Posts Tagged ‘varicose veins’

What Causes Varicose Veins or Spider Veins? – Join Us for a Live Web Chat!

Varicose Spider VeinsWhile it’s important to look your best, it’s also important to feel your best. Males, females, the young and the old. Varicose veins can affect anyone. So have you ever wondered what causes those unsightly bulges and twists to appear on your legs?

Join us on Tuesday, April 14, at 12:00 p.m. for an interactive web chat discussing the causes of varicose veins and spider veins. Dr. Rheudasil will be available to answer questions and discuss various topics, including the causes, prevention and treatment of varicose veins.

During this interactive web chat, you’ll be able to ask questions and get real-time answers from our Emory Healthcare professional.

Register now for our April 14 chat at emoryhealthcare.org/mdchats.

About Dr. Rheudasil

Mark Rheudasil, MDMark Rheudasil, MD, graduated magna cum laude from Abilene Christian University in Texas and he earned his medical degree from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas in 1983. He completed a general surgery internship and residency program at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Dr. Rheudasil also completed a fellowship in vascular surgery at Emory University in 1989.

Dr. Rheudasil is a diplomat of the American Board of Surgery and is a board certified vascular surgeon. He is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and a member of the International Society for Cardiovascular and Endovascular Surgery, and the North American chapter of the International Society for Cardiovascular Surgery. He is also a member of the Peripheral Vascular Surgery Society, the Southern Association for Vascular Surgery, the Emory Association of Vascular Surgery, the Atlanta Vascular Society, and the Georgia Surgical Society. He is also a member of the Medical Association of Georgia, the Medical Association of Atlanta, and the Atlanta Clinical Society. He is also certified as a Registered Vascular Technologist.

Dr. Rheudasil has published articles in several medical journals including The Journal of Vascular Surgery, American Surgeon and The Journal of the Medical Association of Georgia. He has lectured at the regional and national level on a variety of topics including current reviews of vascular surgery.

Will Exercise Hurt My Varicose Veins?

exercise varicose veinVaricose veins are commonly associated with prolonged standing or sitting, pregnancy, a family history of vein problems, and with being overweight. Regular exercise and staying fit is helpful in preventing varicose veins, but what if you already have them? While some exercises are helpful, others may not be so beneficial and may even cause veins to worsen.

Running or high-impact exercises may make symptoms worse and aggravate varicose vein swelling. If you are an avid runner, try running on grass or on a softer surface like a synthetic track to reduce the stress on your joints and feet, and the strain on your legs. If possible, wear compression stockings when you run.

Weightlifting can increase abdominal pressure and straining during heavy exercise can reduce the flow of blood out of your legs returning to your heart. Blood can then pool and increase pressure in your leg veins leading to vein dilation and possible damage to delicate valves in your veins. If you do lift weights, consider higher reps with less weight. Try and exercise with your legs at the same level or above your heart. Don’t hold your breath when lifting—exhale when lifting and inhale when lowering weights. Other exercises which may worsen varicose veins include: sit ups, squats, lunges and crunches. The increased abdominal pressure during these exercises may increase pressure in the leg veins and contribute to varicose vein enlargement.

What are good exercises for your veins?

  1. Walking- The single BEST exercise for your lower extremity circulation. This low-impact activity will keep you fit while stretching and strengthening your calf muscles. This will help pump the blood out of your veins and improve blood return back to the heart.
  2. Cycling or using a stationary bike- These exercises also work the calf muscles and improve flow in the leg veins without putting too much stress on your bones and joints.
  3. Elliptical- Designed to mimic running motion and reduce joint stress.
  4. Swimming- An excellent activity for patients with varicose veins because the legs are horizontal, the muscles are exercising, and the external pressure of the water in the pool may even help your legs feel better.

What if I can’t exercise due to pain from my varicose veins?

  1. Rotate your ankles and rock your feet back and forth on the ground. This simple activity will increase the blood flow in your calf veins and reduce the risk of clotting. It is especially helpful when sitting for extended periods of time or on an airplane.
  2. Wear compression stockings. The external pressure on your legs reduces blood pooling in your calf veins. Knee high stockings are generally sufficient and are also quite beneficial during periods of prolonged standing or sitting, and during pregnancy.
  3. Limit wearing high heels as much as possible. The position of the foot in heels reduces calf muscle activity and impairs vein flow.
  4. Get rid of a few excess pounds. Extra weight puts additional pressure on your veins, increasing the size and symptoms of varicose veins.

In summary, patients with varicose veins can often improve the symptoms of their veins and reduce the likelihood of worsening with a few simple steps. Stay active. Begin a low-impact exercise program (such as walking or swimming) and lose a few pounds. Work your leg muscles occasionally when sitting or standing and wear compression stockings when you reasonably can. If symptoms persist, or if your veins are getting worse, give us a call and let us evaluate your leg veins and discuss treatment options.

Call 404-778-VEIN or visit www.emoryhealthcare.org/veincenter to request an appointment!

About Dr. Rheudasil

Mark Rheudasil, MDMark Rheudasil, MD,  graduated magna cum laude from Abilene Christian University in Texas and he earned his medical degree from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas in 1983. He completed a general surgery internship and residency program at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Dr. Rheudasil also completed a fellowship in vascular surgery at Emory University in 1989.

Dr. Rheudasil is a diplomat of the American Board of Surgery and is a board certified vascular surgeon. He is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and a member of the International Society for Cardiovascular and Endovascular Surgery, and the North American chapter of the International Society for Cardiovascular Surgery. He is also a member of the Peripheral Vascular Surgery Society, the Southern Association for Vascular Surgery, the Emory Association of Vascular Surgery, the Atlanta Vascular Society, and the Georgia Surgical Society. He is also a member of the Medical Association of Georgia, the Medical Association of Atlanta, and the Atlanta Clinical Society. He is also certified as a Registered Vascular Technologist.

Dr. Rheudasil has published articles in several medical journals including The Journal of Vascular Surgery, American Surgeon and The Journal of the Medical Association of Georgia. He has lectured at the regional and national level on a variety of topics including current reviews of vascular surgery.

Will Compression Stockings Help My Varicose Veins?

Compression SocksCompression stockings are a mainstay of conservative management for varicose veins that are large enough to cause symptoms.

What Do Compression Stockings Do?

  • Compression stockings exert external pressure on the legs, reducing the pooling of blood in varicose veins and improving the vein circulation.
  • The pressure is highest at the ankle/foot and gradually loosens higher on the leg.
  • Stockings often improve symptoms of varicose veins and may slow progression.
  • Some insurance companies require a trial of compression stockings and conservative management before they approve more definitive therapy.

What Will Compression Stockings Not Do?

  • Eliminate or cure varicose veins. They will still be visible when you remove the stockings. Getting rid of your veins will require corrective treatment.
  • They will not be easy to get on and off, and they will be more uncomfortable to wear in the warm weather months.

Does Everyone With Varicose Veins Need Compression Stockings?

  • No. Small varicose veins that are not causing symptoms do not need stockings.
  • For mild symptoms, over-the-counter stockings or panty hose may be fine, and may offer relief for aching or heaviness.
  • Prescription stockings, though considerably more expensive, are often recommended for more severe veins or to help reduce swelling.

When Do I Wear Compression Stockings? How High Should They Go?

  • Stockings should generally be worn when you are standing or sitting. They do not need to be worn while sleeping or when you are able to elevate your legs.
  • Some patients feel better wearing stockings during exercise. Many athletes now routinely wear elastic support while training or competing.
  • Knee high stockings are adequate for most patients, unless there are large veins or significant symptoms higher on the leg.

So, if you have varicose veins, give stockings a try. They may make your legs feel much better. If they don’t relieve enough of your symptoms or if you want more definitive treatment, consult a vascular surgeon at Emory Vein Center. Call 404-778-VEIN or visit emoryhealthcare.org/veincenter to request an appointment.

About Dr. Rheudasil

Mark Rheudasil, MDMark Rheudasil, MD,  graduated magna cum laude from Abilene Christian University in Texas and he earned his medical degree from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas in 1983. He completed a general surgery internship and residency program at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Dr. Rheudasil also completed a fellowship in vascular surgery at Emory University in 1989.

Dr. Rheudasil is a diplomat of the American Board of Surgery and is a board certified vascular surgeon. He is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and a member of the International Society for Cardiovascular and Endovascular Surgery, and the North American chapter of the International Society for Cardiovascular Surgery. He is also a member of the Peripheral Vascular Surgery Society, the Southern Association for Vascular Surgery, the Emory Association of Vascular Surgery, the Atlanta Vascular Society, and the Georgia Surgical Society. He is also a member of the Medical Association of Georgia, the Medical Association of Atlanta, and the Atlanta Clinical Society. He is also certified as a Registered Vascular Technologist.

Dr. Rheudasil has published articles in several medical journals including The Journal of Vascular Surgery, American Surgeon and The Journal of the Medical Association of Georgia. He has lectured at the regional and national level on a variety of topics including current reviews of vascular surgery.

Varicose Veins Solutions: What Are You Waiting For?

Emory Vein Center“Ok, it’s time to get these veins fixed.” How often do you say this to yourself as you are faced with a wardrobe decision? Do you feel insecure about the bulging and unsightly veins on your legs? Do you choose to wear long pants in the summer instead of the trendy summer fashions to hide your legs? Well, I am here to tell you that there is something that we can do to help. You may think that you don’t have the time or the money to invest, but the good news is that even with the increased demands of family, work and community, there is help! Even better, the latest treatments for varicose veins are often covered by your insurance company.

So what exactly are varicose veins? Varicose veins are unhealthy, enlarged or bulging superficial veins that are visible primarily when standing and can be hereditary and/or worsen during pregnancy. While varicose veins are seen in both men and women, spider veins are more frequent in women. According to the Vascular Disease Foundation, it is estimated that at least 20 to 25 million Americans have varicose veins with symptoms ranging from mild to severe. Symptoms can include aching, fatigue, pain, itching and heaviness, often with a tendency to swell.

We realize that varicose veins can affect your quality of life and that is why the Emory Vein Center is committed to our patients to provide the highest standard of vascular care in a professional and caring environment. We offer minimally invasive procedures that take less time to complete than a full work out at the gym. Our procedures consists of state-of-the-art laser or radiofrequency technology to gently close the unhealthy veins, sclerotherapy to remove veins and minor surgical excisions to remove the more larger, bulging veins. Essentially all procedures are done in the office where we also have a noninvasive vascular laboratory where we perform venous ultrasound testing. This helps the physicians determine an individualized treatment plan just for you!

Why come to us? All of our physicians at the Emory Vein Center are board certified vascular surgeons. What this means is that we have specialized in the entire spectrum of vascular disorders to include arterial and venous disease. When you are choosing a physician for your vein care, he or she should be fully trained in the field. All too often today, physicians with limited vascular training are performing these procedures.

So what are you waiting for? The warm summer months will soon be upon us again and we are here and ready to help. We are three convenient locations in Buckhead, Decatur and Perimeter. To schedule your appointment, call 404-778-VEIN.

About Dr. Rheudasil

Mark Rheudasil, MDMark Rheudasil, MD,  graduated magna cum laude from Abilene Christian University in Texas and he earned his medical degree from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas in 1983. He completed a general surgery internship and residency program at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Dr. Rheudasil also completed a fellowship in vascular surgery at Emory University in 1989.

Dr. Rheudasil is a diplomat of the American Board of Surgery and is a board certified vascular surgeon. He is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and a member of the International Society for Cardiovascular and Endovascular Surgery, and the North American chapter of the International Society for Cardiovascular Surgery. He is also a member of the Peripheral Vascular Surgery Society, the Southern Association for Vascular Surgery, the Emory Association of Vascular Surgery, the Atlanta Vascular Society, and the Georgia Surgical Society. He is also a member of the Medical Association of Georgia, the Medical Association of Atlanta, and the Atlanta Clinical Society. He is also certified as a Registered Vascular Technologist.

Dr. Rheudasil has published articles in several medical journals including The Journal of Vascular Surgery, American Surgeon and The Journal of the Medical Association of Georgia. He has lectured at the regional and national level on a variety of topics including current reviews of vascular surgery.

Understanding Peripheral Vascular Disease

PVDDo you experience painful muscle cramps in your hips, thighs or calves when moving around? You may be surprised to learn that this is the primary symptom of peripheral vascular disease (PVD). PVD is defined as diseases of the arteries outside of the heart and brain. PVD is a term used interchangeably with peripheral artery disease, or PAD, but PVD encompasses diseases of the arteries AND veins.

Arteries move blood away from the heart, and PAD typically involves the narrowing of the arteries that transport blood to the arms and legs. Veins take the blood back to the heart and generally don’t get narrowed with cholesterol, but rather develop another very common condition called chronic venous insufficiency (varicose veins).

PAD – Arteries

Many patients go undiagnosed because the symptoms can be attributed to something else, such as arthritis, a neuropathy or normal stiffness that occurs with aging. Patients with PAD may also experience numbness, weakness or coldness in one or both legs. Often the symptoms come on slowly and the patient starts altering their life style and become more sedentary.

On the other hand, at least half of people who suffer from PAD have no signs or indications at all. Risk factors for PAD include aging, personal or family history, cardiovascular disease or stroke. Controllable risk factors include:

  • Cigarette smoking
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Physical inactivity
  • High blood cholesterol
  • High blood pressure Renal failure

Chronic Venous Insufficiency

This is more common than PAD and may start at an early age. The symptoms of this may include any one or more of the following: legs feeling heavy or tired especially at the end of the day, mild swelling of ankles, severe cramps at night time, restless legs, itching of legs, or formation of visible veins on the leg. In severe cases the skin around the ankle area may get darker in color and sores may form, generally above the ankle, which are slow to heal.

Some of the risk factors include age, family history of varicose veins, obesity, standing for long periods on hard surfaces and history of blood clots or phlebitis in the leg.

If you have any of the above symptoms or would like to discuss your risk factors, talk to your healthcare provider. PVD diagnosis begins with a physical examination.

At Emory, treatment of PVD is a combined effort within the Emory Heart & Vascular Center, the Division of Vascular Surgery and Endovascular Therapy and Interventional Radiology. To make an appointment, call 404-778-7777.

About Khusrow Niazi, MD

Khusrow Niazi, MDDr. Niazi specializes in interventional cardiology, carotid artery disease, peripheral artery disease and venous disease of the legs. He has been practicing at Emory since 2003. He has been involved in many trials in treating blockages in the carotid arteries and leg arteries with less invasive options. Dr. Niazi is involved in trials focused on the removal of plaque from the leg arteries with less invasive methods. He also has treated many patients with chronic venous insufficiency and varicose veins.

80 million+ Americans suffer from Varicose Veins

Varicose Spider Veins Online ChatCurrent estimates are that more than 80 million Americans suffer from varicose veins and/or spider veins. While cosmetic improvement is often a factor in seeking treatment of varicose veins, relief from pain is a concern for many patients.

If you or someone you know suffers from varicose veins, join us on Tuesday, January 24 at 12:30 p.m. for an interactive, online Q&A web chat on the topic of varicose and spider veins. Emory physician assistant Stephen Konigsberg will be available to answer questions and discuss various topics about varicose veins, including symptoms, prevention and treatment options, such as low-impact treatment methods (i.e. compression stockings to support and compress veins and improve circulation) and corrective approaches (i.e. procedures like sclerotherapy, Endolaser™ ablation or phlebectomy).

Register online today for the varicose veins chat: UPDATE CHAT TRANSCRIPT

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