"The Know" is an informational resource concerning vein treatment options. It contains valuable information for prospective patients, physicians as well as those in the vein treatment industry. We will be regularly posting educational articles, video logs and other pertinent information. We encourage your feedback and welcome any suggestions that you feel may improve the blog.
May 2009 Blog Archive
Friday, May 29, 2009
As summer peers around the corner, it's time to get your legs healthy and
looking good. For those of you looking to use some prevention methods as
opposed to invasive removal techniques, options do exist. From yoga to
compression socks, you can start the Spring off right before bikini season
Health News Digest said, "Graduated compression hosiery works by applying
pressure at the ankle that systematically decreases up the hosiery length,
and keeps proper venous blood flow in the legs. This prevents back-flow and
stagnation of blood in the lower legs that can cause clotting and swelling.
The support they supply can also help prevent unsightly spider and varicose
For those of you dealing with actual ropy gnarled varicose veins, you can
get a procedure done now, before summertime. Laser treatments, invasive
stripping and radiofrequency can be done in a timely and cost-effective
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Compression stockings are great tools for preventing Deep Vein Thrombosis
(DVT) and varicose veins on long-haul flights and in patients with the early
stages of venous disease. However, recent research shows that the stockings
are not in fact aiding much for stroke patients who are at high risk of
Forbes health said, "Compression stockings are used in the majority of
stroke units. In this study, we have shown conclusively that compression
stockings do not work for stroke patients. National guidelines need to be
revised and we need further research to establish effective treatments in
this important group of patients," study author Martin Dennis, of the
University of Edinburgh in Scotland, said in a news release."
Stroke patients do not have significantly higher chances of developing blood
clots, but many physicians thought that compression stockings would decrease
any risks they had. Many opted for stockings because they did not want more
invasive treatments and prevention methods. The guidelines for the
stockings may be changing after this research.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Ultrasounds to Find Vein Issues
For better vein health physicians always reccomend preventative measures
like yoga, excercise, not sitting and standing for prolonged periods as well
as limiting long haul flights. But another thing we can take into
consideration for vein health is ultrasounds if we do see problems
emerging. For people with swelling in their ankles, pain, ropy veins and
other discomfort it is a wise choice to get an ultrasound to see what the
vein health issues are.
An ABC news affiliate said, "He used technology relatively new in his field
-- an ultrasound -- to actually see into Linda's legs and find her problem
veins."We're able to image the veins in a way that we've never been able to
see them before," Dr. Gueldner says.Gueldner says targeting the veins with
the ultrasound helps him work more quickly because he knows just where the
problem areas are."
If patients couple the use of ultrasounds with better vein health care, the
chances and risk factors are greatly decreased. However if the varicose
veins do pop up over time, there are a number of available treatments for
invasive and non-invasive removal.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
If you haven't heard already airlines are cutting back: charging people for
spacious exit row seats and removing first class cabins. Airlines all over
the world are feeling the cost-reduction necessity, but this may be causing
frequent flier health risks. For jet-setters who can't afford the luxuries
of business and first class, or simply can't pay for the extra leg room,
crammed cattle-class seems to be the go. Which has the ability to result in
detrimental side effects to your vein health.
Flying safe is key to preventing Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) and other vein
health issues like varicose veins. This means wearing compression
stockings, walking continuously throughout the cabins and perhaps even
avoiding the continuous long-haul flights if possible. Much easier said
that done especially for people traveling for business. So as airlines cut
back our luxuries, don't fall victim to venous disease, instead do your best
to fly safer and avoid the pain of gnarled varicose veins and DVT.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Vanity in Veins
Varicose veins and spider veins plague millions of Americans, people suffer
from gnarled ropy unattractive veins. These uncomfortable and sometimes
painful veins cause more than just physical pain for the victims, often
times men and women with varicose veins suffer from serious emotional
scarring. Whether or not you flaunted your legs in your twenties, having
gnarled veins at fifty is quite the blow to self-esteem and appearance. Many
women find it a struggle to put on bathing suits while men are cautious
about wearing shorts and swim trunks. There is much vanity to varicose
veins, which is why removal and stripping treatments have gained much
popularity among the baby boomer population.
A personal recount of a women with varicose veins says, "I was very aware
when I was playing tennis" of how her legs looked - this from a woman who's
on the courts a couple of times a week. The final blow came when a friend
(who needs friends like this?) pointed to her leg and said, "Hey, you've got
a worm crawling up your leg!" Katros went off and wept."
She is among the other tens of millions of people dealing with both the
aesthetic and vanity pain coupled with the physicial torment and achiness
that varicose veins induce. For those of you suffering, removal treatments
come in a sundry of options: from laser removal to invasive stripping and
even radiofrequency, the treatments are available and affordable.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Treatment for Perforating Veins
Perforating veins are said to be one of the primary causes of varicose
veins. Over 20 million Americans suffer from varicose veins, and often
patients opt for invasive stripping removal methods or even radiofrequency
procedures. But a Houston based vascular surgeon is making advances in
treating such problems.
Marketwire said in the press release, "In Dr. Skellenger's experience with
primary varicose veins, he has found incompetent perforating veins to become
significant after endovenous laser treatment of the saphenous vein. The
reduction in the higher saphenous vein pressure following this treatment
allows lower pressure perforators to reflux back to the superficial system.
Incompetent perforators are quite often a major source of venous
hypertension and may cause venous stasis ulceration in addition to varicose
Depending on the type of venous disease at hand, there are a sundry of
available removal treatments from laser to surgical stripping.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Free Vein Scans
The new trend in medicine has been to raise awareness for diseases and
treatments. Over the past few months clinics have been offering free scans
for various ailments like heart disease and colon cancer. Now a vein health
(vascular) clinic will be offering free vein scans tonight. Patients
dealing with symptoms of venous disease (gnarled, ropy, swollen, and painful
legs) shoudl consider getting scanned.
My Central Jersey said, "The screening is recommended for those who
experience painful, heavy or achy legs, or have visible leg veins -
including varicose veins and spider veins - and chronic leg swelling."
Physicians and experts say that awareness is key to prevention and
treatment. The sooner you catch varicose veins and treat them the chances of
it spreading to Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) are drastically reduced.
Monday, May 18, 2009
Wives Tales or Truth?
For years the claim buzzing around the ears of many women is that varicose
veins are induced by crossing your legs. Is this an old wives tail or is
there some validity to the claims? By age 50 a large percentage of men and
women are said to develop gnarled, ropy and unattractive varicose or spider
veins. Nearly 40 million Americans alone have signs of venous disease.
Studies have shown that for women lack of exercise, smoking, pregnancy and
long-haul travel may be inciters. No study has yet to link crossing legs to
directly causing the vein health issue.
The New York Times said, "Standing or engaging in sedentary activities for
more than eight hours a day increased the risk as well - a finding that has
been borne out in European studies of people whose jobs require them to be
on their feet, like nurses. Other studies have pointed to pregnancy as
another major contributor. But perhaps the easiest way to determine your
risk is to consult your family tree - more than 80 percent of people with
varicose veins have at least one parent with them."
Of course prolonged hours on end sitting or standing cross legged or not has
the ability to adversely affect your vein health, but experts still have not
proven that crossing your legs alone directly induces varicose veins.
Friday, May 15, 2009
Some industry observers are saying that varicose vein treatments will become
less affordable for elderly patients on Medicare in Australia. It is being
said that private treatment for venous disease is likely to be difficult for
the budgets of pensioners, leaving many of the 40 million people plagued
with gnarled veins quite unhappy.
WA Today said, "In this week's federal budget the Government capped safety
net payments for particular varicose vein remedies, saying doctors had
charged excessive fees. Federal Health Minister Nicola Roxon challenged
specialists to reduce their fees, saying most of the safety-net money was
going into doctors' pockets rather than reducing costs for patients."
Physicians in the field however have said that these increased prices at
private clinics were due to new, less invasive, efficient and effective
technologies and treatments in the industry. And that physicians were not
pocketing the extra money.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Stop the Clot Campaign
In recent weeks all I have been reading about in papers and online news
sources is Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) and varicose veins. From prevention
methods to tour buses travelling around assessing peoples blood clot risks,
DVT awareness is everywhere. Now in the spotlight is the Stop the Clot
Campaign in Europe.
The Essex Harlow Herald said, "The lifesaving Stop the Clot campaign was
launched by the charity Anticoagulation Europe in a bid to stop needless
deaths and has been supported by MPs, celebrities and hospitals across the
region, including Harlow's Princess Alexandra Hospital (PAH). Sarah Ayton,
deep vein thrombosis (DVT) specialist at PAH says: "We have seen an increase
in patients asking for a risk assessment."
The campaign has been considered a huge success in promoting the dangers,
risks and treatments involved in DVT.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Lawmakers in Minnesota recognized May 12th as Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)
awareness day on Capitol Hill (in Minnesota). As many advocates of DVT
awareness will tell you, education and information are vital to vein health
and preventing death and serious problems associated with DVT.
NBC News affiliate in Minnesota reported, "Deep-vein thrombosis or DVT is a
disease where a blood clot forms usually in the large veins of the legs or
pelvic area. DVT can become deadly when a the blood clot breaks off and
travels to the lungs causing a pulmonary embolism, according to a report
cited by the Coalition to Prevent Deep-vein Thrombosis."
Over 300,000 people each year are said to die from DVT-related causes. This
is because simple issues like dehydration and long-haul flights stifle blood
flow through the veins and can promote DVT-like clots.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Thinners and Blood Clot Risks
Nearly 1 million Americans suffer from Deep Vein Thrombosis or pulmonary
embolisms each year, many of which have resulted in death. DVT is a serious
problem that should be treated appropriately and immediately. Generally DVT
is found in people dealing with cancer, trauma, surgery or stroke. Risk
factors are heightened with patients over the age of 50 and those of which
that smoke. Because the risk factors vary and are considerably common,
physicians urge people to become aware of the treatments and preventative
methods availble for DVT.
The Baltimore Sun reported on blood thinners and DVT saying, "DVT is usually
treated with blood thinners that prevent the clot from growing and allow the
body's own clot-busting machinery to dissolve the clot slowly. Initial
treatment of a clot usually involves giving heparin by vein or under the
skin. These medicines work quickly."
For people constantly dealing with long-haul travel, it may be a wise
decision to invest in compression socks with hopes of increasing blood flow
in the veins and preventing DVT from occuring more quickly or dramatically.
Monday, May 11, 2009
Covidien Ltd has reported to the Associated Press that it plans to purchase
VNUS Medical Technologies for $440 million which Covidien believes will be
completed by the end of June. The varicose vein and venous disease industry
is said to be dramatically increasing as minimally invasive techniques and
procedures become more innovative, effective and cost efficient.
Forbes reported on the purchase saying, "San Jose, Calif.-based VNUS makes
products that treat varicose veins and venous reflux disease, a circulatory
condition that causes blood to pool in the veins of the leg. That can cause
swollen veins and discolored skin. Covidien said it is expanding its
vascular business by buying VNUS, and it will make VNUS part of its vascular
Similarly, VNUS is considered to be one of the most reputable firms in the
industry of varicose vein removal. As the industry begins to spread and
grow, many advocates for prevention hope that awareness about the diseases
and treatments will also boost.
Friday, May 08, 2009
DVT Bus Making Rounds
In light of the recent focus and headlines about Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT),
the Coalition to Prevent DVT has organized a bus to travel around the US
providing people with risk assessments for venous disease as well as
offering information about treatments, symptoms and prevention methods.
National Alliance for Thrombosis and Thrombophilia (NATT) said, "There is a
special presentation beginning at 11:30am. Melanie Bloom, former NBC
correspondent David Bloom's wife, and Dr. Mark Reding, Assistant Professor
and Director of the Center for Bleeding and Clotting Disorders, will
discuss DVT and share personal experiences. This event is in collaboration
with the Coalition to Prevent DVT, the University of Minnesota Medical
Center and the National Alliance for Thrombosis & Thrombophilia."
Hundreds of thousands of people in the US die each year from DVT related
health issues, NATT coupled with advocates like Melanie Bloom are hoping to
raise awareness and education about venous disease as well as provide the
public with information about available treatments of not only DVT, but
varicose and spider veins as well.
Thursday, May 07, 2009
Spreading Awareness and Help
In general the style of varicose and spider veins that physicians in the US
see staunchly differ from that of some second and third world countries
where patients lack the awareness and treatments we have readily
accessible. Dr. Garth Rosenberg took his vascular surgery expertise
overseas to Honduras where he donated tools, taught techniques and gave
treatments to many people plagued with some of the worst cases of venous
Dr. Rosenberg said to the Frederick News, "Working through the
Wisconsin-based Hackett-Hemwall Foundation, Rosenberg and 23 other vascular
surgeons provided free treatment of varicose veins to 1,500 Hondurans at
three sites. Rosenberg was stationed in Tela, a town on the country's
northern coast. The varicose veins Rosenberg treated in Honduras are not the
cosmetic spider veins some may think of, he said."These are severe,
end-stage venous diseases that need significant attention," he said."
Rosenberg an his colleagues did not implement the same treatments we use in
the US, rather they used injections to compress the veins inciting the body
to redirect blood flow. Although Rosenberg said he is proud of the
awareness and treatment he spread in Honduras, he said he hopes to bring
more, because currently such treatments take weeks of recovery with
compression socks and also he only visits once a year.
Thursday, May 07, 2009
Urine Test Finding DVT
A high level of the protein albumin that is found in urine tests may
indicate increased risks of developing vein clots including Deep Vein
Thrombosis (DVT). This research has come out on the wake of DVT making
headlines. DVT news had been all over the news from DVT awareness month to
the dangers associated with long haul flights. For people who are high risk
patients, especially those with varicose veins should consider taking
precautions like compression socks or even urine tests to assess their
AJC Media Solutions reported on the study saying, "Tests to detect albumin
and other proteins in the urine now are commonly done to help assess the
risk of problems caused by damage to the arteries, which carry blood from
the heart. Those tests now generally are done in people in people known to
be at risk because of conditions including diabetes and high blood pressure.
Those conditions can reduce the function of kidneys, which remove proteins
from the blood. This latest study indicates that such a urine test could
also help assess the risk of problems in the veins, which carry blood back
to the heart, said Dr. Ron T. Gansevoort, an associate professor of
nephrology at Groningen, who oversaw the research."
This may be a huge step forward for the field of vein health because there
are currently no tests that check for DVT, only instead high risk patients
that end up with the symptoms and thus get treated.
Thursday, May 07, 2009
Dermatology Clinics Keeping Abreast with Venous Disease
Dermatology clinics are starting to jump on the vein health bandwagon. In a
constantly evolving industry with constant revamps and new treatments for
varicose, spider veins and Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), dermatologists are
now being trained to treat such ailments. The industry is quite lucrative,
especially since many of these procedures are not covered by insurance,
generally the procedures that are covered by insurance are invasive surgical
Some reports have been released about clinics around the nation opening up
vein health arms, or bringing in tools and teaching the techniques of
removal and laser treatment to staff. The industry of vein health has also
come to the forefront of many in the medical industry as the potential for
profit and innovative tools has blossomed dramatically. Some industry
observers say by 2013 the industry of vein health will be at it's peak.
Thursday, May 07, 2009
Natural Varicose Vein Remedies
Clearly, varicose veins are a nuisance: from discomfort to aesthetics, they
plague millions of people each year. Generally the first form of treatment
is invasive or rather minimally invasive procedures which are efficient and
effective at removing the gnarled veins. However, prior to jumping on board
the surgical path, there are a number of home remedies available to ease the
pain or aid in remedying the varicose veins.
Personal Liberty News wrote about natural remedies saying, "In particular,
moderate muscle-toning exercise or yoga help veins preserve their natural
shape, while the cholesterol-lowering effects of exercise may act to boost
vein health from within. Herbal supplements, such as horse chestnut extract
are also commonly used to treat varicose veins. Studies have shown the
active component in horse chestnut called aescin appears to block the
release of enzymes that damage capillary walls, according to the alternative
health section of About.com, an informational website."
Similarly, a number of holistic websites say that eating an ample supply of
antioxidants, buckwheat, fruit are great preventative remedies. While
avoiding heavy consumption of red meats, salt, alcohol and cheese is a wise
choice. So perhaps prior to undergoing surgical treatments, stick to home
remedies and see if a healthy lifestyle will promote healthy veins.
Friday, May 01, 2009
Insurance and Venous Disease
For years now there has been a dispute and controversy over why varicose
veins and spider veins are not covered by insurance. For patients suffering
from severe cases of varicose veins, those turning into Deep Vein
Thrombosis, may have removal treatments covered, by why not those of us
opting for treatment for cosmetic reasons? After all, even if it is
cosmetic, venous disease is still an ailment that can lead to more serious
Some would argue if the government was able to provide hundreds of thousands
of dollars for tattoo removal programs, why not provide funding for venous
disease treatment? Though it should be noted that sclerotherapy and some
stripping techniques are actually covered by insurance if the varicose and
spider veins are considered a health hazard by physicians. Hopefully soon
the dispute ends and insurance companies will cover all costs.