Vein Disease Basics

Vein disease is a catch-all term used to describe a number of different circulatory problems. These may include spider veins, varicose veins, venous insufficiency or phlebitis. Some of these conditions, like spider veins, are minor and mostly raise cosmetic issues, while others have the potential to be life-threatening. Vascular and interventional radiology specialists like Dr. Stephen Jung, of the Columbus Vein Center, can help you with vein disease.

Vein Disease: Varicose Veins

Many cases of vein disease occur for one simple reason: valve failure. Unlike arteries, in which blood moves with each beat of the heart, the veins rely on muscle contractions in the legs to pump against the flow of gravity. Small tissue flaps called valves are strategically positioned to prevent blood from flowing backward. Unfortunately, these valves can stop working properly, causing a condition called venous insufficiency and allowing the blood to pool and distend the veins, which results in varicose veins.

Vein Disease: Phlebitis and Blood Clots

Phlebitis occurs when the wall of the vein become inflamed. Venous insufficiency can contribute to phlebitis, but it can also occur as the result of irritation from an intravenous line or drug injections. Phlebitis in the legs increases the risk of blood clots developing in the large veins of the leg and pelvis. If the clot breaks loose, it can travel to the lungs and cause a potentially life-threatening condition called pulmonary embolism. You can also develop phlebitis without developing a blood clot. Phlebitis on its own is usually treated with rest and the application of heat, but a blood clot is treated with anticoagulant medications.

Vein Disease: Causes

Genetics may play a role in some vein diseases. Varicose veins, for example, tend to run in families. As people age, the risk of vein disease increases, especially venous insufficiency and varicose veins. Most people who suffer from these conditions are older, although women are more likely to develop problems in their 40s, while men don’t usually have trouble until they reach 70 or older. Women’s susceptibility can be influenced by pregnancy. Smokers, people who are obese or inactive and those who spend long hours on their feet are more likely to develop vein disease.

Vein Disease: Symptoms

Swelling in the ankles and feet is one of the most common symptoms of any kind of vein disease. Varicose veins may become distended and tortuous, clearly visible beneath the skin. Patients who have pain usually find it gets better when sitting with the legs raised but worse with standing. Some patients complain of itching, aching or throbbing in the legs, or a feeling of tightness around the calves.

If you have symptoms of vein disease or have previously been diagnosed with one of these problems, you can find help for your condition from Dr. Stephen Jung, at the Columbus Vein Center. We offer sclerotherapy, laser treatment and ambulatory phlebectomy as well as other services to residents of Columbus, Ohio. Please contact us today for an appointment.



When You Have Vein Disease, Getting Treatment is Very Important

Varicose veins are very common. Some people only have a couple, while others have a number of them. While they aren’t always serious, they are an indication that there may be problems with the circulatory system. Many people have vein disease, and varicose veins are one symptom of that. Fortunately, there are many ways to diagnose and treat vein problems, along with treatment the underlying condition that may have caused the issue. Getting control of your health is important, and with the right vein treatment you can regain the look of your legs and reduce or eliminate pain and discomfort from varicose veins.

Take Your Vein Disease Seriously

Don’t underestimate the importance of treating your vein disease. If left untreated it can develop into a more serious issue. Catching and treating it early means less worry about the veins themselves, and less concern about harm to other areas of the body that may not be getting proper circulation. Your vein doctor can talk to you about your risks, and about the potential for other problems. That way you can make the right decisions for your health. Being an informed patient is vital to good healthcare, so be sure to ask plenty of questions and make the choice that will be the most beneficial to your overall, long-term vein health.

How to Treat Vein Disease

Treatment for vein disease has come a very long way. In the past, doctors used to cut into the body and strip out the problematic veins. That could leave scars, and there was quite a bit of healing time required. Complications could also arise. Fortunately, newer techniques are much less invasive. They require only small punctures that leave no scars and don’t even require stitches in most cases. You can be back at work quickly, and the risk of complications is very low. Laser treatment, chemicals, and radio frequencies are all used in the treatment of vein disease today, with excellent results.

Vein Disease 101

Vein Disease 101

If you have vein disease, you are not alone. Approximately half of adults living in the United States have some form of vein disease, according to the Society of Interventional Radiology. Vein disease is an umbrella term that covers varicose veins, spider veins, venous insufficiency, and other conditions affecting your veins. Here is what you need to know about vein disease.

About Vein Disease

Vein disease affects the blood vessels that carry blood from your body cells back towards your heart. Unlike arteries that benefit from the force of gravity to carry blood downward from your heart towards the rest of your body, your veins must fight gravity to move blood upwards.

One-way valves close to trap blood within small segments of the blood vessel in between heartbeats, or open fully to allow the free flow of blood when you exercise. Closing these valves prevents blood from flowing backwards and pooling in your lower legs. Doctors refer to this as venous insufficiency.

Faulty valves allow blood to accumulate in your lower legs. Your veins enlarge in response to the pressure of excess blood there, and these enlarged veins can bloat and twist to become varicose veins visible on the surface of the skin.

Spider veins develop in much the same ways as do varicose veins – as the result of blood backing up in veins. Spider veins are different from varicose veins in that they are much smaller and can develop anywhere on your body, including on your face.

Risk Factors for Vein Disease

Certain factors increase your risk for vein disease, including:

  • Increasing age – time may weaken valves
  • Medical history – you may be born with weak valves
  • Family history – about half of all people with varicose veins have a family member with them, according to the Office on Women’s Health
  •  Hormonal changes – associated with puberty, pregnancy, or menopause, or taking birth control pills or medicines containing estrogen and progesterone
  • Obesity – carrying extra weight puts pressure on veins
  • Lack of movement – prolonged periods of standing or sitting, especially sitting with your legs crossed
  • Sun exposure – increases the risk for spider veins on the nose or cheeks, especially in fair-skinned individuals

Complications of Vein Disease

Spider veins and small varicose veins are a cosmetic problem that interferes with the appearance of your skin; these veins diseases usually are not usually associated with complications. Large varicose veins can cause discomfort in some cases.

Large varicose veins are sometimes associated with complications. In some cases, varicose veins can lead to painful sores near the ankle, known as stasis ulcers. Bleeding can occur in varicose veins lying very close to the surface of the skin, as the skin can become thinner and offer less protection there. Blood clots can develop in superficial veins or in deep veins.

When Should You See a Vein Doctor?

Consult with a vein surgeon if a sore or rash develops on your ankle near a varicose vein, the skin on your ankle becomes thicker or darker, or if a varicose vein begins to bleed. See a vein doctor if your varicose veins or spider veins embarrasses you; treatments to reduce the appearance of these diseased veins are available.

Vein Disease: Who Gets It and What To Do About It

Some other chronic conditions such as type 2 diabetes, and cancer may be in the spotlight more frequently, but vein disease deserves attention in its own right. In the United States alone, about 80 million people have vein diseases such as varicose veins and spider veins. You may have some type of vein disease yourself, or know people who do.

Still, how much do you really know about it? Do you know what causes it and who is at risk? More important, do you know what you can do about it if you have varicose or spider veins? Here are some of the basics on vein disease and Ohio vein treatment.

Who Gets Vein Disease?

Vein disease is common among American adults, but some are at higher risk than others. The risk for men and women increases with age. Your risk is also higher if you have family members with vein disease or if you are overweight.

Women in particular have a high risk of getting varicose or spider veins. The risk is especially high during periods when hormones fluctuate dramatically. Examples include during pregnancy and during menopause.

What Causes Vein Disease?

Vein disease describes the situation when your blood vessel function is not optimum. The valves in your veins may be weakened, which allows blood to flow backwards as it is being pumped back to the heart. Instead of all of your blood being pumped back to the heart, some of it can pool in veins where it should not. Varicose veins can result from this extra blood. They can appear as knotted and bulging bluish, reddish, or purplish veins in the lower legs.

Columbus Vein Treatment Options

You can work to prevent the development of vein disease or prevent minor varicose veins from getting worse. A healthy lifestyle such as eating a high-potassium, low-sodium diet and getting regular exercise can promote better circulation and reduce varicose veins.

If your varicose or spider veins get worse, you may need to consider going to a Columbus vein clinic for treatment. Vascular surgeons have high-tech and precise methods for getting rid of varicose and spider veins. Your options may include the following, depending on the size and location of your varicose and spider veins.

  • Sclerotherapy, or the use of a chemical solution to cause the vein to destruct.
  • Laser ablation, or the use of laser heat to destroy the vein.
  • VNUS Closure, or the use of radiofrequency waves to close off the vein.
  • Ambulatory phlebectomy, or removal of large surface veins.

You no longer need to fear painful vein stripping that may not even work for long. If you have varicose or spider veins, consider going to Columbus vein doctors for help. The concerns may be cosmetic or health-related, and both are worth addressing.