Tuesday, September 5, 2017

One Nurse's Perspective

We are close to releasing the latest issue of Vein Health News. In the process, we've interviewed several healthcare professionals who are on their feet all day; they're also patients of VHC!

Here’s what one registered nurse had to say about Dr. Asbjornsen and the staff at VHC:

“The customer service and the environment that the Vein Center provides are pretty phenomenal. There are recliners in the waiting room so you can kick back and elevate your legs. The music is great. The rooms are comfortable.

Of course, Dr. Cindy has a wonderful beside manner – that’s a plus. All of her staff is excellent. I’m never rushed. I’ve probably been in that office a number of times and I haven’t had one negative interaction.”

      Beth D., 55, Ogunquit, ME

To see more of what our patients are saying, click here, or read their stories here from our booklet Perspectives.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Happy Senior Citizens Day!

August 21 is Senior Citizens Day, a U.S. observance established in honor of older adults who have made positive contributions in their communities. The day is also a time to bring awareness of social and health issues that affect senior citizens – like veins!


Paying attention to venous health is an important aspect of successful aging – and one that has historically gone untreated. Many seniors have been told that heavy, aching legs are a normal part of aging, but that’s often not the case. There are solutions for venous insufficiency that make people feel better, no matter what their age

Venous insufficiency occurs when healthy veins become damaged and allow the backward flow of blood into the lower extremities. This pooling of blood can lead to a feeling of heaviness, aching, and can cause skin changes, such as spider veins or a brown, woody appearance of the lower legs.

Seniors’ veins respond differently to everyday stress compared to that of a younger person’s because vein walls are primarily made of collagen. As the body ages, a decrease in the production of collagen causes the veins to become more brittle and the valves more likely to fail, especially in the superficial veins. Thus, there is a higher incidence of varicose veins in the elderly population.

Additionally, the skin begins to lose its elasticity and doesn’t respond to stress the way it once did. And because skin is the “end organ” of venous disease, ulcers can occur as a result of damaged veins.

Some seniors might think that “vein stripping” is the only option. While it was the go-to procedure for many years, treatment of venous disease today is vastly different. Breakthroughs in phlebology and new approaches to treatment involve less time and less pain, and they are overwhelmingly successful over the long term when performed by an experienced specialist.

The risk-benefit ratio makes treatment an ideal option for seniors. Although seniors have a 50% greater chance of suffering from vein disease, they have the same success with modern treatment options as anyone else.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Dr. Cindy Asbjornsen shares her wisdom on Successful Balanced Living

Get to know Dr. Cindy Asbjornsen a little bit better -- and hear some trustworthy, easy-to-understand advice. 

Dr. Asbjornsen was recently on the radio show Successful Balanced Living with Lynda Adams. She talks with Lynda about a variety of things, including:

  • Why she decided to study phlebology (the study of vein disorders and treatment)
  • Why sore legs and varicose veins are NOT a normal sign of aging.
  • Who is at the greatest risk for getting vein disease
  • Preventing blood clots on airplanes
  • How she creates a successful, balanced life for herself
To learn about this and more, click here to listen.

And if you think you might have vein disease, schedule an appointment for a full evaluation of your vein health.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Dr. Cindy Asbjornsen on Catching Health


Earlier this spring, our own Dr. Cindy Asbjornsen spoke with health reporter Diane Atwood on her podcast on the Catching Health blog.

Their topics of conversation were far ranging, everything from how a clot in the deep vein system could possibly cause a stroke, to why blood appears blue in the veins.

Dr. Asbjornsen also explains why vein treatment is NOT a one-size-fits-all proposition. And she talks about how anyone can get deep vein thrombosis -- even someone playing a video game (for many hours in a row). Who knew talking about veins could be so interesting?

This isn't the first time Dr. Asbjornsen has appeared on Catching Health. She wrote a guest post on Catching Health about when you should ask your doctor about your vein problems.

We hope you'll give the Catching Health podcast a listen!

Click here to learn more about Dr. Asbjornsen and her practice the Vein Healthcare Center.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Are varicose veins a cosmetic issue or a medical issue?

This is a question we get at the Vein Healthcare Center all the time. Most healthcare providers would agree that if a patient is having pain and is unable to perform his or her work due to varicose veins, then it is medically necessary.

But all factors must be weighed when drawing a line between medical and “simply cosmetic,” not the least of which is restoring patients’ confidence and overall well-being. Even if a patient isn’t experiencing physical pain – but won’t swim in a pool or wear shorts to the beach because she’s ashamed of varicose veins – her quality of life is markedly diminished.

Additionally, it is common for venous disorders to be undiagnosed or undertreated. It’s important to remember that varicose veins are a symptom of early stage venous disease, and if left untreated could lead to larger medical issues.

From the perspective of insurance companies the difference between “cosmetic” and “medical” may be whether or not a vein has a connection to the deep system; if it does and the connection is leaking, then they consider treatment medical necessary. That said, there are many vein procedures that are covered by insurance, and one should not assume that treatment won’t be covered. Feel free to contact us at the Vein Healthcare Center to discuss the details of your coverage.

At the Vein Healthcare Center, our basic philosophy is that treating problematic veins isn’t about vanity – it’s about health and quality of life.

If you’re not sure whether or not you have vein disease, click here to find out more, or schedule an appointment for a full evaluation of your vein health.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Men’s health includes healthy veins

Men don’t get varicose veins, right? Of course they do! Men are just as likely to suffer from vein issues than women.

June 12-18 is Men’s Health Week, a chance for men to take stock of their health and habits – including varicose veins and other vein problems often associated with women.

Here are the facts: Anatomically, men’s leg veins are no different from women’s veins. Looking at a leg ultrasound, one would be hard-pressed to tell the difference between a man’s and a woman’s legs.

Everyone’s veins carry blood from the legs and arms back to the heart. The blood in the legs travels up against gravity, so when the valves in the veins become damaged, blood “leaks” back into the legs and creates a “pooling” effect.
           
Who has the highest risk of getting varicose veins? Heredity plays a strong role, so look at your family history for clues. Lifestyle is also a significant risk factor: does your job require you to stand for long periods of time, or do you sit at your desk all day? Advanced age or previous leg trauma can also affect your venous health.

Even men who are athletic are susceptible to venous (vein) disease. Sometimes men with vein problems misinterpret their symptoms, mistaking the pains of venous disease for a strained or pulled muscle.

Like any chronic medical condition, varicose veins get worse with time, and the longer one waits, the more extensive the condition could become. Many men go to their doctors for the first time when they get venous ulcers, a problem too painful to ignore.

Treatment can stop the progression of venous disease and its complications for those in all stages of disease, however, early intervention is best and provides the most improved quality of life. But for those men (or women) struggling with late-stage symptoms it is still possible to restore health. Today's vein treatments are minimally invasive, cause very little pain, and can be accomplished quickly right in a physician’s office.
           
The key for men is to get evaluated as soon as the symptoms become apparent or they suspect there’s a problem.

Schedule your evaluation and learn how treatment could improve your health and quality of life.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Making vein health and treatment easy to understand

Earlier this spring, Dr. Cindy Asbjornsen spoke with the Portland Press Herald about what causes varicose veins, who is at the most risk for getting them, and ways to prevent vein problems from getting worse.

Click here to read the Press Herald story.

Dr. Asbjornsen also explained some options for treatment that is less invasive and less painful. Click here to read more.

The article also gives readers a chance to know Dr. Asbjornsen a little bit better, such as her passion for education and for treating people with vein issues:
Although she rarely deals with life-or-death maladies, Asbjornsen takes pride and satisfaction in helping patients take simple steps that can give them back their lives.
‘Really, treating veins is all about quality of life,’ Asbjornsen said.
Learn more about Dr. Cindy Asbjornsen, or visit the Vein Healthcare Center in South Portland, Maine for a complete vein health evaluation.