5 Things You May Not Know About Varicose Veins and Spider Veins

1. Abnormal veins can continue to develop over a period of years. While current treatments for varicose veins and spider veins – including Phlebectomy and Sclerotherapy – have very high success rates compared to traditional surgical treatments. However, if you suffer from weak vein valves, more abnormal veins can develop over a period of years. Ongoing treatment can help keep this problem under control.
2. Eating a low-salt diet rich in high-fiber foods can help prevent varicose and spider veins. Eating fiber reduces the chances of constipation, which can contribute to varicose veins. High-fiber foods include fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains, like bran. Eating less salt can help with the swelling that comes with varicose veins.
3. Sun exposure can increase your risk for spider veins on the cheeks or nose of fair-skinned people. Wear sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun and to limit spider veins on the face.
4. Varicose veins and spider veins can be dangerous. While rarely a serious health problem, varicose veins and spider veins can be an indication of and/or lead to more serious health problems. These include:

  • Sores or skin ulcers due to chronic (long-term) backing up of blood. These sores or ulcers are painful and hard to heal. Sometimes they cannot heal until the backward blood flow in the vein is repaired.
  • Bleeding. The skin over the veins becomes thin and easily injured. When an injury occurs, there can be significant blood loss.
  • Superficial thrombophlebitis (throm-bo-fli-BYT-uhs), which is a blood clot that forms in a vein just below the skin. Symptoms include skin redness; a firm, tender, warm vein; and sometimes pain and swelling.
  • Deep vein thrombosis, which is a blood clot in a deeper vein. It can cause a “pulling” feeling in the calf, pain, warmth, redness, and swelling. However, sometimes it causes no significant symptoms. If the blood clot travels to the lungs, it can be fatal.

5. The pressure of body weight is the reason most varicose and spider veins appear in the legs. Additional factors include the force of gravity, and task of carrying blood from the bottom of the body up to the heart. Compared with other veins in the body, leg veins have the toughest job of carrying blood back to the heart. They endure the most pressure. This pressure can be stronger than the one-way valves in the veins. Exercise and controlling your weight are important factors that can reduce your risk of getting new varicose and spider veins.

Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE) & Alternative Treatments | Download

Uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) is a procedure that involves specific, targeted blockage of blood flow to uterine fibroids. The procedure is minimally invasive, meaning it only requires a small incision in the skin.

The ideal patient for Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE) meets four basic criteria:

  1. Have fibroids
  2. Fibroids are symptomatic
  3. No cancer
  4. Future pregnancies are not desired

Download our Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE) and Alternative Treatments Guide.

Aging, Osteoporosis and Spinal Compression Fractures

Spinal Fractures are Common As People Age
The type of fracture in the spine that is typically caused by osteoporosis is generally referred to as a compression fracture and are quite common – occurring in approximately 700,000 people in the U.S. each year.

The problem is that the fracture is not always recognized or accurately diagnosed – instead, the patient’s pain is often just thought of as general back pain or as a common part of aging. As a result, approximately two thirds of the vertebral fractures that occur each year are not diagnosed and therefore not treated.

Compression Fracture Risks
Vertebral fractures are usually followed by acute back pain, and may lead to chronic pain, deformity (thoracic kyphosis, commonly referred to as a dowager’s hump), loss of height, crowding of internal organs, and loss of muscle and aerobic conditioning due to lack of activity and exercise.

A combination of the above problems from vertebral fractures can also lead to changes in the individual’s self-image, which in turn can adversely affect self-esteem and ability to carry on the activities of daily living.

Because the majority of damage is limited to the front of the vertebral column, the fracture is usually stable and rarely associated with any nerve or spinal cord damage.

Two-Pronged Approach for Compression Fracture Treatment
Treatment of a spinal fracture caused by osteoporosis is usually two-pronged, including both treatment of the fracture, and treatment of the underlying osteoporosis that led to the fracture.

  1. Resolve Compression Fracture Pain: Kyphoplasty is a minimally invasive outpatient procedure that results in immediate pain relief in many cases. A special balloon is inserted and gently inflated inside the fractured vertebrae, then a cement-like material is injected. The goal of the balloon inflation is restore height to the bone thus reducing deformity of the spine. Most patients return to their normal daily activities after either procedure.
  2. Prevent Future Fractures: After sustaining one vertebral fracture, the patient is at risk for more fractures, so treatment of the patient’s underlying osteoporosis is an important part of the treatment plan. Osteoporosis treatment will typically include one or a combination of the following: calcium supplements, increased vitamin D, weight-bearing exercises, and hormone replacement therapy for women.