Are Varicose Veins Hereditary?

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What are Varicose Veins?

Varicose veins occur when your veins become enlarged, overfilled with blood, and begin to twist and curl up. The condition is very common, especially in women. Approximately 25 percent of all women have varicose veins. The thickened, dilated parts of the vein are called varicosities. Varicose veins can form anywhere on the body, but they most often appear on the legs and feet.

So, are they hereditary?

Many people who suffer from varicose veins may wonder if they are hereditary. Just like many gene disorders, varicose veins are in fact hereditary.

Your risk of developing varicose veins increases if a close family member has the condition, confirming a relationship between genetics and varicose veins.

If you have one parent with varicose veins, you have about a 40 percent chance of inheriting them. If both your parents have them, your risk drastically increases to 90 percent.

Having too few valves or valves that do not function properly is also a common problem that can be inherited.

In some cases, you may be born with abnormalities of the vein wall. The resulting weakness may predispose the valves, which causes separation and cracking. When a person with poorly functioning valves stands up, the blood flow reverses and flows down the superficial veins, when it should be flowing up towards the heart. Pressure is then built up in the superficial veins and causes varicosities.

Other Causes of Varicose Veins

While genes may play a role in the development of varicose veins, many other factors are to be considered. Other risk factors for these conditions include:

– Obesity
– Occupations that involve long periods of standing or sitting
– A personal or family history of blood clots
– Hormonal changes, especially during pregnancy
– Gender and age

If you are interested in learning more about varicose veins and how they can be treated, contact The Vein Centre today at 615-269-9007!

Keep your Veins Healthy this Holiday Season

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The holiday season is known as the most wonderful time of the year! It’s filled with delicious meals, sweet treats, laughter, and family and friends. While there are many things to enjoy there is also a lot of added stress during this time of year. Combining these factors with varicose veins can be damaging and worsen your symptoms. Here are three ways to keep your veins healthy through a holiday feast.

Watch your Calorie Intake:

An increase in calories and salt will result in weight gain and bloating. This is almost impossible to avoid during the holidays. The problem with weight gain is that it puts a strain on your veins which makes it harder to send blood flow back to your heart. This pressure increases the valves inside your veins making them more susceptible to leakage and causing a bulge of varicose veins.

Increase Vitamin C:

Vitamin C is essential for making collagen and elastin. These are vital connective tissues that work to keep your veins strong and toned. There are plenty of foods to help strengthen your veins and improve your circulation. Some vitamin C foods to add to your holiday meal include oranges, kale, mango, broccoli, pineapple, strawberries, and bell peppers. Simply incorporating these items into your meal can produce positive results.

Stay Hydrated:

Staying hydrated is the most important aspect in maintaining healthy veins. Especially during the holidays where alcohol is often consumed, drinking plenty of water will keep you from being dehydrated. The main drinks to avoid during the holidays include coffee, alcohol, and soda.

Varicose veins don’t have to impair your holiday meals. In moderation and incorporating the right foods and drinks can keep you veins healthy this holiday season. If you have any questions contact The Vein Centre, today! 615-269-9007. Happy Holidays!

Travel Tips for Varicose Veins

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The holidays are a popular time to travel and often consist of long periods of sitting or waiting in lines. These situations can be painful for those with varicose veins and a problem for others trying to avoid them. Here are four healthy vein tips to help you travel this holiday season.

Airplanes:

Airplanes are not known for comfort or spacious leg room. This can be frustrating for any passenger but can be especially troublesome for those with vein disease. The constricted leg room can create a problem for those trying to prevent vein disease and can be extremely painful for those with varicose veins. If possible, walking or standing up in the cabin can help minimize the pain. Also, choosing an aisle seat would allow you to get up and move more often. Another option would be to lift up your heel to engage your calf muscles. This motion allows the blood to pump from the leg to the heart.

Elevate:

Elevate your legs whenever possible. When you put your legs up, you are reducing the pressure of gravity, making it easier for your lower legs to move the blood back to your heart. Prop up your feet with extra pillows or lay on the ground with your feet raised above. If this is not possible while traveling make sure to do this as soon as you have reached your travel destination.

Water:

Make sure to stay hydrated. Water is great for your veins and can also improve your mood. When traveling you might be tempted to indulge in sweets, alcohol, or other foods that can dehydrate you. Staying hydrated keeps the vein walls from narrowing and can prevent constipation, which also stresses the venous system.

Clothing and Compression Stockings:

Wear loose clothing to avoid a tight fit in the waist area. Tight clothing increases pressure on the abdomen and hinders the venous system’s ability to properly circulate the blood flow. Compression stockings offer a rise in pressure designed to help your lower leg veins circulate the blood flow back to your heart. These specialty socks are available over the counter or in prescription-grade through your physician. Compression stockings are often effective in reducing uncomfortable symptoms such as aching, swelling and leg cramps.

Holiday travel might be stressful but it doesn’t have to make your varicose veins worse. If you have any questions contact The Vein Centre, today! 615-269-9007.

 

 

 

 

 

Best Exercises to Improve Vein Health

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A high percentage of the world’s population suffers from spider veins and varicose veins. Due to poor circulation, certain professions that require sitting or standing for long periods of time can increase your chances of vein problems. Varicose veins can cause swelling and pain, ultimately making the desire to exercise less appealing. Even if you are at a higher risk for a vein disease there are certain exercises you can practice to maintain healthy veins for life.

Walking

Walking is the simplest and most effective exercise for maintaining healthy veins. Walking is a low-impact activity that improves your blood flow circulation in your legs. For varicose veins, it’s recommended that you keep your legs in constant motion. If you don’t think you have enough time to fit in a daily 30-minute walk there are other ways to circulate your blood flow. For example, take the stairs instead of an elevator, take a walk on your lunch break, or walk to work if it is not very far. Making these small daily changes can help reduce swelling and further formation of varicose veins.

Bike & Elliptical

Bike pedaling and using the elliptical machine are both low-impact exercises that are great for improving blood flow without placing stress on your joints and bones. If you don’t have a stationary bike you can elevate your legs in the air and pedal as if you were on a bike. The more you raise your legs the more you’ll increase circulation. This exercise can help reduce varicose vein inflammation. It is also one of the best exercises if you suffer from restless leg syndrome.

Knee and Ankle Flexing

Rolling your ankle around while lifting your knee to your chest can help engage blood flow. This needs to be done slowly and not forcefully. Doing this at the beginning of your workout is proven to have the most effective results.

Running

There is a lot of controversy with running and varicose veins. Most people think running puts too much pressure on the legs, therefore creating spider veins or varicose veins. This is a myth. Running or jogging gets the calf muscles and feet moving, therefore promoting healthy blood flow.

Exercise is the most beneficial and effective way to promote healthy veins. If you have any questions or are looking for alternative treatment methods contact The Vein Centre, today! 615-269-9007.

Mistakes to Avoid when Treating Veins

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Varicose veins and spider veins most often develop on our legs and thighs as we grow older.  Approximately 1 in 4 adults in the United States are affected by varicose veins. This type of vein condition can cause a patient to experience swelling, aching, and painful legs.  When treating your veins, it’s important to avoid making the following mistakes:

  1. Inadequate Evaluation of Veins:

    First, do not self-diagnose. You should be properly seen and evaluated by a doctor. Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) mimics the symptoms of varicose veins. DVT are blood clots that form deep in the vein and can cause serious problems. Thus, a self-diagnosis or delay in treatment can seriously affect your well-being.

  2. Lack of Experience:

    When scheduling a vein assessment, select a physician who does their own examinations and uses state-of-the-art ultrasound technology, otherwise known as a duplex ultrasound. This is important because an ultrasound will provide the best information about the blood flow inside the vessels. The duplex ultrasound is able to precisely measure the blood flow in the deeper veins and clearly shows connections of any underlying problem with what is seen on the surface. A physician who performs their own examinations will be able to give you the best course of action.

  3. Specialty Physician:

    It is important to see a physician that specializes in vein treatment. Often times when an individual doesn’t see a specialist the vein treatment may focus on treating the visible veins first. When you just treat the surface vein the problem is likely to return whereas if you treat the underlying vein problem you have a higher probability of success.

  4. Wrong Treatment:

    There are various vein treatments available today. This allows physicians to address and tailor the treatments to the specific needs of each patient. However, this also means an inexperienced physician might offer the wrong treatment for a specific condition, which in turn will not be as effective for the patient.

It’s important to get a proper diagnosis for your vein problems. The Vein Centre has all board certified vascular surgeons and have 100 years of combined vein expertise. Contact The Vein Centre, today! 615-269-9007.

 

What is Deep Vein Thrombosis?

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Deep vein thrombosis, DVT, is a condition that occurs when a blood clot forms in a deep vein. A blood clot is a clump of blood that forms into a solid state. This can cause pain and swelling. If the clot breaks free, it can move through your bloodstream to other parts of your body. In rare cases, it can even cut off blood flow to your lungs. Deep vein blood clots are often found in your thigh or lower leg, but they can also develop in other areas of your body. DVT can lead to major health problems and can sometime be fatal.

The symptoms for DVT often mimic those of varicose veins. Since DVT can become life threatening you should see a doctor if you experience any symptoms. If you’re over 60, smoke, and are overweight, or you sit for long periods of time, your risk for the condition is higher. Symptoms of deep vein thrombosis include:

  • Swelling in one or both legs
  • Pain or tenderness in one or both legs, even if it’s just when you walk or stand
  • Warm skin on your leg
  • Red or discolored skin on your legs
  • Visible veins
  • Tired legs

Since DVT is hard to detect it’s good to know what puts you at risk so you can avoid getting it. Things that can put you at risk include:

  • Previously having a blood clot. About 30% of people who’ve had DVT will have it again.
  • Having a family history of DVT.
  • DVT increases with your age and is more common in people who are 50 years and older.
  • Having an injury that damages your veins.
  • Taking birth control.
  • Smoking.
It is important to seek a treatment if you are experiencing any of the above symptoms. The surgeons at The Vein Centre are all board certified vascular surgeons and have 100 years of combined vein expertise. Contact The Vein Centre, today. 615-269-9007.

 

 

What You Need to Know About Sclerotherapy

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Sclerotherapy is a minimally invasive procedure used to reduce the appearance of varicose and spiders veins. The treatment involves directly injecting a solution, called tetradechol, into the damaged vein. This procedure can also help reduce pain and other side effects caused by the damaged veins. An estimated 20% of adults will suffer from varicose veins at some point in their lives. According to recent studies, more than 270,000 sclerotherapy procedures were performed in 2016.

The most common areas for varicose veins to develop are on your feet and legs. Depending on the size of the damaged veins, sclerotherapy can be used to treat varicose and spider veins in the thighs, calves, ankles, feet, face, and anus. This procedure takes roughly 30 minutes and requires wearing stockings for several days following the treatment to optimize its effects. The number of treatments necessary varies based on the number of veins and their size. For the best results, sclerotherapy treatments are usually scheduled four to six weeks apart.

How successful is sclerotherapy?

Most patients have satisfactory results following their treatment plan. Some patients may notice that their legs look worse before they look better. This is common. Positive results are usually visible within 4 weeks following the first treatment.

What are the side effects? 

As with any procedure, there is always the possibility of side effects. Some of the most common side effects include:

  • Bruising
  • Tenderness
  • Stinging/itching
  • Swelling
  • Skin Discoloration
  • Discomfort
  • Raised red areas that appear around the injection sites

The veins may be tender to the touch after treatment and an uncomfortable sensation may run along the course of the vein. This discomfort usually subsides within a few days.  After the procedure, patients can wear stockings to minimize firmness. Also, trapped blood may cause a temporary discoloration.

Transient Hyperpigmentation: Approximately 20% of patients notice discoloration after treatment. However, this usually fades within 6 months. There is a 1% chance of hyperpigmentation continuing after one year. Patients frequently notice a brown discoloration, which fades in a couple of months – at most within a year.

If you’re interested in sclerotherapy treatment contact The Vein Centre, today and receive 10% off your first visit! 615-269-9007.

Myth or Truth: Varicose Veins

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Varicose veins are extremely common, affecting about one in four adults in the United States. They are usually found in the legs, but can appear anywhere on the body. There are a lot of myths surrounding this condition. To ensure you have the correct facts we listed the 5 most common myths surrounding varicose veins.

Myth #1: Varicose veins only appear in women.

Truth: Varicose veins appear in both men and women. Although they are more common in women, around 10-15% of men are affected. According to a new study the percentage of men who are affected tends to vary because men are less likely to seek out treatment.

Myth #2: Varicose veins are a sign of old age. 

Truth: Varicose veins have less to do with age and more to do with your genetics. Varicose veins can develop as early as 10 years old. Symptoms might not appear until later, as the condition worsens. If one parent has varicose veins then there is a 40% chance that you will also develop them. If both of your parents have them, it’s almost guaranteed that you will have varicose veins.

Myth #3: Treatment is expensive and not covered by insurance.

Truth: This myth stems from the notion that varicose veins are a cosmetic issue. The majority of people with varicose veins are suffering from an underlying venous condition. When this is the case most insurance providers will cover the procedure to have them removed.

Myth #4: Spider veins are varicose veins.

Truth: Spider veins are NOT varicose veins. Generally, spider veins are a cosmetic issue. They are smaller red and purple dilated veins in the surface of the skin. Varicose veins are large swollen blood vessels in the fat between muscle and skin that twist and turn.

Myth #5: Exercise will make varicose veins worse.

Truth: There is no proof that exercise will make varicose veins worse. In most cases, exercise is the best option to maintain a healthy lifestyle.  Studies have found that people suffering from deep venous insufficiency benefit from activities that engage their calf muscles such as walking. These activities create contractions that force blood up to the center of the body.

If you’re interested in treating varicose veins, contact The Vein Centre, today. 615-269-9007.

spider veins Nashville

Varicose Veins: Where Do They Come From?

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Did you know varicose veins are one of the most common ailments in the western world?  23% of the United States adult population has been diagnosed with varicose veins.

Facts about varicose veins:

  • Who is most likely to get them?
    • Varicose veins are far more common in women than men.
    • 22 million American women, ages 40 – 80, suffer from varicose veins.
  • How did I get varicose veins?
    • In over 80 percent of cases, genetics are the primary cause.
  • Will I will get more in the future?
    • Yes! If you have them, they tend to get worse as you age.
  • Will my children be at risk for developing them?
    • You are more likely to get varicose veins if members of your family have them.

It may be a common misconception that being in shape and getting regular exercise will prevent varicose veins, but sadly, this is not true. If you have varicose veins, regular exercise will help ease the symptoms, but it will not actually prevent them. Genetics determine if you are redisposed to get varicose veins. Olympic Gold medal winner (now TV host) Summer Sanders can attest to this truth. Like her mother, Summer and millions of others have varicose veins despite being in excellent shape.

Risk factors for varicose veins are categorized as environmental or inherited. Environmental factors include pregnancy, age, sex, obesity, and occupations that involve lengthy periods of standing. The main inherited factor is family history.  If you’re predisposed genetically to varicose veins, there are things you can do to minimize, or delay them. It is extremely common for women to notice varicose veins appear, or become more severe after they become pregnant.  With each additional pregnancy they can get larger and more painful. The reason for this is because as the baby and uterus become larger, it increases the amount of pressure placed on the inferior vena cava.  This large vein is located on the right side of your body, which places a lot of pressure on every vein in your body, including your legs. Furthermore, when you are pregnant the amount of blood in your entire body soars, which places more pressure on your veins.

The good news is there are various safe and successful treatment methods that can help manage the pain and eliminate varicose veins. Practicing a healthy lifestyle will not prevent them from popping up, but it will help them from getting worse and to manage the pain that can accompany them.

 

It is important to seek a qualified specialist for this treatment.  The surgeons at The Vein Centre are all board certified vascular surgeons and have 100 years of combined vein expertise. The Vein Centre has three convenient locations throughout Middle Tennessee. If you are sick of living with painful and unsightly varicose veins, contact us today.

laser vein treatment

Positive Effects of Laser Treatments on Varicose and Spider Veins

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Interest in laser treatment for varicose veins is on the rise, and depending the severity of the veins, amazing results can be achieved with this treatment.  Laser treatments relieve pressure from the varicose vein, and lasers can be very effective in treating blood vessels that are resistant to sclerotherapy, typically veins smaller than 1-2 mm in diameter.

The first notable laser therapies were called pulsed dye lasers (PDL’s) and were developed in the late 1980’s. Over the past ten years, different versions that used longer wavelengths have vastly improved delivering better results. The key to successful laser therapies is utilizing wavelengths that are better absorbed by the blood vessel.

Doctors will choose the type of wavelength and duration by considering the size and type of vein to be treated; the deeper the vein, the longer the wavelength required to penetrate it. Most patients that receive laser treatments for varicose veins experience zero pain, thus no medication is required to take, and often the smaller veins are completely gone immediately, larger ones take some time to disappear.

Simple laser treatments are done on the exterior of the skin to treat smaller spider and varicose veins and endovenous laser treatments are done to treat the large, deep varicose veins. Laser treatments are far less painful than invasive surgeries such as vein stripping, and has a much shorter recovery time.

The legs are not the only area where spider veins can rear their ugly heads; in fact it is quite common for spider veins and broken capillaries to appear on the face. This is the most common and recommended method of treatment for spider veins on the face and redness, and is much less intimidating than getting them injected.

Laser therapy is a safe and time-proven method that improves the overall appearance of varicose veins, and causes little, if any discomfort with no downtime. There are many benefits to using laser treatments against varicose veins large and small when done by a certified surgeon. At The Vein Centre our board certified surgeons have over 100 years of combined experience.