Summer Vein Therapy Special Promotion

Sclerotherapy remains the gold-standard for spider vein treatment. Results will vary depending on vessel type, but most patients will see significant benefits.

What are the Benefits of Sclerotherapy?

  • Improves cosmetic appearance
  • Relieves itching and burning associated with vein disease

How Does it Work?

A tiny needle is used to inject a solution directly into the vein. The solution coats the lining of the vessel and causes it to close down. Over time, the body absorbs the treated vein and it disappears. Some patients may experience a mild discomfort during the procedure.

The number of veins injected in one session varies depending on the size and location of the veins and the patient’s overall medical condition. Several sclerotherapy sessions may be needed for any vein region.

What Can I Expect After Sclerotherapy?

You may need to wear medically prescribed support hose and/or bandages for several days to a few weeks to assist in recovery. In general, smaller veins respond to treatment in 3 to 6 weeks, and larger veins respond in 3 to 4 months.

Where Can I Get Sclerotherapy?

Hamilton Vein Center is a leader in vein and vascular care. With locations in 3 major metro areas, we make Texans look and feel great. Our team of board-certified physicians and providers will ensure you receive comprehensive vein care.

How Much Does Sclerotherapy Cost?

Since sclerotherapy for spider veins is typically considered a cosmetic procedure, some insurance companies will not cover the cost. However, the cost is still surprisingly affordable. At Hamilton Vein Center, we normally charge $450 per session. But, right now, we want you to…

Look Great and Feel Great This Summer!

NOW through August 31, Hamilton Vein Center is LOWERING SCLEROTHERAPY PRICES!

Purchase up to 3 sessions at $300 each for a savings of $150 per treatment. That’s a savings of 33%!

  • Deal ends August 31
  • Use by October 31
  • Purchases limited to 3 treatments

If you suspect you may be experiencing spider veins or any other vein or circulation problem, the team at Hamilton Vein Center is ready to help. Employing the latest in techniques and technologies we’ve helped countless patients find real and effective relief. Learn more about what we do by calling us at 281.916.5660 today!

Summer Vein Therapy Special Promotion

Look Great and Feel Great This Summer!

NOW through August 31, Hamilton Vein Center is LOWERING SCLEROTHERAPY PRICES!

Purchase up to 3 sessions at $300 each for a savings of $150 per treatment. That’s a savings of 33%!

  • Deal ends August 31
  • Use by October 31
  • Purchases limited to 3 treatments

Sclerotherapy remains the gold-standard for spider vein treatment. Results will vary depending on vessel type, but most patients will see significant benefits.

What are the Benefits of Sclerotherapy?

  • Improves cosmetic appearance
  • Relieves itching and burning associated with vein disease

How Does it Work?

A tiny needle is used to inject a solution directly into the vein. The solution coats the lining of the vessel and causes it to close down. Over time, the body absorbs the treated vein and it disappears. Some patients may experience a mild discomfort during the procedure.

The number of veins injected in one session varies depending on the size and location of the veins and the patient’s overall medical condition. Several sclerotherapy sessions may be needed for any vein region.

What Can I Expect After Sclerotherapy?

You may need to wear medically prescribed support hose and/or bandages for several days to a few weeks to assist in recovery. In general, smaller veins respond to treatment in 3 to 6 weeks, and larger veins respond in 3 to 4 months.

Where Can I Get Sclerotherapy?

Hamilton Vein Center is a leader in vein and vascular care. With locations in 3 major metro areas, we make Texans look and feel great. Our team of board-certified physicians and providers will ensure you receive comprehensive vein care.

How Much Does Sclerotherapy Cost?

Since sclerotherapy for spider veins is typically considered a cosmetic procedure, some insurance companies will not cover the cost. However, the cost is still surprisingly affordable. At Hamilton Vein Center, we normally charge $450 per session. But, right now, we want you to look great and feel great this summer by saving $150 per treatment.

Can I Run After Sclerotherapy? What Life Looks Like Post-Treatment

Letting Go Off Problem Veins

For many people, it gets to the point where symptoms are unbearable: heavy, tired legs; unflattering varicose veins; swelling and itching. Others, like blogger Julyne Derrick, may find that their spider veins are too unsightly and likely to get worse. Her feelings of self-consciousness came to a boil when she was on a beach vacation in Mexico. “Turns out I’m a closet beach freak,” she writes, “[s]ince bathing suits were now in my future, the unsightly veins had to go.”

In her research, she came upon a special procedure, sclerotherapy, that could clear up the problem. This is a quick, non-invasive treatment involving the injection of a special saline solution that breaks down problem varicose or spider veins. The solution contains a blood clotting agent, so problems areas start to stick together; over time, scar tissue develops, which effectively hides unsightliness and gets rid of associated problems.

As Derrick would tell you, it’s a quick procedure; after an initial consultation appointment, she reports that her actual treatment only took about 15 minutes. Further, she was blown away by how tolerable it was: “I left my appointment pleased with the convenience and pain level of the actual procedure.”

But the bigger question is, what’s life like after sclerotherapy?

The Early Going

It’s important to note that recovery is very much dependent on the scope and scale of treatment. Sclerotherapy for varicose veins is going to be more impactful than that for spider veins; it therefore takes much longer to see results. But the good news here? Typically, those that have this treatment will be able to drive and resume normal activities the same day!

Here’s a quick breakdown of what your doctor might tell you after sclerotherapy:

  • Multiple Treatments: In some cases, you may need to undergo more than one sclerotherapy treatment. Be prepared to schedule a time to come back.
  • Walking Is Encouraged: While there may be some discomfort, it’s usually encouraged that you resume walking or other physical activities. This promotes healing.
  • Compression Garments: You will need to wear specialized compression stockings for some time after treatment. Not just any hoses will do, but there are therapeutic types you can buy.
  • Be Patient: Put simply, in the first week or two after treatment, your legs aren’t going to look great. There will be bruising and discoloration; however, as everything heals this will pass.

In addition, you’ll be advised to avoid the following for the first couple days post-treatment:

  • Ibuprofen, aspirin, or other anti-inflammatory drugs.
  • Hot baths.
  • Saunas or jacuzzies.
  • Direct exposure to sunlight.

Finally, you’ll be told that injection sites can be washed with soap and lukewarm or cool water. Showers are OK too, but, unfortunately, you’ll need to ensure water temperature is colder than usual.

Possible Side-Effects

As with any medical procedure, there’s always going to be a risk of side-effects, and your doctor will surely tell you about them. Most of these are pretty easily managed. Here’s a quick breakdown:

  • Itching: For one to two days after the procedure, some patients report itching in the affected area.
  • Red Bumps: Reddish bumps at the injection site are not uncommon, though these usually resolve pretty quickly.
  • Bruising: As noted above, some patients will see bruises develop on their legs. These are usually gone within two weeks.
  • New Tiny Vessels: A process called “neovascularization” sometimes occurs after sclerotherapy. This is when new, small vessels form in the affected area; however, they tend to disappear within three to 12 months.
  • Long Recovery: In some cases, larger veins become lumpy and hardened post-injection, so it takes longer for them to disappear.
  • Brown Spots: Brown colored spots or lines can appear along the injected vein, but usually these disappear within six months.

Notably, too, if you experience inflammation near the groin, sudden onset of swollen leg, and the formation of ulcers at the site of injection, contact your doctor immediately.

The Long View

Individual cases vary, but it’s worth noting that sclerotherapy is highly effective; less than 10 percent of patients see no effect, and up to 80 percent of injected veins disappear. And while you may require multiple sessions, the relief you feel, as well as the way your legs will look, make it worthwhile. Most important is that you find the right clinic and doctor to work with. Julyne Derrick was impressed by the clinic she visited in her native New York City, but there are certainly many options out there.

With the right help, your varicose or spider veins will become a thing of the past.

 

If you’re interested in learning more about sclerotherapy, talk to a Patient Care Manager at Hamilton Vein Center. The experts here have helped countless patients find real, effective solutions to varicose veins, spider veins, as well as a host of other vascular issues. Learn more about what this team does by calling their Houston, TX office at (281) 565-0033, Austin at (512) 551-1403, or San Antonio at (210) 504-4304 today!

 

References

  1. Derrick, J. (2017). I Got My Spider Veins Removed. Did It Work?. [online] LiveAbout. Available at: https://www.liveabout.com/sclerotherapy-i-got-my-spider-veins-removed-did-it-work-345725 [Accessed 31 Jan. 2018].
  2. (2016). Sclerotherapy for Varicose and Spider Veins. [online] Available at: https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/cosmetic-procedures-sclerotherapy#1 [Accessed 31 Jan. 2018].

More Than Skin Deep: The Psychological Impact of Varicose Veins

The Body & The Mind

When most people think about varicose veins, they focus on the physical aspects of this disease. And there’s no doubt that the associated discomfort, swelling, tiredness in the legs, and overall unsightliness of the condition warrant attention. But there’s more to it. If you talk to anyone who’s had them, they’ll also tell you about how hard it can be to cope with on a psychological level; working is tougher with leg discomfort, depression is common, and there’s always the embarrassment caused by the way they look.

What do we really know about the connection between mental health and varicose veins? It’s been increasingly noted in research that varicose veins—because of their impact on physical health—also has a significant effect on psychology. Essentially, what arises is a kind of feedback loop: varicose veins lead people to feel more insecure about their self-image and self-worth and suffer a kind of mental fallout as a result.

But what does this impact look like? Among many others, two studies have highlighted the connections.

Lingering Limitations

In order to more fully explore the impact of varicose veins on mental health, Dr. Rajiv Mallick and his team looked at data from two studies and a total of 516 patients, classifying results using accepted measures of psychological health and quality-of-life. Using statistical analysis they noted significant relationships between these and the presence of these veins. Here’s a quick breakdown of their main results:

  • Prevalence of Obesity: Because of its impact of circulation and vein health, the team analyzed the weight status of the research pool. They found that 70 percent of patients were obese (that is a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or above). How does this impact psychology? It’s well known that obese individuals are more prone to depression and other psychological conditions.
  • Difficulty at Work: A large portion of the subjects—approximately 47 percent—reported difficulty at work as result of varicose veins. On top of that, 31 percent of participants noted that this impacted the amount of hours they felt they could do it. The effect was especially pronounced for those who work on their feet. In effect, this leads to a reduced self-image.
  • Concern About Appearance: The most prominent impact of varicose veins on sufferers’ mental status was seen in measurements of concern about appearance and clothing choice. In this study, 74 percent noted the former, and 65 percent felt hampered by the latter.
  • Severity & Psychology: With all of their measures, this team found that the more advanced and severe the case of varicose veins, the greater psychology was impacted. As they put it, “[s]ymptoms and functional limitations”—that is the extent to which the condition impacted ability to stand, work, etc.—“led to greater psychological impact.”

This team noted that varicose veins have a tough and debilitating impact on mental health and emphasize the need for further research on these connections.

Depression & Varicose Veins

A second study performed in 2012 noted a distinct and salient relationship between varicose veins and depression scores. Dr. Sritharan and a team at the Imperial College of Medicine in London, UK, assessed 100 varicose veins patients and found a significant amount—29 percent—had scores suggestive of clinical depression. This association was independent of other factors like age and gender, and, according to the authors, it’s largely under-diagnosed. This being the case, they advocated a more “holistic approach” to treating these cases.

Seeking Solutions

Treatments for varicose veins like radiofrequency ablation (RFA), foam sclerotherapy, and others, then, can also help promote better mental health. You simply feel better and more sure of yourself when you feel healthier in your own body. These days, there’s no need to feel like a burden or hide your legs. If varicose veins are an issue for you, it’s seriously worth considering taking them on.

 

If you suffer with varicose veins, the experts at Hamilton Vein Center’s Texas-based outpatient clinics are ready to help. They employ the latest and most effective methods of treatment. Learn more about what they do by calling their Houston location at (281) 565-0033, the Austin office at (512) 551-1403, or San Antonio at (210) 504-4304 today! 

 

References

  1. Mallick R, et al. 2018. “Relationship Between Patient-Reported Symptoms, Limitations In Daily Activities, And Psychological Impact In Varicose Veins. – Pubmed – NCBI “. Nlm.Nih.Gov. Accessed April 20 2018. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/282144
  2. Nemiary, Deina, Ruth Shim, Gail Mattox, and Kisha Holden. 2012. “The Relationship Between Obesity And Depression Among Adolescents”. Psychiatric Annals 42 (8): 305-308. SLACK, Inc. doi:10.3928/00485713-20120806-09.
  3. Sritharan, K., T.R.A. Lane, and A.H. Davies. 2012. “The Burden Of Depression In Patients With Symptomatic Varicose Veins”. European Journal Of Vascular And Endovascular Surgery43 (4): 480-484. Elsevier BV. doi:10.1016/j.ejvs.2012.01.008.

Varicose Veins Could Mean Big Health Problems

There’s nothing comfortable about varicose veins; not only are they unsightly, but they lead to sensitivity and heaviness in the legs. But the assumption that they’re just a skin problem, according to recent research, is false. The treatment options available are already quite effective, and today’s approaches are much less invasive and better tolerated than those of years past.

A local news channel in Houston spoke to Hamilton Vein Center physician, Dr. Carlos Hamilton, about the dangers of varicose veins and using Varithena to fix the problem. Watch the video below:

What’s Life Like After Radiofrequency Ablation For Varicose Veins?

Better Treatments Mean Better Outcomes

As any of the approximately one in four American adults who has them can attest, varicose veins are a source of discomfort on multiple fronts; not only do they cause itchiness, pain, and heaviness in the legs, but they’re unsightly. These factors seriously impede quality of life, but beyond that, the condition itself is associated with a number of more serious medical cases.

Luckily, treatment approaches today aren’t what they used to be, and a more recent procedure, radiofrequency ablation (RFA), is known to be particularly effective and well-tolerated. Instead of more-invasive surgeries, RFA involves using ultrasound-guided radio waves to seal off problematic veins, thereby re-routing blood to healthier veins. Done on an outpatient basis, this procedure allows for quick and easy recovery.

As with any medical treatment, however, it’s important to consider the aftermath: What’s recovery like? What’s life like following RFA? Let’s take a look.

Documented Improvements

As with any kind of therapy, it’s important for the scientific and medical communities to get a fuller sense of this treatment. In particular, one team of researchers working in the Thamassat University Hospital, in Thailand—under the direction of Dr. Boonying Siribumrungwong—wanted to take a closer look at self-reported outcomes in RFA patients by comparing them to those who had conventional surgery. They recruited 83 patients, of which 33 opted for the latter, and asked them to rate quality of life at one week and one month following treatment.

To make their assessment, the team relied on a standard measure of quality of life for this condition: the EuroQol (EQ-5D) questionnaire.  Notably, they found all patients had significant improvement, especially one month after the procedure. Not only that, in the earlier going especially, those who had RFA reported feeling better in multiple domains: degree of pain/discomfort, mobility, depression/anxiety, usual activities, and self-care.

Basically, treatment for varicose veins improved physical and psychological well-being regardless of type, but RFA was easier to tolerate and lead to quicker recovery. A number of other studies arrived at similar conclusions.

A Brand New Day: Life After RFA

Beyond the research, though, it’s also important to get a sense, more exactly, of what to expect after RFA treatment. What do you face after having this procedure done? Here’s a quick breakdown:

  • Quick Recovery: In contrast to more-invasive surgeries, RFA patients are able to get back to their normal routines within a day or two. Though there may be some discomfort as a result of the procedure, relief from symptoms is very quick. Patients can go home the same day.
  • Special Measures: You’ll be told to wear special compression stockings for up to two weeks following the procedure. These help prevent reoccurrence of veins and encourage healthy circulation of the veins. Lifting heavy objects should be avoided for some time after treatment, and some rest may be needed in the initial period.
  • Some Risks: While RFA is largely successful and well-tolerated, there are rare cases where patients experience some complications, including the sensation of burning or tingling on the skin, bruising, blood clots, nerve injury, or infection.
  • Continued Evaluation: To ensure the procedure has gone well and that there are no complications, your doctor will check in with you following the procedure. Make sure you listen carefully to their instructions and recommendations.

Largely, though, it’s well-documented that an overwhelming majority of those who have RFA for varicose veins are satisfied with treatment. They feel physically better and can feel better baring their legs. As compromising as this condition can be, it’s good to know that this treatment, and a number of others, are allowing patients to get back on their feet better than ever.

 

If you’d like to learn more about RFA or other treatment options for varicose veins, talk to a Patient Care Manager at Hamilton Vein Center. The experts at these Texas-based outpatient clinics pride themselves in ensuring positive outcomes for their patients. Call their Houston location at (281) 916-5660, the Austin office at (512) 710-1114, or San Antonio at (210) 405-4707 today! 

 

References

  1. “Quality Of Life After Great Saphenous Vein Ablation In Thai Patients With Great Saphenous Vein Reflux”. 2017. Asian Journal Of Surgery40 (4): 295-300. Elsevier BV. doi:10.1016/j.asjsur.2015.10.004.

Advances in Treatment: Researchers Working on New Ultrasound Therapy For Varicose Veins

On The Hunt

Given that varicose veins are such a widespread problem—in the US, it’s estimated that 23 percent of adults suffer with the condition—it’s no surprise that research into treatment continues to garner widespread support. Getting a handle on this issue will no doubt reap many benefits as varicose veins impact both individual quality of life and the overall economy as sufferers occasionally need to take time off of work due to the condition.

The treatment options available are already quite effective, and today’s approaches are much less invasive and better tolerated than those of years past. Still, there’s always room for improvement, which is why it’s exciting that a team at the Center for Advanced Studies at Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University (SPbPU) in Russia has started evaluating the efficacy of a potentially groundbreaking new technique for treatment. It involves the use of ultrasound to obliterate these unsightly, uncomfortable, and damaging vein structures.

What’s the cause for this excitement? Let’s take a closer at what these researchers are up to, as well as the problems they’re trying to solve.

Existing Drawbacks

Like all medicine, varicose vein treatments have come a long way. Traditional approaches involved a surgery in which problematic veins were manually stripped away. While this would solve the problem, it involved very invasive methods, leading to the need for lengthy recovery. Current approaches such as sclerotherapy and radiofrequency ablation (RAF) are much less-invasive, but they do still entail some damage to the skin and periods of discomfort after treatment.

No doubt, then, subsequent treatments will need to represent improvements in outcomes as well as recovery time. According to the team at SPbPU, their ultrasound-based approach may represent exactly that. Let’s take a closer look.

Diagnosis & Treatment in One

So how would this approach work? Basically, the affected leg is placed into a special vat containing a liquid that conducts ultrasound. This device is unique in that it allows the doctor to visually assess the limb and seek out trouble spots, which are marked for treatment. It will also be able to automate and aid in diagnosis. Furthermore, in particularly troublesome areas, this technology can even apply “compression cuffs” to stop the flow of blood.

Marked areas of the leg are then subjected to irradiation to effectively shut off the varicose veins. This forces blood to pick out other circulatory pathways—a natural process—which leads to problem areas healing and veins disappearing. What makes this particularly innovative is that the device would combine diagnostic capability with treatment itself. Not only that, since it’s based on ultrasound radiation, it doesn’t actually damage the skin, which means quicker recovery.

The Long Road to The Clinic

In the same way that it takes some time for a new computer, smartphone, or car to hit the market, it’ll be a while before an advance like this is available in the clinical setting. This is a good thing, however! Medical treatments and technologies necessarily have to undergo a great deal of research and review before they’re cleared for use on patients. Not only do researchers such as the Russian team need to make sure for themselves that the approach is safe and effective, but there are numerous regulatory hurdles that need to be cleared. It’s thanks to this intense oversight that pharmaceutical drugs and medical technologies are largely safe.

But the promise is there. According to Dr. Alexander Berkovich, one of the lead researchers of the project, research into the efficacy of the device has already begun. He notes that a “series of experiments proving the efficacy of this technology” have already been conducted. It seems that we may be closing in on the next advance in varicose vein treatment.

The Step Forward

No matter what technology is available, the important thing if you have varicose veins is that you get solid and effective medical treatment. A good doctor should be versed in all of the options, while also seeking to stay on top of the latest advances. Beyond that, though, this person should be someone you can really trust. With the right team at your side, you can step forward from vein problems to a brighter future.

 

If you suffer from varicose veins or any other vein condition or disease, the team at Hamilton Vein Center is ready to help. The experts here pride themselves in offering their patients the latest in techniques and technologies. Learn more about what they do by calling the Houston location at (281) 916-5660, the Austin office at (512) 710-1114, or San Antonio at (210) 405-4707 today!

 

References

  1. Piazza, G. 2014. “Varicose Veins”. Circulation130 (7): 582-587. Ovid Technologies (Wolters Kluwer Health). doi:10.1161/circulationaha.113.008331.
  2. “Russian Researchers Develop New Technology For Treating Varicose Veins”. 2017. News-Medical.Net. Accessed April 11 2018. https://www.news-medical.net/news/20170213/Russian-researchers-develop-new-technology-for-treating-varicose-veins.aspx.

The Varicose Vein Workout: The Dos & The Don’ts

Weighing the Numbers

When you look at the statistics surrounding varicose veins, it’s not a pretty picture. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), no less than one in five American adults experience the condition. And while hardened, unsightly, surface veins may not be life-threatening, they significantly impact quality of life, leading to discomfort, heavy legs, and cramping. Alongside medical treatment, doctors often recommend that sufferers try to get more exercise.

Sweating For Better

The benefits of good fitness habits cannot be overstated, but for those with vein problems there are two positive things that happen:

  • Improved Circulation: Physical activity helps improve cardiovascular health overall, which promotes better and more efficient circulation of blood. Since varicose veins are the result of failures in this process—leading to blood pooling in the lower limbs—exercise can help reduce symptoms.
  • Weight Loss: Among the risk factors for developing varicose veins is being overweight or obese. Particularly, excess pounds place extra pressure on the lower limbs. Exercise, when paired with a good diet, is a good means of managing this condition.

Clearly, gym memberships—or even just ensuring regular walks or other physical activity sessions—are a net positive for those with vein problems.

But here’s the thing: when it comes to managing varicose veins, not all exercises are helpful. As such, we’ve gathered varicose vein workout Dos and Don’ts. Let’s take a look:

The Dos

Certain exercises are known to be particularly helpful because they promote circulation in the lower limbs. Here’s a breakdown:

  • Leg Elevation: Surprisingly, laying down on a yoga mat is the first step to a series of exercises that can help with varicose veins. Really! While on your back, lift your legs, place your feet on a wall, and hold them there for a couple minutes at a time. From the same position, you can also straighten your legs into the air and do several repetitions of separating and bring them back together. Doing bicycle circles can also help, as can pulling one knee at a time towards your chest to strengthen thighs.
  • Gentle Exercises: Fitness programs that stimulate circulation while being gentle in terms of vascular pressure in the legs. Especially for those who aren’t fond of going to the gym, activities like daily walks (20-30 minutes at a time), cycling, or swimming. Others may find yoga to be particularly beneficial. These can be easily incorporated into your regular routine.
  • Office Workouts: Being sedentary can aggravate varicose vein problems, and since so many work at desks, this is a major concern. For those in the office, it’s a good idea to take periodic breaks from sitting. Take a couple minutes to stand and do simple leg stretches. Also, while sitting, it’s a good idea to do up to 30 repetitions of separating and then bringing together your toes.

Focusing on activity that promotes circulation and is easier to tolerate will certainly pay dividends.

The Don’ts

While it wouldn’t be wrong to say that anything you do for your overall health is going to be positive, it is true that some exercises may worsen varicose vein symptoms. Take a look:

  • Hard Running: Where a more gentle jog is likely to help, running for very long periods of time or at high speeds can aggravate the pressure in your veins. Many patients that try for more “hardcore” running activities may end up feeling worse because of the impact of stepping on hard surfaces. If you do want to run, wear compression stockings and/or try it indoors and on softer surfaces.
  • Weightlifting: The pressure and strain felt in abdominal areas of the body when lifting weights can actually hinder blood circulation from the lower limbs. If pushed too hard, a person can experience increased discomfort as veins swell further, and there is even a risk of damage. If you go this route, try for increased reps of lighter weights, and it’s always a good idea to consult with your doctor.

Finding the Right Fit

In the end, making lifestyle changes like adopting fitness regimens will certainly help you take on varicose vein issues. Of course, if this condition is a serious problem, it’s a good idea to seek out medical attention, and if you already have talked to a doctor, consult them about the best means of management. With the right combination of medical care and health choices, you’ll no doubt find the relief you need.

 

If you’re suffering with varicose veins or other circulation issues, the team at Hamilton Vein Center is ready to help. These experts employ the latest in techniques and technologies to help countless patients find positive outcomes. Learn more about what they do by calling their Houston office at (281) 916-5660, the Austin office at (512) 710-1114, or San Antonio at (210) 405-4707 today!

 

References

  1. “Varicose Veins: Overview”. 2016. Institute For Quality And Efficiency In Health Care (Iqwig). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedheal
  2. “Exercises To Prevent And Treat Varicose Veins”. 2015. Step To Health. Accessed April 3 2018. https://steptohealth.com/exercises-to-prevent-and-treat-varicose-veins/.
  3. “Varicose Veins? Don’t Do These Exercises”. 2016. Health24. Accessed April 3 2018. https://www.health24.com/Medical/Leg/Varicose-veins/some-exercises-may-be-bad-for-your-varicose-veins-20160215.

Sitting Down With Venous Leg Ulcers

 

Tough Cases

What’s most important to understand about venous leg ulcers is how debilitating and difficult they can be to live with. Often pointing to underlying deficiencies in blood circulation, cases like this end up being a source of constant frustration, especially because the cycle of injury and infection never seems to go away. That was the case for Sean Dougherty, a 66 year old resident of New Jersey, who suffered with leg ulcers for 20 years before finding relief.

His case was like many; ulcers and wounds on his legs would simply never go away. “It would get infected, then subside, then reinfect,” he writes, “[i]t never really healed.” It took a long time until he was properly diagnosed and treated, but this was not for lack of trying. And in fact, venous leg ulcers are challenging because they often go undetected by standard ultrasounds.

But what are venous leg ulcers? What can be done about them? Let’s take a look.

The “Gift” That Keeps on Giving

So how do venous leg ulcers present? Most typically, patients experience sores in the legs—usually on the inside of the leg just above the ankle—that refuse to heal and last for weeks or even months at a time. A number of other symptoms can arise, too, including:

  • Pain in the region
  • Itching
  • Swelling
  • Discoloration and hardening of skin in affected area

Certainly, anyone experiencing these symptoms should seek out medical attention and/or the advice of a specialist.

Poor Flow

But what causes venous leg ulcers to form? In a vast majority of cases, they occur as a result of disorders or disease of the veins, which ferry blood back to the heart. When vein walls aren’t strong enough to do their job—or when pressure builds up as a result of blockages or other issues—excess blood starts to pool and collect, especially closer to the skin. This set of circumstances can lead to the formation of injuries and lesions in the legs.

Oftentimes, venous leg ulcers are associated with another dangerous condition: thrombosis. This is essentially when injury leads to larger veins becoming blocked by excess blood clotting material. When such issues occur, and thanks to gravity, problems start to mount.

Pinning Down Venous Leg Ulcers

So what can be done to treat this condition? The first step, of course, is diagnosis. Typically, this involves doctors ruling out other possibilities, like anemia, diabetes, kidney disease, or rheumatoid arthritis. It also ends up being important for doctors to distinguish between leg ulcers due to peripheral circulation problems and those caused by vein disease as this significantly influences approaches to treatment.

A Range of Treatments

The good news for the approximately 6.5 million Americans that suffer from leg ulcers is that there are a number of workable and effective treatments available. Here’s a quick breakdown:

  • Compression: One of the most common treatments for this condition involves wearing compression stockings or having compression bandages applied. These place extra pressure on the veins in the legs and promote circulation. Alongside dressing and topical treatment of the lesions, this method helps stop the progression of this condition.
  • Elevation: Ensuring that patients spend some time every day resting with legs elevated above the level of the hip is another way to promote better circulation. Recommendations may vary, but most need to do this two to three times a day for 30 minutes at time. Through it all, those with the condition should try to get regular exercise.
  • Medical Approaches: More severe cases of venous leg ulcers require medical care. Doctors may try to prescribe antibiotics to manage infections in the lesions. Pain managing drugs can also help with symptoms, and the drug, Pentofixylline, is sometimes given to thin blood and make it more mobile.
  • Varicose Vein Treatment: If varicose veins present themselves and are implicated in causing the condition, treatments to manage them such as vein stripping or radiofrequency ablation (RFA) can be an excellent means of eradicating this disease. Such treatments are minimally-invasive and are a direct means of taking on problematic regions.

Clearly, patients no longer have to be victims of the condition.

Stepping Forward for the Better

For Sean Dougherty, like many who’ve suffered with leg ulcers, life after treatment was immeasurably better. For the first time in decades, he was looking forward to going on vacation and swimming. He’s more active than he’s been since the 90s; “I don’t feel pain,” he says, adding: “I feel like I’m a miracle.” What helped him—and can help anyone with this painful condition—is that he found good, medical care. It’s worth taking serious steps forward if you think you have the condition.

 

If you suspect you may be experiencing venous leg ulcers or any other vein or circulation problem, the team at Hamilton Vein Center is ready to help. Employing the latest in techniques and technologies they’ve helped countless patients find real and effective relief. Learn more about what they do by calling their Houston office at (281) 916-5660, the Austin office at (512) 710-1114, or San Antonio at (210) 405-4707 today!

 

References

  1. “New Jersey Health System”. 2018. Rwjbarnabas Health. Accessed April 2 2018. https://www.rwjbh.org/patient-stories/hope-through-healing-seans-story-about-chronic-w/.
  2. Reeder, S., Maessen-Visch, M., Langendoen, S., de Roos, K. and Neumann, H. (2013). The recalcitrant venous leg ulcer – a never ending story?. Phlebologie, 42(6), pp.332-339.
  3. “Venous Leg Ulcers. What Are Leg Ulcers? Causes And Symptoms”. 2018. Info. Accessed April 2 2018. https://patient.info/health/varicose-veins-leaflet/venous-leg-ulcers.