Patient EDU

Varicose Veins    
 

Basic Facts:

  • Veins located close to the surface of the skin return blood that is low in oxygen to the heart. As people age, these veins may become stretched and distorted.

  • Varicose veins are unnaturally and permanently distended veins that are visible through the skin on a person's legs and typically appear as blue, bulging, and twisted veins.

  • When varicose veins become prominent, painful, or inflamed, treatment is usually necessary, especially when skin irritation or ulcers develop.

 

     
 Leg Artery Disease    
   

Basic Facts:

  • Leg artery disease, also called peripheral arterial disease (PAD), refers to a partial or complete blockage of the circulation to the legs and feet.

  • The risk factors for PAD include diabetes mellitus, smoking, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, male gender, advanced age, and a sedentary lifestyle.

  • Discomfort in a muscle group of the leg while walking, a phenomenon called intermittent claudicating, is the most common symptom of leg artery disease.

 

Varicose Veins

The heart pumps blood to supply oxygen and nutrients to all parts of the body. Arteries carry blood from the heart towards the body parts, while veins carry blood from the body parts back to the heart. As the blood is pumped back to the heart, veins act as one-way valves to prevent the blood from flowing backwards. If the one-way valve becomes weak, some of the blood can leak back into the vein, collect there, and then become congested or clogged. This congestion will cause the vein to abnormally enlarge.

Varicose veins are very swollen and raised above the surface of the skin. They are dark purple or blue in color, and can look like cords or very twisted and bulging. They are found most often on the backs of the calves or on the inside of the leg, anywhere from the groin to the ankle.

How common are abnormal leg veins?

As many as 60% of all American women and men suffer from some form of vein disorder, but women are more affected -- up to 50% overall. It also is estimated that 41% of all women will suffer from abnormal leg veins by the time they are in the 50s.

What causes varicose veins?

No one knows the exact cause of varicose veins, but there are several factors that cause a person to be more likely to develop them. Heredity, or being born with weak vein valves, is the greatest factor. Hormones also play a role. The hormonal changes that occur during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause, as well as taking estrogen, progesterone, and birth control pills can cause a woman to develop varicose veins or spider veins.
Other factors that weaken vein valves and that may cause varicose or spider veins include aging, obesity, leg injury, and prolonged standing, such as for long hours on the job. Spider veins on the cheeks or nose of a fair-skinned person may occur from sun exposure.

Why do Varicose Veins usually appear in the leg?

The veins in the legs have the toughest job of carrying blood back to the heart. They endure the most pressure -- pressure that can overcome the strength of these one-way valves. The force of gravity, the pressure from body weight, and the task of carrying the blood from the bottom of the body up to the heart make the legs the primary location for varicose and spider veins.

Are Varicose Veins painful or dangerous?

Varicose veins can become quite uncomfortable as well as look unattractive. Varicose veins usually enlarge and worsen over time. They can cause the legs and feet to swell. Although severe leg pain is not common, leg muscles may feel fatigued or heavy, or throb and cramp at night. The skin on the legs and around the ankles also can itch or burn.
In some cases, varicose veins can cause more serious problems, and medical treatment will provide benefits. If the veins become severe, they can cause a condition called venous insufficiency, a severe clogging of the blood in the veins that prevents it from returning to the heart. This condition can cause problems like a deep-vein thrombosis (blood clot), or a severe bleeding infection. These usually are caused by injury to the varicose vein. A blood clot can be very dangerous because of the possibility of it traveling from the leg veins to the lungs, where it may block the heart and lungs from functioning. Lastly, because the skin tissue around the varicose vein may not receive enough nourishment, sores or skin ulcers may develop.

How are Varicose veins treated - SCROLL DOWN

Spider Veins

What are Spider Veins? Spider veins are tiny veins just under the skin, most commonly found on the legs. They affect a large percentage of the population. The most important reason that they occur is heredity. They may be red, blue, or purple, and are commonly found on the thighs, the inside of the calves, and on the back on the knees. Spider veins can cause burning, itching, and a feeling of heaviness in the legs. However, the overwhelming number of female patients with this condition seek treatment because of the embarrassment of wearing skirts, shorts, and bathing suits.

Spider veins or telangiectasia are dilatations of small superficial blood vessels. Classically, spider veins are usually less than 2 mm in diameter. They can be present as linear streaks, star burst patterns, or arborizing patterns. Millions and millions of men and women are bothered by spider veins. The cause of spider veins is unknown, but some families seem to have a greater tendency to get them. Birth control pills and pregnancy may contribute to spider veins. It is also felt that long periods of sitting or standing may result in worsening of existing spider veins or formation of new ones. Although spider veins may at times be painful, they are not dangerous.

Spider veins should not be confused with varicose veins which are usually a dark blue, 4 to 5 mm in diameter and often bulging. Varicose veins are more often painful, and may be related to more serious vein disorders. The treatment of spider veins is for cosmetic purposes.

How are Spider veins treated - SCROLL DOWN

Treatment Methods

Sclerotherapy

This is the treatment for varicose veins and spider veins, in which a sclerosing solution is injected directly into the blood vessel with a very fine needle. The solution causes the vein to become irritated causing the lining of the vein to close up and heal. This forces the rerouting of blood through healthier veins. The number of treatments needed will be determined by the physician during your initial consultation.

Laser Therapy / Photo Therapy

A non-invasive medical technology that uses light therapy to eliminate spider veins on the legs and face. This treatment requires no injections or surgery. The technology is called PhotoDerm VL. This laser treatment is not effective for Varicose Veins but is effective for Spider Veins, Angioma, Portwine Stains and other vascular lesions to cosmetically alter their appearance.

Stripping and Litigation

Stripping & Litigation is a same day surgical procedure which can be done in our office or out-patient hospital setting. This procedure is used on the larger tortuous bulging varicose veins. This surgical procedure requires the use of local anesthesia with sedation or general anesthesia.

Mini-Phlebotomy

This procedure is simple and performed in our office under local anesthesia. This surgical procedure entails the removal of small varicose veins and any perforating veins. Several tiny incisions are made on the skin over the affected vein, the vien is gently pulled with a special hook through the small incision. The tiny puncture wounds heal quickly with minimal scarring. Following this procedure the patient may undergo sclerotherapy to alter the cosmetic appearance of the smaller veins. The combination of both treatments give a more effective result. Patient may resume normal activities following the procedure.

Compressive Therapy

Compressive Therapy is the use of support stockings. All patients are recommended to use compression stockings after treatments and surgical procedures. The stockings compress the blood vessels assisting in the effects of treatment. Our physician will evaluate you and recommend the appropriate support stockings that best suit you.

Actual Images of Patients who were treated at Westchester Vascular.

The images are of patients before treatment & after treatment.

         
 
         
 
         
 
         
 

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Phone: (914) 591 8400 Fax: (914) 591 7367. Email: services@westchestervascular.com

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