After seeing a positive result on a pregnancy test, the next thing many women start noticing is the appearance of varicose veins.

In fact, around half of women will deal with enlargement of the superficial veins in their lower extremities during pregnancy. Although you don’t have to be pregnant to have varicose veins, pregnancy often causes them or makes existing ones worse.

Varicose veins often occur when your uterus puts pressure on the inferior vena cava, which is the large vein that takes blood back to your heart from the legs and feet. Varicose veins generally appear in the legs, rectum, and genital area, and sometimes they’re uncomfortable, itchy, or painful. 

Increased blood volume during pregnancy, as well as spikes in certain hormones also contribute to the development of varicose veins during pregnancy. Varicose veins may be hereditary, which means you probably can’t prevent them. However, they’re usually harmless.

What to do about your varicose veins

Even if varicose veins are a part of your pregnancy, you can avoid making them worse and reduce some of the discomfort that comes with them. A few helpful tips include: 

Do varicose veins go away after birth? 

The good news is that varicose veins usually fade away after you give birth. In many cases, they often resolve completely. However, don’t expect them to be gone immediately after you have your baby. It often takes 8-12 weeks to disappear or fade. If you haven’t seen the improvement you want after about four months post-delivery, then you may want to consider visiting a vein specialist. 

This is when you need to start worrying

In most cases, you don’t need to worry about varicose veins during pregnancy. However, if they cause discomfort or pain, you may want to point them out to your physician. Rarely, if the veins aren’t returning blood to the heart adequately, skin breakdown can occur. It’s also possible for varicose veins to get inflamed, causing potential blood clots and severe pain. However, this scenario is uncommon. 

Most women who experience varicose veins during pregnancy end up with a beautiful new baby and veins that begin to go back to normal. Of course, if your varicose veins are still more prominent than you’d like, you may want to see a vein specialist. At Vein911, we have a board-certified team that specializes in cutting-edge procedures that use minimally-invasive technology to provide results. Learn more about our Tampa office and team today. Schedule an appointment and fill out a patient form today at Vein911 Vein Treatment Center and we’ll work with you to find the right solution for your needs.

Varicose veins are more than just unsightly: they can be seriously painful. And for those of us living in Florida, the summer heat can make the problem worse. But why exactly does the heat of a Florida summer increase sensations of pain and achiness in the legs?

In today’s post, we get to the bottom of this question. Whether or not you’ve been diagnosed with varicose veins, if you have painful leg veins and live in a climate where the summers are hot, you’ll want to know the answer to this question.

How the Humid Floridian Heat Affects Your Veins

Have you ever noticed that your face gets red when you exercise or spend time out in the heat? You may have thought the redness just means you’re feeling warm, but there’s a lot more to it.

This is the process of vasodilation: the veins in your face are dilating, or expanding, to increase blood flow to the surface of your skin. It’s one of the ways that your body cools itself in an effort to regulate its temperature.

Your varicose veins are already dilated more than normal veins. More blood flows to them than the surrounding normal veins. So when the heat kicks in and tells your body to start the vasodilation process, even more blood rushes to those already-dilated veins. And that’s one of the causes of your extra leg pain.

With the longer days and more opportunities for entertaining, many of us are on our feet more in the summer as well. This can lead to even more blood pooling in the legs and (you guessed it) even more aches and pains.

Tips to Reduce Varicose Leg Pain

If you’re looking for relief, here are several suggested remedies you can do on your own at home:

The Dangers of Heat and Varicose Veins

Varicose veins can be unsightly and painful, but they usually aren’t dangerous. There is one concern to watch out for, though, and it’s made worse by the summer heat: spontaneous bleeding.

People with varicose veins will accumulate more blood stays near the surface of the skin than others will. They are at greater risk of bleeding from small scrapes and abrasions, and sometimes they will bleed under the skin without any obvious trigger.

Mild bleeding can be covered as you normally would a cut or scrape. But more severe bleeding (or mild bleeding that won’t stop) will require a trip to your doctor.

Follow the tips in the previous section to reduce your chances of spontaneous bleeding.

Help Is Available

The good news is that you don’t have to move to Canada to escape the summer heat and the painful leg veins that come with it. Help is available right here in Florida. If you’re looking for help with your varicose veins, you might want to Meet Our Vein Physicians in Florida.

And if you’re ready to get help today, you can schedule an appointment at Vein911 Vein Treatment Center right away.

Are the veins in your hands prominent or bulging? Find out what could be causing your symptoms, and how you can get rid of them.

 

Experts estimate that one in three Americans over the age of 45 has some kind of vein disease, including spider veins, varicose veins, and blood clots. Although most people focus on venous disorders in the legs, the hands are also susceptible to swollen, bulging veins, especially as we age.

 

Visible hand veins are generally harmless, but in some cases they may be a sign of a serious underlying condition. Here’s what you need to know about prominent hand veins, and how you can treat them.

 

What Causes Bulging Hand Veins?

Age. In most cases, swollen veins in the hands are simply a product of age. As we get older, our skin becomes thinner and loses its elasticity. This makes the veins more prominent, and may even cause them to bulge. Plus, as the valves in the veins weaken with age, blood begins to pool and enlarge the vein.

 

Exercise. You may notice that your veins appear more swollen after you exercise. This is normal: when you work out, your blood pressure rises. This makes your veins stand out more, especially during strength training. Generally, your veins will return to normal once your blood pressure drops, but lifting weights regularly may cause the veins to bulge permanently.

 

Weather. Heat can have a similar effect, causing your veins to enlarge and appear more prominent. While warm weather makes it more difficult for your veins to function as they should, when you cool down your veins should return to normal.

 

Pregnancy. During pregnancy, a woman’s body undergoes many changes to provide for the growing baby. Blood flow may increase up to 40%, which can cause veiny hands, as well as varicose veins in the abdomen, legs, and feet. Once a woman has delivered her baby and the added pressure is removed, bulging veins generally disappear.

 

Vascular Disease. In rare cases, bulging veins in your hands may be a sign of a more serious problem. Varicose veins on your legs, arms, or hands often signify chronic venous insufficiency, which means the veins have difficulty pumping blood back to the heart. This condition can result in serious complications, like deep vein thrombosis (blood clots that develop deep in the body) or superficial thrombophlebitis (painful and inflamed veins near the surface of the skin). If you think you are showing signs of vascular disease, it’s important to visit a doctor immediately.

 

Treating Prominent Hand Veins

Bulging veins in the hands are usually a cosmetic, not medical, concern, and the treatment process is quick and effective. Vein specialists typically treat hand veins with procedures similar to those used for leg varicose veins.

 

Therapies include endovenous laser treatment (EVLT), in which an ultrasound is used to guide a small laser fiber into the damaged vein. When this laser heats up, it closes and seals the vein. Similarly, visual or ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy involves injecting a chemical into targeted veins, which causes them to shrink and then collapse. The blood is them re-routed to other less noticeable veins.  

 

Hand vein treatments are minimally invasive, fast, and practically pain-free. Sclerotherapy does not require anesthesia, while EVLT only requires local anesthesia. You can expect to be out of the doctor’s office within a couple of hours and return to your normal activities as soon as possible.

 

If you are bothered by your bulging, swollen veins, there’s a simple and effective solution. Get in touch with Vein911 to set up your free telemedicine evaluation. Or, make an appointment at one of our four convenient locations in the Clearwater/Tampa/St. Petersburg area. Our vein specialists will discuss your unique situation and help determine the right treatment for you.

The ability to clot the blood is important to prevent you from severe bleeding after a minor injury. Once the wound has healed, the body will break down and remove the clot. Sometimes, however, blood clots occur in places that block oxygen and blood flow, which can cause serious damage or even death. Dr. Chris Pittman, of Vein 911 in Tampa, Florida, explains the dangers of blood clots.

Circulatory System Basics

The circulatory system is often compared to plumbing – the heart is the pump and the arteries and veins are the pipes that carry blood to and from the body cells. Arteries are smooth-walled and have much higher internal pressures than veins. Veins contain tiny flaps of tissue called valves. The valves prevent back-flow of blood in the brief pause between heartbeats. If the valves fail (become incompetent), blood pools in the legs, causing the swollen, tortuous veins known as varicose veins. Many people have no symptoms or problems from varicose veins, but others may develop problems like venous thromboembolism (VTE). VTE can increase the risk of blood clots.

Who’s at Risk of Blood Clots?

Muscle contractions normally help push blood back to the heart. VTE risks tend to rise if you are hospitalized because you are less active. People who have cancer and are receiving chemotherapy also have an increased risk of VTE. Autoimmune diseases like lupus or HIV are another potential risk factor. Varicose veins may increase the risk of VTE in some individuals. People who smoke – or use any form of nicotine – those who are obese and those who are sedentary are at higher risk of developing varicose veins. Pregnancy, the use of hormonal birth control, sex, race, and ethnicity are all risk factors for blood clots as well. Men and African Americans are more likely to develop blood clots.

Dangers of Blood Clots

Small blood clots can occur anywhere in the body. These often cause no problems and may eventually be reabsorbed by the body. The two biggest dangers of blood clots are that a blood clot may become large enough to completely block an artery or that a part of the blood clot may break loose. The normal path of the circulation is to go from the heart to the lungs and then back out to the rest of the body. Blood then returns to the heart through the veins and large blood vessel called the vena cava. A blood clot that breaks loose can travel to the lungs or brain. The first condition is called a pulmonary embolus (PE) and the second is known as a stroke.

Pulmonary Embolism and Stroke

Both a PE and a stroke are considered life-threatening events. Symptoms of a PE include chest pain, shortness of breath and a dry cough. The person may feel lightheaded due to low oxygen. A fast heart rate, or palpitations, are also common. The respiratory rate rises in an attempt to get more air into the body. People with a PE may gasp for breath. With a severe PE, the person may suddenly collapse. Stroke symptoms include a severe headache, confusion, visual changes, and diminished sensation and movement in one or more extremities. Immediate medical treatment is vital for survival.

Proper management and treatment of varicose veins can help prevent PE and stroke as well as other possible complications. Most of the treatments are minimally invasive and can be performed in a doctor’s office. Downtime from these procedures is minimal. If you are concerned about varicose veins, please contact us at Vein911. Dr. Pittman can assess your situation and make recommendations for vein treatment.

Sometimes a wound to the leg can be caused by an accident or brief trauma. When this happens it is often a temporary problem that quickly heals in a matter of weeks. However, if you notice a leg wound that is slow to heal or doesn’t seem to get better over time, it might not be a temporary injury and instead could mean you have leg ulcers.

Taking a Closer Look at Leg Ulcers

Leg ulcers aren’t something that you will wake up one day and instantly develop. They start off as a small wound that is often caused by an injury. That wound, which resulted in the breaking of the skin, is extremely slow to heal. Once the wound doesn’t heal within the proper time frame, usually one to two weeks, it is no longer considered a minor injury and is then considered a leg ulcer.

Leg ulcers are classified as a chronic condition. This means if you do not seek proper medical treatment, the wound will never naturally heal and you could develop serious, potentially life-threatening health problems.

What Causes Leg Ulcers to Develop?

Leg ulcers develop because there is an underlying health problem or issue that is causing your body to be unable to naturally heal the skin. These health problems cause a condition known as lymphedema, a buildup of fluid in the tissues, to develop. If the skin is unable to heal naturally due to the buildup of fluid, it can result in the further breakdown of the surrounding skin which will cause the wound to increase in size.

Healthcare providers know the following health problems can result in lymphedema caused leg ulcers:

How Exactly Does Venous Disease Cause Leg Ulcers?

Your veins are responsible for controlling the flow of blood throughout your body. In a healthy person, the blood flows smoothly throughout the body. However, that doesn’t happen if a person suffers from a venous disease.

People with a venous disease have malfunctioning valves in their veins. These valves are responsible for controlling your blood flow and making sure blood travels in the right direction. When they are not working properly due to a venous disease it can cause the blood to flow the wrong direction. If this happens an intense pressure develops in the legs. That pressure causes any wound that develops to not heal properly.

How Long Does it Take for a Leg Ulcer to Heal?

The length of time it will take for your leg ulcer to heal will depend upon the size of the wound, the type of treatment that is used, and what is causing the ulcer. For a small-sized wound, it could take anywhere from six to ten weeks for it to heal. A larger wound could take several months or over a year to heal.

How are Leg Ulcers Treated?

Leg ulcers are typically treated by surgically cleaning the wound to remove any bacteria or infection that may have developed. Once the wound is cleaned, it is then bandaged up and protected.

After surgically cleaning the wound, the underlying cause of the leg ulcer needs to be treated. If a venous disease is responsible that means undergoing various forms of vein treatment to control the pressure in the veins of the leg.

Think You Have a Leg Ulcer? Schedule an Appointment with a Vein Specialist

If you believe you have a leg ulcer it is important that you seek treatment for it right away. Failing to treat the ulcer can result in infections of the wound.

Think you have a leg ulcer? Call our office today to schedule an appointment with a Vein911 vein specialist.

The consequences of poor vascular health are severe and can shorten your life. Almost as disastrous, poor vein health, leading to issues like non-healing leg ulcers, can ruin your quality of life. Put simply: ignoring vein health can lead to crippling complications, and modern vein care is quick and nearly painless. These facts make it a no-brainer to care for your veins, which carry the lifeblood of your body. Not convinced? Get the details from your expert vein doctors in Florida.

The Vital Role of Veins in Overall Health

Veins are blood vessels that have the crucial job of returning de-oxygenated blood back to your heart and lungs, where blood can absorb more oxygen and nutrients. Any cells in your extremities, like your lower legs, that are deprived of sufficient blood oxygen/nutrients will function poorly and eventually die. (Vital organs deprived of blood, like the brain and heart, sustain severe damage or die much more quickly. So even though we talk most often about starving the extremities with poor circulation, the effects of poor vein health affect every part of the body.)

Luckily, early (and minimally invasive) interventions to improve and maintain vein health are easily accessible at your local vein clinic. If you have an underlying condition that affects your circulation and weakens veins, like diabetes, you should be even more certain to see your primary physician and your vein doctor regularly.

Leg Ulcers and Other Consequences of Ignoring Vein Health

It’s only a purple vein, right? Varicose veins may itch or hurt sometimes, but why bother seeing the doctor? Don’t believe it. Here are just some of the complications of neglecting vein health:

How to Keep Veins Healthy for Life

See your Florida vein doctors for expert vein care, ideally before you show symptoms of poor circulation or leg ulcers. At Vein911, we provide the latest, most advanced vein treatments to maintain or improve your vein health–typically with no downtime. You’ll get the best possible vascular care at our Florida area vein clinics in Tampa, Palm Harbor, Largo (and Wesley Chapel coming soon). Contact Vein911 online or schedule your Free vein evaluation at (855) 396-9911 today.

Poor circulation in your lower legs can cause painful open wounds called leg ulcers to develop. Without treatment, these ulcers can expand into deeper tissue, become infected, and cause systemic problems like sepsis (a life-threatening infection in your bloodstream).

If you’ve developed open sores on your lower legs, it’s important to see a doctor as soon as possible. If you have diabetes or suspect you’re suffering from localized infections, you might need urgent treatment. When treatment is sought early, you have a good chance of recovering fully with no lasting complications.

Causes

You’re at higher risk of developing venous insufficiency ulcers in your legs if you have poor circulation, varicose veins, lymphedema, or any combination of the three. Smoking, high cholesterol, heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes also increase your risk.

Lymphedema causes include cancer treatment and heredity problems that impact the health of your lymphatic tissue.

Symptoms

If you have diabetic neuropathy, you may not experience pain associated with leg ulcers. It’s important to check your lower legs and feet frequently for new sores or problems. Signs and symptoms of venous insufficiency ulcers include a heavy feeling in your legs, pain, swelling/water retention, open wounds, discoloration of the skin, and visible abnormalities of your veins.

You might have an infected ulcer if you have a fever, there is pus or fluid draining from the wound, the skin around the wound is red or warm to the touch, or the area is very tender and painful. If you notice any of these signs of infection, you should seek treatment from a vein doctor right away.

Treatment

Treatment varies from patient to patient depending on the cause of the ulcers, the severity of the wounds, and the presence or absence of infection.

If the wound or wounds are infected, a culture may be taken and antibiotics will likely be prescribed to fight the infection. Next, your vein specialist will work to promote healing; this might require debriding, topical medications, compression bandages, and in some cases, an orthotic device to keep pressure off the skin. Sometimes aspirin or other blood thinners might be incorporated into your treatment plan to prevent blood clots.

Finally, your vein doctor will focus on improving circulation to your lower legs to prevent future ulcers from developing. This might include laser treatment, injections, and lifestyle changes.

Vein doctors in Florida

Vein911 has four Florida locations for your convenience: Tampa, St. Petersburg, Largo, and Palm Harbor. Dr. Chris Pittman and the team of experts at Vein911 are dedicated to helping patients improve their vascular health through minimally-invasive, pain-free procedures. To learn more, visit our website today.

Many patients are curious to know whether a blood clot that has developed in the leg can dissolve on its own or does it require them to undergo a minimally invasive vein treatment procedure. After all, it formed naturally maybe the body can heal itself naturally. Unfortunately, answering this question is more difficult than providing a “yes” or “no” answer.

The Brief and Simple Answer

The brief and simple answer to whether or not blood clots in the legs can dissolve on their own is “yes”. However, even though the blood clot can dissolve naturally, you will want to make sure you have a doctor monitoring the situation.

Monitoring of the Blood Clot is Necessary to Avoid Serious Health Problems

Once a blood clot has formed in the veins of the leg, the body instantly starts to work to dissolve the clot so blood flow isn’t restricted or blocked. While this sounds like a good thing, it could lead to potentially serious, even fatal problems.

A serious problem, known as pulmonary embolism, can occur if a blood clot that has started to dissolve on its own doesn’t dissolve completely and instead breaks off from the walls of the veins and travels to the lungs. If this happens it can damage the lungs and cause serious complications.

In an effort to avoid the development of serious complications, a doctor may allow a blood clot, depending on its size, to dissolve on its own. However, your doctor will monitor your symptoms and watch for the possible development of pulmonary embolism.

How are Blood Clots in the Leg Treated?

If your doctor believes that you aren’t at risk for a pulmonary embolism, he or she may recommend that you let your body naturally dissolve the blood clot. However, if your doctor believes your health is at risk or you may develop a pulmonary embolism, he or she may recommend a procedure known as a catheter-directed thrombolysis.

Catheter-directed thrombolysis is designed to quickly break up the blood clot. Quickly breaking up the blood clot and dissolving it allows the body to restore blood flow to the veins and prevents any serious problems from developing.

Due to the risks involved with catheter-directed thrombolysis doctors will only use it when it is a medical emergency. If you are not in immediate danger, your doctor may recommend other treatment options or other less minimally invasive procedures.

Prevention is Important for Blood Clots

After you experience a blood clot in the leg, your chances of experiencing another blood clot increases. To avoid future problems that can develop from deep vein thrombosis or a pulmonary embolism, your doctor may work closely with you to make sure blood clots don’t form in the future.

The most common way to prevent blood clots from forming is with blood thinners. The thinner the blood is, the less likely it is to clot. Other treatment recommendations could include exercising more, making changes to your lifestyle, and avoiding prolonged periods of sitting.

If you suspect you may have a blood clot, don’t wait to see if something serious will happen. Call Vein911 in Tampa, Florida to schedule an appointment with Dr. Chris Pittman. Dr. Pittman can help treat your blood clot and provide you with recommendations on how to prevent future blood clots from forming. Call our office today to schedule an appointment to discuss blot clots or other vein problems such as varicose veins or spider veins.

If you experienced sudden changes to your skin tone, swelling in your legs, ankles or arms, painful and bulging veins, or red inflammation around your veins, it could be a sign that you are suffering from a vein disease known as venous reflux. Learning more about venous reflux can help you determine if you should schedule an appointment at the local vein clinic as may be experiencing symptoms related to this vein disorder.

What is Venous Reflux?

The blood in your body is circulated through a complex system of veins throughout your body. Each vein is responsible for carrying blood in one direction, either away from the heart or to the heart. Occasionally, the veins that carry blood back to the heart become blocked which results in blood pooling in the legs. When this happens it is known as venous reflux.

What can Cause Venous Reflux?

A number of things can contribute to the development of venous reflux. Some of the things that have been known to cause this vein disorder include:

Alternative Treatment Options for Venous Reflux

Unless your case of venous reflux is severe or causing discomfort, your vein specialist may recommend trying alternative treatment options before making the recommendation to try various medical procedures. The type of alternative treatment that is recommended will vary depending upon what your vein specialist believes is causing the venous reflux.

Some alternative treatment options include:

Sometimes these alternative treatment options may be recommended in addition to medical treatment. This is done because once you develop venous reflux you increase your chances of experiencing it in other parts of the body and other veins. Making lifestyle changes that are a part of alternative treatment can help decrease your chance of developing this venous disorder in the future.

Non-Invasive and Surgical Procedures that can Treat Venous Reflux

In some cases of venous reflux, the walls of the veins are so severely damaged that alternative treatment is not enough. If the walls of the veins are damaged, a vein specialist can do a number of procedures that will either work to bypass the damaged vein or remove the damaged vein completely.

Some of the non-invasive or surgical procedures that may be recommended for treatment of your venous reflux include:

If you suspect you may have venous reflux, call Vein911 in Tampa, Florida to schedule a consultation with Dr. Chris Pittman. Dr. Chris Pittman is an experienced vein doctor who can provide you with recommendations for treatment of your vein disease.

Did you know March is national Deep-Vein Thrombosis Awareness Month? Deep-Vein Thrombosis Awareness Month a public health initiative aimed at raising awareness of this commonly occurring medical condition and its potentially fatal complication, pulmonary embolism.

Dr. Pittman appeared on The Balancing Act to discuss the symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT). Learn more by watching the video below: