Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Are Your Legs Summer Ready?

After a long winter of hiding those legs it’s time to step out from behind the long dresses and pants and show off your legs!

At The Vein Center at AtlanticMedical Imaging, we treat the entire spectrum of venous disease from spider veins to varicose veins resulting in a quicker, less painful treatment option for you.
In this segment, Dr. Michael Schmidling will discuss the treatment options available at The Vein Center at Atlantic Medical Imaging. Dr. Schmidling is a board certified radiologist with specialty training in vascular and interventional radiology and the treatment of varicose veins. Dr. Schmidling is also the co-director of The Vein Center at Atlantic Medical imaging.  

Here are a few of the commonly asked questions about venous disease.

What is venous disease?
There are different general types of venous disease that affect the legs.  Deep venous thrombosis (DVT) is a serious medical condition that can result in life threatening pulmonary embolism where blood clots from the legs or pelvis travel to the lungs.  This is typically seen in people with predisposing risk factors such as immobility due to illness, injury, or prolonged travel. 

Venous insufficiency is a more common type of venous disease that affects the valves which are present in lower extremity veins.  These valves normally allow blood to flow in one direction – back towards the heart.  When these valves fail and no longer work, this results in venous insufficiency where the blood flow reverses.  This causes a spectrum of disease ranging from small superficial vein dilatation as seen with spider veins.  Larger superficial veins can also be affected resulting in varicose veins.  When these larger veins are involved, this can result in significant pain and disability of the lower extremities.

 What is the difference between spider veins and varicose veins? 
Varicose Veins
Spider Veins

Spider veins are those small yet unsightly cluster of red, blue, or purple veins that most commonly appear on the thighs, calves, and ankles. Although these super fine veins are connected with the larger venous system, they are not an essential part of it. 

Varicose veins are large, often dilated veins under the skin.  Varicose veins can become enlarges and in some cased quite prominent. They can be seen in some individuals as raised lumps in the thighs, legs, and calves. If you experience bulging leg veins, restless legs, pain, discomfort, swelling, itching or discoloration in your legs, you may have varicose veins. 

Who is at risk? 
There are many risk factors for the development of lower extremity venous insufficiency and varicose veins.  Although they are more common in women, they are often seen in men.  They are often associated with and are exacerbated by pregnancy.  The incidence of venous insufficiency increases as we age.  Certain occupational factors can lead to venous insufficiency.  Jobs that require standing for prolonged periods of time can lead to and worsen symptoms of venous insufficiency.  There is no specific gene responsible for venous insufficiency and varicose veins, but there is a familial tendency and it is more common in people who have relatives affected.

For more information visit http://atlanticmedicalimaging.com/pages/the-vein-center-at-atlantic-medical-imaging

1 comment:

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