News & Articles

March is DVT Awareness Month

athlete grasping cred tender calf

In 2008, the Surgeon General initiated a ‘Call to Action’ to spotlight deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism, the commonly misdiagnosed and misunderstood conditions responsible for over 100,000 deaths per year.  Today over 2 million Americans are affected annually by DVT/PE, yet most Americans have little awareness.

DVT is a serious condition in which a clot forms inside a vein located deep inside the body.  Deep vein clots can occur throughout the body, however, they are commonly found in the lower leg, thigh, arm or pelvis.

Blood clots can be dangerous because they block vein blood flow, causing discomfort, swelling or redness in and around the area of the clot.  They may also break away and travel through the veins and lodge in the lungs, affecting blood flow and breathing. This is called Pulmonary Embolism (PE) and may cause serious lung damage, heart failure and death.

Risk Factors in deep vein thrombosis.   The risk factors may be considered strong, moderate or mild risks.  Those who develop DVT often have multiple risk factors present.

  • Extended hospitalization stay
  • Surgery ( especially knee, hip or cancer-related surgeries)
  • Immobility due to bed-rest, long travels, trauma
  • Family or personal history of DVT or clotting disorder
  • Age over 65
  • Cancer/Chemotherapy
  • Estrogen based medications
  • Other:  Obesity, Smoking, Alcohol, Pregnancy, Dehydration

Warning signs of deep vein thrombosis.  There are approximately 900,000 DVT incidents per year in the U.S.  DVT can be hard to recognize; it can be a ‘silent’ condition. Additionally, other conditions mimic DVT such as muscle strain, skin infections, and phlebitis.  An undiagnosed DVT episode then may lead to serious complications such as chronic blood flow problems of the legs (post-thrombotic syndrome) and pulmonary embolism.  When symptoms are present they may include:

  • Pain or soreness  in leg or arm
  • Skin that is warm to touch
  • Skin discoloration (red, brown, bluish)
  • Swelling, cramping or inflammation of leg or arm


If these symptoms are present, a physician should obtain an evaluation for suspected DVT.  This should include an ultrasound (duplex scan) performed by a registered vascular technician (RVT) either in a vein or vascular specialty clinic or in the hospital.

Warning signs of pulmonary embolism.  Pulmonary embolism is a life-threatening complication of deep vein thrombosis.  Over 300,000 Americans die of PE each year. Immediate hospital medical attention and treatment is necessary for the following:

  • Sudden, unexplained shortness of breath
  • Chest pain or chest discomfort worsening with deep breath
  • A rapid pulse or increase in pulse
  • Cough with blood tinged sputum
  • Sensation of lightheadedness or dizziness

Prevention may also include maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding inactivity, staying hydrated, or using compression stockings with long travel.  New technologies are available for prevention and treatment which may improve health outcomes and save lives. It’s important to understand your own risks and to report warning signs quickly.

This March DVT Awareness Month, the Minnesota Vein Center team joins together with other health advocacy groups to increase DVT awareness.  You can help by being personally aware and by sharing this information with co-workers, friends and loved ones.  If you would like to learn more call us at 651-765-8346.


Vein Health Terminology

female rubbing lower leg after work

Superficial thrombophlebitis is an inflammatory condition of the veins due to a blood clot just below the surface of the skin. It usually occurs in the legs, but it can occasionally occur in the arms and neck. Anyone can develop superficial thrombophlebitis, but females are affected more than males.

Several factors contribute to and increase the risk of developing superficial thrombophlebitis. The more common risk factors include:

  • Recent IV, catheter, or injection into a vein
  • Sitting or lying down for too long, such as on a long flight
  • Varicose veins
  • Pregnancy
  • Infection
  • Disorders that increase blood clotting
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Oral contraceptives and hormone replacement medications
  • Being over 60
  • Chemical irritation, such as from cancer treatments
  • Superficial thrombophlebitis is also associated with more serious medical conditions, including:
  • Deep vein thrombosis (blood clot in a deep vein)
  • Cancers of the abdomen, such as pancreatic cancer
  • Factor V Leiden (a genetic blood clotting disorder)
  • Prothrombin gene mutation (a gene mutation that causes a blood clotting disorder)
  • Thromboangiitis obliterans (blockage of the blood vessels in the hands and feet)

Symptoms of superficial thrombophlebitis include:

  • Redness and inflammation of the skin along a vein
  • Warmth of the skin and tissue around the vein
  • Tenderness and pain that worsens with added pressure
  • Pain in the limb
  • Darkening of the skin over the vein
  • Hardening of the vein

Superficial thrombophlebitis is treated at home in most cases. Your doctor might recommend applying a warm compress to the affected area and elevating it to relieve swelling. Wearing support stockings can also help reduce swelling.

Over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen and aspirin and moist heat can help reduce the redness and irritation caused by inflammation. This condition usually goes away within two weeks. It can take longer for the hardness in your vein to subside.

In a rare, serious instance, removal of the vein is necessary. This is more common if you have varicose veins.

If you think you might be at risk, we recommend contacting a doctor. If you live in Minnesota, Western Wisconsin or surrounding areas, contact the experienced staff at Minnesota Vein Center



Free Vein Screening. Jan/Feb. 2018

gal and guy snow showing bright sun

Call: 651-765-8346 or Schedule Here.

We are offering Free Vein Screening appointments from 9 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.   every Monday-Thursday: 

From Monday, January 29th through  Thursday, February 15th at Minnesota Vein Center, North Oaks, MN 55127.

Varicose and venous disease are hereditary conditions; left untreated they may  result in more serious problems. Please share this event with your Friends and  Family.

Free vein screenings include a history, exam and ultrasound. Screenings are  approximately 20 minutes. To request your free vein screening  appointment, please complete the form below, providing your preferred dates,  or call us at 651-765-8346.

Thank you for your interest in Minnesota Vein Center.  This event has ended.  Please watch for quarterly Free Vein Screening and other events or sign up for our newsletter for upcoming screening dates.  We look forward to helping with your vein health care needs.


Still Confused?

Why patients chose Minnesota Vein Center

Dr. Primepares G. Pal and the vein specialty  professionals at Minnesota Vein Center will provide your care using state-of-the-art treatments and provide superior attention to detail.  Are you still confused about finding the best vein care?  Here is what sets us apart from other vein centers and practices:

  1. We focus exclusively on superior vein care by a double boarded physician. (Board-Certified Internist, and one of first physicians Board-Certified in Venous and Lymphatic Medicine.)
  2. Venous disease is our Specialty; as of 2018 we have  performed over 20,000 minimally-invasive treatments at one location since 2004.
  3. We are a local physician practice dedicated solely to your vein care – and are not corporate-owned.  We maintain hospital and insurance credentialing.
  4. We are of the First Dedicated Vein Center’s in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area and suburb and are conveniently located.  Our patients are not only local but come to us from Northern Minnesota, Western Wisconsin, North Dakota, and Iowa.
  5. Your total care will be completed in our North Oaks office from evaluation, treatment to follow-up, always with the same physician and staff. Our center is highly- efficient and outcome-focused.   We are the primary care physicians preferred vein center for referral.
  6. We offer expert and full services all in one setting,  including:  Ultrasound vein diagnostics and mapping,  Endovenous Ablation  ( radiofrequency, laser, venaseal, and Moca), Phlebectomy, Ultrasound-guided chemical ablation and superficial sclerotherapy treatments. VeinWave.
  7. We have highly credentialed, experienced dedicated staff and use the most advanced treatment technologies and electronic medical records.
  8. Treatments are minimally invasive vein procedures for venous insufficiency, varicose and spider veins.  These are quick, easy and with little or no down time.  Care is comprehensive with minimal return treatment visits.
  9. We provide quarterly Complimentary Vein Screenings which includes modified exam and ultrasound.
  10. We accept all major insurances, Medicare and offer Care Credit services.

No longer confused? or  just in need more information?   Contact our vein specialist today and experience Minnesota Vein Center for yourself:   651.765.8346.




New Year’s Resolutions and Your Veins

green apple, free weights and tape measure for vein health resolution

“This year I will take care of my health.”   Does this sound like you?  At the beginning of the year, many people resolve to exercise regularly, quit smoking, see their doctor, and start a healthy life-style plan.  These are all excellent resolutions for 2018, but you should include one more:  vein health.

Vein disorders and diseases affect millions of people. These occur when valves in veins of the legs fail to move blood back to the heart.  This can cause pain, swelling, varicose veins, or worse.  It is a chronic and a progressive problem, and left untreated, it can lead to serious medical complications. “Venous disease is a very common health-related disorder among Americans and among populations worldwide”, said Dr. Primepares Pal,  a Board–certified vein specialist at Minnesota Vein Center,  “ however, most people are not aware that it may be affecting them, or that there are technically advanced minimally invasive treatments available.”

Here are three things that people can do to improve— or prevent— vein problems in the new year:

  1. Exercise. This can be as simple and effective as walking just 30 minutes a day. Walking causes the regular contraction of calf muscles and helps promote blood flow to the heart.
  2. Quit smoking. Smoking and exposure to second-hand smoke affects veins, arteries and the entire circulatory system. It can make venous symptoms, like leg aches and pains, even worse.
  3. See your doctor. Ask your primary care physician about venous issues, especially if ‘varicose veins” are common among family members. Your doctor can refer you to a board certified phlebologist ( Vein Specialist) for a screening and evaluation.

To learn more about how to identify, prevent and treat venous disease, visit  Dr Primepares Pal is the founder of the Minnesota Vein Center. certified by the American Board of Venous and Lymphatic Medicine and cares for all levels of venous disease, including spider veins, varicose veins, deep vein thrombosis and venous stasis ulcers

Skin Rash of the Ankle

inner ankle reddened scaly rashSkin changes of the lower leg may be the first sign of vein disease. These vein disorders originate from the superficial or from the deep vein system and are called venous insufficiency or venous reflux.  While lower leg and ankle skin rash may be caused by other conditions, such as arterial disease, superficial venous disease is the common culprit.

An ankle rash related to venous disease occurs when superficial veins become dilated due to vein valve damage from a higher source in the vein.  This allows backward blood flow, pooling and eventually local inflammation.  The inflammation which is due to the chronic venous insufficiency often leads to a skin rash which causes intense itching and redness.  A skin rash caused by vein disorders is called venous stasis dermatitis and is often overlooked.  It affects the lower legs usually starting with small patches of tiny red bumps that cluster into a diffuse red rash covering the ankles and lower legs.  The rash is usually quite itchy, red and misdiagnosed as a skin infection called cellulitis.

Following a rash, the chronic venous insufficiency causes the surrounding skin area to become dark.  This is called hyperpigmentation and it is due to prolonged inflammation which damages tiny blood vessels and capillaries.  Initially fluid and then red blood cells are able to leak from the damaged vessels and eventually causes swelling and skin discoloration.  The red blood cells contain hemoglobin which carries oxygen to the skin.  Hemoglobin is an iron-based pigment and as it leaks into the subcutaneous tissue and  skin, the brown, iron-base substance is deposited in the skin.  This deposit causes the area, once a small rash, to now appear brown or rust-colored starting at the ankle and progressing up the lower leg.

An untreated venous stasis ankle rash will usually advance and the underlying inflammation process undergoes scarring and fibrosis, damaging the subcutaneous tissue.  This causes the tissue and skin below the calf to shrink and harden. The dark-red or brown plaque-like skin thickening is called lipodermatosclerosis and can be painful.   The patient may notice the decreasing size in diameter of the affected leg or legs.

Skin rashes and skin changes which are actually caused by venous insufficiency are often misdiagnosed as a dermatological problem.  Patients often self-treat or seek dermatological care which delays venous treatment and may allow the condition to progress over time.  Left untreated a patient with venous stasis dermatitis or skin rash may be at risk for skin breakdown and stasis ulcerations.

If you have questions regarding ankle or lower leg skin concerns, call Minnesota Vein Center (651-765-8346) for consultation.

Free Vein Screening: October 2017

Hiker announcing August 7 and 8th free vein screening North Oaks, St. Paul Minnesota Vein Center

October 23 and 24, Monday & Tuesday, 9-5  at Minnesota Vein Center.   651-765-8346

You are invited  to join us for our Fall Screening Event.  As expected, we’re enjoying the beautiful fall we all anticipated; it is only now that we are donning our sweaters.  Soon, the leaves will be gone!  Here, in the office, we are informing folks that now is the time to plan for treatment.  Proper fall planning will optimize the use of health care accounts,  insurance benefits but will also ensure that you are prepared for 2018 Spring/Summer season.

Join us for our final 2017 Free Vein Screening Event which includes a  brief history, a modified ultrasound evaluation and the provision of vein health information.  If you have aching, heaviness, leg fatigue or restless legs, ankle swelling or bulging veins, call 651-765-8346 or schedule now below for a 20 minute Complimentary Vein Screening.  Plan for the years end!  Remember, venous disorders are most often a hereditary issue:  Please share our message and this invitation with your family and friends.


This event has ended. The next Quarterly Free Vein Screening offerings will be the event of Jan. 29, 2018 through Feb. 15th, 2018.  Monday through Thurs.

Thank you to everyone who made this screening a success. Check back often for more vein screening opportunities.  Follow updates through our newsletter.


Minnesota Vein Center Offers Scholarship Award

Minnesota Vein Center Scholarship Minneapolis grads throwing caps in airMinnesota Vein Center, a trusted medical leader in venous health, understands the importance of healthy lifestyle and healthy living across the lifespan.   Dedicated to overall health, we understand the importance of incorporating wellness beliefs and behaviors in young adulthood, especially in the college years.

Affording college, though, can be a challenge.  With the increasing cost of tuition, books, housing, food, etc. students need all assistance available.  Sometimes balancing financial needs and maintaining healthy living and lifestyle goals becomes difficult for students.  For this reason, we are pleased to offer the “Healthy Living Scholarship Award” fund.

Minnesota Vein Center is offering this scholarship to students in the United States who write an essay related to healthy living and lifestyle choices.   Minnesota Vein Center believes it is never too early to begin healthy living, healthy lifestyle attitudes and a preventive healthcare mindset.


Can Running Cause Varicose Veins?

st paul minnesota male running at sunset near minnesota vein center

Compared to many states, Minnesotans are a pretty active bunch.  After all, Minnesota is ranked #6 and #7 out of 50 for the best U.S. cities for biking and running,  respectively, in these sports activities.  We love the opportunity to exercise,  especially when it means enjoying the natural beauty of sites near the Mississippi River Road or the Minnehaha Parkway.  Running in particular is the exercise of choice for thousands of Minnesotans.  But, do those runners with varicose veins have to shy away from running?

What is the Cause of Varicose Veins?  Watch this info video.

There is a misconception about running and varicose veins.  Some athletes are worried that running may actually cause varicose veins to develop, but this is not true.  Actually, running can help prevent varicose veins by building the calf pump muscle which improves circulation and blood return..

If bulging veins are beginning to form, though, varicose veins might keep you from running.  The common symptoms of varicose veins include swelling heaviness and leg fatigue.  These can make running less than enjoyable or even cause pain.  If you wish to continue running at the onset of varicose veins, you should consider the following:

  • Running is a high-impact sport that may aggravate swelling, so reduce the impact by avoiding hard pavement. You might instead, choose softer, more shock-absorbent surfaces to run on like dirt, grass or a thick surfaced athletic track.
  • Wearing compression stockings while you run.  This may not be your most favored option, but the pressure helps increase blood flow, blood return and prevents fatigue.
  • Monitor your vein health, and stop running if bulging veins become acute  or significantly worsen, becoming more painful.  If your varicose veins are now at this stage, it is best not to run.  Until treatment, in this case, continue exercise through walking, swimming, or engaging in any other low-impact physical activity.

To return to your regular running or other high impact activity and lifestyle, it’s important to seek treatment for your varicose veins.  At Minnesota Vein Center, Dr. Pal offers five non-invasive or non-surgical varicose vein treatments.

If you would like to learn more about the procedures and treatments by Minnesota Vein Center Specialist, Dr. Pal, contact us at 651-765-8346.

Is it safe to remove veins?

Dr. Pal discussing it is safe to remove veins with the staff in St Paul , Blaine and Minneapolis

Have you talked with relatives or searched the internet for safe vein treatment for your spider or varicose veins?  Do you now have even more questions?  Do you feel you need treatment but the thought of having a vein removed is causing you added concern?  You are not alone.  A common patient question here at Minnesota Vein Center is whether the veins being treated are safe to remove.  Patients worry that removing a varicose or spider veins will cause problems with their health or that they may cause an issue later in life.  We are pleased to let you know, this is not the case.

Will I need these veins?

If you do have varicose or spider veins these are veins which are not functioning properly and they are affecting your circulation.  These damaged veins act as reservoirs, holding blood instead of moving it for proper circulation. The answer is no, since they don’t perform properly they are not needed.  Instead these veins pose a risk to your health.

How can circulation improve if you remove veins?

Unhealthy veins allow blood to flow in the wrong direction and then nearby veins have an increase in work load.  The surrounding veins now work to move blood effectively back towards the heart.  When the unhealthy or damaged veins are removed the surrounding veins are relieved of the additional burden.

What if I need my veins for open heart surgery in the future?

In cardiovascular surgery today, when grafts might be needed for coronary bypass surgery,  Dr Pal explains, “the Internal mammary arteries are the most common bypass grafts.”  These arteries have the best long-term results.  While healthy saphenous leg veins are still used as grafts, an unhealthy, thin varicose saphenous vein would not be harvested for use in cardiac bypass surgery.

What are the benefits to having veins removed?

There are many benefits to having your varicose or spider veins removed.  By eliminating improper functioning veins the pressure on your venous system will decrease, returning to normal.  Treatment also alleviates the symptoms related to unhealthy veins.  These may include:

  • Itchy legs
  • Rash, skin discoloration and scarring
  • Ankle swelling
  • Achiness, heaviness and leg fatigue
  • Throbbing or leg cramping

If you have concerns or would like more information, call 651-765-8346, schedule a consultation here or sign-up for upcoming free vein screening events.