venous insufficiency CEAP stagesVenous Disease is Complex But Can Be Described

So how does your vein doctor know the severity of your varicose veins? We use the Comprehensive Classification System for Chronic Venous Disorders (CEAP). And you can use it too!

Before CEAP, there wasn’t a method for healthcare professionals to classify vein disease. Instead, they would describe symptoms and rate them as mild, moderate, or severe. The approach wasn’t helpful and lacked specificity. Communication was often lacking between providers.

What the CEAP Acronym Stands For

C = clinical condition 

E = etiology

A = anatomic location 

P = pathophysiology

What is CEAP Classification?

The American Venous Forum wrote the first CEAP classification in 1994. It provides a comprehensive classification that’s accepted worldwide. Most published medical papers now use all or portions of the CEAP system. It has two parts: classification and severity scoring of lower extremity vein disease. CEAP classification ranges from C0 (no venous disease) to C6 (an open and active ulcer).

Today, all healthcare professionals use the CEAP system when describing vein disease. It’s designed to be very specific. In short, it offers everything that the previous system failed to do.

The 7 Stages of the CEAP Classification System

C0: A functioning, healthy venous system. Leg veins pulse blood back towards the heart exactly as they’re supposed to.

Severity: mild

C1: Presence of spider veins, reticular veins, or telangiectasia. By themselves, spider veins are nothing more than a cosmetic nuisance. But they do point out some level of reflux in the larger veins of the legs. They’re a direct precursor to varicose veins.

Severity: mild

C2: The formation of varicose veins. Patients begin to experience symptoms like achy legs, swelling, and cramping. This leads to increased pressure, which in turn causes surface veins to swell. Over time, they become stretched out and become varicose veins. Without treatment, it’s likely the condition with progress to the following stage.

Severity: moderate

C3: The presence of edema, a medical term for fluid retention and swelling. Compression stockings and edema pumps can manage symptoms. But treatment will help the underlying condition. A patient’s vein disease will worsen if not treated.

Severity: moderate to severe

C4: Visible skin changes. Fluid retention leads to changes in the color, texture, and appearance of the skin. The presence of eczema and brownish, purplish, or reddish blotches is common.

Severity: severe

C5: Painful ankle ulcers around the ankles that heal on their own. Chronic fluid retention will cause increased blood pressure within the leg veins. This can lead to an impaired circulation which can cause a breakdown of the overlying skin.

Severity: severe

C6: Lower extremity ulcers that don’t heal. About 1% of patients with vein disease will progress to CEAP stage 6. As the condition worsens ulcers won’t heal without specialty wound care. At this point, treatment is medically necessary. 

How Can I Classify Myself with CEAP?

Most people with varicose veins know they have bulging veins in their legs. The CEAP system will help them understand the severity of the varicose vein problem and seek the right treatment.

But when using CEAP, remember that it’s external observations of underlying health issues. A venous ultrasound scan can examine all the veins underneath. Without it, there is no full diagnosis.

 

 

Delaware State riding a bicycle to healthier veins

At Delaware Advanced Vein Center, our medical staff has years of experience helping people with their spider and varicose veins. We would love to welcome you to our family of satisfied patients. 

Contact us today to schedule a FREE virtual consultation and vein evaluation.

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apple dressed as doctor talking to Delaware patientIf you’re seeking treatment for vein conditions like spider and varicose veins, you’re probably thinking it will all be fixed in just one visit. Alas, that’s just not the case. Veins don’t disappear overnight. They need a lot of TLC. The reality is, you may need more than one treatment to get the best results.

There are several treatment options available like sclerotherapy, ablations, and laser therapy. Most are non-invasive and can be performed in your doctor’s office with little to no downtime. The number of times you’ll need vein treatment varies from patient to patient. Everyone’s veins are different sizes and at different stages. Typically, the more severe your veins are, the more treatments you’ll need. Below, we look at two different vein treatments and estimate how many times you’ll need them. 

Sclerotherapy

What: A common treatment for spider and small varicose veins.

How: Your doctor injects a solution into the vein, which irritates the wall of the vein and makes the veins stick together so the blood can’t flow through it anymore. 

Healing Time: Spider veins usually disappear within 3 to 6 weeks. Varicose veins take 3 to 4 months.

Number of Treatments: In most cases, patients typically need 2 to 5 treatments to completely eliminate the appearance of spider veins, especially if the veins being treated are large or if new veins reappear.

Radio Frequency Ablations (RFA)

What: A treatment for varicose veins and venous insufficiency.

How: RFA procedures use a catheter that is inserted into the vein. It uses a high-frequency radio-frequency current, causing the vein to spasm and collapse. 

Healing Time: Within one week, patients may start to notice a difference in the prominence of their varicose veins, but complete results may take weeks to months.

Number of Treatments: Some patients may require several procedures depending on the severity of their varicose veins or if both legs are being treated.

how spider veins and varicose veins are treated

Follow-Up Appointments Are Important

While it’s necessary to get the proper amount of treatments done to ensure you get the best results, it’s also important to follow-up. These appointments help make sure your treatment is going in the right direction. This is also the time to address any concerns or questions you may have to your vein doctor. 

If you don’t schedule follow-up appointments or receive all of your vein treatments, you may experience the reappearance of veins or even health complications

Skill is the Key to Getting Best Results

The results you will see depend largely on the person performing the vein treatment. So make sure you find a vein specialist that performs vein treatments regularly to get the best results possible.

 

 

Delaware State riding a bicycle to healthier veinsAt Delaware Advanced Vein Center, our medical staff has years of experience helping people with their spider and varicose veins. We would love to welcome you to our family of satisfied patients. 

Contact us today to schedule a FREE virtual consultation and vein evaluation.

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Internal versus external varicose vein ruptureWhile varicose veins cause aching pain and discomfort, they can sometimes lead to more serious problems and can even burst, especially when left untreated. This is a critical time to seek medical help and finally get treatment for your varicose veins, because if a vein pops once, it may happen again.

Here, we explain why varicose veins burst and the next steps to take for a safe and healthy recovery.

What Makes a Varicose Vein Burst?

A varicose vein can burst from increased pressures within the veins. This build-up of pressure causes the walls of the vein to stretch, making it weak and prone to sudden rupture. A ruptured varicose vein can bleed into tissues and through the skin’s surface, especially if the skin is thin.

What Are the Symptoms of a Burst Varicose Vein?

Internal Symptoms

If a varicose vein ruptures, but the skin is not broken, symptoms including bruising, dizziness, or fainting. If you experience these symptoms, visit your vein care specialist or nearest emergency room to avoid excessive blood loss and other complications.

External Symptom

If a varicose vein ruptures and the skin is broken, significant bleeding will occur. Because veins burst from excess pressure, the bleeding can be rapid and profuse. In this case, call 911 and seek medical attention immediately to prevent excessive blood loss.

What Should I Do After my Varicose Vein Bursts?

If a varicose vein has burst, elevate the leg of the affect area on a stack of pillows or up a wall. This will help reduce swelling and blood loss. Next, apply pressure on the bleeding site with a towel or cotton t-shirt. This will help slow or stop the bleeding while you seek medical attention.

To avoid excessive blood loss, visit your vein care specialist or the nearest emergency room as soon as possible. Medical treatment of ruptured varicose veins involves an ultrasound guided sclerotherapy. Patients need to undergo complete evaluation of the lower extremity veins to check for underlying cause of the rupture. We encourage you to seek treatment accordingly to prevent future ruptures.

leaf character sitting and elevating his leg after a ruptured varicose vein

How Can I Prevent a Varicose Vein from Bursting?

The best way to prevent a varicose vein from bursting is to get vein treatment. Not only does treating varicose veins and venous insufficiency help with your overall health, it can also help you avoid some serious potential long-term risks like a ruptured vein or a leg ulcer.

Treat Your Varicose Veins Today

If you, or a loved one suffers with leg swelling, rashes, or ulcers, see a vein specialist as soon as you can to prevent a potential vein rupture. If you don’t have symptoms but do have the risk factors for varicose veins, see a doctor. A simple ultrasound test will determine whether you have varicose veins or not. 

Remember, untreated varicose veins can lead to serious health problems. Don’t wait. With your varicose veins treated, you’ll feel better — and you’ll live a longer, healthier life with fewer complications.

 

Delaware State riding a bicycle to healthier veins

At Delaware Advanced Vein Center, our medical staff has years of experience helping people with their spider and varicose veins. We would love to welcome you to our family of satisfied patients. 

Contact us today to schedule a free virtual consultation and vein evaluation.

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Orange leaf with leg veins in the fallAt last, Fall is upon us! You dreaded seeing the veins on your legs this summer, and now you can cover them up and forget about them until next summer, right?

WRONG! Fall is the best time to get rid of those unsightly veins once and for all. Here are a few great reasons why now is the time to finally address your veins:

Insurance

This time of year, you may have met your insurance deductible. Or, if you have a flexible spending account (FSA) or health savings account (HSA), you may be in a position where you need to finish using those funds by the end of the year.

Extra Time for Healing

Vein treatments can take some time and require more than one procedure. These sessions are usually placed a few weeks apart to allow proper healing before the next procedure. In most cases, you won’t see the full results of your vein treatment for a couple of weeks. So if you start your vein treatments in the Fall, you’ll have vein-free (not to mention pain-free) legs by the time spring and summer comes around.

Sun Protection

Whether you choose injectable or laser vein treatment, it’s important to protect the treated area from the sun for a number of weeks. Sun exposure can cause permanent skin discoloration in the treated area, interfering with your desired results. Keeping the treated veins under fall clothing is one of the best ways to ensure the veins are fully protected from the sun’s rays. In turn, you’ll have the best possible outcome from your vein treatment.

Cooler Temperatures

Being active and walking is very important after vein treatment. It encourages blood circulation which helps with the healing process. Cooler temperatures make it enjoyable to go out and do some fun Fall activities with friends and family.

Easy Appointment Scheduling

Fall and Winter are generally slower at vein clinics because patients go back to work and care for their children. This means scheduling an appointment is much easier, with more openings and time slots. Workaround your calendar to find a day during the week that works best for you. Vein treatment takes around 15 – 30 minutes with no downtime, so you’ll be up and back to work in no time!

Treat Your Veins Today!

If you or a loved one suffer from leg swelling, rashes or ulcers, see a vein specialist as soon as you can. If you don’t have symptoms but do have the risk factors for varicose veins, see a doctor. A simple ultrasound test will determine whether you have varicose veins or not.

Remember, untreated varicose veins can lead to serious health problems. Don’t wait. With your varicose veins treated, you’ll feel better — and you’ll live a longer, healthier life with fewer complications.

 

Orange leaf after vein treatment playing tennis

At Delaware Advanced Vein Center, our medical staff has years of experience helping people with their spider and varicose veins. We would love to welcome you to our family of satisfied patients. 

Contact us today to schedule a free virtual consultation and vein evaluation.

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legs with compression stockings for varicose veinsYou may have heard people who swear by these stockings when they fly, sit, or stand at work for long periods of time. They come with many benefits like soothing pain, but they are not a cure for underlying health conditions. 

We ask ourselves: Are compression stockings even worth it? The verdict is still out. Studies suggest that compression stockings can improve some symptoms of varicose veins, but little evidence supports the idea that stockings alone will eliminate them.

What are Compression Stockings?

Compression stockings are supportive, snug-fitting socks that typically come up to the top of your calf and encourage the healthy circulation of blood from your ankles back up to your heart. Compression socks are typically worn during the day and taken off during bedtime. They can be worn on one or both legs depending on the condition and recommendations by your doctor. 

Types of Compression Stockings

Compression stockings come in various forms including graduated, anti-embolism, and non-medical. Each can be very useful for patients at risk of blood clots and venous ulcers.

Benefits of Compression Stockings

While compression socks alone won’t make your spider or varicose veins go away, they have many benefits:

  • Improve blood circulation in the legs
  • Prevent blood from pooling in your leg veins
  • Reduce leg swelling
  • Prevent ulcers
  • Prevent blood clots in the veins of the legs
  • Reduce pain 

How to Use Compression Socks

Consult with your doctor first, before using compression stockings. They come in various lengths and sizes, and they need to fit properly based on measurements of the patient’s legs. Different types of stockings exert different amounts of pressure. A doctor or nurse should assess the right size or else you won’t get any results. 

Uses for Compression Stockings

Compression stockings may be used in the following condiments of the lower limbs:

What’s the Downside to Compression Stockings?

  • Irritation: If compression stockings are worn for too long, new areas of irritation can occur. You should remove stockings every day and check the legs and feet for signs of damage or irritation.
  • Bad Fit: When compression stockings don’t fit properly, they won’t help! Non-fitting compression socks may increase the risk of blood clots or circulation issues. So it’s important to discuss with your doctor the right type for your specific condition.
  • Uncomfortable: First time wearing compression stockings can be uncomfortable, especially when they need to be worn during the warmer season.

    delaware state wearing compression stockings for veins

Compression Stockings After Vein Treatment

We encourage patients to walk as soon as possible after vein removal treatment. It’s also common for doctors to recommend compression stockings after vein treatment, but we find that they don’t make much a difference. If you receive the proper number of vein treatments, your legs will look and feel better without ever having to wear compression socks.  

Compression stockings may or may not make sense for you, so it’s best to discuss this with your doctor which will address your concerns and determine if they are the right choice for you.

 

At Delaware Advanced Vein Center, our medical staff has years of experience helping people with their spider and varicose veins. We would love to welcome you to our family of satisfied patients. 

Contact us today to schedule a free virtual consultation and vein evaluation.

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untreated varicose vein complicationsSome 20 million Americans live with undiagnosed and untreated varicose veins. If you’re one of them, it’s time to take action.

One of the greatest dangers of varicose veins is that it can be slow and silent. Many people with the condition don’t experience any symptoms at all, even though their veins are damaged and affecting the cells and tissues around them. You might be one of those people.

Are You At Risk for Developing Varicose Veins?

You may be more likely to develop the condition if you:

  • Are overweight
  • Are inactive
  • Are age 45 or older
  • Have a family history of varicose veins
  • Have high blood pressure
  • Sit or stand for long periods of time

Signs of Untreated Varicose Veins

While clear signs of varicose veins may develop slowly over time, the condition will cause painful, uncomfortable symptoms like: 

  • Achy, heavy legs
  • Burning
  • Throbbing
  • Muscle cramps
  • Swelling
  • Itching 
  • Skin discoloration 
  • Pain after sitting or standing for long periods of time

Whether you’re experiencing these symptoms or not, untreated varicose veins can pose some potential major health risks that could leave you in pain, hospitalized, or in severe cases, death.

When to Worry About Varicose Veins

Varicose veins damage an essential system in your body: the blood vessels. The consequences of untreated varicose veins can be very serious, and some can eventually be fatal. They include:

Bleeding

Some experience bleeding when varicose veins close to the surface of the skin burst. While this isn’t usually a very serious health risk it’s important to have veins checked and treated so it doesn’t continue. In cases of bleeding, it’s important to seek medical assistance. If a varicose vein does bleed then you need to stop the bleeding quickly by doing the following:

  • Elevation: Lie down flat and raise the leg high. 
  • Pressure: Place a clean cloth or towel on to the bleeding area and apply firm pressure, for at least 10 minutes.

If the bleeding is heavy or doesn’t stop, see a doctor immediately, as you may need treatment to prevent the bleeding from happening again.

Blood Clots

When you have varicose veins, your blood is unable to cycle back through correctly to your heart and pools in the lower body, usually the legs. This creates “stagnant blood flow”. There are two types of blood clots: superficial blood clots (or phlebitis), and deep vein clots known as deep vein thrombosis (DVT). 

Clots in deep veins can travel through the bloodstream to the lungs, causing potentially life-threatening issues like a pulmonary embolism, which can be fatal. This is one of the most serious health risks associated with untreated varicose veins.

Lipodermatosclerosis

Varicose veins are a key symptom in an illness called Lipodermatosclerosis (LDS). Those suffering from this disease often experience pain, hardening of the skin, changes in skin color, swelling, and tapering of legs above the ankles. 

LDS is a medical condition that actually means “scarring of the skin and fat.” It’s described as a skin and connective tissue disease. If left untreated, lipodermatosclerosis can lead to a chronic venous leg ulcer which is very difficult to heal. LDS also severely limits a person’s ability to walk or run, and can adversely affect his/her overall health. 

If you experience signs of a deep or superficial blood clot, don’t ignore it! A thorough examination, including a leg ultrasound and treatment, can help prevent a blood clot from enlarging and becoming a potentially lethal. 

Read about a similar symptom called Hemosiderin Staining

Ulcers

Vein problems cause more than 70 percent of leg ulcers, which are a miserable complication of chronic venous insufficiencySymptoms include swelling, rashes, and brown discoloration on the affected areas.This debilitating condition can cause patients to not only miss work, but also miss out on life. Imagine living with daily dressing changes, a chronic drainage, or the foul smell that can accompany a leg ulcer.

Unfortunately, many suffer with leg ulcers for years before they’re referred for evaluation of their veins. Today’s treatments can not only help ulcers heal, but are proven to help ulcers stay healed. These complications sound scary — and they are. Fortunately, treating your varicose veins can help prevent many of these secondary problems, or at least manage them if they have already developed.

Treat Your Varicose Veins Today

If you, or a loved one suffer with leg swelling, rashes or ulcers, see a vein specialist as soon as you can. If you don’t have symptoms but do have the risk factors for varicose veins, see a doctor. A simple ultrasound test will determine whether you have varicose veins or not. 

Remember, untreated varicose veins can lead to serious health problems. Don’t wait. With your varicose veins treated, you’ll feel better — and you’ll live a longer, healthier life with fewer complications.

 

At Delaware Advanced Vein Center, our medical staff has years of experience helping people with their spider and varicose veins. We would love to welcome you to our family of satisfied patients. 

Contact us today to schedule a free virtual consultation and vein evaluation.

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