Prescott, AZ (PRWEB) May 14, 2013
In 2011, Catherine Oshiek, M.D. joined Robin Fleck, M.D., founder and medical director of Vein Specialties, in the treatment of varicose veins. Before joining Vein Specialties, Dr. Oshiek served twenty years in the US Air Force Reserve where she completed her general surgery residency. She is a graduate of Vanderbilt University Medical School. Dr. Oshiek has recently received her credentialing through Medicare, so now Vein Specialties can expand its services to treat Medicare patients with venous insufficiency and varicose vein disease. “I am delighted to announce the expansion of Vein Specialties. Dr. Oshiek is an excellent physician and will offer the very best care to her patients,” remarks Dr. Fleck.
Varicose veins are superficial, twisted, enlarged veins which most commonly appear on the legs and ankles. Research suggests that varicose veins develop from damage to the valves which maintain the flow of blood. These valves become damaged due to inflammation resulting from enzyme activation which breaks down iron deposits from hemoglobin. Multiple factors including heredity, pregnancy and obesity contribute to damage of these valves. Other factors that contribute to the development of varicose veins are prolonged standing, age and trauma to the legs. Symptoms include pain, aching, swelling, restless leg syndrome and spider veins. Without treatment, varicose veins can lead to blood clots and ulcers of the leg.
Spider veins are the small, red, blue or purple lines that appear frequently on the thighs, calves and ankles. Spider veins are most often treated as a cosmetic concern but they can be associated with pain, swelling, itching and heaviness. If there are multiple spider veins, it usually indicates a more serious problem and the patient should have an ultrasound study to evaluate the condition of the deeper veins of the legs.
The treatment of varicose veins begins with an ultrasound evaluation, which is a noninvasive study that shows the physician which veins need to be treated. The duplex ultrasound shows the direction of the blood flow as well as measuring the speed at which the blood flows through the vessels. The ultrasound test is performed in the standing position and takes about an hour. After the examination, the physician will review the findings and present them to the patient with recommendations for treatment.
The treatment typically involves a series of endovenous laser ablation (EVLA) on each of the damaged veins. The EVLA procedure is preformed in an outpatient setting and is virtually painless. The entire procedure takes less than twenty minutes. Afterward, the patient wears compression stockings and can go back to work the same day.
The last step of the treatment is sclerotherapy which is similar to the treatment of spider veins. A chemical is injected into the leg veins which were too small for laser treatment (EVLA). This safe and effective procedure irritates the lining of the veins, causing them to close. Sclerotherapy requires no anesthesia while preformed in a relaxed, comfortable setting.
According to several clinical studies, both EVLA and sclerotherapy are very effective at closing veins permanently. In fact, about 95% of veins have remained closed after two years using ultrasound imaging. Most insurance companies cover the cost of these procedures.
To prevent varicose veins from forming in the first place, maintain a healthy weight. Maintaining a proper weight not only prevents the formation of varicose veins but also prevents many other diseases which are associated with an unhealthy weight. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, as movement keeps the muscles in the calf actively pumping throughout the day. If your occupation requires a lot of standing, make sure to wear 15-20 mmHg calf-length compression stockings as well as to take occasional sitting breaks. Finally, if you are pregnant, wear compression stockings, designed for support, as multiple pregnancies can be damaging to veins.
To learn more about varicose veins, visit our website at http://www.prescottvein.com. Or call us at 928-778-7000 to schedule an appointment with either Dr. Fleck or Dr. Oshiek. Log onto http://www.rejuvadoc.com and make an appointment using the new Patient Registration tab.
Robin Fleck, M.D., is a double board certified dermatologist and internist, recognized by the American Board of Dermatology and the American Board of Internal Medicine. She is founder and Medical Director of Vein Specialties and is a Fellow of the American Society of Laser Medicine and Surgery and the American Venous Forum. Dr. Fleck is also the director of Southwest Skin and Cancer Institute and Body Oasis Laser Aesthetics in Prescott, Arizona and a Fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology.