SKIN DISCOLORATION

March 11, 2015

 

skin

Skin discoloration can be unpleasant and concerning. This condition is usually due to chronic fluid buildup in the lower extremities.  Medically, this swelling is referred to as “edema” and is commonly a result of gravity.  People with swelling tend to see improvement in the morning and gradual increase in foot, ankle or leg size throughout the day. You may experience shoes, socks or other clothing to be tighter fitting on one foot than another.  Other symptoms include heaviness, fullness, dull aching discomfort, changes to skin texture, numbness or tingling or, sometimes, no symptoms at all.

Millions of Americans suffer from conditions involving leg swelling such as tenderness or weakness of the legs, difficulty walking, tightening of the skin and in more severe conditions, skin blisters and ulcerations. Skin ulcers are wounds on the skin that are caused by abnormal or ineffective return of blood back to the heart. This condition is also known as “venous insufficiency” and has a tendency towards showing up around the ankles and below the calves.

Venous insufficiency is due to backward flow of blood leading to build up and visible protuberance of veins. This visible bulge is also known as a varicose vein. Varicose veins are veins close to the skin that have become twisted or enlarged. These superficial veins may be genetic, due to weight gain, pregnancy or occupations with long periods of standing.  Varicose veins can appear dark blue and swollen and involve symptoms such as burning, aching or tiredness. More severe symptoms include changes to skin color, thinning of the skin, scaling and ulcerations.  Although varicose veins are commonly not serious, in some cases, it can indicate a blood clot blocking the flow of blood in deeper veins. This condition is known as deep venous thrombosis and should be evaluated by your doctor.

Your doctor can refer to a specialist to offer treatments such as sclerotherapy, laser treatments and radiofrequency ablation to close off the vein; or phlebectomy to remove the vein.  A doctor can advise you on which treatment option is most suited for you after a thorough evaluation.  Valley Veins has certified staff to diagnose and treat a large range of condition involving leg swelling, skin discoloration and varicose veins.

At Valley Veins, we have expertise and experience in all types of varicose vein treatments, ranging from minimally-invasive to complex surgical procedures. Treatment options include sclerotherapy, laser surgery, endovenous thermal ablation (radiofrequency [VNUS] or laser), surgical vein stripping, endoscopic perforator vein surgery and other procedures. Patients may receive a combination of treatments, and most patients also use self-care therapies such as compression stockings. Valley Veins is at the forefront of newest option utilizing information from research studies in venous diseases, including varicose veins. We study the newest, most current treatments available for venous diseases. Venous specialists at Valley Veins successfully treat hundreds of patients each year with varicose veins. Currently, all insurance plans cover treatment for venous damage, including Medicare, Medi-Cal, private insurance plans, and Central Coast Alliance.  A referral is not required for Medicare, Medi-Cal, or most PPO plans.   Valley Veins does free varicose vein screening and information sessions.  They may be contacted at (209) 656-7400.

 

LEG SWELLING

March 11, 2015

leg

Foot, leg or ankle swelling are terms used to describe the accumulation of fluid in these regions of the body. This build up – medically referred to as peripheral edema – is usually painless and can be, in part, attributed to the effects of gravity. Edema, or swelling, is prevented by valves within veins that do not permit the backward flow of blood. As we age, these valves become weaker and allow the buildup of fluids. This condition, also known as venous insufficiency or venous reflux disease, is a common cause for foot, leg or ankle swelling and can lead to varicose veins. Although this accumulation is usually not associated with significant health risks, more serious underlying conditions such as infections and inflammation should be evaluated by a doctor.
Most common causes of foot, leg or ankle swelling – such as occupations with prolonged sitting or standing – can be relativity harmless and readily identified by your physician. Rarely, swelling can be a sign of more serious disorders involving the heart, lungs, kidneys and lymphatic systems making it important to seek diagnosis and treatment.
Some home remedies for foot, ankle or leg swelling include elevating the leg above the level of your heart, which can be done easily with pillows; staying active; reducing salt intake and improving your diet. It is important to visit your doctor in nonemergency situations so that the underlying cause of the edema, or swelling, can be identified and remedied.
Prolonged swelling can lead to varicose veins that may be associated with mild to severe pain. In other cases, varicose veins may only be a cosmetic concern but sometimes complications arise such as skin discoloration, blood clots and skin ulcers. Many treatments are currently available to prevent varicose veins and possible complications.
Valley Veins offers the most advanced diagnosis and treatment options available for patients with varicose veins. Treatment for varicose veins at Valley Veins is tailored for each patient depending on general health, age and the severity of the condition. We have expertise and experience in all types of varicose vein treatment, ranging from minimally-invasive to complex surgical procedures. Treatment options include sclerotherapy, laser surgery, endovenous thermal ablation (radiofrequency [VNUS] or laser), surgical vein stripping, endoscopic perforator vein surgery and other procedures. Patients may receive a combination of treatments, and most patients also use self-care therapies such as compression stockings. Valley Veins is at the forefront of newest option utilizing information from research studies in venous diseases, including varicose veins. We study the newest, most current treatments available for venous diseases. Venous specialists at Valley Veins successfully treat hundreds of patients each year with varicose veins. Currently, all insurance plans cover treatment for venous damage, including Medicare, Medi-Cal, private insurance plans, and Central Coast Alliance. A referral is not required for Medicare, Medi-Cal, or most PPO plans. Valley Veins does free varicose vein screening and information sessions. They may be contacted at (209) 656-7400.

Varicose Vein : What you need to know

January 8, 2015

Varicose veins can cramp your style – and make legs ache, too. You

may experience tired, aching legs. People can also notice leg swelling,

cramping, and brownish discoloration. Legs can tingle, throb or itch.

Purplish cords emerge along the backs or insides of legs, taking the joy out

of skirts and shorts. Symptoms are worse after sitting or standing, or at the

end of a long day.

Varicose veins are caused by gravity. Leg veins transport blood to

your heart. To keep blood from flowing backwards, veins are equipped with

one-way valves, which, leak, blood accumulates in the vein, causing it to

bulge and weaken. The result: unsightly – and sometimes painful – varicose

veins. Some people develop leg ulcers – shallow wounds that don’t heal.

Painful varicose veins that are extremely swollen, hardened and sensitive

could indicate a more serious, life-threatening condition called deep vein

thrombosis (DVT).

Varicose and spider veins are extremely common. They often make

their debut in our 30s. By 60, 75% of women and 50% of men will have

varicose spider veins. Blame varicose veins on your parents (their genes),

your job (sitting or standing for long periods of time), and your kids (the

pressure they put on your body in utero).

Varicose veins and spider veins may be mild or they may cause

severe pain. In some cases, varicose veins may be a cosmetic concern that

often can be treated by self-care therapies. In others, varicose veins can lead

to more serious conditions and complications, including leg pain, swelling

in the legs, and brown coloring of the skin, inflammation of the veins, blood

clots, bleeding, skin ulcers or other circulatory system disorders. Many

treatment options are available for all conditions related to varicose veins. A

physician will conduct a comprehensive evaluation to determine the severity

of the condition and the most appropriate treatment.

Valley Veins offers the most advanced diagnosis and treatment options

available for patients with varicose veins. Treatment of varicose veins

ranges from complex medical care to treat or help prevent serious disabling

complications to cosmetic procedures that reduce the appearance of varicose

veins. Dr. Vijaya Thakur, who completed her training at University of

Southern California, has special interest in aspects of vascular medicine,

dermatology, radiology and vascular surgery to come up with an integrated

plan to accurately diagnose and effectively treat patients with varicose veins.

She works with her husband, Dr. Anjani Thakur, who completed his training

at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). They are at the forefront

of newest option utilizing information from research studies in venous

diseases, including varicose veins. They study the newest, most current

treatments available for venous diseases. Venous specialists at Valley Veins

treat hundreds of patients each year with varicose veins.

Treatment for varicose veins at Valley Veins is tailored for each patient

depending on general health, age and the severity of the condition. We

have expertise and experience in all types of varicose vein treatment,

ranging from minimally-invasive to complex surgical procedures. Treatment

options include sclerotherapy, laser surgery, endovenous thermal ablation

(radiofrequency [VNUS] or laser), surgical vein stripping, endoscopic

perforator vein surgery and other procedures. Patients may receive a

combination of treatments, and most patients also use self-care therapies

such as compression stockings.

Spider Vein Treatment: A Simple Way to Protect your Health and Wellbeing

February 1, 2014

Do you have unsightly, purple spider veins in your face, legs or elsewhere on your body? Spider veins are a very common condition and often don’t cause symptoms. Spider veins (and more serious varicose veins and chronic venous insufficiency) are most prevalent in Western Europe and the United States. Women are most often affected, as noted in studies published by the National Institutes of Health.

Even if you’re not concerned with the effect of spider veins on your appearance, it’s still important to rule out other vascular conditions that may be signaled by spider veins. Local residents are encouraged to consult Modesto vein doctors for a simple evaluation. Merced vein treatment may be covered by your insurance, especially if Patterson vascular surgeons see a deeper vein problem and recommend treatment.

When to see a doctor about spider vains or varicose veins

Putting health concerns from spider veins or varicose veins out of your mind is a very valid reason to seek vein treatment. Any health change or condition in your body should be investigated, particularly if it is causing you stress. Although spider veins are generally not a threat to your health, some people may be disturbed by their appearance. There’s no reason to allow this stress, and the possibility of a deeper, hidden vain condition, to wear you down. A simple evaluation at a local Turlock vein clinic can lower your stress level–and help prevent vein disease from harming your health. Remember that keeping your stress level low is not just a quality of life issue, it’s a health issue in itself. Consider a simple consultation and evaluation by our dedicated local Modesto vein doctors if you have:

  • Pain, even if it’s a relatively minor, dull ache. It’s simple to rule out more serious, hidden vein problems and the need for vein treatment.
  • Leg symptoms which interfere with your daily schedule or activities.
  • A vein that’s become red, swollen, warm or is tender when touched.
  • You develop a rash or sore on the leg, generally near the ankle. (However, blood clots and thromboses can appear in other areas.)
  • Your ankle skin begins to thicken or change color.
  • One of your varicose veins starts to bleed.
  • The appearance of spider veins or varicose is causing you distress.

If you’re interested in spider vein treatment, it’s a relatively simple and straightforward process involving non-invasive methods. Don’t delay–call for an appointment at one of our local vein clinics for a vein specialist’s assessment of your spider veins. Dr. Anjani Thakur in Turlock, CA is a noted vein doctor and experienced vascular surgeon, specializing in vein conditions from mild to severe. Dr. Thakur uses the latest treatment techniques and advanced technology to help patients who need superficial treatment and those who require vascular surgery.

Dr. Anjani Thakur and Dr. Vijaya Thakur offer spider vein treatment at their conveniently-located vein clinics in the communities of Turlock, Merced, Patterson, Livingston, Los Banos and Chowchilla. Contact the doctors today at CentralValleyVein.com for more information about vein health–or to schedule a consultation at one of the Valley Vein Health Centers.

How a Vein Clinic Uses Sclerotherapy for Spider Veins

January 21, 2014

Spider veins are troublesome cosmetic issues for some patients. Many women believe their arrival is inevitable, but they also affect men. One of the techniques a vein clinic uses to treat them is sclerotherapy.

What Exactly Are Spider Veins?

Spider veins are small superficial vessels that become visible, typically on the legs, as they widen, according to PubMed Health. They are often linked to chronic venous disease.

Risk factors for developing these tiny vessels include pregnancy, family history, use of female hormones, trauma, using topical steroids and sitting or standing for long periods. Age and obesity can also be factors. While for most people they are a cosmetic annoyance, some patients coming in for Merced vein treatment report that these red, purple or blue veins cause pain, cramping, itching, throbbing, burning or a feeling of extreme fatigue in a limb.

Spider veins and varicose veins are not the same thing. Spider veins are actually capillaries. The University of Rochester Medical Center describes varicose veins as deeper, larger, a more vivid color and lumpy in appearance.

How Sclerotherapy Works

Modesto vein doctors use sclerotherapy to effectively treat both spider and varicose veins. It is the oldest and most common way to treat spider veins.

The procedure involves injecting an agent into affected veins. The irritation this triggers causes them to become scarred and less visible. Surgeons use a variety of sclerosing agents, among them a concentrated saline solution.

Temporary side effects at the site of the injection might include bruising, small skin sores, darkened skin, areas that are red and raised and multiple tiny blood vessels, according to the Mayo Clinic. Potential but uncommon side effects are inflammation, blood clots, air bubbles and allergic reactions to the solution.

As new veins appear, patients will need to return for additional treatment, sometimes every few years. Sclerotherapy is usually considered a cosmetic procedure and not covered by health insurance.

What to Expect

Before scheduling this procedure, a physician will want the patient’s complete medical history, including medications. In certain cases, it will be necessary to stop taking aspirin, NSAIDs or blood thinners for a specified period before surgery.

Surgeons perform sclerotherapy in an office versus hospital setting. It is a same-day procedure that takes approximately an hour to complete and requires no anesthesia.

Some individuals feel minor stinging or cramping once the physician inserts a needle to inject the solution. After the doctor withdraws the needle, he or she will apply compression and massage the area around the vein. The number of injections used is linked to the size and the number of veins being treated.

Patterson vascular surgeons who perform sclerotherapy might suggest wearing support stockings to speed healing and reduce bruising. While having a ride home after the procedure is a good idea, most individuals are able to resume their normal schedule the same day and receive instructions regarding exercising and avoiding the sun.

Patients who undergo sclerotherapy at a Turlock vein clinic can expect to see positive results in just three to six weeks.

Everything You Need to Know about ClosureFAST™

January 12, 2014

VNUS ClosureFast™ is the gold standard of vein treatment for varicose veins and Chronic Venous Insufficiency. VNUS ClosureFast™ is a relatively new form procedure that effectively treats varicose veins. In the early days of vein treatment, surgeons would strip veins in highly invasive and uncomfortable procedures. Today, the Modesto vein doctors at Valley Vein Health Center perform VNUS ClosureFAST™ to help patients like you overcome the pain and embarrassment of varicose veins.
Stanford University estimates as many as 40 million people have bulging, blue varicose veins, which are enlarge, ropelike veins in the legs. Risk factors such as obesity, family history, sedentary lifestyle, gender, pregnancy and age increase the risk for varicose veins. Varicose veins are unsightly and often painful. Fortunately, treatments like VNUS ClosureFast™ can reduce the discomfort and appearance of varicose veins.
The basic principle of VNUS Closure is to deliver the energy of radiofrequency waves through electrodes. Your doctor inserts a thin tube with electrodes into the vein. As he withdraws the wire, a heating probe at the end of the electrode delivers bursts of energy that cause the walls of the varicose veins to heat up and eventually collapse. Your body reroutes blood flow through nearby veins. In time, the collapsed varicose vein shrivels up and disappears.
VNUS ClosureFAST™, now known as Venefit™, is a state-of-the-art medical treatment that uses an electrode with a large 7 cm heating area. This means the doctor can close 2.7 inches of varicose vein at a time. According to the makers of VNUS ClosureFast™, Covidien, a doctor can treat an average 45 cm vein in three to five minutes; he can also use the technique to treat shorter varicose veins. Imagine freeing yourself from a 17-inch varicose vein in less time than it takes to brew a cup of coffee!
VNUS ClosureFAST™ assures a rapid and uniform heating of the vein to provide a consistent and effective treatment. Your doctor will use ultrasound technology to ensure proper placement of the catheter for exacting results. Ultrasound also helps your physician precisely deliver anesthesia to reduce discomfort, protect surrounding tissue, and improve contact between the vein and the catheter.
Another approach to varicose vein treatment is Endovenous Laser Ablation, or EVLA, which uses laser energy instead of radiofrequency waves to create heat. A recent clinical trial compared VNUS ClosureFAST™ and EVLA and concluded that study participants experienced less discomfort with VNUS ClosureFAST™ than with EVLA. Both treatments produced the same clinical results and improved the patients’ quality of life in equal amounts.

Risk Factors for Varicose Veins

December 10, 2013

For many people, varicose veins are a cosmetic issue. For others, they’re a painful medical condition. If you suffer from these twisted, enlarged veins, you might be wondering why they developed.

The Basics

The hallmark of varicose veins is their gnarled, oversized appearance. They usually appear dark blue, red or purple. According to the Mayo Clinic, while any vein can turn into a varicose vessel, typical candidates are in the legs and the feet.

After arteries carry blood from the heart to destinations throughout the body, veins carry it back to the heart. A varicose vein develops when a valve in a vessel becomes weak or damaged, causing blood to leak back and pool in the vein. This condition is called venous insufficiency. The pooled blood enlarges the vein, setting the stage for it to become varicose.

As many as 60 percent of U.S. residents experience varicose veins, the University of Maryland Medical Center reports. According to womenshealth.gov, half of the people at least 50 years old suffer from them. If home care isn’t successful, the doctors at the Turlock Vein Clinic typically recommend treatment.

One potential complication is dermatitis, which can result in an itchy rash or skin ulcers. Varicose veins can also lead to thrombophlebitis, a blood clot in a vein that requires treatment by Modesto vein doctors.

The days of routinely stripping varicose veins are in the past. Merced vein treatment now includes a number of options to treat them.

Risk Factors

Many factors boost the risk for developing varicose or spider veins. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute cites these typical risk factors:

  • Age. Risk rises due to the normal wear and tear associated with aging that weakens valves.
  • Gender. Women develop varicose veins more often than men do. Some people link hormonal changes associated with puberty, pregnancy, birth control pills or menopause to this condition.
  • Family history. Around 50 percent of patients have a family history of the condition.
  • Weight. A vein doctor will advise patients that being obese or even overweight exerts added pressure on veins and makes them varicose.
  • Pregnancy. Fetal pressure affects veins in the mother’s legs. Fortunately, pregnancy-related varicose veins usually improve within 3 to 12 months after the birth of the baby.
  • Insufficient movement. Standing or even sitting for long periods elevates risk. People who bend or cross their legs have even more risk. Remaining in one position for an extended time can force veins to go into overdrive in order to pump blood to the heart.

Solutions

When it comes to varicose veins, the goal of a vein doctor is relieving symptoms, preventing complications and improving the patient’s appearance. Patterson vascular surgeons are highly trained in the latest diagnostic and vein treatment techniques.

Duplex ultrasound allows a vein doctor to see veins not highly visible on the skin’s surface. This pinpoints the mapping of a patient’s varicose veins. Several types of convenient and non-invasive therapy are available for these veins, including VNUS ClosureFAST, a popular and minimally invasive treatment.

Will Unsightly Veins Come Back after Vein Treatment?

November 20, 2013

When patients visit our vein center for spider vein treatment or varicose vein treatment, they often wonder if their unsightly veins will return after treatment is completed.

No, they won’t, but it might look they do. That’s because the original, damaged veins are obliterated by vein treatment. However, over time, other veins may become damaged and enlarged, creating new spider veins or varicose veins. Whether this happens to you depends largely on your genetics.

The good news is that whenever those unwanted veins pop up, our Modesto vein doctors can take care of them right away. Once you’ve received vein treatment with us, we’ll help you keep an eye on any developing spider veins or varicose veins and take immediate action. By treating the veins early, when they’re still small, we can use simpler, quicker treatment methods to prevent those veins from ever becoming an eyesore.

In addition, with a comprehensive evaluation, we can determine whether you have an underlying problem that could cause more spider or varicose veins to appear. For instance, due to genetics, some people have poorly functioning valves in the deeper veins of their legs. This condition isn’t dangerous, but if left untreated, it will most likely create more varicose and spider veins.

In order to check the valves of your deeper leg veins, our Patterson vascular surgeons can use special ultrasound technology. This noninvasive, pain-free test uses sound waves to form images of the veins in your legs. This allows us to examine the valves in those veins and look for any signs of trouble. If we find any valves that aren’t working well, we can take proactive steps to correct the problem and prevent the formation of varicose veins.

Our vein specialists can work with you to prevent varicose veins where possible, but sometimes, varicose and spider veins appear despite our best efforts. After all, there’s only so much we can do to combat the combined effects of genetics, gravity and aging. But when those unwanted veins do pop up, we can certainly step in with minimally invasive procedures to help you get rid of those unsightly lines and regain your smooth, youthful appearance.

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