At R Shaheen Vascular in Mountain View, CA, we take your health and aesthetic very seriously. For this reason, we offer several methods for treating a variety of vein-related conditions. Today, our venous health experts would like to talk about when you should seek the counsel of a vein specialist and a few of the treatment options you have based on your health and what you are experiencing.
When Should You See a Vein Specialist?
When Your Veins Look Disfigured
The most obvious sign that you need to see a vein specialist quickly is veins that look disfigured. This is a good indicator that you suffer from either spider veins or varicose veins. Spider veins are disordered veins affected by venous insufficiency and look like small, twisted blood vessels that can be seen clearly through the skin. They most commonly affect the nose, hands, and legs and may be blue, purple, or red in color.
Varicose veins can look very similar to spider veins, but they can also look much bigger and more twisted or swollen. The primary difference between the two types of veins is the size. Varicose veins are far larger than spider veins and farther from the surface of the skin. Spider veins tend to be painless and harmless other than affecting your aesthetic, but varicose veins can lead to serious health complications, including those that are potentially life-threatening. These disordered veins should be treated, even in the absence of pain.
When Your Legs Feel Uncomfortable
Another sign that you have spider or varicose veins is uncomfortable legs. Both forms of disordered veins are a result of venous insufficiency. In other words, your circulatory system is so weak that it cannot blood can be pumped from your heart to your lungs, but the veins in your legs cannot return all of the blood to your heart. This leads to blood pooling in the area and can lead to a number of feelings of discomfort, such as swelling or inflammation.
If you suspect you suffer from varicose or spider veins and have uncomfortable legs, schedule an appointment with a vein expert right away. While spider veins aren’t life-threatening, varicose veins can cause serious medical conditions, including those that are life-threatening, when left untreated. Furthermore, nobody should suffer in pain and discomfort when there is a safe, simple, affordable, effective solution.
When Your Skin Changes Color
You should also schedule an appointment with a vein health expert if your skin changes color. As stated previously, people with disordered veins experience blood pooling, particularly when the veins are below the heart. If one of your legs is turning blue, brown, black, or red, the change in pigmentation may be the result of blood pooling near the surface of your skin rather than flowing back up to your heart.
When You’re Obese
Have you been diagnosed with obesity? If so, you may benefit greatly from speaking with a vein expert. People who have been diagnosed with obesity tend to have a weaker circulatory system than individuals who are overweight or fall within a range of healthy weights. Furthermore, obese people tend to carry more weight around their lower abdomen, resulting in excess pressure being applied to the lower extremities.
Finally, obese individuals have more blood circulating throughout the body than healthy-weight people, so veins have to work much harder. Therefore, it is more likely for obese people to have several, large clusters of varicose veins in the lower abdomen and legs. Obese individuals benefit the most from disordered vein treatment as they are at greater risk of serious complications from varicose veins.
How Can a Vein Expert Help Me?
There are numerous ways a vein expert can help you. The appropriate technique depends on the kind of condition that you’re suffering from, the cause of the condition, your medical history, and your current health. Let’s take a look at a few of the ways a vein specialist can help you protect your health and improve your appearance.
Endovenous ablation may be the appropriate treatment for your venous concerns if you are allergic to any ingredients in the sclerosant solution. This safe, effective ultrasound-guided vein removal technique harnesses the energy of highly focused, intense lasers to seal off the walls of disordered veins.
One of the most exciting benefits of this treatment is its convenience. Vein removal surgery usually takes 60 to 90 minutes and requires significant preparation and downtime during recovery. Contrastingly, endovenous ablation can be performed in 45 to 60 minutes depending on how large the disordered veins are and how many there are. Furthermore, there is virtually no preparation and very little downtime.
How to Prepare for Endovenous Ablation
Preparing for endovenous ablation is extremely straightforward. In the three days leading up to your treatment, you must stop taking NSAIDs and any other pharmaceutical or supplement that can affect blood clotting. You should remove any jewelry from the affected area, if applicable, and come in for your appointment free of any cosmetics, like makeup, lotion, or sunscreen.
Moreover, you should wear loose, comfy clothes when you come in for your appointment and arrange for someone to drive you to and from the treatment session. Finally, make sure you drink plenty of alkalized water in the two weeks leading up to your treatment session and eat a nutritious, medium-sized meal, or healthy snack before your session. Since we don’t use general anesthesia, there is no need to fast in the 12 hours leading up to your treatment.
What to Expect During Treatment
Before your treatment starts, we will use ultrasound technology to visualize the targeted veins. Then, we will make a tiny incision and insert an electrode into the vein. At the same time, local anesthesia is administered to ensure that you feel no pain or discomfort. The electrode serves to cauterize the end of the vein, sealing it off so blood can no longer pass through it. Eventually, the blood-starved vein will die and be absorbed by surrounding tissues.
We’d like to assure you that this treatment is FDA-approved for safety. During the treatment, you will be given eye protection designed specifically to protect your eyes from laser light, so there is no risk of eye damage. Furthermore, the targeted area will be cleaned and numbed with a topical anesthetic before the incision is made. Therefore, both your skin and the targeted veins will remain comfortable.
What to Expect After Treatment
Once your treatment session is over, you are free to have someone drive you home. In the 72 hours following your treatment, wear prescription compression garments. After 72 hours have passed, you should wear your prescription compression garments while you are awake for the next 18 days. The garments may be removed when you bathe.
You are free to return to work the day after treatment, just let your supervisor know that you will need to walk for a few minutes every hour. You should also try to make time to walk 20 to 30 minutes per day. During your recovery process, you may want to apply arnica gel to the treated area twice daily. If you get a headache or feel any other discomfort during your recovery process, you may safely take 650 mg of Tylenol every four hours.
Sclerotherapy is another one of our most popular treatments for vein disorders. This treatment involves the injection of a sclerosant into the walls of a disordered vein. Specifically, a tiny incision is made and a cannula (extremely narrow tube) is inserted into the incision. The needle is inserted through the cannula and administers the sclerosant. This incredibly convenient treatment usually lasts 15 to 30 minutes.
However, we can’t tell you how long you should expect your treatment session to last until you come in for your initial consultation. If you have varicose veins in several parts of your body, such as your legs and abdomen, your treatment may take 45 to 60 minutes. Your treatment will also take longer if there are many disordered veins in the targeted area.
How to Prepare for Sclerotherapy
Preparing for sclerotherapy is very similar to preparing for endovenous ablation. You should stop taking blood-thinning supplements and drugs in the 72 hours leading up to your treatment session. You should also wear a broad-spectrum SPF 30+ sunscreen in the two weeks leading up to your session, reapplying every fourth hour or as directed on the bottle. It is critical that you avoid a sunburn before your treatment, and your clothes will not protect you adequately.
You should also avoid dehydration. Again, we recommend drinking plenty of alkalized water, because it is better for the health of your skin. If you can’t find water with a pH of at least nine at the convenience store, try to minimize your consumption of acidic foods, like tomatoes, in the two weeks leading up to your session. Your blood should have a Ph of 7.4, but eating too much acidic food can lower the pH of the blood.
What to Expect After Sclerotherapy
After your treatment session, you will need to wear a compression garment over the treated area, whether your legs or abdomen are being treated. This garment should be worn for approximately two weeks to support blood flow back to your heart as the blood in the area reroutes through healthier veins. This support of your circulatory system in the treated area will also hasten your recovery process.
As with endovenous ablation, you should make a point to walk regularly during the first few weeks following your treatment session. This will also support your circulatory system and increase the speed at which your healthy tissues absorb the destroyed veins. You should also take particular care to avoid UV damage in the two weeks following your treatment session. This means you should wear sunscreen as directed and avoid tanning beds.
Schedule an Appointment With a Vein Expert Today
Don’t let gnarled, twisted veins keep you from the self-confidence you deserve to feel, and don’t let venous insufficiency or other vascular conditions get between you and your health. A vein specialist can help by diagnosing the condition you suffer from, identifying its cause and developing a treatment plan that works for you.
You should schedule an appointment to meet with a vein expert if your veins look disfigured, your legs feel uncomfortable, your skin starts to change color or you have a family history of venous insufficiency. There are several treatment options available, and one of them will work for you, so contact us now at R Shaheen Vascular in Mountain View, CA to schedule an appointment. We can’t wait to meet you and help to improve both your health and aesthetic.