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.

Filed under: Varicose Veins, Vein TreatmentTagged with: , ,

Delaware vein center mascot contemplates if he should see a vein specialistAre you wondering when it’s time to see a doctor about your veins? While early symptoms of vein disease may not look urgent or feel painful, remember that your veins play an important role. They move blood and transport nutrients throughout your entire body. 

If your veins don’t work right, your body is in serious trouble. So let’s avoid those problems before they get worse! Before seeing a vein specialist, you want to know the status of your health. This can be done by scheduling a vein screening, doing a self-assessment, or getting an ultrasound

Book a Vein Screening

A vein screening is an educational consultation about vein health and disease. During a screening, a vascular technician will ask you questions related to your veins, health, and any issues. It will give an accurate idea of why you are experiencing problems and guide you in choosing the best treatment option for your specific needs.

Do a Vein Health Self-Assessment 

Ask yourself these questions to help you determine if you have vein disease: 

  1. Have you ever suffered from spider or varicose veins?
  2. Have you had a stroke, heart attack or other pulmonary issues? 
  3. Has anyone in your family suffered from vein disease, spider, or varicose veins? 
  4. Do you sit or stand for long periods of time? 
  5. Have you experienced any of the following: 
    • Swelling or throbbing 
    • heavy leg
    •  skin discoloration
    •  itchy or burning legs
    • cramping or aching
    • difficulty moving

If you answered yes to 2 or more of these questions, it’s time to see a doctor. Your symptoms could be related to venous insufficiency–a condition when the valves in your legs are not working properly.

Get Tested for Vein DiseaseSeeing a vein specialist in delaware for your vein issues

Once you’ve decided it’s time to see a doctor, call your nearest vein specialist to schedule an ultrasound. This test will help your physician detect the underlying source of your vein issues. 

The procedure, known as duplex ultrasound, involves harmless sound waves used to create an image of the veins and evaluate the blood flow through them. The veins are evaluated and the patient is informed of any present vein disease. This procedure does not require any special preparation and involves no discomfort, anesthesia or downtime.

 

The questionnaire and Ultrasound helps physicians take preventative measures for patients who may be at risk of developing blood clots and other life-threatening conditions. From there, you’ll book a consultation with a vein specialist to discuss procedure options. Don’t play the guessing game, schedule an appointment to take the first steps 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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Are you concerned about your legs turning a reddish-brown color? This is a symptom called hemosiderin staining that could signal a problem with vein health.

As we get older, it’s normal for our skin to thin, dry out, and lose elasticity. But it can be more concerning when you notice unusual changes in color and texture on your knees, legs, or ankles. If you notice a brown discoloration on the lower legs, it could point out a problem with your veins. For this reason alone, it’s important to understand why brown skin stains appear and what you can do to treat it.

What Is Hemosiderin Staining?close-up of hemosiderin staining shows blood cells leaking through the veins and under the skin

Hemosiderin Staining occurs when red blood cells leak through the veins. Iron and other byproducts are released and show up as a brown stain on the skin. This symptom can happen for a few reasons.

What Causes Hemosiderin Staining?

Chronic Vein Disease

In addition to its unsightly appearance, Hemosiderin Staining indicates an underlying health condition. The reddish-brown discoloration on the lower legs is caused by chronic venous disease–the abnormal function of veins.

When your veins can’t pump blood back up to the heart properly, it pools in your lower legs. Symptoms start with slight skin irritations and itchiness, then manifest varicose veins. Other vein disease symptoms that can lead to brown staining are:

  • High Blood Pressure – Veins force blood through the veins and sometimes through the skin.
  • Vein Ulcers – Slow-healing or non-healing wounds.

As blood continues to pool in the veins, it’s cells break down and leak iron pigments into the skin. Over time, this shows up as a brown patches or stains on the lower leg or ankle. When unaddressed, the stain will darken and eventually may turn black. At this point, these symptoms are unfortunately permanent even when vein disease is treated. BUT! If caught early enough, chronic venous disease can be controlled and Hemosiderin staining will fade.

Sclerotherapy Staining Side-Effect

Sclerotherapy is one of the treatment options for vein disease and varicose veins. It involves the injection of a substance known as a sclerosant into the affected veins. This makes the veins reduce in size.

In some cases, this treatment may leave the patient with brown skin discoloration as a result of hemosiderin (iron) deposits. This discoloration is usually transient and disappears in a couple of weeks; however, in some people, the stain ends up being permanent.

If you are considering sclerotherapy treatment, consider the following factors that are associated with the Hemosiderin Staining side effect:

  • Dark Skin Type
  • Sensitive Skin
  • Older Patients with Fragile Veins
  • Taking Certain Medication
  • Experience of the Vein Doctor

Treating the Condition, NOT the Symptom

Most patients will go to a dermatologist or primary care physician for the skin condition, not the underlying vein disease of hemosiderin staining. As a result, they may not get an accurate diagnosis.

If you have a brown skin discoloration on the knees, lower legs, or ankles, make an appointment with a vein specialist as this could be early signs of vein disease…especially if accompanied by achy, heavy, and swollen legs.

Early treatment of your vein disease may help lighten the brown stains caused by Hemosiderin Staining, and even keep them from getting darker. Once diagnosed, the goal is to reroute the blood to healthier veins and fading unwanted veins, stains, and pains. The sooner you treat your vein condition, the better you’ll feel and the fewer complications you’ll experience.

 

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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These 5 Simple Steps will help you find the Best Vein Specialist to treat your varicose veins or spider veins.

Finding a skilled vein doctor can make all the difference in the quality of care and treatment you receive. Venous insufficiency is a progressive disease. When left untreated it can worsen, and in some cases, lead to blood clots and ulcers. Treating your veins with a vein specialist early on is the best way to ensure the disease does not worsen.

1. Do Your Research

To get the results you want (no more veins!), a competent vein doctor must have:

  • Board certification in specialties like internal medicine, cardiology, and interventional cardiology.
  • Professional affiliations with other medical organizations.
  • At least 10 years of experience.

While not necessary, these additional credentials can assure you will receive the best possible care:

  • Holds accreditation by the Intersocietal Commission for the Accreditation of Vascular Laboratories (ICAVL).
  • Number of procedures the doctor has performed
  • Additional training the doctor has, like cardiac care
  • Any medical publications or presentations

2. Get Recommendations

People generally feel most comfortable visiting a physician who is recommended by someone they know. Ask a family member, friend, or co-worker. You can also ask trusted healthcare professionals. Reach out to your primary care physician, dermatologist, or OBGYN for a referral.

For extra credit, you can read reviews on a vein specialist’s website or social channels to see what other patients experienced.

3. Get All of Your Questions Answered

It’s important to understand what’s happening in your body and what options you have to address the issues. Make sure you have enough time with an expert to get the answers to your questions. A free consultation is a great way to ask all your questions, understand what to expect, and learn how to plan accordingly. Here are some good questions to ask.

  • If unsure of diagnosis: What else could this be?
  • What are the treatment options for your condition?
  • What are the risks and benefits of each treatment option?
  • How long is the procedure?
  • Is sedation used?
  • Is it out-patient?
  • Is there downtime after the procedure?
  • What is the healing process like?
  • Will there be scarring?

Answers will vary based on your specific condition, health status, and overall needs. As long as the medical staff explains everything clearly, you’ll be ready to walk on the path to recovery.

4. Think About Logistics

To commit yourself to the entire vein healing process, it’s important to make sure your vein specialist fits within your needs and lifestyle. Consider the following when looking for a vein doctor:

    • Multiple Locations or Primary Office. It should be close and convenient for you to visit in case you have more than one treatment.
    • Virtual Appointments. An at-home consultation to discuss your symptoms and make recommendations is convenient (especially due to the current COVID-19 pandemic).
    • Office Hours. Look at what days and times the doctor sees patients.
    • Languages. More offices are offering bilingual options, so check to see that it’s offered if you need to effectively communicate.
    • Online Portal. Many doctors now use email or an online portal to communicate with patients, which may be another item of importance for you when selecting a physician.
    • Medical Staff. Courteousness of scheduling, the professionalism of nurses, PA’s, techs, etc.
    • Insurance. Check with the doctor’s insurance representative to see if you can get coverage. Most major insurance companies will cover vein treatment. 

5. Follow Your Instinct

After you’ve done your research and asked your questions, go with what your gut tells you. At the end of the day, you need to be comfortable with the office you choose and confident that the doctor is qualified and cares for you and your overall health.

Today, patients have many options to find the best vein doctor. The internet and social media play a big part when choosing the right fit for your needs. When you do find a vein specialist that checks all the boxes, make sure you review or offer a recommendation so others can benefit. Help other patients locate good doctors by raving about the ones who deserve it.

 

 

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.

Filed under: Vein Doctor, Vein TreatmentTagged with: , ,