South Florida Vascular Associates South Florida Vascular Associates

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Minimally Invasive Treatments for Varicose and Spider Veins

Vein disease is said to affect nearly 50 percent of men and women in the United States. That means almost half the American population is suffering with some sort of venous condition. Luckily, we now have simple, fast and painless procedures to end your discomfort, boost your self-esteem from walking around with unsightly legs and get you back to walking around without pain.

Causes of vein disease
•     Heredity. Having a family member with prominent veins may increase the risk of you developing them.
•    Age. The normal wear and tear of aging may cause valves in the veins to weaken and not work as well.
•    Gender. Women are two to three times more likely to develop spider veins than men. Changes in hormones due to puberty, pregnancy, menopause, or taking birth control pills may increase a woman's risk of developing spider veins.
•    Overweight and obesity. Having extra weight on the body can put additional pressure on the veins.
•    Prolonged standing or sitting. This is particularly true with legs bent or crossed. When standing or sitting with legs bent or crossed, the veins have to work harder to pump the blood up to the heart.

Tired, achy and swollen legs might be symptoms of vein disease, such as varicose veins that are deeper in the legs. Not only are varicose veins unpleasant to look at, they can also become a serious problem so if you have varicose veins it is important for you to have a vascular doctor look at them to prevent more serious complications.

Spider and varicose veins are the result of trapped blood in the veins and are essentially visible signs of vein disease, whether or not you experience other symptoms. They don’t usually present a problem on their own, but there may be a more serious problem lurking. Poor circulation, blood clots and deep vein thrombosis are just a few of the conditions that may or may not cause symptoms, but can worsen over time and become life-threatening if they’re left untreated.

Most procedures available to you these days are minimally invasive, which means they’re fast and convenient. Treatments are done in our office and usually take under 1 hour. There is little, if any, down time, so depending on the treatment you need, you can have treatment during your lunch hour and return to work. Additionally, your insurance provider may cover some of costs of your treatment. One of our board certified endovascular surgeons will work with you to create a personalized plan of action for treating your veins.

Contact South Florida Vascular Associates today and ask about Endovenous Laser Treatment (EVLT) for varicose veins and  sclerotherapy treatment for spider veins. You will be happy you did!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Simple Lifestyle Changes Can Make a Big Difference When it Comes to Preventing Blocked Arteries

Blocked arteries, also known as atherosclerosis, can have serious effects on the entire body, but fortunately, if you pay close attention to risk factors, dietary factors and exercise, you can potentially prevent this from happening.

Atherosclerosis is the process by which the artery lining becomes hardened and develops plaque buildup that eventually leads to obstruction of normal blood flow through the arteries to the extremities causing peripheral artery disease, PAD.

Coronary artery disease, the most common type of heart disease and the leading cause of death in the United States, occurs when the arteries that supply blood to heart muscle become hardened and narrowed. More than 7 million Americans die each year from CAD.

About 10 million Americans have PAD, a condition that puts them at four to five times higher risk of heart attack or stroke. In PAD, narrowed arteries reduce blood flow to the limbs, often the legs, but can also affect arteries that carry blood from the heart to the head, arms, kidneys and stomach.
Symptoms can be silent

Atherosclerosis in general can be difficult to diagnose because well over 50 percent of people with coronary artery disease or peripheral artery disease have no symptoms.

Diagnosis can be made in several ways. If a patient has two or more risk factors, a stress test might be ordered. Vascular studies may be done to look for reduced blood flow in the neck or leg. In addition, if you are a smoker, stop smoking now. If you are diabetic be sure to eat properly and manage your statin medication to reduce cholesterol. And exercise, exercise, exercise! Exercise is one of the best “medicines” to maintain a healthy body.

Risk factors for atherosclerosis include:
•    Smoking
•    Diabetes
•    Being older than age 75
•    High blood pressure or high cholesterol
•    Obesity
•    A family history of heart disease