3 nonsurgical ways to cover unsightly leg veins

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Warm weather is here, and with it comes shorter hemlines, lighter fabrics and more skin showing. Unfortunately, 20 percent of all adults, and 50 percent of adults over 50, experience varicose veins, predominantly women. If the unsightly veins on your legs embarrass you, there are a few natural remedies to help.

Makeup. Today, there are a number of high-quality makeup formulas designed to temporarily hide significant skin imperfections. These long lasting products can cover a variety of discolorations and irregularities such as scars, birthmarks, veins and even tattoos. Even your own makeup concealer can be used to cover small areas, but if you have larger areas to cover, there are products for that as well.

Self-tanners. We’ve talked about minimizing skin cancer risks here in the past, so we’re already big fans of any sunless tanning options. But did you know that sunless tanning products can also minimize the appearance of varicose and spider veins? Self-tanning creams and lotions can help cover scars and light veins, and even make skin dimples, cellulite and protruding veins less conspicuous. The bronzing reflects light and evens the overall skin tone and greatly improves appearance. Besides, who doesn’t love a little tan color for those summer picnics and events?

Stockings. Even though stockings are not the first option that comes to mind when you think of summer, you might want to think again. Today’s compression stockings offer a multitude of cute and fashionable options to wear with shorts and skirts. They look like regular knee-high socks, but offer coverage of any discolored or protruding leg veins, as well as the added benefits of compression for pain relief, improved circulation and slowing the progression of vein irregularity.

However, if you’re just simply tired of trying to find new ways to camouflage your embarrassing leg veins, give us a call and let’s see what we can do for you. Our vascular specialists are experts in evaluating and treating varicose veins, from unsightly spider veins using new, gentle and highly effective treatments to the relief of more serious, painful and even dangerous major varicose veins. Our vascular surgeons and interventional radiologists work hand in hand to treat patients with varicose using today’s most advanced technology and procedures, with your treatment plan tailored to your specific needs. Call us at (804) 828-2600 to discuss your options.

Spring is around the corner and I don’t want to live with these spider veins anymore – what can you do for me?

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Don’t be embarrassed. You don’t have to live with spider veins anymore.

If you’re always covering up your spider veins, those unsightly dark blue or red blotches or jagged networks of tiny veins on your legs with longer skirts, pants and bathing suit wraps and towels – it doesn’t have to be that way. Today we offer gentle, virtually pain free treatments that eliminate or greatly diminish the appearance of spider veins.

Spider veins are similar to varicose veins, but are milder, involving the smaller veins just below the skin surface. Spider veins are more common among women of any age, and frequently appear during/after pregnancy or when gaining weight. The extra burden weakens the valves in the veins carrying blood back to the heart, so the blood pools and the veins swell. When only small, surface veins are affected, the result is spider veins, which can range from little patches to very large areas. They generally do not bulge or cause pain. But they can do damage to your self-esteem.

The good news is that today, spider veins are treatable – and easier to treat than other varicose veins. With new treatments using injections or safe laser technology, we offer cosmetic options that diminish or eliminate spider veins – and the embarrassment.

How are spider veins treated?

Until recently, spider veins went untreated. The veins are very small, there can be hundreds or thousands of them, and they do not present a significant health risk that requires surgery. However, today we can offer two gentle, technically advanced and effective treatments for spider veins that shrink or let the body absorb the damaged veins, leaving behind clear, unblemished skin: sclerotherapy or surface laser therapy.

Sclerotherapy involves using a tiny needle to inject individual spider veins with a solution that makes them shrink. As they shrink, blood is channeled to deeper veins, making the spider veins on the surface almost invisible. The vast majority of patients who have sclerotherapy experience significant improvement in the appearance of their veins.

Surface laser therapy uses an extremely accurate laser to deliver painless pulses of light energy to the spider veins on the surface of the skin. The energy causes the blood inside the veins to coagulate, which eventually destroys the spider veins, which are gradually absorbed by the body, which redirects blood flow to veins deeper below the skin’s surface, leaving behind clear, unblemished skin.

How long does treatment take?

The number of treatments needed to clear or improve your spider veins depends on their amount and severity. The average treatment is three to five sessions. Smaller veins may disappear after the first session. However, severe cases may require as many or ten or more sessions: in some cases, a vein may need to be injected one to five times or more, over a period of weeks or months. Multiple areas can be treated during each session, reducing the total number of treatments needed. In general, you’ll see an overall improvement within weeks or months.

Spider vein treatments do not prevent development of new spider veins over the years. Pregnancy, high estrogen levels or jobs that require a lot of standing may increase the likelihood that spider veins will reappear. Many people will require additional treatments from time to time to keep their legs clear.

Will insurance cover my treatment?

Most insurance companies consider spider vein treatment a cosmetic procedure, not medical, and in most cases it is not covered by insurance. You should check your individual plan to verify what varicose vein treatment options are included in your plan. Call us at (804) 828-2600 to discuss your options. You may decide that your beautiful legs are worth it.

Why you shouldn’t ignore vascular issues

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People often ignore or brush off certain symptoms as “minor” when it comes to their health. Many times, vascular issues are indicative of a larger problem, or more serious illness. Here are some issues that you should definitely speak to your physician about.

Leg pain: Pains that start in your legs with walking or other exertion could be a sign of peripheral artery disease (PAD), which often goes hand-in-hand with coronary artery disease.

Varicose veins: Varicose veins are not just an unsightly cosmetic annoyance, but also an indication that the veins in your legs are not working the way they should. Untreated varicose veins can lead to more serious issues including blood clots, and deep vein thrombosis (DVT).

There are more than 60,000 miles of blood vessels in the human body, providing the network for the flow of oxygen and nutrients required by the body for good health. VCU Health at Baird Vascular Institute has the latest in technology and techniques to diagnose and treat vascular disease. If we uncover signs of vascular disease, our experts can develop a custom treatment plan for you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sources: Cleveland Clinic, VCU Health at Baird Vascular Institute

What other services does VCU Health at Baird Vascular Institute offer besides port procedures?

Baird Institute

You can take advantage of our world-class medical services in a convenient neighborhood setting. Our interventional radiologists and vascular surgeons offer a multidisciplinary approach to vascular disease so that each patient receives a comprehensive vascular screening and a treatment tailored to his or her particular need. The institute affords patients easy access to the full array of expert vascular screening and treatment services offered by the VCU Health.

We offer many minimally invasive services beyond our port procedures, including:

At the VCU Health at Baird Vascular Institute, we have the latest in technology and techniques to diagnose and treat vascular disease. If we uncover signs of vascular disease, our experts can develop a custom treatment plan for you.

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.

 

 

Sources:

5 reasons you should treat varicose veins

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  1. Although varicose veins may not cause problems, sometimes they cause aching pain, throbbing, and discomfort in the legs, and occasionally, varicose veins can lead to more serious health concerns.
  2. The unsightly nature of varicose veins may make patients less likely to engage in warm weather activities they not only enjoy, but are also good methods of exercise, because they are embarrassed by the appearance of their legs.
  3. Treating varicose veins may mean doing away with compression stockings or other restrictive, uncomfortable methods of long-term treatment.
  4. When home remedies such as compression stockings, elevating the legs, and avoiding long periods of continuous standing or sitting are no longer relieving the symptoms, it may be time to consider other options.
  5. Finally, today’s treatments are less invasive, less painful and require much less recovery time than treatments of the past.

Meet the care team

Malcolm K. Sydnor Jr., M.D.

As the Director of Vascular and Interventional Radiology at VCU Medical Center, Dr. Sydnor is an integral part of the VCU Baird Vascular Institute care team. He specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of varicose veins and peripheral arterial disease as well as placement of port-a-caths for long term central venous access.

Dr. Malcolm SydnorDr. Sydnor uses imaging guidance to perform minimally invasive treatments. Therefore treatments that used to require major open surgery can now be performed through small incisions without the need of general anesthesia.

Recently, we asked Dr. Sydnor about his work at VCU Baird. Here’s what he had to say.

What is the best part of working at VCU Baird?
Being able to help patients using advanced technology in the comfort of an outpatient facility.

What is the best part of your day?
Seeing patients after you have helped them with their problem and they are excited and happy to have their problem fixed.

Why is VCU Baird unique?
We have experienced academic experts available to patients in a comfortable community setting. And VCU Baird also offers multiple disciplines working together to make sure patients get the best care possible for their vascular disease It’s also wonderful that we have a plentiful support staff whose major priority is creating a comfortable customer-friendly environment for our patients.

Dr. Sydnor also serves as Associate Professor of Radiology and Surgery at VCU Health System and Medical Director of the Baird Vascular Institute. He earned his M.D. from VCU, completed his residency at VCU Medical Center and finished his fellowship at University of Virginia.

Board Certifications Dr. Sydnor holds are:
• American Board of Radiology – Diagnostic Radiology, 2004
• Certificate of Added Qualification – Vascular and Interventional Radiology, 2007

With our friendly, comfortable outpatient environment and skilled physicians with academic expertise, VCU Baird Vascular Institute offers excellent vascular care without the overwhelming experience of a large hospital. For more information, please call (804) 828-2600(804) 828-2600 or email bairdvascularinstitute@mcvh-vcu.edu.