Veins, veins, veins…Why is everybody talking about veins?

Probably because it has become a very popular topic.

We all live in a very fast paced, constantly changing society. Every day, we bring to light new facts, possibilities, and challenges. “What’s new again?”, is the question, as we accustom ourselves to cutting-edge and fashionable discoveries.

Medicine, defined as the art of science of restoring or preserving health, has not been staying very much behind the forerunners of the 21st century.

With the help of the newest technology, research, and advanced paradigms, medicine offers more options. We are bombarded with growing scientific data, altering algorithms. Approach of invasive, full anesthesia surgeries, procedures that require medical leaves from work, has dramatically declined. Modern microinvasive surgeries, which can be done in a doctor’s office, became reality.

I am very enthusiastic about the fact how we change ourselves. We, human beings, can reprogram our brains in a swift manner. We start paying more attention to our spirit and body. We want to stay strong and healthy. Every little imperfection within us, rings a bell of a vaguely defined anxiety.

Dilemmas that were ignored by previous generations, convert to some serious concerns nowadays.

The topic of vein care has been increasing in popularity mainly through the public demand.

We want to know.

We ask questions.

Why do I have these visible veins?

Why me?

Will the veins become uglier?

How fast will they increase in size?

Am I going to suffer because of the veins?

Can they lead to a disability or even death?

How can I prevent and treat the veins?

And many more, but the answers are here.

The questions are more and more frequent, as we realize, more than a half of us have problems with spider and varicose veins. It is that common. It is also genetic. Women and men. Young and old.

And let’s be honest.

In the era of such advanced medicine, technology, it is impossible to explain or even justify the presence of unsightly veins. Especially, when huge varicose veins call for sometimes disastrous consequences.

We, vein experts, can give you a very precise explanation to any of your troubles. One consultation should shine a new light on your knowledge of vein care. What is even more important, you will see the future in some very bright colors and not so scary images.

We have the whole arsenal of treatment modalities. The spectrum of approaches to the problem starts with just watchful follow up to highly advanced but still office based procedures.

The process sometimes is short and sometimes requires additional visits. It is still worth bringing blood circulation to normal. It is rewarding with the healing of wounds. It is encouraged by miles walked without the feeling of heaviness or tiredness of the legs. It shines with happiness when, after long years, a short dress or shorts can be worn in public.

Who said there was no passion in vein care?

The results we encounter in our daily practice speak for themselves.

Hippocrates said: “Wherever the art of medicine is loved, there is also a love of humanity.”

The Science of Vein Care…PHLEBOLOGY!

Phlebology is a science as well as a medical specialty, and encompasses diagnosis and treatment of disorders of venous origin.

Phlebologist is the specialist. In the United States of America, phlebologists are Diplomates of the American Board of Venous and Lymphatic Medicine. Providers with this designation have completed rigorous criteria (also practical aspects) to sit for the exam and proved comprehension of vein care principles to pass the exam per the Board.

We should agree that Phlebology is a quite narrow specialty. Nevertheless, phlebologists, help patients with multiple vein problems. Deep vein thrombosis, varicose veins, spider veins, vein compression syndromes, to mention a few of them.

We are also called to see patients with lymphatic system abnormalities or bring expertise to some cases of so called lipedema.

All of us phlebologists are skilled in procedures. Majority of them can be performed in the office. Sclerotherapy, laser vein closure, radiofrequency vein closed, microphlebectomies are our daily mission. Some of us specialize in blood clot lysis and retrieval, venous filter placements, or stent placements.

The specialty is based on procedures as the only proven way of eliminating the source of the problem.

No research has indicated that herbs, pills, creams would eradicate varicose veins or spider veins.

A growing number of phlebologists try to meet the demand. Vein care has been unrecognized and literally neglected for years. It may sound unbelievable when over half of the human population suffers from vein disorders.

Phlebologists are on the quest to not only treat but also educate the public. We reach out to our colleagues in medicine. Medical schools, residency programs, nursing schools do not emphasize problems of veins and lymphatics. Majority of medical professionals does not show even basic knowledge of such widespread diseases. Advising patients is even more tossed aside as a very undesired subject.

My pursuit is to speak loudly and in opened manner about veins.

What is worse?

Speaking, being ashamed of veins, or not being able to wear shorts and subsequently suffer consequences of untreated varicosities.

Procrastination or a higher power will not diminish our pains and mental conflicts. It is time to roll up the pants, show some legs and start enjoying outdoors in the sun.

Be free of any shame!!!

Veins…What are Veins?

All of us probably heard about blood and blood circulation. We are aware of the heart pumping blood throughout the body our whole life. Blood’s constant traveling brings oxygen and nutrients to the organs, and takes away waste products, including carbon dioxide.

The heart and the net of vessels, meaning arteries, capillaries and veins, is called the cardiovascular system. The simple concept of the circulation is that blood gets pushed out from the heart to the arteries, reaches body organs through capillaries, and directs its way back to the heart with the help of veins. The added length of our individual blood vessels could circle the globe more than two times. Daily, about 1,800 gallons of blood gets pumped out by the heart.

Arteries differ from veins.

Arteries are stiffed, high pressure tubes. They come out of the heart. Arteries, in the systemic circulation, deliver sources of energy to individual body cells. When somebody suffers a heart attack, it means that one of the heart’s own arteries becomes occluded. Subsequently blood cannot reach a smaller or bigger area of the heart, cells of the heart do not receive oxygen and then die.

Veins are more numerous. 64% of our blood volume is carried in the veins. They are soft, low pressure, slow motion, and very often visible through the skin. Veins make the blood return to the heart. They literally collect blood from the organs and bring it back to the heart. Their walls are very thin, elastic, and soft. Size 1mm to 1.5cm.

Blood moves through the veins not because of the pumping power of the heart. It rather relies on the concept of different pressure gradients.

Let us pause now. How does it then return from our legs? What power makes it go upward against the gravity?

Blood return from the legs is propelled by the leg muscles. When in motion (walking, exercising), our muscles contract, squeezing the veins. Blood gets pushed up towards the heart. In healthy veins, the blood does not reflux back upon muscle relaxation. Vein valves play a major role in the process.

Many veins, particularly those in the legs, have one-way valves. Each valve consists of two flaps with edges that meet. Blood, as it moves toward the heart, pushes the cusps open like a pair of one-way swinging doors. If the blood tries to pull backward, the cusps close, stopping backward flow. Valves help the return of blood to the heart—by opening when the blood flows toward the heart and closing when blood might flow backward because of gravity.

What happens when valves stop working, lose their function?

Leaky valves, what we call them, promote development of varicose veins. Sometimes very fast.

The blood flow is not directed towards the heart anymore. Valves do not stop the backward stream of returning blood, moving down towards the foot. Legs vein pressure increases. Veins become larger and larger, trying to accommodate the surplus of retained blood. Blood finds its way to smaller, subsequently enlarging superficial veins. Varicose veins form in a perpetuated manner.

Varicose vein may not be visible for years. Still hidden under layers of subcutaneous tissue and skin await to reveal themselves to our eyes.

Many of us, develop symptoms and signs suggestive of vein diseases many years before the veins become visible. Our legs happen to feel heavy and frequent cramps prevent a good night rest. Restless leg syndrome, often mentioned in the literature, can be caused by venous insufficiency. Skin color or texture changes, leading to ulcers, are the hallmark of increasing vein pressure in the legs. Legs often become swollen.