Vein Function and Preventative Care
Our veins are meant to act as pathways for our blood to return to the heart from every part of the body in a smooth, one-way fashion. The term “vein care” encompasses the techniques we use at Midcoast Vein to effectively improve flow of blood, as well as identifying specific venous conditions. Under the care of Dr. Ginkel at Midcoast Vein, our patients know that they are well taken care of and trust his every recommendation – he takes the time to get to know his patients so that he can better understand how best to pair these vein care treatments with their lifestyle and expectations.
Vein Conditions Treated With Vein Care
Most people associate vein conditions such as varicose and spider veins with age, and while this can be the case, anyone can suffer from these types of venous conditions. While varicose and spider veins are not considered fatal conditions, they are indicators that something else may be occurring beneath the surface of the skin and deeper tissues that could impact your health. Our patients are males and females of all ages, but each have similar concerns about their veins, whether they be aesthetic appearance or functional issues that could cause pain or difficulty walking and performing everyday tasks. Below are some of the venous conditions we treat at Midcoast Vein:
- Spider veins
- Varicose veins
- Deep vein thrombosis
- Venous reflux
- Leg ulcers
- Pelvic veins
Screenings Are Available for Vein Diagnosis
Our job at Midcoast Vein is to not only help our patients live their best life without worrying about the appearance of unsightly varicose and spider veins, but also to improve their quality of life and longevity by addressing deep vein concerns they may not have previously been aware of. Vein screenings can help us diagnose and pinpoint specific vein issues that produce venous insufficiencies, such as varicose and spider veins, deep vein thrombosis (DVT), and venous reflux. Evaluation at Midcoast Vein begins with a detailed history and physical exam, this maybe followed by a ” Vein Mapping ” ultrasound study. Vein Mapping is a study where a complete ultrasound evaluation and a diagram or “Map” of your deep, superficial and communicating perforators venous system including area of insufficiency is outlined. Using this diagnostic study Dr. GInkel can formulate the best individualized treatment plan to effectively treat your condition.
What is venous insufficiency?
As we mentioned above, our veins are meant to carry blood back to the heart after being circulated to deliver oxygen to every tissue and organ. Unfortunately for some, blood isn’t able to move directly back to the heart muscle without a delay in these veins. When this happens, we look at the structure of the vein, taking into consideration any physical blockages within the veins, or improper opening and closing of the valves that ensure one-way flow of the blood from one section of the vein to the next. Venous insufficiency means that the valves within the vein which facilitate on-way flow are not functioning correctly, the valve become insufficient and are unable to prevent the effects of gravity pushing blood backwards in the vein and increase the venous pressure. Depending on the location and number of insufficient valve the elevated venous pressure ” venous hypertension” can create large buldging varicose , reticular and spider veins. Venous hypertension and venous valvular insufficiency make it difficult or impossible for veins to accomplish their purpose of moving back to the heart.
Typically, venous insufficiency begins when veins in the lower portion of the body are unable to overcome gravity and push blood upward from the legs. The effects of gravity are worsened with the stress cause from prolonged standing, weight bearing or lack of physical movement. In addition to the valves within the vein , three sets of “muscular pumps” are activated with the contraction of muscles from walking or exercise. These pumps are located in the arch of the foot, calf and thigh. Lack of mobility and physical inactivity prevent these pumps from activating and exacerbate gravities effect on the venous system. Veins are not as strong as arteries, arteries are assisted in pushing blood outward when the heart contracts. Our veins deal with various types of stress that can make them weak over time so that they stretch, causing thinning of the vein wall. Space is then created between the flaps of vein valves so they cannot hold blood and push it upward in the body. This is how varicose veins are created, and our patients will come in with concerns about these unsightly knotted or tree-like veins appearing on the surface of their skin, often with a purplish or blue and green shade to them. This aesthetic appearance is an indicator of a deeper problem within the veins.
Symptoms of Vein Conditions and Treatment at Midcoast Vein
Depending on what level of vein insufficiency you experience, you may notice pain occurring in the legs, arms, and groin area as you move, and may notice you require frequent rest throughout the day. Some symptoms of venous insufficiency are:
- Ulcers in the skin on the legs
- Knotted, puffy veins with blue-green color appearing in the skin
- Feeling of pins and needles in the legs and feet
- Pain that is relieved upon elevation of the legs and rest
- Discoloration in the skin around the area where discomfort occurs
- Swelling in the ankles
- Redness in the legs or ankles and accompanying heat sensations
- Tingling, itching or irritation in the legs
- Changes in skin thickness in the legs
Vein conditions can be exacerbated by excessive weight gain, unhealthy diet, a lack of exercise and whether or not you stand or sit for hours at a time through the day. To prevent venous insufficiency from becoming permanent or progressing further, we recommend a vein screening that can properly diagnose the particular venous condition you may suffer from or be susceptible to, and how to best remedy the condition. To treat these venous conditions we offer the following procedures and recommendations:
- Ultrasound-guided vein screenings
- Prescription fitted compression stockings
- Endovenous Radiofrequency (RF) Ablation
- Venous ultrasound
- Vein light
- Compression therapy
Call Midcoast Vein at 805-354-0112 to learn more about our vein care program and how we can help you live without vein discomfort or potentially serious venous insufficiency.