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VeinDirectory - "The Know"

"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.

Monday, July 02, 2012
Surgery vs. Laser: Which Works Best for Varicose Veins

Unfortunately, varicose veins are an unattractive reality for roughly 60 percent of adults. For some of us, those jagged blue veins running down our legs are more than just an eyesore. Problem veins can cause swelling, cramping or aching in the legs, or may even cause a burning sensation or heaviness. When varicose veins become inflamed and tender, reducing circulation, they need to be treated.

For people with minor vein problems, simple lifestyle changes like wearing support hose (compression stockings), walking regularly and elevating your legs whenever possible can help. For people who are experiencing more severe symptoms, you should consult an experienced vein specialist to find out if surgery or laser will work best for you.


When Laser Works Best


Simple Laser Treatments: If you have tiny varicose veins and spider veins under the surface of your skin, you may see results after a few simple laser treatments. This option is appealing for patients who wish to avoid injections of sclerosing agent as used in sclerotherapy, and don’t mind that results may take longer.

Laser treatments use short pulses of high-energy light to “zap” your veins to make them form scar tissue, shrink and disappear. You may need local anesthesia to minimize any discomfort from the heat of the laser. Laser treatments are generally scheduled every six weeks or more and have minor side effects such as skin discoloration or blistering. Simple laser treatments can be very effective in treating smaller veins, but if you are prone to developing unsightly veins in a certain area, you may require treatments on new varicose veins in the future.

Endovenous Laser Treatments: If you have medium to large varicose veins, endovenous laser treatments may work best for you. These treatments are intended to close off large varicose veins rather removing them in surgery. The procedure is considered less painful than vein ligation or stripping surgery, does not require general anesthesia (full sedation), and has a shorter recovery time. For this deeper laser treatment, the doctor passes a laser fiber through a catheter into the vein, while observing how your vein responds to the laser via an ultrasound screen.


When Surgery Works Best


If you have poor circulation and your veins are too large to respond well to laser treatments or sclerotherapy (injections), a vein ligation or stripping surgery may work best for you. It is important to know that your insurance may not cover this surgery if it is done electively for cosmetic reasons.

Vein ligation or surgery involves tying off or removing segments of a problem vein. When veins are located just under the surface of the skin, the doctor may be able to make a tiny incision for vein removal, avoiding the need for stitches.

Unlike many surgical procedures, vein ligation and stripping does not usually require a hospital stay. While this can be performed as an outpatient procedure, you will probably need to take a few days away from work and your normal activities to rest and heal. Once you resume normal activities, you may be advised to wear compression stockings for a while.


Go here to learn more about treatment for varicose veins or to find a vein specialist!


Thursday, March 29, 2012
Sclerotherapy: A Solution for Varicose and Spider Veins

Are you looking forward to spring, but dread revealing your blue-veined and blotchy legs in shorts and bathing suits? You are not alone. Roughly 50 to 60 percent of adults suffer from unsightly varicose or spider veins, or some other vein problem. Luckily, there are methods for removing or significantly diminishing the appearance of those varicose and spider veins. After a short series of treatment sessions, you may be ready to try on a whole new wardrobe!


Sclerotherapy Treatment


One of the most popular treatments for removing varicose and spider veins is sclerotherapy. This treatment involves injecting smaller, problem veins on the legs, arms and face with a sterile solution (sclerant) that irritates the lining of the blood vessel. This irritation to the blood vessel causes it to swell and break down, becoming scar tissue that will fade from view. Your specialist treats the problem veins that are not essential to circulation, and are just beneath the surface of the skin. Your blood circulation is carried out by the healthier veins located deeper in your body.


How it Works


Sclerotherapy is a non-invasive procedure that rarely requires any anesthetic, and can be performed as an outpatient service in a clinic or doctor’s office. Very fine needles are used, and one injection is typically required for every inch of vein treated. Each treatment session will take between 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the number of veins and size of the area that is being treated. The doctor will apply a bandage to the treated area, and will likely recommend that you use support hose or socks that provide light compression for a few days following treatment.

Most people require a few sessions scheduled over several weeks to completely diminish their varicose and spider veins, though some patients see results after just one or two treatments. Sclerotherapy is most often used on small- to medium-sized veins. A range of other techniques are used to treat larger vein problems.


Side Effects and Follow Up


Some patients receiving sclerotherapy experience some mild pain, stinging, burning or itching to the treated areas. These side effects can usually be managed with over-the-counter pain medications. Any associated bruising usually disappears after a few days.

Most vascular specialists recommend that patients receiving sclerotherapy walk regularly after treatment to encourage good circulation, and that they avoid more strenuous workouts and activities for several days.


Click here to find a vein specialist or to learn more about the many vein treatments available!



Sources:

http://www.webmd.com/healthy-beauty/ss/slideshow-spider-varicose-veins

http://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/varicose-spider-veins.cfm#C


 


Wednesday, March 07, 2012
Why Varicose Veins Are a Real Health Concern

Most people will agree that varicose veins – most often appearing on the legs – can be unsightly, but can they cause serious health problems? Sometimes varicose veins can be harmful to your health, causing conditions that require immediate treatment. Some health conditions associated with varicose veins include deep vein thrombosis, thrombophlebitis, venous ulcers and bleeding.


Health Conditions Related to Varicose Veins:


Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)
The most serious health concern stemming from varicose veins is deep vein thrombosis (DVT), which happens when a blood clot is trapped in a deep vein, most commonly in the leg or pelvis, but sometimes in the arm. DVT can occur without symptoms, but usually is accompanied by pain and swelling in the affected area, and may include redness, warmth and increased bulging of the superficial veins. The danger of DVT is that a blood clot can dislodge and travel to the lungs or another vital organ, leading to breathing problems, a heart attack, stroke or other medical emergency that requires immediate treatment. DVT is considered a life-threatening medical emergency, so if you or someone you know experiences swelling in the limbs, especially if the swelling is accompanied by the other symptoms outlined above, you should consult a medical doctor immediately to rule out DVT.
There are several tests available to diagnose DVT, including blood tests and ultrasound. If you have DVT, a specialist can use one of many treatments that have been developed for DVT, including blood thinners, stents and techniques for disintegrating blood clots.


Thrombophlebitis
Superficial thrombophlebitis, a blood clot or inflammation of the walls of a vein just below the surface of the skin, is another health condition that can occur in people who have varicose veins. The symptoms of thrombophlebitis are roughly the same as those associated with DVT, with swelling and redness affecting the vein. You should contact a medical professional immediately to rule out DVT.
If you are diagnosed with superficial thrombophlebitis, rather than DVT, it is usually a harmless condition and is not considered life threatening. However, superficial thrombophlebitis can recur and cause longstanding discomfort. Rarely, it can progress to DVT. Most often the treatment will be geared towards relieving discomfort with over-the-counter anti-inflammatories and by applying a hot compress to the affected area. You should follow up with a specialist to manage any ongoing problems.


Venous Ulcers
People who suffer from varicose veins sometimes get venous ulcers, which are open sores that can occur when they get older and have other health issues, such as diabetes, arterial disease or poor circulation. If you have ulcers appearing on your legs or other areas where you have varicose veins, you should consult your doctor. Treatment to heal your ulcers can take several weeks, and there is a chance of recurrence, which should be monitored by your specialist.


Bleeding
Because varicose veins have higher pressure than healthy veins, are thin-walled and protrude, they are vulnerable to heavy bleeding when they are bumped or scratched. If you bump or scratch a varicose vein and it begins to bleed, you should lie down and elevate the leg. Apply direct pressure with a clean cloth until the bleeding stops, and contact your doctor for treatment.


Treatment Options
There are a range of treatments available for treating varicose veins and reducing your risk of serious health concerns. Your specialist may also recommend some lifestyle changes. A few of the many treatments for varicose veins include:
• Sclerotherapy
 Laser and Pulse-Light Therapy
• Endovenous Ablation Therapy
• Microphlebectomy
• Transilluminated Powered Phlebectomy
• Surgery: Vein Ligation and Stripping
When to Call a Doctor
Most mild symptoms related to varicose veins can be treated at home with minor lifestyle adjustments like wearing compression socks, avoiding long periods of sitting or standing, and elevating the affected limbs. However, you should call a doctor when:
• You develop a tender lump develops on or near a varicose vein
• You have swelling in the feet or ankles
• Walking or standing is painful
• Your leg suddenly becomes red, swollen and painful
• Skin over a varicose vein bleeds on its own or when bumped or scratched


Click here to find a vein specialist near you or to learn more about varicose veins.


Monday, January 16, 2012
Treat and Prevent Varicose and Spider Veins This New Year

If you're looking for a "new you" in the new year, you might be thinking about some preventive health measures. After all, it's better to avoid varicose and spider veins to begin with. Unfortunately, even the best prevention strategies can fall short; some people will still develop varicose veins and spider veins due to genetics, their gender and other reasons beyond their control. So here are some tips for prevention, followed by a few easy treatment methods to get rid of minor vein problems.


Tips for Prevention



  • Lose some weight. One of the factors that may contribute to spider veins is excess pressure on the legs. Less weight equals less pressure.

  • Keep moving. Daily exercise like walking, climbing the stairs, swimming and other activities can help keep the circulation in your legs working properly.

  • Don't sit or stand in one place for too long. Easier said and done when you work in a cubicle, right? Take quick breaks at work to get up and walk around, stretching your muscles out. You can also do some simple calf stretching exercises at your desk.

  • Elevate your legs. Prop your feet up when you're at rest, so they're at a higher elevation than your heart.


Treatment Methods


Sclerotherapy is a minimally invasive treatment method that involves an injection. Spider veins and smaller varicose veins are injected with a chemical "sclerosing" agent. This causes the offending vein to harden and fade away with time, while blood flow is diverted to nearby healthy veins.



A laser or pulsed light is another easy method of spider vein removal. The laser is used to seal off the vein at each end. This causes it to collapse; the vein fades away and disappears over time. Pulsed light treatments work similarly.



Ambulatory phlebectomy treatment method uses tiny incisions along the length of the vein. The spider vein is then pulled out in sections through these little incisions. The cuts are so tiny that no stitches are required.



To find out more about vein treatment options, click here to find a vein specialist in your area!


Wednesday, September 07, 2011
A New Way to Erase Spider Veins--Is It for You?

Are you tired of seeing that web of spider veins across your legs? Well, there is good news for people who are looking to erase spider veins permanently. The USDA  approved the use of Asclera treatments in 2010, which is a welcomed procedure for Americans who are bothered by spider veins and want an alternative to sclerotherapy . Asclera injections can now be used for the treatment of small spider veins (1mm in diameter or less) and reticular veins (1 to 3mm).


Proven Track Record


Asclera has been used in Europe for more than four decades. No other injectable or laser treatment for spider veins has been studied as long or has such a proven track record for safety and effectiveness as Asclera. Out of 5 million treatments done in Europe, 86 percent of patients that have participated in studies say they're satisfied or extremely satisfied with the results.


Painless Treatment


 Patients describe Asclera injections as comfortable as it has anesthetic properties which may lessen discomfort. Very few people experience pain from the treatment, while some patients can experience discomfort from foam sclerotherapy and saline solutions.


Cost Comparison


The main advantage that traditional sclerotherapy has over Asclera is the cost. Sclerotherapy runs between $300 and $400 per session, whereas Asclera is a little more expensive, running closer to $500. With an average of three treatments required to eliminate spider veins, patients can expect to pay about $1,500 for Asclera.

To find out more about Asclera and the best treatment option for your spider veins, click here to find a vein specialist in your area.


Monday, August 01, 2011
Popular Procedures for Vein-free Legs

Varicose veins are bad news: they’re not only a cosmetic concern, but they may also cause pain, swelling, itchiness or even varicose ulcers. In years past, the only varicose vein treatment options involved surgery, but here’s the good news: with modern treatment options weeks of downtime and painful incisions are things of the past. The two most popular minimally-invasive treatment options are endovenous laser ablation, or EVLA, and ultrasound guided sclerotherapy, or UGS.


Ultrasound Guided Sclerotherapy


Ultrasound guided sclerotherapy is a treatment from the early 1990s and is a more advanced version of the sclerotherapy treatment, which involved injecting the varicose vein with a foamy substance that worked to close visible veins and transfer the blood flow to other healthy veins deeper inside the leg. UGS is performed in the same manner, but the treatment is assisted by ultrasound, allowing the vein doctor even better control and precision. The treatment is performed within minutes, and it is virtually pain-free.


Endovenous Laser Ablation


Endovenous laser ablation is a treatment that appeared in 2001. The technique involves inserting a laser fiber into the varicose vein to cauterize and close it, again redirecting blood flow to healthier veins. Only the problem vein is numbed; the patient doesn’t require general anesthesia, reducing the potential risks of the procedure. The entire procedure is supervised through ultrasounds, so it is very safe.


The risks and recovery time are very similar with both treatment options: the recovery time is up to three weeks, but during that time walking is actually encouraged, so you will be back to your busy life right away. Don’t wait any longer to treat your varicose veins—say goodbye to painful and embarrassing veins once and for all. Click here for listings of top vein care specialists who are taking new patients in your local area.


Wednesday, June 01, 2011
Legs 4 Life, LLC Acquiring Venosan North America
LEGS 4 LIFE, LLC ACQUIRES VENOSAN NORTH AMERICA
Purchase will Benefit Medical Community through Greater Patient Compliance, and the Most Comprehensive Line of Products from One Distributor

Asheboro, North Carolina (June 1, 2011) – Legs 4 Life, LLC, the parent company of Ames Walker International, proudly announced today that it has acquired Venosan North America, Venosan’s American brand and distributorship of Venosan’s Swiss made stockings. The acquisition enables Legs 4 Life to become the best solution in the market for patient compliance by offering the largest selection of high quality products at the most affordable price.

“Combining Ames Walker’s expertise in e-commerce with Venosan North America’s established position in medical channels was an exciting undertaking,” said Kaki Zell, Vice President, Sales & Marketing, Legs 4 Life, LLC. “This acquisition will provide greater global brand awareness and reach, not only through the internet, but through a stronger presence in the medical channels as well.”

The extensive home office support and customer service that Ames Walker is known for will be a value-add to the doctors and clinics that are Venosan North America customers. These customers will also have the ability to order all of Venosan and Ames Walker brands through the same distributor.

“Compression hosiery is a rapidly evolving market,” added Zell. “Now we are even better positioned to provide our customers unparalleled service through innovative technology, co-marketing strategies and cost efficiencies.”

Venosan North America was owned by the Salzmann Group, a prominent Switzerland-based company within the compression hosiery industry. They started Venosan North America in 1993 to have some distribution presence in the US markets. Ames Walker will relocate operations to the Venosan North America headquarters in Asheboro, NC where Venosan North America and Ames Walker will operate as divisions of Legs 4 Life, LLC.

Graduated compression support hosiery is used to counteract the effect of varicose veins, leg swelling, poor or reduced leg vein circulation, DVT and just plain tired and aching legs. Graduated compression support legwear is used extensively in just about all post-operative leg vein treatments, from light sclerotherapy to extensive varicose vein removal.

About Ames Walker International
Ames Walker International was founded in 1995 and is based in Asheboro, NC. They have a customer base of over 250,000 people worldwide and have had an online presence for over fifteen years. Brands supplied by the site include Ames Walker, Jobst, Juzo, Medi, Sigvaris, Futuro and Venosan. The company has made a name for itself as a specialist for compression and diabetic hosiery, which is worn to counteract the effect of varicose veins, leg swelling, poor or reduced leg vein circulation and DVT. Graduated compression support legwear is used extensively in just about all post leg vein treatments, from light sclerotherapy to extensive varicose vein removal. For more information call customer service at 1-877-525-7224.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011
VeinliteLEDX – TransLite introduces a new portable vein imager optimized for Sclerotherapy
TransLite’s newest Veinlite is the most powerful, portable LED transilluminator yet. Appropriately named Veinlite LEDX, it has 32 dual color LEDs arranged around a 30mm diameter ring with an 18mm opening for access. In addition to having a larger ring, wider opening and 50% more LEDs than the original Veinlite LED, the colors of the lights in the LEDX model are optimized for sclerotherapy. The LEDX model has 24 patented orange LEDs with the perfect wavelength of light for highlighting superficial veins. The 8 red LEDs emit light with a longer wavelength which penetrates deeper, allowing visualization of feeder veins.

Vascular surgeon Dr. Rüdiger Damisch writes, ‘this new device LEDX is perfect doing sclerotherapy on veins with better contrast than any other device.’

Veinlite LEDX is powered by a rechargeable battery and costs $599. It comes in a kit with disposable plastic covers to prevent cross contamination between patients, adapters and a medical grade charger with a long power cord also allowing the device to be used plugged into a power outlet. For more information on the Veinlite LEDX or any Veinlite model, call 281-240-3111, or e-mail info@veinlite.com.

Thursday, February 10, 2011
Affording Your Vein Treatment: Fitting Beauty Into the Budget

In today's economy, you may feel that your vein-free dreams are never going to be realized. But with so many options available for managing the cost of cosmetic venous treatments like endovenous ablation and sclerotherapy, why wait to get your veins treated?



Consider these options when exploring the best way to afford your treatment:



Insurance. Depending on your situation, health insurance may cover some of the costs of your chosen procedure. For example, treatment for varicose veins may be covered by insurance because they may cause pain and compromise blood circulation. The best way to determine insurance coverage is to consult your provider.


Financing. Both credit card and traditional loan use are options to consider for financing your vein treatment. You may also want to explore using specialized financial institutions that offer loans particularly for cosmetic procedures. Talking with your doctor or the facility’s office manager is a great way to find out if they have an existing relationship with a finance company, or if they offer in-house payment plans for patients.


Discounts. If you know the optimum results may require multiple treatment sessions, or if numerous veins are in need of treatment, talk to your specialist about individualizing the cost of treatment to fit your situation.



Before choosing the treatment option that is right for you, be sure to understand the cost of follow-up visits or subsequent treatment sessions. Being an informed patient and communicating with your specialist are the best ways to prepare for your treatment, both financially and aesthetically!


Monday, December 06, 2010
VEINWAVE ADDS TWO NEW PRODUCTS TO ITS RANGE
Veinwave™ is delighted to introduce two new products to sit either side of their flagship device, EVRF for treatment of larger leg veins and VBeauty for facial treatments only, thus providing a complete solution for cosmetic vein conditions for the aesthetician and nurse through to Vascular Surgeon.

The Veinwave™ is the world's most advanced treatment for effective removal of unwanted spider veins and telangiectasia. Used for nearly a decade by over 1,000 physicians in Europe and in 31 Countries worldwide, Veinwave™ received 510k clearance from the FDA to market in the USA. Designed primarily for vascular surgeons, dermatologists and plastic surgeons, Veinwave™ uses a revolutionary process called Unipolar Thermo-Coagulation (UTC), wherein a unique localized energy is applied to the skin on top of the affected area, causing the vein walls to collapse and the vein to disappear instantly.

Vein removal with the Veinwave™ provides safe, quick, and dramatic reduction of unwanted veins on any skin type, including those patients with darker skin or of ethnic origin. The technology significantly minimizes pain and the risks of bruising, burning, scaring and pigmentation changes that are associated with alternative treatments such as lasers and other light based systems. As a result, Veinwave™ when used in combination with sclerotherpy (on legs) has become the treatment of choice for practitioners and patients alike, providing a relatively painless procedure with no bandages nor post-procedure care. Patients can resume regular activities and normal sun exposure immediately following treatment.

EVRF™ - Taking Veinwave™ further - The combined use of Veinwave in conjunction with Sclerotherapy is generally considered the ideal partnership when looking to treat veins of all sizes. Veinwave has been used to treat those up to 0.3mm and sclerotherapy for everything larger. Veinwave’s design team have been seeking to create a method to eliminate the dependence on sclerotherapy and have devised a technique which utilizes the very same principle of thermocoagulation (used in Veinwave) which enables the total treatment of veins from the smallest veins up to varicose veins of 4mm. Both applications are now packaged into one device creating the complete vein solution. The new EVRF™ has just been launched – albeit with its use limited to the integral Veinwave settings whilst the makers await FDA Clearance for its new endovenous applications.

This new device, therefore, requires the use of either an ultra fine insulated needle or a endovenous catheter depending on the size of vein you want to treat. For fine spider veins and telangiectasia, the Veinwave technique is used in the same way as we do with the stand alone Veinwave device but for the larger veins, you simply select that option on the touch screen and use the catheter as directed

Although cleared for use elsewhere, the EVRF™ has the Veinwave™ technology built-in enabling US Surgeons to purchase this desk top device now and use the upgradable functions once they are cleared by the FDA. The unit has a modern compact design and benefits from Intuitive touch screen graphics and a multi-pulse foot pedal.

VBEAUTY™ - The Aesthetic Solution - To complete the range, for those clinics operated by aestheticians, nurses and other technicians, Veinwave’s sister device, the VBEAUTY™, is now also available to provide a low cost solution for those troublesome facial telangtasia that are hard to treat with other technologies. All the benefits of Veinwave for those who don’t treat leg veins.

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