Is there anything you can do to prevent varicose veins?

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Varicose veins are an unsightly and sometimes painful condition that appear as we age or after a pregnancy. Other times, they appear in individuals who have a genetic predisposition for them, or individuals who stand for long periods of time during their day. They occur when the walls of the vein become stretched and less flexible and allow a backflow of blood that accumulates and becomes swollen and then externally visible.

Unfortunately, there are no guaranteed ways to prevent varicose veins. You can, however, work on improving your circulation and muscle tone to reduce the risk of developing varicose veins or getting additional ones. The following things will help:

  •    Exercising
  •    Watching your weight
  •    Eating a high-fiber, low-salt diet
  •    Avoiding high heels and tight clothing
  •    Elevating your legs
  •    Changing your sitting or standing position regularly

If you suffer from swelling or pain in your legs from varicose veins, or just don’t like the appearance, the VCU Baird Vascular Institute can help. Varicose veins are not just unsightly, but painful and, if left untreated, can progress to become serious health problems.

VCU Baird Vascular Institute vascular specialists are experts in evaluating and treating varicose veins. Our interventional radiologists and vascular surgeons work hand-in-hand to treat patients with varicose veins using the latest technology available, with treatment tailored to your specific needs.

 

 

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Can a child have a port? What are the advantages?

Ports are one option for people who, for one reason or another, need frequent IV access for fluids, medications, blood draws or lab checks. Even young children can have a port.

There are many benefits for all patients, including safety, comfort and infection control, but for children, the ease of access is probably the biggest benefit. One of the more common reasons to have a port is for chemotherapy. If a child has cancer, the frequent need for medication, blood draws and other procedures involving needles may seem overwhelming and stressful for the child.

Because children are often very fearful of needles, and having a port minimizes instances of difficult IV access, or physicians or nurses having difficulty getting to veins. The port area can be numbed, reducing discomfort, and the number of “sticks” are reduced greatly by having a port.

In addition, having a port does not interfere with the daily activities of the child, and they can continue many physical activities without fear of affecting the site.

There are other options for vein access, but having a port in place is a great way to have a safe, reliable and low maintenance option.

Pediatric port procedures are typically done at locations that specialize in pediatric patients. Contact your child’s physician to see availability in your area.