It Helps to be a Little Vein, the Truth behind Venous Disorders

Having healthy veins is tantamount to having a healthy life. Like many things in life, we do not necessarily think about something’s relevance until it stops functioning effectively, and a healthy circulatory system is no exception. A healthy vein will transport blood throughout your body, delivering it to your lungs and heart millions of times over your lifetime. A well-functioning venous system will deliver blood from your feet to your heart in seconds, and does so against gravity. Veins take advantage of their thin walls with a high degree of compliance and contractility as well as small valves to deliver blood efficiently to the heart and lungs and drain blood away from other critical organs. However, the more time we spend sitting or standing without moving, the more trouble our veins have in returning the blood to the chest, against gravity. Additionally, over our lifespan aging decreases this natural efficiency of venous return. This decrease in venous tone, coupled with inactivity, can allow blood to pool (stasis) within the veins, causing them to become swollen and “knotted.” The static (pooled) blood gives the skin a bluish/purple tint because it has become de-oxygenated (without oxygen), the reason why it was returning to the heart and lungs in the first place. These swollen, tortuous and unsightly veins are known as “varicose veins.” Spider and reticular veins are lesser forms of varicose veins, where the blood pools in much smaller vessels, much closer to the skin’s surface and can resemble reddish or bluish spidery threads. Spider veins are usually less noticeable and obtrusive, but can represent serious venous malfunction underneath, by being the “tip of the iceberg.”

Chronic Venous Insufficiency

Varicose VeinsVenous disorders, often referred to as “chronic venous insufficiency,” (or CVI, which comprises the main bulk of venous disease) include varicose, reticular and spider veins (in ascending order of size), affect over 20 million people in the United States alone. In fact, it is said to affect, to some degree, 20% of adults, and also include the dreaded deep venous thrombosis or DVT. While most cases of CVI are not necessarily serious or life-threatening, the ill-effects they have on our lives can be crippling and lead to much more severe complications (ulcers, leathery skin, etc.). Although many people think of varicose veins as simply an unsightly aesthetic condition, the risk of ulcers, stroke, blood clots, and even death from pulmonary embolism (PE) can result from leaving venous disorders untreated. A “symptomatic” vein is one which has progressed past the simply aesthetic discomfort. Those afflicted frequently report symptoms like general ache, heaviness in their legs and ankles, swelling, cramps and itching, and even irritation resembling a rash. More severe symptoms and signs include permanent discoloration, leathery, inflamed skin, numbness, and ulcerative skin breakdown. These are generally complex and serious complications, which leave chronic conditions even after correct treatment and healing.

Reduce Risk

Lifestyle choices, such as a healthy diet and exercise, can help prevent serious venous conditions. Activity involving movement and healthy blood flow can help veins maintain their reserve, elasticity, and efficiency. Older patients should wear support hose, compression socks, or other orthopedic aids to keep healthy blood flow to their lower extremities and slow the effect aging has on their veins unless they are active and have no apparent venous disease. These practices can be quite useful in not only slowing further deterioration but also in reducing instances of debilitating leg swelling and ache. These treatments will not remove existing abnormal veins or reverse the effects of more-serious complications, but they do improve the circulation and protect vein function, so they can reduce the risks associated with venous disease and help prevent additional symptoms.

Diagnosis and Treatment

At Spring of Youth Medical Group, we are committed to the diagnosis and treatment of venous disease. We are constantly working with patients to seek out the best options for individual treatment of incompetent spider and varicose veins, venous reflux, as well as other cosmetic and circulatory conditions. Options to treat existing venous conditions can be both quick and relatively painless in most cases. The majority of treatment options take less than an hour and are performed under local anesthesia. Depending on individual factors and patient preference, a mild oral sedative may be administered before the procedure, if desired- a few choose to forego the sedative and anesthesia altogether! Among our proven treatment options are micro-phlebotomy, which is the removal of unsightly varicose veins in prominent places through a needle-sized nick in the skin, using a crochet needle. Another is ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy, which is the injection of an FDA-approved solution that causes the vein to shrink safely, turn to fibrous tissue and be reabsorbed by the body. Endovascular Laser Ablation or Treatment (EVLA, EVLT) is one of the most popular, minimally invasive procedures that we provide. Utilizing an incision no larger than a hospital I.V., and guided by ultrasound imaging, a small laser fiber emits laser light, which heat-seals the vein, which is left in its bed in the leg. Each of these procedures is performed at our Ocean Springs location in Mississippi, on an outpatient basis using local anesthesia. All of our treatment options involve minimal pain, no down time, a quick recovery, and a fast return to normal life activities- and no visible scarring! Our patients are encouraged to walk and resume normal activities shortly following the procedure. Indeed, many return to normal or greater activity levels the day following treatment. Our goal is to help people reclaim their quality of life while striving to be one of the best vein centers anywhere, by working with each patient to create the best individualized plan for their treatment. We also have among our team of specialists one of Mississippi’s top-ranked aestheticians, who provides treatments including aesthetic facial and body therapies. Our medical providers are expert at medical (hyperhidrosis and migraine) and aesthetic Botox®, cosmetic fillers such as Juvederm® and Volume®, in addition to the renowned celebrity facelift and fat transfer, which gives an enduring, natural, youthful look.

Contact Spring of Youth Medical Group today for your initial consultation. We are dedicated to bringing the highest level of care and comfort while providing the latest cutting-edge treatment innovations. Our state-of-the-art facility specializes in surgical procedures and treatments for minimizing and reducing the impact of venous and lymphatic disease as well as aging. If you are tired of living with unsightly veins, swollen legs, adult acne, premature aging symptoms, wrinkles, or other skin issues, you do not have to. Please call us today at (228) 875-0885, drop us an email, or stop by our convenient Ocean Springs location at 1155 Ocean Springs Rd for a consultation or to learn more about the variety of services we proudly offer.