South Florida Vascular Associates South Florida Vascular Associates

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Prevent Episodes of Deep Vein Thrombosis; Keep Moving, Especially When Travelling

One of the worst things you can do if you've had deep vein thrombosis is stay still for long periods of time. Simple exercises may help you to prevent another episode of DVT.

Deep vein thrombosis, or DVT, occurs when blood clots form in the deep veins, usually in a leg. The blood clot can partly or completely block blood flow and damage valves in blood vessels. It can also break free and travel through your blood to major organs, such as your lungs -- which can be fatal.

Doctors diagnose DVT in 600,000 Americans each year. One out of 100 of these people die. If you're at risk, there is much you can do to prevent DVT.

Being still for long periods of time, such as travelling on a long airplane flight or sitting at a desk most of your work day increases your risk of DVT. To prevent the development of DVT, it's important to keep your blood flowing by moving and exercising.

When exercise is recommended by your physician to prevent DVT, this is not necessarily talking about vigorous exercise. There are simple exercises and preventative measures you can follow to prevent blood clots from forming in your legs. By simply moving your legs by stretching them, doing leg bends, fluttering your legs while seated, and walking around every few hours to stimulate your leg muscles, you can help to prevent the development of blood clots.

The best exercises for DVT prevention are walking and swimming because these exercises keep your blood flowing.  If you're at risk for DVT, avoid exercises that involve repeated thrusting that may cause trauma to your legs.

Here are some tips to keep your blood moving when traveling:
•    Drink plenty of water before and during your trip. This will reduce your risk of dehydration, which can make your blood more likely to clot.
•    Perform simple sitting exercises every half hour or so, when on long trips.
•    Take a walk up and down the aisle during airplane flights to move around. If traveling by car, stop and get out stretching frequently.

Here are some exercises that are useful for DVT prevention:
•    Tighten your calves. Flex your feet and raise your toes 15 times per set. This will tighten your calf muscles and promote proper blood flow through your legs.
•    Turn your ankles. With your feet off the floor, move one foot clockwise, the other, counterclockwise. Repeat, only switch directions.

•    Lift your feet. With your heels on the floor, raise your toes up; then lower them to the ground. Then do the opposite — heels up, balls of your feet on the floor.
Risk Factors for DVT
•    Being over age 40
•    Obesity
•    Cancer
•    Personal or family history of DVT
•    Immobilization
•    Pregnancy
•    Oral contraception (birth control) or hormone therapy use
•    Recent surgery or hospitalization
•    Smoking

Regardless of your risk factors in order to prevent DVT, remember to keep moving, especially when sitting for long periods of time while traveling, at work, or even relaxing at home.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Endovenous Laser Treatment (EVLT) Enables Patient Suffering from Painful Varicose Veins to Return to Labor Intensive Work Day after Treatment

COCONUT CREEK, FL (November 16, 2011) - 39 year old Gabriel Quiroga is an air conditioner contractor. Each day he drives from house- to -house or business- to -business, pulls out his ladder and climbs up on top of roofs, into attics, and other hard to reach areas. Quiroga is totally dependent upon the use of his legs for his livelihood and a good quality of life.

Several months ago, Quiroga was experiencing pain in his left leg and swelling at the ankle, especially while standing and climbing up ladders. “I was in constant discomfort and was concerned that I might have to change careers. I could barely stand for any length of time without feeling severe pain”, said Quiroga.

Quiroga was referred to William Julien , M.D.,  a board certified, fellowship trained interventional radiologist who is the medical director of South Florida Vascular Associates ( Upon testing and examination, Dr. Julien determined that Quiroga had a large varicose vein in his left leg which was causing venous insufficiency, a common condition resulting from decreased blood flow from the leg veins up to the heart. “When valves become weak and don't close properly, they force blood to flow backward, a condition called reflux”, said Dr. Julien. In normal veins, valves in the vein keep blood moving forward toward the heart. With varicose veins, the valves do not function properly, allowing blood to remain or pool, in the vein. Pooling of blood in a vein causes it to enlarge, which creates pain, especially when a person is standing and placing pressure on the leg.

A non-invasive technique has been developed to treat venous insufficiencies such as varicose veins called Endovenous Laser Treatment (EVLT).  EVLT is an alternative to traditional open surgery called vein stripping, and it requires minimal access to the vein. Light emission (heat) from a laser fiber beam is used to cauterize, or seal off, the inside of the varicose vein wall. This method closes the unhealthy, refluxing vein.

 During this procedure, a local anesthetic is applied to the vein and the physician inserts a tiny catheter into the problematic vein using ultrasound to guide its entry. The energy from the laser then works to close the unhealthy refluxing vein and thus reduce the tension on the surface skin veins. With the problematic vein permanently closed, the body then reroutes the blood to healthier veins returning the blood back to the heart. EVLT is a reliable and simple way to treat varicose veins without surgery.

In the past, if a patient was suffering from bulging, painful varicose veins, a patient would need to undergo an open surgical procedure called vein stripping to seal off the vein. Vein stripping is a very painful and arduous experience for the patient.

Vein stripping is done using general anesthesia and the procedure usually takes up to 1 1/2 hours. During this procedure a vascular surgeon makes two small surgical cuts in your leg. The cuts will be near the top and bottom of your damaged vein. The surgeon will then thread a thin, flexible plastic wire into the vein through your groin and guide the wire through the vein toward the other cut farther down your leg. The wire is then tied to the vein and pulled out through the lower cut, which pulls the vein out with it.

The vascular surgeon will close the cuts with sutures. After surgery you will have bandages and compression stockings on your leg and your leg may need to be wrapped to control swelling and bleeding for 3 - 5 days after surgery. You may need to keep them wrapped for several weeks.

The advantages of EVLT treatment include: treatment typically takes less than one hour, provides immediate relief, general anesthesia is not needed, recovery period is minimized and a patient can immediately return to normal activities, no scarring or stitches, lower rate of complication,  and a higher success rate and durability of the procedure relative to surgery.

“I can’t believe how simple this procedure was”, said Quiroga. “I postponed the procedure for so long thinking I would be out of work for several weeks and the day after the procedure, I was able to climb my ladder, something I thought I might never be able to do again”. Aside for wearing a compression stocking for a few weeks, Quiroga did not experience any discomfort and was immediately able to return to his job. “This procedure is amazing, said Quiroga, I can’t believe how easy and painless it was”.

If you suffer from unsightly and painful varicose veins, call our office for a consultation. or call 954-573-2929