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Who is at Risk for Varicose Veins?

Varicose veins are the blueish to red colored enlarged or bulging veins that become congested with blood and can become painful, especially if left untreated. Millions of people are affected by varicose veins, but who in particular is at risk for varicose veins? Explore this blog to find out what factors affect varicose veins and who is prone to getting them.

Women

Females are more susceptible to have varicose veins (especially in the legs) than males. It is believed female hormones, hormone replacement therapy, and/or birth control can be partly responsible for the development of varicose veins. Also, being pregnant can heighten the chance of varicose veins as a growing fetus adds pressure to the veins. Fortunately, pregnant women who develop varicose veins can expect improvement within three months following delivery.

Men

Both men and women can get varicose veins contrary to the popular belief that men are not at risk. Yes, women are more prone to have varicose veins in their lifetime, but 25 percent of men ranging from ages 30 to 40 will develop varicose veins. Approximately 50 percent of all men age 70 and above most likely have them as well.

Older Age

Although age does not necessarily have much influence on varicose veins, the older population is at a higher risk of getting them. This is due to aging that leads to general wearing and tearing on vein valves. Also, the elderly are more prone to vascular problems with blood flowing in the correct direction and phlebitis, which occurs when varicose veins become inflamed.

Overweight

Are you aware that generally one-third of Americans are considered obese? Those who are obese or overweight are highly vulnerable to develop varicose veins because of the extra pressure placed on the veins. Also, obesity can lead to other health issues like high blood pressure and absence of physical activity, which are causes for the development of varicose veins.

Family History

Does anyone in your family have varicose veins? This is something important to know because varicose veins are hereditary. According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, around half of all people who have varicose veins also have family members who have them too. Knowing your family history could help you take preventative measures to avoid varicose veins or treat them in time.

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 During Winter

varicose-veins-treatment

Are you suffering from varicose veins or spider veins but aren’t sure when the right time to get treatment is? Varicose veins are a common problem that affect many individuals, especially women. It is estimated that between 30 to 60 percent of adults have varicose veins. Varicose veins tend to get worse during colder months, due to decreased physical activity, which can lead to worsening conditions such as inflamed varicose veins. Explore our blog for other significant benefits of getting varicose vein treatment during the winter!

More Time to Heal

When receiving varicose vein treatment, it is crucial to take some time to rest and recover after treatment. It would be smart to take a few days off immediately following the procedure to stay at home and take it easy. Winter is a slower season for many people and is a good time to recuperate, especially after the holidays, when things are less hectic. Cold weather provides ample time for healing and is especially ideal for those requiring subsequent treatments, since it provides enough time to heal between procedures.

Covering Up & Skin Protection

If you are suffering from varicose veins, winter is not only a great season to spend recuperating after treatment; it is also a good time for covering up. During the winter, we tend to bundle up and wear more clothing, so it is easier to disguise any bruising, swelling and other temporary side effects that could occur after treatment. Winter is also a great time to receive varicose vein treatment because one can get the most protection from UV rays during this time. Exposure to UV rays can cause discoloration following varicose vein treatment, which is why it is best to avoid getting treatment during the summer, if possible.

Winter clothing can help disguise compression stockings, which patients are sometimes required to wear following treatment. Compression stockings are used to keep treated veins in close contact and prevent them from filling back up with blood.

Choose Via Vascular for Varicose Treatment

Are you considering getting varicose vein treatment this winter? If so, Via Vascular has new minimally invasive techniques that are done by highly experienced technicians. We offer procedures such as endovenous laser treatment and microphlebectomy which require no hospital stay, have minimal postoperative pain and provide nearly immediate relief from your symptoms. Check out some of our testimonials, to see what our patients have to say about their experience and results at Via Vascular.

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.


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.


Fall Foods for Healthy Veins

fall foods for healthy veins

Summer season has come to an end and autumn is just around the corner! Fall season offers many classic foods that are not only delicious, but healthy for the cardiovascular system, veins and arteries. Varicose veins are a common problem that affects many Americans today. In order to minimize the chances of getting varicose veins, it would be smart to include the following food types in your diet this fall, to maintain good cardiovascular health.

Pumpkin

Pumpkin is one of autumn’s most enjoyed foods. Pumpkin seeds can offer many health benefits for your heart. Like many nuts and seeds, pumpkin seeds are naturally rich in certain plant based chemicals called Phytosterols that have been shown to reduce LDL or “bad” cholesterol levels. They also contain high amounts of the mineral Zinc, which is important in maintaining healthy veins. Roasted pumpkin seeds can be added to many dishes such as salads, cereals, breads or can be eaten on their own as a healthy, delicious snack in between meals.

Avocado

Avocados have become a very popular food and are often referred to as a super food. This fruit contains many nutrients, including high amounts of both vitamin C and vitamin E, which are essential for optimal vascular health. Avocados also contain a high concentration of glutathione, one of the most powerful of all antioxidants. Glutathione protects the cardiovascular system from damage caused by free radicals. Avocados can be eaten on their own, made into guacamole dip or added to salads.

Apples

Apples are not only delicious, but are also quite nutritious! Apples contain a flavonoid called rutin, which is one of the best substances for vein and artery health. Rutin protects blood vessels, reduces the risk of blood clots and significantly reduces one’s risk of developing varicose veins. Apples are considered one of the top 10 healthiest foods, since they are rich in important antioxidants, flavonoids and dietary fiber.

Kale

Kale is a known super food that is quite popular these days and should be included in everyone’s diet! Autumn is a great time to get a hold of this leafy green powerhouse, since it is the season for it. Kale contains large amounts of vitamins A, C, K—essential minerals such as potassium, iron, copper, as well as omega-3 acids. Copper is an essential mineral needed for maintaining the health of veins. Kale can be juiced, steamed, sautéed and stir fried, or freshly added to salads.

Horse Chestnut

Horse Chestnut is a great dietary choice when it comes to treating and preventing varicose veins. They contain a potent compound called Aescin, which has anti-flammatory and vaso-protective properties that can potentially treat chronic venous insufficiency. Horse Chestnuts also enhance the production of nitric oxide and lower inflammation, which reduces edema in the legs, a major symptom of varicose veins. These chestnuts make for a delicious snack and can be found at most grocery stores such or at local farmers markets.

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.


Preventing Varicose Veins during Pregnancy

Why do we get Varicose Veins during Pregnancy?

Varicose veins are purple or blue veins that show up near the surface of the skin. They most commonly appear on the legs, and are very common during pregnancy. During pregnancy, your body increases blood volume and decreases the speed at which your blood returns from your legs to your pelvis. As a result, this increases the pressure on those veins and causes varicose veins to appear. Higher hormone levels also contribute to varicose veins by causing the veins to be more dilated or open.

How to Prevent Varicose Veins during Pregnancy

Sleep on your Left side

The inferior vena cava is located on the right side of the body. Sleeping on your left side helps to relieve the vein from the weight of the uterus, thus decreasing the pressure on the veins in your legs and feet. You can place pillows between your knees and behind your back to keep yourself tilted. Also, avoid lying flat on your back since this can restrict blood flow to the vena cava as well.

Wear Compression Tights

Wearing graduated compression stockings can help to both prevent and improve varicose veins. These compression tights are designed to be tightest at the foot and offer lighter support as they go up the leg. This makes it easier for blood to flow back up toward your heart and as a result may help prevent swelling. It is best to put the tights on first thing in the morning while still lying in bed and keep them on all day.

 Keep Your Circulation Going

To promote healthy circulation and to keep blood pumping effectively, it is important to exercise daily. Taking a 30 minute walk or trying a prenatal workout can help stimulate healthy circulation. Avoid sitting and standing for long periods of time and crossing your legs or ankles while sitting.

Keep Weight Gain in a Healthy Range

Strive to keep within the recommended weight range for your stage of pregnancy. You should gain 1 to 5 pounds in the first trimester and about 1 pound per week for the rest of your pregnancy (which comes to about 25-35 pounds total). If you are gaining more weight than normal, try cutting out empty carbs such as sugars, refined flours and processed food. If you’re struggling with putting on weight, adding more fruit and dairy to your diet can help.

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. 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.

 


Varicose Veins in the Winter

 

The cold weather months are among us. If you are one of the millions of people affected by varicose veins, you can finally stop stressing about how to cover your unsightly varicose veins. Have you ever considered eliminating your varicose veins for good? Lucky for you, winter is the perfect time to seek varicose vein treatment.  Non-surgical, minimally invasive treatments can get you back to the old you. Read on to discover why winter is the best season for varicose vein treatment.

Added Warmth

Before and after treatment, patients are recommended to wear compression socks. They boost circulation by applying pressure to the veins of the calves and ankles. While these socks may be uncomfortable throughout the warmer seasons, winter months are the best time to take on an extra layer of warmth.

Waiting Period

Relief of symptoms such as throbbing, cramping and a heavy feeling in legs, happens relatively quickly after treatment. However, the physical appearance of the varicose veins is a more gradual process. Most patients do not see a significant difference in appearance until a few months post-treatment.

Healing Period

In addition to the physical appearance of treated veins, the healing process can take some time as well. Treating your varicose veins in the winter allows you a sufficient amount of time to heal.

Each Case is Unique

Additionally, it’s not always certain if you will need subsequent treatments. Each case is unique. Treating your varicose veins in the winter ensures there is ample time for bikini-ready legs come summer.

Enjoy A Stress-Free Summer!

Maybe the best reason to get treated in the winter is so you can enjoy your summer! Live care-free, as summers should be. Head to the beach with your family and never think twice about being self-conscious about your varicose veins.

Who Makes A Good Candidate?

Candidates for varicose vein treatment exhibit any of the following characteristics in their veins:

What Should You Expect?

Treatment of varicose veins is a multi-step process that requires several visits to our office.  Many members of our team will be involved throughout all phases of treatment. There are 6 steps to the varicose vein treatment process.

1. An initial evaluation that will take roughly 30 to 45 minutes. Keep in mind this evaluation may require an ultrasound that will take an additional 45 minutes.

2. The Venous Ultrasound is an in-depth ultrasound. The sonographer will examine and map out the veins in your legs, noting any abnormal or diseased veins. This takes about 45 minutes.

3. A pre-procedure appointment with your nurse practitioner. This will take about 45 minutes.

4. The actual treatment, which requires a driver on deck, since medication administered will make you unable to drive home safely. The next leg will be treated 1 to 4 weeks out from the initial leg. This procedure takes approximately 2 to 3 hours per treatment.

5. Post procedure ultrasound approximately a week after each treatment. This takes about 30 to 45 minutes.

6. Finally the follow-up appointment. This is usually scheduled about 6 weeks out from your treatment. This will take about a half hour.

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. 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.

 


Can Diet Changes Help to Reduce Spider Veins?

Spider veins are quite common and have earned their name from the skinny red and/or blue veins that spread across and appear close to the skin. Generally, spider veins ordinarily appear near the surfaces of legs, behind the knees, and face, but can also appear on any part of the body.

Spider veins can develop for a number of reasons including age, pregnancy, and obesity. However, there are a few ways that you can alter your diet which could help to reduce the chances of developing spider veins.

Foods That Strengthen Your Veins

Spider veins can be prevented by consuming antioxidants and flavonoids, which help keep your veins healthy and assist in building tissue. Citrusy fruits, red grapes, blueberries, and cherries fit into this category. Plants or foods that contain chilies, ginger, garlic, and so forth can help prevent these veins by aiding in quality blood circulation.

High Fiber Diet

In order to have a smooth digestive system, pursue a high-fiber diet! But Fiber can also help to reduce or prevent spider veins from developing from constipation and strain in your bowel movement. Constipation and strain can lead to the development of varicose and spider veins because this can put significant stress on the veins. The veins can get damaged when you try to have a bowel movement. The average person should take in about 25-38 grams of fiber every day, according to Livestrong.com. Some examples of high fiber foods are avocados, whole-grain pasta, apples, corn, bran and lentils.

Reduce Salt Consumption

Taking in too much salt in your diet can not only affect your brain, heart and bone health, but it can also affect the health of your veins. Avoiding foods that contain high sodium such as packaged bread, smoked meats, salted nuts, canned foods, and processed foods can help to reduce the possibility of developing varicose and spider veins.

Pineapples

Pineapples are great for your health and also have the ability to kill cancer cells, according to Mercola.com. Pineapples contain a protein called Fibrin, which prevents blood clots.  The stem and juice from pineapples contain bromelain, which is a digestive enzyme that will aid in improving your circulation.

About Via Vascular

Do you have varicose or spider veins? Trust the experts at Via Vascular. Our doctors offer minimally invasive spider vein treatment and varicose vein treatment in Seattle. 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 


When to See a Doctor for Varicose Veins

Varicose veins can be defined as stretched out, rope-like veins that are enlarged and potentially painful as a result of trapped blood in the legs. These veins are easily identifiable, and offer no single cause for their presence. Although some vein issues can be merely an aesthetic irritation, others can turn into a more serious problem if left untreated. It is important to identify when to see a doctor for varicose veins, and what to expect when you are planning for your appointment.

When to See a Doctor About Varicose Veins

– The vein has become unusually enlarged, discolored, or tender to the touch
– There are visible sores or rash-like areas on the leg, or near the ankle
– The skin on the ankle and calf becomes thicker and discolored
– If a varicose vein begins to bleed
– Achey, dull, or other painful symptoms are interfering with your daily routine
– The appearance of the veins is affecting your everyday life

What to Expect at Your Appointment

1. Initial diagnostic of Varicose Veins.
Some people think spider veins are varicose veins, but the distinction is visibly very different.
2. Analysis of risk factors that could have caused varicose veins.
These are daily activities such as prolonged sitting or standing, injuries on the extremities, or pregnancy.
3. Treatment options are given.
Some non-invasive treatment options like compression stockings might be recommended first, before further techniques are implemented. Endovenous laser treatment (EVLT) or microphlebectomy can be the next minimally invasive steps to help eliminate varicose veins.

Preparing for Your Appointment

– Write down symptoms so your doctor can easily find the best treatment for you.
– Bring in knowledge on family health history to help identify the cause of the varicose veins.
– Make a list of all medications (including vitamins) for your doctor to become familiar with when treating you.
– Create a list of any questions you might have beforehand so that you’re able to address them during the appointment.

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. Treating Varicose Veins can be as simple as compression stockings, or a small needle poke. If you are unsure about varicose veins symptoms or procedures, contact Via Vascular to find out more information and make an appointment today.


4 Common Myths About Varicose Veins

Varicose veins can be a pesky and unsightly medical condition. There are many different misconceptions about how you get varicose veins and many tend to associate them with older individuals. But varicose veins can happen to anyone at any time! There are four common myths that many people associate with varicose veins: Only older people get varicose veins, men are not at risk for varicose veins, crossing your legs causes varicose veins and there is no way to prevent varicose veins.

Myth #1: “Only older woman get varicose veins, right?”

This assumption is false. According to MedicineNet.Com, varicose veins can occur in anyone regardless of gender or age. While older age and genetics play a role in the development of varicose veins, everyone can develop the condition including teens and young adults. Anyone who lives a sedentary lifestyle, has significant weight gain, prolonged standing or a pregnancy is at risk for varicose veins.

Myth #2: Men are not at risk for varicose veins

According to the Huffington Post, 25 percent of men suffer from varicose veins. Men tend to disregard their varicose vein symptoms until they become severe. It is important for men to know that seeking treatment or medical advice as soon as the veins start is crucial.

Myth #3: Crossing your legs causes varicose veins

Many studies have been done to prove the validity of this comment and Medical Daily examined the claim. The chance of developing varicose veins can be increased when additional pressure is put on the veins. This old wives’ tale came from the idea that crossing your legs applies additional pressure, which it does but not put nearly enough pressure on the legs to cause any noticeable changes.

Myth #4: There is no way to prevent varicose veins

While there is no surefire way to prevent varicose veins, there are a few things you can do to lessen your chances and slow down the process. MedicineNet.com explains that it is important to have periodic leg evaluations, avoid prolonged standing, and maintain a healthy weight.

Do you have varicose or spider veins? Trust the experts at Via Vascular. Our doctors offer minimally invasive spider vein treatment and varicose vein treatment in Seattle. 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.

Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


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