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Free Vein Screening: February 11th, 12th and 13th

Woman cross country skiing in the snow with man behind her

gal and guy snow showing bright sunCall: 651-765-8346 or Schedule Here.

We are offering our Winter Free Vein Screening appointments from      9 a.m. to  5:00 p.m., 

            Screenings start  Monday,                                  Feb. 11th through  Wednesday, Feb.  13th 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.

Teens, Young Adults and Varicose Veins

Teens and young adults seem to be busy planning or dreaming of their futures.  Most, in this age group, do not consider the possibility of varicose veins, now or in the future.  Over 80 million people in the U.S suffer from vein disorders and varicose veins are very common but not just in older adults.   Today, increasing numbers of teens and young adults are found to be seeking treatment of venous reflux.  While early diagnosis and treatment of venous disorders may prevent future leg discomfort and complications, venous disease continues to be overlooked among all populations.

It’s important to understand that varicose or visible superficial veins do not need to be present for a diagnosis of vein disease.  The symptoms to be aware of are aching, heaviness, leg fatigue and ankle swelling.  Restless leg symptoms, especially with sleep, and lower leg itchiness or clusters of spider veins at the inner or outer ankle should all be considered possible signs of vein disease.  These signs and symptoms are usually indicators of the underlying problem of vein issues:  venous insufficiency or venous reflux.

Populations at Risk for Varicose Veins

As we age, the risk of varicose veins does increase due to increased valve damage and the resulting effects of the reverse blood flow in the lower extremities.   Over time, as symptoms become more noticeable, a patients symptoms becomes that constant reminded to seek treatment.

However, the primary cause of vein disease, accounting for approximately 80% of all vein patients is heredity.  If your mother or father, grandparents, aunts or uncles suffer from venous disease you may also be at risk.   Many young adults are becoming mindful of the connection of heredity and personal health and now are connecting their physical symptoms to a possible vein disorder.

Varicose Veins or Vein Disorders in Your 20’s and Beyond?

No matter what your age, if you have varicose veins, experience symptoms of venous disease or have a family history, it is important to see a vein specialist.  Our team at Minnesota Vein Center will provide a comprehensive evaluation, including personal and family history and physical exam, a detailed venous ultrasound evaluation, and recommendations including thorough educational procedural information.

Whether you just need preventative measures, vein health counseling/consultation or require a professional procedure at our office in North Oaks, Minnesota Vein Center specialists can help you improve your lifestyle by improving your vein health.   Contact us for a consultation  in our North Oaks location or complete our simple and convenient online tool:  Varicose Vein Self-Assessment at the convenience of your own home.

 

 

New Treatment with Less Pain, Fast Recovery

vial of clear venaseal adhesive with lable

Varicose veins can develop as early as age 13, and will affect the majority of women and a large percentage of men as they advance in age.

Healthy leg veins pump blood though the body’s veins to the heart through a system of valves.  These valves open in only one direction, to prevent blood from flowing backwards.  When the valves malfunction, blood flow is disrupted and pooled blood collects in the area, causing enlarged and ropy appearing varicose veins.

Symptoms can include:

  • Aching, painful legs with or without leg cramps.
  • A feeling of leg heaviness that worsens throughout the day.
  • Ankle or lower leg swelling and even skin ulcerations or bleeding.

Minimally Invasive Medical Adhesive

Today, a number of highly effective non-invasive treatments are available to manage varicose veins.

The most recent innovation in non-invasive vein treatments is VenaSeal, a medical adhesive that physically seals the defective  vein and redirects blood to flow through nearby healthy veins.  Minnesota Vein Center, in 2015, was the first to offer this treatment option in our upper Midwest region and perform this treatment weekly.

Some have referred  to this treatment as the ‘superglue’ for the veins.  The in-office procedure begins with a small local injection of anesthesia for access to the vein.  Using ultrasound imaging as a guide, the adhesive is delivered through a catheter by way of a single small needle puncture in the leg.  The delivery  process takes about 15 minutes.

Because VenaSeal requires only a single needle insertion to deliver the sealant, a patient’s risk of pain and brusing is reduced.  VenaSeal also results in a faster recovery  time, with no scarring  and eliminates the need for patients to wear compression stockings following the procedure.

Patients with symptoms of visible varicose veins or those with complaints of leg achiness, heaviness, leg fatigue or swelling may be a candidates for this treatment after appropriate evaluation by Dr. Pal and a venous ultrasound exam in our IAC Vascular Lab.  To learn more, call for additional information or schedule an evaluation at Minnesota Vein Center.   651-765-8346.

 

Men and Varicose Veins

A high percentage of our patients are women.  Does that mean the condition is more common in women than men?  Most people are surprised by the numbers.  While women make up most of the patient population in offices of vein treatment centers, men experience these bulging, twisted veins and discoloration nearly as often.  The fact that men delay treatment is a fact which only creates further problems for these varicose vein sufferers.

How Many?

Estimates of the numbers of men that will develop varicose veins ranges from 25-50 percent of the total population.  The frequency of vein disorders increases with age, with men over 55 becoming more likely to develop varicose veins than those below middle age.  It can occur, however, at any age.  Other risk factors that increase men’s chances of developing varicose veins include:  occupations requiring long periods of standing, obesity and family history.

Complications of Varicose Veins

For some men, varicose veins may seem just a nuisance, however, venous disorders (venous insufficiency, varicose veins) always progress.  Many or most men will develop painful symptoms with their varicose veins, including:

  • Heaviness, achiness of lower legs
  • Cramping, especially at night
  • Restless leg syndrome
  • Burning and / or itching
  • Skin color changes ( darkened areas) texture changes
  • Open wounds mid lower leg to ankle area

Open wounds, also called venous ulcers, are the most worrisome symptoms of varicose veins.  These ulcerations are difficult to treat and have a high recurrence rate.  These skin changes are preventable by early detection when less obvious symptoms (such as achiness) appear.  Unfortunately, men are less likely to seek vein treatment in the early stages, making them more vulnerable to the more complicated (ulceration) complications.

Seeking Treatment

One reason men avoid seeking vein treatment is a lack of information regarding the advances of non-invasive or minimally invasive treatments available today.  At Minnesota Vein Center, we offer a full array of vein treatments for advanced care.  These may include:

Venefit –  Use of radiofrequency ( thermal ) technology to treat the problem vein.

CoolTouch – Use of endovenous laser to close the refluxing vein.

VenaSeal –  Use of FDA approved adhesive ( Cyanoacrylate) for ease in closing the incompetent vein.

Sclerotherapy-  Chemical ablation of venous insufficient veins using ultrasound guidance

Micro-phlebectomy –  Minor procedure to remove bulging veins.

These procedures are performed in- office on an outpatient basis.  Patients are able to walk out of the office following treatment and even drive home by themselves.  Most patients return to work the following day and maintain their normal activities with minimal limitations.  Venous circulation is improved as blood flow now is returned by the healthy deep system.  Patients feel their symptoms resolve quickly.

We have been providing high quality vein care for over 14 years in one convenient IAC accredited location.  If you find yourself postponing conversations about your leg vein concerns, contact Minnesota Vein Center at 651-765-8346 to learn of the options in varicose vein evaluation and treatment.

 

Common Complications of Varicose Veins

Varicose Veins,  Common Complications

Most people realize varicose veins are unsightly, but not everyone is aware they can cause serious medical complications if not treated early by a vein specialist. Awareness of potential complications can be the first step in understanding the importance of seeking a vein consultation.  Vein health knowledge helps those affected to appreciate the importance of evaluation and vein treatment.  Eliminating faulty veins can prevent complications and improve overall health.

Most Common Complications

Varicose veins develop when vein valves fail to function properly.  Vein valves are responsible for moving blood upward to the heart/lungs for re-oxygenation.  When these valves become weak or damaged, blood flow slows and even starts to ‘reverse flow’ and begin to pool in the lower legs.  Varicose veins are a symptom of improper venous blood flow and related problems do occur with this ‘reflux’ of blood flow.  Some of the most common complications include:

  • Ulcerations: Ulcers are deeper wounds resulting from an associated refluxing or varicose vein.  Vein Disease can cause skin to become thin and fragile, increasing the incidence of skin ulcers and infections.
  • Eczema: The condition of skin itchiness can occur as a consequence of poor skin circulation related to venous insufficiency (venous reflux) and varicose veins.  This may occur even if there has been no prior eczema elsewhere.
  • Leg cramps and pain: Symptoms associated with varicose veins may be sharp or dull achiness; symptoms usually worsen by day’s end.  Often times, pain is accompanied by ankle swelling and leg fatigue affecting your normal daily activities.
  • Lipodermatosclerosis: As vein disorders advance further more serious skin changes may occur.  Lipodermatosclerosis causes the skin around the varicose veins to thicken, becoming hardened and eventually turn dark brown.  These changes are a result of scar tissue build up.
  • Restless leg syndrome: One of the more annoying complications of venous disorders is this symptom causing an irresistible urge to move the legs.  It very often occurs at rest or while trying to sleep.
  • Superficial thrombophlebitis: When blood flow pools in the lower legs, the superficial veins become susceptible to injury and irritation.  This may result in a superficial vein blood clot causing local warmth, tenderness and/or pain  Treatment is important as some blood clots tend to travel, especially if close to the deep venous system where they may migrate and affect larger body organs.

Vein Treatment Can Prevent Complication Occurrence

Minnesota Vein Center in North Oaks has provided vein treatment options for 14 years for patients of the St. Paul/Minneapolis region.  Today, there are more treatment options available.  With the advances in vein medicine and vein treatments/technologies, specific treatment plans and procedure modalities are now available which can be tailored to each patients need.

Prompt vein treatment is the most important measure you can take to prevent varicose vein complications and improve your overall venous circulation.  If you would like more information regarding the vein disorders such as varicose veins and their treatments, call our specialty team at 651-765-8346 at Minnesota Vein Center.

Do High Heels Cause Vein Problems?

female legs below the kneeIn our era of body and health awareness, women and men today, increasingly look for healthy shoe options.  For some though, there is nothing more fun than to shop for that perfect high heel shoe for that office or for an upcoming special events.  Once home, you may think, “wow, does that look great.”

The truth of the matter is, however,  that high heels are not healthy for your legs.  This is because the higher heels  themselves tend to limit the action of the leg muscle pump which moves the blood back to the heart.  Over longer periods of time, due to decreased muscle action, lower extremity blood pressure is increased in the leg.  You can still wear high heels, but do so in moderation especially if you believe you are prone to varicose veins.

This is according to a National Institutes of Health study  that tested 30 women, none of whom had varicose vein symptoms.  The subjects were instructed to do treadmill walking, both barefoot and then in various heel  lengths.  The leg pressures were measured during these exercise studies.

This study found, “The continuous use of high heels tends to provoke venous hypertension in the lower limbs and may represent a causal factor of venous disease symptoms”.

When trying to avoid or prevent varicose veins, shoes are not the only consideration.

Exercise

While blood flow is altered by wearing high heels, a brisk walk ( in tennis shoes) can tone  leg muscles for maximum efficiency and will help to keep the blood moving.

Maintain a healthy weight

Those populations of people with extra pounds do tend to have a high incidence of varicose veins.

Regularly  varying your work positions; sitting and standing positions

If you job involves standing for long hours, this is not good for vein health.  And if you have been sitting long periods, schedule short breaks to stand and walk around.  Likewise, vary long periods of standing by scheduled sitting and leg elevation if your position permits.

Avoid leg crossing

While few studies have examined the effects of crossed knees and varicose veins, many vein specialists agree that bony knee prominence can place pressure on vessels and potentially affect vein valves and blood return.

Don’t forget, beautiful high heels only in moderation.  Fortunately, flats are stylish today.  If you are concerned about your susceptibility to varicose veins, schedule an appointment with our vein specialist team at Minnesota Vein Center.

Five Tips for Successful Vein Treatment

sticky note five tips for successful vein treatment

For those patients with venous insufficiency and varicose veins, the most effective treatments are minimally invasive procedures such as a vein ablation, phlebectomy or sclerotherapy. These advanced measures provide lasting relief from your symptoms and significantly reduce the recurrence of venous disorders, making them an optimal solution for most patients.

Like all medical treatment, however, treatments of vein disorders do take some preparation from the patient for best outcomes.  Here are the basic suggestions to help optimize your treatment outcomes.

1.  Stay Hydrated

Dehydration may cause constriction of your veins.  Maintaining hydration promotes ease of vein treatments.  Remember water is the major component of blood; the body’s circulation does not function well with inadequate hydration.

2.  Take Medications in Advance

If you would like a mild sedative before your procedure, be sure to alert our staff on your procedure day just prior for your treatment.  If you plan to take our mild oral sedative, have a friend or relative drive you to and from your appointment.

3.  Wear Comfortable Clothing

Since your veins should be as relaxed as possible before and during the procedure, wear loose fitting clothing to minimize the pressure on your veins.

To promote circulation in the treated veins, you’ll also want to keep a pair of compression stockings on hand to put on after your procedure.

4.  Provide Necessary Documentation

Some insurance providers require a referral or other documentation before covering the cost of a vein procedure. Our staff will help to ensure your documentation is in order.  Bring any appropriate or additional paperwork to your vein specialist as soon as possible.

5.  Avoid lotions and cosmetics

Many procedures require pre-procedure skin marking, however, lotions or cosmetics may interfere with surgical pen marking placement.  Since makeup, deodorant, cologne, lotions and powders may also affect a sclerosant  procedure, you should not apply them to the area being treated.

If you have any questions about preparing for a vein procedure, our specialists at Minnesota Vein Center are here to help.  Schedule an appointment online or call us at 651-765-8346 to start exploring treatment options.

Missed diagnosis: Venous Insufficiency

Many people are out there who suffer with unnecessary leg pain.  Often this is because their physician or nurse practitioner did not consider venous insufficiency – the backward flow of blood through leg veins – as the possible source of a patient’s leg pain.  And when these signs of venous insufficiency – feelings of achiness, heaviness, tiredness, restlessness, or a dull pain or swelling in the legs – are misread for another condition, temporary or band aide treatments are often prescribed.  These treatments usually deal with what is seen superficially.  This is bad news for the venous insufficiency sufferers because over time, this condition may advance to a point where pain becomes much more evident and manifest itself in the form of skin ulcers, skin discoloration, edema or another debilitating conditions.

There is good news.  If you are one of those who have leg pain or any type of discomfort in your legs, a simple vein consultation and an ultrasound evaluation with a vein specialist can determine if venous insufficiency is present.  At least 97% of people who are properly diagnosed and who obtain state-of-the-art image-guided treatment do experience immediate relief of their symptoms.

There is more good news.  Venous insufficiency is considered a medical condition.  Minimally invasive vein treatments, such as radiofrequency ( Venefit) Laser ( Cooltouch) and ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy treatments are covered by most insurance carriers and Medicare.   These highly effective vein treatments for venous insufficiency, close the insufficient  vein – and stops the pain – at any stage of the disease, with little or no down time.

Best news of all, you can end your vein pain.  Call our team for a consultation with a specialist.  651-765-8346.

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.