Blogs | The Vein Centre

Varicose Veins Might Be a Sign of Life-Threatening Blood Clots

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Are varicose veins a warning sign of potentially deadly blood clots?

Varicose veins, usually caused by pregnancy or the effects of age weakening the blood vessels, are common. They are swollen, twisted veins that can be seen just under the surface of the skin. Weakened valves and veins can increase the blood pressure in a person’s legs, which can cause varicose veins. In the United States, nearly 23% of adults have the condition, which doctors rarely associate with health risks.

Blood Clots

There are two types of blood clots: superficial blood clots, also called phlebitis, and deep clots known as deep vein thrombosis (DVT). When a deep clot in the leg travels to the lugs, this is called a pulmonary embolus, which can be fatal. Varicose veins increase the risk for superficial phlebitis.

Symptoms of Blood Clots in the Legs

Symptoms of blood clots in the leg occur because blood clots block the blood flow in the vein in which it forms. Usually blood flows through the veins on its way back to the heart. When you develop a blood clot, the blood can’t get past the clot on it’s way back to the heart and so there is a backlog of blood and congestion in the leg. Symptoms of blood clots include deep leg pain and sudden swelling. If the clot moves to the lungs, chest pain and shortness of breath can develop.

Facts about Blood Clots:

  • Deep vein blood clots can dislodge and travel to the lungs. This is called pulmonary embolism.
  • There are more deaths from pulmonary embolism than breast cancer, AIDS and car accidents combined.
  • Deep calf or thigh pain and swelling of the leg are signs of deep vein thrombosis.
  • Blood clots also arise in varicose veins. This is called superficial phlebitis.
  • Superficial phlebitis usually feels like a hard, tender lump on your lug.

It’s very important to be aware of symptoms of blood clots in the legs. This way medical attention can be obtained and a diagnosis made. If you think you may have a blood clot, seek immediate medical attention. If you are looking for varicose vein removal options, varicose vein surgery, or are concerned about deep vein thrombosis, contact The Vein Centre today. Our vein specialists know how to create a personalized treatment plan to treat your leg pain and make you feel and look your best.

leg pain

What Your Leg Pain is Telling You

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What is leg pain?

Leg pain is any type of discomfort in the leg, beginning at the hip joint down to your heels. Your legs are made up of joints, muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves and blood vessels. Leg pain can be brief or ongoing, and can affect your entire leg depending on how serious the injury or condition is you may have.

Deep Vein Thrombosis

Deep vein thrombosis occurs when a blood clot forms inside a large vein, often in the calf of thigh. If this clot becomes dislodged, it can travel to the lungs or brain, causing a stroke or pulmonary embolism. DVT in the leg causes redness, tenderness, and swelling of the leg. The pain has been described as feeling like a muscle cramp or as soreness.

Chronic Venous Insufficiency

Chronic venous insufficiency occurs when the leg veins do not allow blood to travel back to the heart. Problems with the valves in the veins can cause the blood to flow in both directions, and causes blood in the legs to pool. If chronic venous insufficiency is left untreated, pain, swelling, and leg ulcers may result.

Varicose Veins

Varicose veins are enlarged, twisted veins that often develop as you age. Circulation slows down in your veins and causes these veins to appear twisted and bulge. Symptoms of varicose veins include muscle cramping and swelling in your lower legs, worsted pain after sitting or standing for a long period of time, as well as itching.

When to Seek Medical Care

Seek immediate emergency medical care if you are experiencing inflammation, discoloration, or ulceration of the skin or swelling of the calf. If you have trouble breathing, you may have a blood clot. If your doctor confirms that your aching legs are the result of varicose veins or deep vein thrombosis, then they may refer you to a vein specialist. Convention treatments for varicose veins range from wearing compression stockings or tights to a number of surgical options. For DVT, medication such as blood thinners may do the trick, but in some cases, you may need surgery. At The Vein Centre, our surgeons have over 100 years combined vein expertise and are here to help you look and feel your best. To find out more, give us a call at 615-271-9013!

vein treatments evolved

How Vein Treatments Have Evolved Over The Years

By | Vein Health, Vein Surgery, Vein Therapy, Vein Treatments | No Comments

Varicose Veins

Varicose veins have been around since the beginning of time and we have been trying to find relief and treatment for centuries. Fortunately, treatments have evolved considerably from the early days. One of the very first treatment methods used to treat varicose veins was compression therapy, as well as undergoing surgery to physically remove the swollen vein with a scalpel. Varicose veins would be dissected through a small incision with no aesthetic. This old-age treatment method was terrifying and very painful. Compression therapy is still used today along with new modern technology to eliminate varicose veins.

The old way of thinking was that varicose veins were just a “cosmetic” problem or just a sign of “growing older.” Most general doctors quickly learned that varicose veins are a medical condition that requires a specialist. Many doctors now refer their patients out to vein treatment clinics like The Vein Centre.

Vein Treatments

The three most common modern types of vein treatment are:

  1. Sclerotherapy
  2. Endovenous Laser Treatment
  3. Pulsed Light Therapy

First, sclerotherapy involves injecting a solution directly into the vein. The solution causes the vein to shrink, and then dissolve over a period of weeks. The body will naturally absorb the treated vein.

Second, in endovenous laser treatment, a thin fiber is inserted into the damaged vein through a very small entry point in the skin. A laser light is emitted through the fiber, as the fiber is pulled back though the vein.

Third, pulsed light therapy is primarily used for spider veins, which are varicose capillaries, but are smaller in in diameter than regular veins. Pulsed light is used to heat them from the outside and cause them to ablate.

The Vein Centre offers all three of these vein treatments. In all three treatments, the ablated blood vessels are reabsorbed by the body, leaving no trace. You should first expect to see results within a few weeks of the procedure.

The recovery time in all three modern vein treatments is remarkably fast. Many people return to work and their normal activities the same or following day of the procedure.

Modern vein treatments have evolved tremendously since the very first procedures. Today, treatments are now quick, painless and require no down time. To learn more about the vein services we offer, give us a call today at 615-271-9013!

swollen legs

Swollen Legs? You might have a Vein Problem!

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What causes swollen legs?

Edema (leg swelling) is caused from the buildup of extra fluid in the veins. It can be caused by a problem with the circulatory system, the lymphatic system or the kidneys. Edema typically is caused by more than one factor such as venous insufficiency, varicose veins, obesity, or pregnancy.

Varicose Veins

Varicose veins are one of the most common causes of leg swelling. Most varicose vein problems arise when the valves in the leg veins aren’t working properly to keep the blood moving. Varicose veins are swollen, twisted veins close to the surface of the skin. When these valves become damaged, they hold more blood at higher pressure than normal. Fluid is forced into the surrounding tissue, making the affected leg swell and feel heavy. Oftentimes, Doctors will misdiagnose swollen legs as a symptom of heart or kidney failure, or even pregnancy. The effects of varicose veins are aches and pains, burning sensations, or heaviness of the legs.

Venous Insufficiency

Chronic venous insufficiency is more common among those who are overweight, pregnant, or who have a family history of the problem. Venous insufficiency is a condition when blood does not flow properly through the leg veins to the heart. Instead, the blood remains in the leg and pools in the weak vein. When blood begins to pool rather than circulate, there is an increased risk of developing a blood clot. If chronic venous insufficiency is left untreated, pain, swelling, and leg ulcers may occur.

How we can help

Seek emergency medical care if you have chest pain, difficulty breathing, dizziness, or are coughing up blood. These symptoms may indicate a blood clot in your lungs or a serious heart condition. If you’re experiencing nonemergency problems such as swollen, tired, or heavy legs or ankles, it may be time to seek help from an experienced doctor. The first step to determine if your swollen legs or ankles are caused by a vein problem is to schedule a consultation with one of our vein specialists. Contact The Vein Center today at 615-269-9007 to get back your healthier legs!

exercise outside

Why You Should Exercise Outside In The Winter

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Let’s be real, no one wants to exercise outside during the winter. But did you know that it’s even more important to exercise in the winter than in the summer since we spend so much time cooped up indoors? There are many reasons why you should embrace the cold weather. Just remember to suit up appropriately with enough layers to keep the body at a healthy temperature. Here are just a few reasons why you should exercise outdoors this winter.

You’ll burn more calories  

Due to colder outside temperatures, the body works harder in the winter time to regulate its core temperature. This means you’ll burn more calories faster.

You’ll strengthen your heart

Cold weather increases the heart rate, which makes the heart work harder to distribute blood throughout the body. By incorporating cold weather workouts into your daily routine, you will be strengthening your heart.

You’ll boost your immune system

Any regular workout can be a powerful immunity booster. You’ll be surprised by how a quick 10 minute workout can make you feel. Daily exercise can help reduce common winter colds or even the flu.

You’ll get a dose of vitamin D

Sure, it’s cold out, but that doesn’t mean the sun exposure won’t supply you with the same nutrients it does throughout the warmer parts of the year. According to the American Heart Association, exposure to sunlight helps to improve mood, vitamin D intake, and helps with bone growth. But keep in mind to wear sunscreen (yes, even when its freezing) after your skin is exposed for more than 15 minutes.

You’ll sleep better

Regular physical activity helps you fall asleep faster and get more sleep. Be sure to avoid working out before falling asleep, because you might be too energized to fall asleep.

Stay in shape

Instead of waiting until the spring or even summer, get a head start and stay in shape by working out in the winter. Exercising during the winter time helps you stay in shape all year round rather than trying to lose wait in a few weeks.

Staying active in the winter time is the most beneficial way to stay healthy. If you have any questions or are looking for alternative treatment methods, contact The Vein Centre today at 615-269-9007!

Healthy vein yoga poses

5 Yoga Poses for Healthy Veins

By | Vein Health, Vein Therapy | No Comments

Have you noticed swollen or spidery veins on your legs or feet? If so, you may be suffering from varicose veins. Varicose veins can cause long-term health complications due to irregular blood supply to the heart. But don’t stress! Yoga can help alleviate this condition.

Sitting for long hours or frequently walking in high heels are just a few ways you can develop varicose veins. The affected veins are large, swollen, and clearly visible under the skin.

Yoga- How Does It Help?

Yoga can alleviate the pain caused by the pressure in your veins. The recommended poses for alleviated pressure are typically leg elevation poses. Elevating your legs helps ease pressure and blood flow to the heart. Here are a few yoga poses to try:


Stand straight and place your hands on your hips. Inhale, and bend your hips as you exhale. Make sure to place hands on the floor besides your feet. Keep your feet parallel to each other. Push your torso forward as your extend the stretch and lift the tailbone. Hold, then release.


Sit on the floor with your legs together, extended out in front of you. Sit forward and draw your thighs together. Flex your feet and press out through your heels. Pull the tops of your thighs up towards your hips and down to the floor. Draw your lower belly in and up. Draw your shoulders back and down along the spine. Bring the bottom shoulder blades towards each other. Stay in this position between 5-10 breaths.


Sit in Dandasana and lift your legs off the ground. Try to balance and lift your hands off the floor, stretching them out in front of you. Breathe long and deep. Release.

Viparita Karani

Position yourself across a wall and raise your legs up the wall. Lie down and stretch your arms to the sides, making sure your palms are facing upwards. Close your eyes and breathe. Release after a few minutes.


Lie flat on the floor with your back on the ground. Fold your knees and hug them. Lift your head off the floor, and bring your nose in between your knees. Hold the pose for a few seconds as you breathe deeply, and then release.

Yoga takes patience and practice and is an effective way to promote healthy veins. You may find these simple yoga poses to help relieve pressure from your veins. If you have any questions about veins, schedule a healthy leg consultation by contacting The Vein Centre today, at 615-269-9007!

pregnancy veins

5 Things To Know About Pregnancy And Varicose Veins

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What are varicose veins?

Varicose veins are caused by weakened valves in the veins. When the valves do not work correctly, blood collects in your legs and pressure builds up. The veins become weak, large, and twisted. Many women first develop varicose veins during pregnancy.

During pregnancy, your blood volume increases. Pressure builds up in the veins as the uterus begins to grow. Veins are passageways for blood to be carried from your extremities to your heart. If these valves are unable to work properly, they become weak, which causes blood to flow backwards. This results in swelling and engorgement of the veins.

Changes in your hormonal levels during pregnancy can also play a role in developing varicose veins.

Can I prevent varicose veins in pregnancy?

Together, weight gain and the increased blood volume adds additional pressure on the veins. Since you can’t control weight gain due to pregnancy, there are a few steps you can take to minimize their impact on your veins.

Some preventative measures include:

  • Avoid prolonged standing and sitting
  • Sleep on your left side to take strain off the interior vena cava vein
  • Keep yours legs elevated
  • Maintain a healthy diet and exercise routine to improve your blood circulation

Should I be concerned about developing varicose veins?

About 28 percent of women will develop varicose veins during their pregnancy. Varicose veins may itch or hurt, but are generally harmless in the short term. A small number of women are more at risk for developing blood clots in their veins. If the skin over your varicose veins begins to cause you pain, become discolored, or prone to bleeding, contact your healthcare provider immediately.

What is the treatment of varicose veins after pregnancy?

Varicose veins tend to improve typically 6 to 12 weeks after you give birth. The key is to stay active. Refresh your body with a few stretches or small exercise movements to keep things moving with your circulatory system. Learn how to sit in a healthy way without crossing your legs and remembering to keep your legs elevated while nursing or resting. You can also invest in compression garments. Compression garments provide support for your legs by helping your blood travel back toward the heart instead of remaining in your legs. Many veins can be minimized or eliminated using treatment methods.

If you developed varicose veins during pregnancy that haven’t disappeared, our vein specialists are here to help! Give The Vein Centre a call today at (615) 269-9007!



Hereditary varicose veins

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!

healthy veins

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!

varicose veins and traveling

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 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 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.


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.