasound technology, it creates pictures by bouncing sound waves off of blood vessels. To examine the flow of blood, it concurrently uses Doppler ultrasound, a technology that can record the speed and trajectory of moving objects and liquid substances.

During the duplex ultrasound process, a medical professional moves a wand, called a transducer, over any areas of concern. This transducer emits sound waves that reflect back to a central computer to create an accurate visual depiction of the patient’s veins and the blood that flows through them. Medical professionals can also use a duplex ultrasound device to see vascular plaque and other features of concern.

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