Tag: varicose vein treatment

What’s the Varicose Vein Treatment for Men?

Are you exploring varicose vein treatment for men? We know people always say that men make the worst patients. And, as it turns out, that may actually be true!

Here’s the story. Statistics show that men are less likely than women to seek treatment for what they consider ‘minor health issues.’ Unfortunately, many people think of varicose veins as a simple cosmetic problem. So men are unlikely to seek medical attention for these bulging veins.

But this thinking is a problem. Because varicose veins aren’t just ugly: they can be a sign of more serious medical conditions like chronic venous disease (CVD).  For that reason, you can’t dismiss vein-related health issues. In fact, if they’re left untreated, those veins can actually cause life-threatening health complications.

Varicose Veins are not a Gender Issue

Varicose veins affect men and women of all ages. Now, while older individuals have a higher risk, they can develop at any age. And that happens when blood pools in the veins of your lower extremities, causing them to stretch out. Over time, they stop returning to their normal size, leaving them swollen, bumpy and visible through your skin.

Aside from age, risk factors for varicose veins in men include family history, standing in one spot for too long, and a sedentary lifestyle. Early on, varicose veins may be irritating at worst. Then, as your disease progresses, the veins can become so swollen that their valves no longer meet close completely. Which is a big problem, since that allows blood to flow in the wrong direction. (We call that reflux.)

As we mentioned before, varicose veins are more common in seniors. (That’s due to the loss of tissue and muscle mass and weakening of venous walls that naturally occurs with age.) But they can strike at any age, and are very common in men. In fact, approximately 45 percent of men will have varicose veins at some point in their life.

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The likelihood of developing varicose veins is higher if you have a family history of vein-related health issues. Standing for long periods during the day and sitting for too long also increases the risk of varicose veins.

Worried you’ve got a problem? Symptoms of chronic venous disease include heaviness, pain, cramps, and swelling in the legs. On their own, or together, they  can keep you from your daily activities.

Health Risks of Varicose Veins

Varicose veins are often the first sign of a serious, progressive condition called venous disease. Varicose veins can progress to cause swelling in the legs and hyperpigmentation (skin darkening) in the ankle area, caused by blood pooling in the veins. When this occurs, it is not unusual to develop painful, debilitating ulcers in the skin above the ankles on the inside of the leg.

Varicose veins also put you at risk for blood clots, ulcers, and other painful and dangerous conditions. When blood pools in the legs as a result of varicose veins, it can easily develop into phlebitis, a superficial but painful blood clot that is not usually life threatening. However, if left untreated, phlebitis can worsen and grow into deep veins, where pieces of the clot may break off and move through the blood stream. Traveling bits of blood clots may become lodged in the lungs and cause a life-threatening blockage called a pulmonary embolism.

While a greater percentage of women get varicose veins than men, men often develop more severe cases. This is largely because men frequently ignore the signs of vein problems until they experience significant discomfort, while women are more likely to seek treatment before dangerous complications have a chance to arise.

Varicose Vein Treatment for Men (and Women)

Varicose veins are usually easy to treat, especially if we catch them early.

For minor cases, wearing compression socks is often enough to keep blood from pooling in the veins and keep it moving back to the heart. Exercise regularly to improve blood flow.  And think about limiting your salt intake. Remember, men who notice signs of varicose veins should consult a doctor right away. So they can choose simple treatments like switching to a different type of socks.

In more severe cases of varicose veins, it may be necessary to have veins treated with lasers in a process called radiofrequency laser ablation (RFA). In this quick outpatient procedure, energy is applied through a laser fiber inserted into the vein to collapse and seal it shut, which causes blood to be diverted into healthy veins nearby instead. The procedure is generally painless and takes about thirty minutes. Afterward you can return to work and resume normal activities almost immediately.

Want to hear even better news? Research from the Journal of Vascular Surgery proves that, after two years, RFA offers similar results to surgeries that remove varicose veins. Even better? with RFA, you don’t have to worry about hospital stays or extended recovery time. While you will have to follow our specialists’ post procedure instructions, you should be able to return to your daily activities almost immediately.

So listen up guys: if you suspect you may have varicose veins or venous disease, contact Texas Endovascular today to schedule an appointment. Don’t push off a consult: if you wait until your varicose veins progress, you may find yourself dealing with a more serious, potentially life-threatening condition.

Is medical glue a good varicose vein treatment?

Looking for varicose vein treatment? When we see patients for varicose vein treatment in our Houston area vein centers, they’re often a symptom of venous insufficiency. That’s a condition that can cause more serious health issues. These include high blood pressure, venous ulcers and so much more. In other words, varicose veins can be dangerous and unattractive. So treating these bulging, prominent veins is more than just a cosmetic decision: it’s imperative to your overall health.

Once you’ve decided to treat varicose veins, the question remains: what method will serve you best?

Procedures to get rid of varicose veins have come a long way, and, today, you’ve got many different options. At one time, patients with vein disease weren’t so lucky. Some chose a procedure commonly known as “vein stripping,” which was an inpatient surgery requiring general anesthesia, hospital admission, and a long, painful recovery period.

Now, this treatment option was highly invasive. So it wasn’t safe for some patients with pre-existing health conditions, including even mild liver disease. (Also called cirrhosis.) For that reason, many patients were left suffering, because the treatment risks were too high.

Even patients who could tolerate vein stripping faced a tough road. After that invasive therapy, patients had to take off time from work or school while they healed! Thankfully, those days are behind us! In our office, we offer a range of minimally invasive varicose vein treatments.

And we’re constantly watching the news for treatment development. Recently, one option involving medical glue was approved by the NHS in the UK. So, today, we wanted to discuss the effectiveness of this treatment.

Medical Glue and Varicose Veins Reasons for a Vein Evaluation

As we mentioned before, varicose veins are a symptom of a blood flow problem. When your valves fail, that allows blood to flow backward, instead of going against gravity and returning to your heart. As the blood sticks around your lower extremities, those veins in your legs get stretched, bulging and visible through your skin.

That’s where a medical glue product called VenaSeal is introduced. Using a small catheter, providers insert the glue into your vein to stop your blood from flowing backward into your legs. They often use a local anesthetic  alongside the glue to prevent any pain. The glue basically stops up the faulty vein so it can’t continue to cause problems. Afterward, many patients can avoid wearing compression stockings.

Now, VenaSeal can be effective. (In fact, this study suggests efficacy rates as high as 98%.) But some factors may impact its usefulness. First, you have to insert the glue into just the right spot, or backflow may continue. Additionally, it’s not yet cleared for use in pregnant women, and long term safety studies are still in the works.

Sclerotherapy and Ablation for Varicose Vein Treatment

Looking for an alternative to VenaSeal? Sclerotherapy is a great option using an ultrasound to access your varicose vein, under the skin, with a very small needle. Next, we mix medication with carbon dioxide gas to create a foam that we inject directly into the abnormal vein, closing it permanently. We recommend sclerotherapy for veins that aren’t yet bulging.

Now, for bulging varicose veins, radiofrequency vein ablation may be a better option. RFA is also a minimally invasive procedure involving the insertion of a catheter into your abnormal vein. We then supply it with heat energy, closing the vein permanently. Want the best news? We can perform RFA with just a local anesthetic. It is a virtually painless procedure that leaves virtually no scar. The procedure takes less than an hour to perform and patients can resume normal activities immediately afterward.

Before proceeding with radiofrequency ablation, or any other varicose vein treatment, your Houston vein specialists will perform a thorough medical examination, including a diagnostic ultrasound evaluation, to determine whether the procedure is appropriate for you. To find out the best treatment option for your medical reality, schedule your consult today!

 

Sources: Expert Review of Medical Devices, NHS.UK

 

Here’s One Binge Watching and Video Game Danger You Need to Know

There’s one video game danger your Houston vein specialists need to tell you about. We know everyone’s spent more time at home over the last two years. And we know you’ve been bored: it’s not surprising. But, if you’ve started passing those hours playing endless amounts of video games, heed this warning: you’re putting your body at risk. To help you understand, the gaming experts at OnlineCasino.ca studied the long-term effects of video game playing on our bodies. And they came up with a scary model of what constant gamers will look like 20 years from now. Let’s check it out and get scared straight…away from the gaming system!

Video Game Danger: How Constant Gaming Hurts Your (Vein) Health

According to the Canadian study, constant video gaming now could lead to varicose veins and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome down the road. And in order to illustrate the point, the study authors created Michael, who’s “A visual representation of the future gamer.

“From sleep deprivation and dehydration, to lack of vitamin D, digital eye strain and ‘PlayStation thumb’ (also known as Onycholysis, this is a condition caused by constant tapping, which causes your nail to fall from its nail bed, and can also create blisters on your fingers) — these are just some of the physical implications of spending hours online, in a gaming chair, away from sunlight and physical activity.”

Think that’s scary? That’s not all ‘Michael’ faces. He’s also got an indented skull, because of chronic pressure from gaming headsets. His eyes are bloodshot and rimmed with dark circles, thanks to too much screen time. His back is hunched and his shoulders are rounded, since he doesn’t move much and has bad posture. He’s obese, because he doesn’t get exercise. And he’s got swollen ankles and varicose veins.

Binge Watching Hurts Veins, Too

Even if you don’t play hours of Roblox or Fortnite, your veins could be at risk. (Especially if your Netflix cue is growing daily.) What’s the problem?

According to a new study in the European Journal of Preventative Cardiology, watching TV for too long ups your risk for VTE blood clots by 35%. (And that risk applies to clots in your legs and lungs, also called a DVT and pulmonary embolism, respectively.)

The problem? When you watch a full season of episodes in one sitting, you stay sedentary. And that means your blood stays put, and may pool in your leg, making swelling and clots more likely.

(P.S. The risk isn’t only associated with binge-watching. It applies to any activity that makes you sit for a long time. So work-a-holics beware, too!)

Protect Your Veins from Gaming and Boredom

Of course, that last problem is most concerning to your Houston area vein specialists.  Varicose veins are a symptom of failing valves, which are often an early sign of developing vein disease. And want to know one of the risk factors for varicose veins? Staying in the same position for long periods of time, since this negatively impacts your valve function.

Thankfully, we don’t have to become Michael! Even if you can’t cure your love for the games, you can get plenty of movement while you’re waiting for new lives to come in. Whenever you can, stay away from the screens and step outside for a walk in the fresh air. Take a few extra flights of stairs in your home between video game rounds. Or get back to your favorite pre-pandemic workouts.

Whatever your choice, do us a favor. Step away from the screens sometimes. At least every hour or so. And if you notice signs of varicose veins, don’t wait to contact us. Instead, schedule an immediate appointment at one of our five Houston area offices. Together, we’ll help you see that you don’t have to sit around your home, slowly turning into Michael. Just seek vein treatment right away, and we’ll keep you safe and on the path to a less frightening future!

 

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