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Vein Resolutions: The Start of a Healthy Lifestyle

The beginning of a new year prompts us all to make resolutions for personal development.
We believe focusing on your overall health is a great way to prevent varicose veins and spider veins. Often times, resolutions are too ambitious without a plan. However, making realistic and simple resolutions with a concrete plan is the key to consistency, while achieving your health goals. Explore our simple New Year vein resolutions to ensure sure your veins are healthy for years to come.

At Via Vascular, we want to make sure all of our current and prospective clients lead a healthy and vein disease free lifestyle. Keep your vein resolutions concise and simple. To get you started, here is an example:

NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS:

  1. Get Healthier Veins
  2. Get Fit
  3. Lastly: Enjoy Your Life!

To achieve these vein resolutions, we have some simple ideas and solutions to keep you on the right track!

BMI > 35

A healthier lifestyle equals healthier veins! Paying attention to your BMI (Body Mass Index) is an excellent way to monitor your health. Also, maintaining a BMI of 35 or less is the target goal. Add that with elevating the legs for at least 20 mins daily. Calf-pump muscle exercises to help improve muscle strength, ankle flexibility, and overall health. These exercises are also designed to strengthen the muscles in the legs. They will ultimately help veins pump blood flow back to the heart.

Compression Socks

Problems develop in veins when the walls are stretched and blood begins to pool in the legs. Whether from genetics, pregnancy or work that requires an excessive amount of sitting or standing, your veins may be at risk. Wearing compression socks is one easy solution to improve vein health. Compression socks give veins support and allow for blood to return to the heart more easily. You can find compression socks at local pharmacies, sports equipment stores, online, in various styles and color options. Plus, some have found that wearing compression socks/stockings have vastly improved their symptoms and did not need further treatment. If problems do persist, contact Via Vascular for vein treatments that will best assist your needs.

Be Proactive

Symptoms of venous disease should not be overlooked. If checked by a professional early on, the root of the vein problem can be discovered.  If ignored, these symptoms can later develop into spider or varicose veins that will require proper treatment. Even if you remain healthy and utilize compression socks, the symptoms may only be alleviated, but not cured. Here at Via Vascular, we are specialized in treating both spider and varicose veins. Catching the signs early on can save you from serious complications in the future.

About Via Vascular

Via Vascular is a leader in the treatment of varicose and spider veins. We provide excellent solutions through treatments like endovenous laser treatment and microphlebectomy. Our procedures are minimally invasive with no required hospital time. For more information or to set up an appointment, please call us at (206) 525-8346 or contact us online here.


5 Common Spider Vein Myths

Spider veins occur due to weakened or damaged veins. They show up as blue and purple veins that branch out around parts of the body, such as the legs. However, there are many misconceptions about spider veins and how to treat them. Here is our list of five common spider vein myths. Find out if you are a candidate for spider vein treatment at Via Vascular today.

Spider Vein Myth #1 – Cosmetically Unappealing But Harmless

While this is true in some cases, this is not always a fact. Sometimes spider veins are a symptom of a much more critical vascular issue. Symptoms of spider veins include itching and burning. They can quickly become more than just a simple cosmetic blight. Similarly to varicose veins, spider veins can also cause blood to back up. It prohibits the easy flow of blood.

Spider Vein Myth #2 – Age Is the Issue

Some believe that spider veins are just a part of the natural aging process. However, there are many different factors for the presence of spider veins. Most cases of spider veins are hereditary, and so it is in one’s genes to obtain spider veins. Other factors that can cause spider veins are sun exposure, obesity, and an inactive lifestyle. If you have a job that either requires you to stand or sit for long hours at a time, then this can also be a risk for spider veins. Make sure to take breaks and exercise whenever possible. This will help keep the blood flowing through your legs, which can help prevent spider veins from occurring.

Spider Vein Myth #3 – Only Women Are at Risk

While women are at a higher risk than men, around 45% of men will develop a venous disease by the time they reach their 60s. They have an equal hereditary risk to women, and an inactive lifestyle can increase the likelihood of spider veins to occur. While it is less common for men to develop spider veins than women, it is still important to lead an active lifestyle in order to lessen the chances of developing a venous deficiency.

Spider Vein Myth #4 – There’s No Difference Between Spider Veins and Varicose Veins

While both spider and varicose veins are a sign of a venous deficiency, this does not mean they were caused in the same way. Varicose veins are thick, bulging cords along the lower legs that show a more intense form of venous deficiency. Spider veins, on the other hand, can be caused by too much exposure to the sun or hormonal fluctuations as one might experience when pregnant. Regardless, both should be considered serious, and one should seek treatment for any form of venous deficiency.

Spider Vein Myth #4 – Surgery Is the Only Treatment Option

Surgery used to be the only form of treatment for spider veins, but now there is a new form that is minimally invasive and requires no hospital stay. At Via Vascular, we use sclerotherapy to treat spider veins. It involves injecting a sclerosant solution into the veins in order to create easy blood flow. It is a relatively painless procedure that may only cause a slight itching or burning sensation. Some patients do experience slight discomfort or tenderness after the procedure. However, the procedure does not require any sedation, and patients can even return to work after their procedure. Consider contacting Via Vascular today to discuss a treatment plan for your spider veins.

About Via Vascular

Via Vascular is a leader in the treatment of varicose and spider veins. Our state-of-the-art spider veins treatment with sclerotherapy provides instant relief from symptoms. Our procedures are minimally invasive with no required hospital time. For more information or to set up an appointment, please call us at (206) 525-8346 or contact us online here.


Careers That Affect Your Chances of Developing Varicose Veins

Varicose veins can be an aesthetic and/or painful problem for those who have them. As many have a predisposition to developing varicose by genetics and gender, your career path and lifestyle can have a direct effect on your vein health. Specifically, jobs that require constant standing or prolonged amounts of time sitting will delay blood flow in one’s legs increasing the chances of developing varicose veins. Read on to discover the four careers that can put you at high risk for varicose veins and vein disease.

Factory Jobs

Factory jobs require workers to stand at an assembly for numerous hours throughout the day. This can create tension and put stress on the legs. Moreover, one may experience restless leg syndrome, muscle cramps, and the development of spider veins.

Office Jobs

Those with desk jobs ranging from web developers, administrators, graphic designers, etc. can experience diminished circulation by sitting down all day.  When circulation starts to suffer, blood can start to collect in the veins, which will heighten the risk of varicose veins.

Nurses

Nurses spend most of their day on their feet when assisting doctors or providing help around the hospital. Also, nurses work longer shifts than the average 9-5 worker. Lengthened work hours and constant standing can eventually result in developing venous disease.

Flight Attendants

Flight attendants have the responsibility of making sure passengers are safe and assisted, while standing for prolonged periods of time. With a limited area to work with and a centered focus on customer care, flight attendants have more difficulty taking walks or other actions to prevent varicose vein development.

Preventative Measures

If you are in a career path that matches the ones above, there are simple solutions to reduce the risk of developing any sort of vein disease:

  1. Take short walks every hour or whenever you get the chance to take a break for those who sit all day. If your job requires you to stand all day, do the opposite and rest seated whenever a break is given.
  2. Wear compression socks- they are tight socks or stockings that help boost circulation and prevent blood from pooling in the veins.
  3. Foot wear is important- refrain from wearing heels and wear shoes that have cushion and support.
  4. Exercise and paying attention to your body will improve your health and promote good circulation.

How Via Vascular Treats Your Varicose Vein Symptoms

With state of the art treatments like endovenous laser treatment and microphlebectomyVia Vascular provides excellent solutions for the treatment of your varicose veins. Our procedures are minimally invasive, and no hospital time is required. These procedures are an alternative to more invasive surgeries for your varicose veins and spider veins. For more information or to set up an appointment, please call us at (206) 525-8346 or contact us online here.


Three Times in Life to be Attentive to your Veins

Each year, over 80 million Americans are affected by vein disease. If left untreated, vein disease can potentially develop into varicose veins, which are enlarged veins resulted from a misdirection of blood that can cause overall pain throughout the entire body. Here at Via Vascular, we understand the importance of vein health and offer different solutions to treat vein diseases. Read on to figure out when it is appropriate to pay close attention to your veins to live a healthy life.

  1. Family History of Vein Disease

Do varicose veins run through the family? Family history and genetics alone are the most important factors that can indicate whether or not one is at risk of having vein disease. If vein disease does run through your family, check veins for any sort of discoloration, bulging, and/or pain.  Pay attention to these small signs. Being proactive could help identify anything problematic before it worsens. Beyond inherited genes, environmental influences such as bad family health habits can also be a cause of vein disease.

  1. Standing vs Sitting All Day

Another way varicose veins can form is through stress placed on the veins. For those who work constantly on their feet, you are at risk of adding immense pressure on veins. Similarly, desk-bound jobs can result to poor blood circulation throughout the legs. As a result, this causes veins to perform excessive effort to pump blood to the heart. Solution: take necessary breaks at work. Depending on whether you stand or sit most often at work, relax or move your legs.

  1. During or After Pregnancy

While the myth of pregnancy causing varicose is false, it can provoke any existing conditions and potentially upsurge the chances if you are already susceptible to having vein disease.  Also, 15% of women end up developing varicose veins during pregnancy near the start of the second trimester. Reasons that varicose veins can be affected by pregnancy are hormone levels, lowered blood circulation, and surplus volumes of blood. During pregnancy, make sure to identify any pain or new veins on the body and pay close attention to their state after delivery.

About Via Vascular

Via Vascular can help you decide if you are a candidate for vein disease treatment, and can inform you about the different types and phases of vein treatments offered. If you are unsure about varicose vein or spider vein symptoms or procedures, contact Via Vascular. Find out more information and make an appointment today by calling Via Vascular at (206) 525-8346 or by filling out our online contact form.

 


Three Unexpected Areas Spider Veins can Appear

Spider Veins

At Via Vascular, we are able to treat unsightly spider veins and our treatments are profoundly successful. Spider veins (also known as Telangiectasia) are the miniscule and narrow red or blue veins that tend to spread throughout the legs as one ages. They are caused by increased pressure in the veins. Typically, you can find them in the lower limbs, but sometimes there are found on other unexpected areas of the body. Explore our blog to learn the three other unexpected areas where spider veins can appear and why.

Face

Spider veins can appear in facial veins. They are usually discovered under the eyes, or around the cheeks and nose. The cause can come from skin diseases (rosacea and eczema) as the added pressure due to irritation will cause them to turn visible. Smoking (which can cause premature aging) and the free radicals from overexposure from the sun are two factors that may cause spider veins to appear on the face.

Hands

Aging is the top reason why veins can occur in the hands. The older the hands become the less fatty tissue it has, which can cause the skin to thin out and have less elasticity. As a result, hand veins will be more visible underneath the skin. Unfortunately, this is common, yet unavoidable. Without treatment, the spider veins will become more prominent with time. That is why having treatment earlier on will make the treatment less difficult and even more effective.

Feet

If not reduced, spider veins can evolve into varicose veins that can also spread to the feet. While spider veins may be more of a cosmetic issue, varicose veins can cause pain and aching that can lead to circulatory problems. Therefore, it is important to look into treatments as soon as possible before problematic issues surface from spider veins and developed varicose veins.

About Via Vascular

Via Vascular can help you decide if you are a candidate for treatment, and can inform you about the different types and phases of vein treatments offered. If you are unsure about varicose vein or spider vein symptoms or procedures, contact Via Vascular. Find out more information and make an appointment today by calling Via Vascular at (206) 525-8346 or by filling out our online contact form.


Varicose Vein Treatment Phases: What to Expect

varicose vein treatment

Are you or anyone you know with varicose veins ready for treatment? Here at Via Vascular, our treatment of varicose veins involves a multi-step process that will include several visits to our office. Many members of our excellent team, which involve the physician, nurse, practitioner, sonographers, and medical assistants, will all assist you during the process of treatment. Explore this blog to understand the phases of treatment for varicose veins to be well prepared for your next visit.

Phases of Treatment

Initial Evaluation/Consultation:  (Approximately 30-45 min.)

The first step will require an initial consultation with the physician or nurse practitioner. This consultation will involve an examination of the legs and an assessment to figure out the severity of your varicose veins. If needed, an ultrasound exam may be necessary in order to determine which veins are the causes of any symptoms. For those with spider veins, an ultrasound may be required to rule out larger vein involvement. Additionally, medical grade compression stockings may be prescribed of 20-30mmHG as part of the treatment to address any current symptoms.

Venous Ultrasound: (Approximately 45 min. (per leg) and 30-45 min. with physician)

The sonographer during this comprehensive ultrasound will then examine and identify the veins in the legs to see if there are any diseased or unusual veins, which may take 45 min. for completion. The reason why a venous ultrasound is imperative is this is the step to determine the cause of varicose veins that will help guide the physician in recommendations for care. Also, your insurance company will need this report for authorization of any treatment beyond this point. After the ultrasound is complete, you will then meet with your physician to deliberate the overall results and treatment options available for you.

Pre-Procedure Appointment: (Approximately 45 min.)

If varicose veins and symptoms do no respond to the conservative therapy, we will then submit for pre-authorization to your insurance for the recommended treatment(s) from the physician.  Once approved, the next step will require you to schedule a time to see our nurse practitioner for a pre-procedure appointment. This visit will also include a full explanation of the treatment(s) as well as a discussion about the benefits and risks of each recommended procedure. Furthermore, the pre and post procedure instructions will be provided with the prescriptions for medications that will be needed for treatment(s).

Treatment: (Approximately 2-3 hrs.)

First, the physician and medical assistant will make sure you are comfortable and at ease throughout the entire procedure.  Note: the provided medication prescribed will make you unable to drive for that day. Please plan ahead for a driver to take you to and from the office. After the treatment(s), you and your driver will need to walk for 20 minutes after the procedure. Keep in mind one leg is treated at a time due to safety reasons. The next leg can be scheduled for treatment 1-4 weeks out.

Post Procedure Ultrasound: (Approximately 30-45 min.)

After relatively one week after the treatments, an ultrasound will be performed to make sure the veins have been closed and to identify any potential concerns.

Follow up Appointment: (Approximately 30 min.)

The follow-up visit will be scheduled 6 weeks after the last treatment for either one or both legs. This visit will call for a meeting with the physician to discuss the cosmetic treatment of spider veins with the sclerotherapy procedure if necessary.

About Via Vascular

Via Vascular can help you decide if you are a candidate for treatment, and can inform you about the different types and phases of vein treatments offered. If you are unsure about varicose veins symptoms or procedures, contact Via Vascular. Find out more information and make an appointment today by calling Via Vascular at (206) 525-8346 or by filling out our online contact form.

 


New Year Resolutions That are Healthy for Varicose Veins

Fireworks were lit and the confetti has fallen. With the new year come New Year resolutions. Have you been sticking to your New Year resolutions? Well it is never too late to start. Read on to discover a few New Year Resolutions that benefit those affected or prone to getting unsightly varicose veins.

New Year, New Diet?

Okay we get it. It seems like everyone embarks on some sort of diet or cleanse as the clock strikes midnight. Instead of going on a strict, daily-regimented diet, we recommend dietary suggestions that will help prevent and combat varicose and spider veins. One way to do this is by eating foods high in rutin. What is rutin? Well, rutin is a flavonoid that acts as an inhibitor to a protein that is associated with clots. When the protein is inhibited, it can help reduce vein fragility and permeability of the capillaries. It also leads to reduced risk of heart attack and stroke. Moreover, the following foods are all natural sources of rutin that we recommend that should be added.

New Year, New Exercises

When it comes to your New Year resolutions make sure you consider exercises that benefit your varicose-prone veins. This includes low-impact activities such as the following:

Eliminate Stress

Stress is inevitable when you live a busy life. However, if there is one new year resolution you should take up, it is stress management. When one can successfully manage and lessen stress, it opens the gateway to a longer, healthier and ultimately happier life. The following are some ways to help eliminate stress:

It is no secret that diet, exercise and stress management are key to a healthy life. However, consuming foods high in rutin, partaking in low impact exercises and managing stress are all effective ways to lower the likelihood of getting varicose veins.

About Via Vascular

Do you have varicose veins or spider veins? Trust the experts at Via Vascular. Our doctors offer minimally invasive varicose vein treatment in Seattle, including EVLT and microphlebectomy. Schedule an appointment today to find out if you are a candidate for treatment by calling Via Vascular at (206) 525-8346 or by filling out our online contact form.


What are Varicose Veins & Spider Veins?

Image Credit: Peshkova/Shutterstock

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between varicose veins and spider veins? Although they are a different in appearance, they are actually quite similar in their causes. Explore our blog to find out what varicose and spider veins are, their causes and treatment options that are available through Via Vascular!

Varicose Veins

Varicose veins are swollen, twisted veins that show up under the surface of the skin. Although they most commonly occur in the legs, they can form in other parts of the body as well.  Varicose veins are a common condition that tends to affect women more often than men. It is estimated that between 30 to 60 percent of adults have varicose veins. Varicose veins can cause bothersome symptoms such as aching or cramping in the legs, as well as tiredness, restlessness, burning, or heaviness.

Spider Veins

Unlike varicose veins, spider veins are smaller discolored veins that have a spider web-like appearance. These veins are usually not painful and can be treated cosmetically. Spider veins are closer to the skin than varicose veins and are often found in areas behind the knee, but can also appear anywhere on the body.

What are the Causes?

Varicose veins and spider veins occur when the veins are not functioning properly. Many factors can aggravate and cause varicose veins and spider veins such as:

Treatment Options

For spider veins, sclerotherapy is the most common method used as treatment. It involves injecting a small volume of liquid into the affected vein. This liquid acts upon the lining of the vein to cause it to close and eliminates the vein completely. At Via Vascular, sclerotherapy is a painless, minimally-invasive treatment that is safe and effective. This procedure improves the cosmetic appearance of spider veins as well as relieves the patient from symptoms associated with spider veins.

There are some minimally invasive procedures that are available when it comes to treating varicose veins. Via Vascular offers endovenous laser treatment (EVLT) as well as microphlebectomy, which provide effective treatment and do not require a hospital stay. EVLT has shown a 98% success rate and seals off the diseased veins by using a thin laser fiber to eliminate the source of varicose veins. Microphlebectomy is used to remove larger surface varicose veins and is less invasive than surgical stripping.

About Via Vascular

Do you have varicose or spider veins? Trust the experts at Via Vascular. Our doctors offer minimally invasive varicose vein treatment and spider vein treatment. Schedule an appointment today to find out if you are a candidate for treatment by calling Via Vascular at (206) 525-8346 or by filling out our online contact form.


All About Veins

What are Veins?

What are veins? Everyone has them, but do we really know what purpose they serve? Veins are elastic blood vessels that transport blood from various regions of the body to the heart. Veins are part of the cardiovascular system, which circulates blood throughout the body to provide nutrients to the cells of the body. Each vein is made up of three layers: membranous tissue on the inside, thin bands of smooth muscle in the middle, and connective tissue on the outside. Unlike arteries, veins rely on muscle contractions to return blood to the heart. But together veins and arteries form an important network to transport blood throughout the body. Read our blog to learn all about veins, problems that can accompany them and effective treatment solutions that are available!

Types of Veins

There are four different types of veins: pulmonary, systemic, superficial, and deep veins.

Pulmonary veins – Large blood vessels that take oxygenated blood from the lungs and deliver it to the left atrium of the heart.

Systemic veins – The circuit through the rest of the body that provides oxygenated blood to the right atrium of the heart.

Superficial veins – Located close to the skin and are not accompanied by arteries.

Deep veins – Located deep within muscle tissue and are usually located beside a corresponding artery.

Vein Problems

Vein problems occur when veins have trouble sending blood from the limbs to the heart. Inadequate flow of blood through the veins leads to a blockage. Blockages occur due to blood clots that develop in superficial veins or deep veins (usually in the legs and arms). Vein injuries or disorders activate blood cells known as platelets and thrombocytes which lead to blood clots.

Vein problems can also occur due to varicose veins. Varicose veins are swollen and twisted veins that show up under the skin. They are a result of damaged vein valves that allow blood to pool in the veins. Damaged valves cause the veins in the body to swell which can lead to varicose veins. Varicose veins usually appear in pregnant women, people with vein injuries and individuals with a genetic family history of varicose veins. The good news is that varicose veins can be prevented and also easily treated!

Now that you know all about veins and the problems that can accompany them, you can take preventative measures to decrease your risk of developing varicose or spider veins in the future!

About Via Vascular

Do you have varicose or spider veins? Trust the experts at Via Vascular. Our doctors offer minimally invasive varicose vein treatment and spider vein treatment. Schedule an appointment today to find out if you are a candidate for treatment by calling Via Vascular at (206) 525-8346 or by filling out our online contact form.


What to Expect After Varicose & Spider Vein Treatment

Varicose Veins

Varicose veins are large, raised swollen blood vessels. Most people who have them already know because, they are visibly stretched out where blood has pooled. Usually found on the legs, varicose veins have a thick, “ropey” appearance. Once the extent of venous disease is discovered, typically combinations of treatments are used to fully treat venous insufficiencies. Your physician will start with conservative therapy, less invasive methods, and progress from there.

Types of Treatment

Endovenous Laser Treatment (EVLT)

This is a minimally invasive procedure that has a 98% success rate in providing relief from painful and unsightly varicose veins. EVLT seals off defective superficial saphenous veins, which eliminates the source of surface varicose veins.

What Should You Expect After EVLT?

Following the procedure, Steri-Strips, dressing, compression stockings, and a compression wrap are placed on the treated leg. You will be asked to walk for at least 20 minutes immediately following your treatment. The medical grade compression stockings will need to be worn for the first 36 hours and then about two weeks following the procedure to achieve maximum healing and results. Most people are able to return to normal activities of daily living immediately, although, strenuous activities, such as exercise, will be limited for approximately one to two weeks to promote healing. It is common to have some discomfort and bruising after this procedure. Pain is usually managed by an over-the-counter, non-aspirin pain reliever.

Microphlebectomy

Microphlebectomy is a minimally invasive surgical technique used to remove large surface varicose veins. Veins are outlined and abnormal or diseased veins are accessed and removed through a series of pinhole perforations. Typically this is used in combination with EVLT.

What Should You Expect After Microphlebectomy?

Following the procedure, the small punctures are closed with Steri-Strips and bandages, compression stockings and a compression wrap is applied to the treated leg. You will be asked to walk for at least 20 minutes immediately following your treatment. The medical grade compression stockings will need to be worn for the first 36 hours and then about two weeks following the procedure to achieve maximum healing and results. Most people are able to return to normal activities of daily living immediately, although, strenuous activities, such as exercise, will be limited for approximately one to two weeks to promote healing. It is common to have some discomfort and bruising after this procedure. Discomfort is usually managed by an over-the-counter, non-aspirin pain reliever.

What to Expect After Varicose & Spider Vein Treatment

Spider Veins

Spider veins are smaller than varicose veins and the vessels appear red, purple, and blue. Easily visible through the skin, spider veins are typically found on the face and legs. Usually spider veins can be a sign of poor circulation and varicose vein formation.

Types of Treatment

Sclerotherapy

Sclerotherapy is a minimally invasive technique used in the treatment of spider veins or reticular veins that are too small to be removed surgically. This treatment involves a needle as small as an eyelash to inject a sclerosant, directly into the veins. No sedation is necessary, and you will be able to return directly back to work.

What Should You Expect After Sclerotherapy?

Expect treated areas to look worse before they look better. Bruising is normal and is to be expected for healing to occur. Results may be seen at 6 to 8 weeks, with maximum cosmetic benefit seen at 3 to 12 months following the procedure.

Many patients come, wanting to have their legs ready for the summer or for an event. In considering the healing time and the need to wear compression stockings post-treatment, many patients find it best to have treatments during the cooler months. If you have an event or vacation, it is advised to start treatments at least 4 months or greater prior to the date.

About Via Vascular

Do you have varicose veins or spider veins? Trust the experts at Via Vascular. Our doctors offer minimally invasive Seattle varicose vein treatment, including endovenous laser treatment and microphlebectomy. Seeking treatment for spider veins? Via Vascular also performs Sclerotherapy as treatment for spider veins. Schedule an appointment today to find out if you are a candidate for treatment by calling Via Vascular at (206) 525-8346 or by filling out our online contact form.

 


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