Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Vein tips for hot days

Heat dilates veins. That means that varicose veins (or "leaky" veins) and other symptoms can worsen in warmer weather. 

Here are some quick tips for vein relief:
  • Stay as cool as possible. 
  • Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water.
  • Take a walk. If the temperature outside is too hot, try a stroll through the mall or another climate-controlled building.
  • Go for a swim. Like walking, swimming pumps the calf muscles and improves circulation. Plus, a swim can cool you off!
  • Elevate the legs whenever possible.
  • Schedule an evaluation with a Board certified phlebologist.
Click here for additional ways to ease symptoms of vein disease. Click here to schedule an appointment for a complete evaluation of your vein health so you can treat the problem at its source.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Be aware of DVT and travel safely this summer

Summer may be BBQ season, but it’s also the time when people travel long distances in planes, trains, and automobiles. For us in vein healthcare, that means increased risks of Deep Vein Thombosis, or DVT.

The deep vein system carries about 80% of blood from the feet back up to the heart. Deep veins are located under the muscle and connective tissue layers in the legs. A blood clot in a deep vein can be dangerous because the high pressure in the system could cause the clot to break free from the vein wall and enter the blood stream. The DVT could then travel up through the legs into another part of the body such as the lungs, where it would become a pulmonary embolism (PE).

DVT or PE symptoms are often misinterpreted as something less serious. A blood clot in the leg may feel like a “charley horse,” shin splints, or a twisted ankle. Symptoms from PE are often attributed to a pulled muscle in the chest, costochondritis (inflammation of the joint between ribs and breast bone), asthma, or a “touch of pneumonia.”

So what are some of the signs to look for? For DVT, the leg may be warm to the touch; swelling in the leg (can also occur in the arm); leg (or arm) pain or tenderness; reddish or bluish skin discoloration.

For PE, be aware of a sudden shortness of breath; sharp, stabbing chest pain (may get worse with deep breath); rapid heart rate or breathing; feeling lightheaded or fainting; unexplained coughing, sometimes with bloody mucus.

In half of DVT and PE cases, no symptoms present at all—but both conditions are medical emergencies. Any of these symptoms should be regarded as a DVT or PE until proven otherwise, especially if someone is in a risk category (including whether there is a history of blood clots in your family).

Awareness is key-- and so is prevention. When traveling long distances, stay well hydrated, stretch legs your legs and pump your feet periodically, avoid or moderate alcohol and caffeine, and consider wearing graduated compression stockings on your trip.

To find out more about DVT and other vein issues, contact us at the Vein Healthcare Center. We will evaluate your vein health — including spider veins, varicose veins, and leg ulcers.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Dealing with veins in the summer


Although the first day of summer is technically June 21, many New Englanders consider Memorial Day to be the unofficial start of the summer. 

’Tis the season for people to dust off their BBQ grills and motorcycles— and shorts, swimsuits, and sandals. This time of year brings joy to most, but for those dealing with vein issues, it can produce discomfort and anxiety.

If you suffer from symptoms of vein disease, shorts season can be a tough time. Here are a few @VHC blog posts that can help:

  • Don’t let varicose veins ruin your summer. Click here to read.
  • Vein treatments in the summer, Part 1. Click here to read.
  • Vein treatments in the summer, Part 2: Click here to read.

To find out more about how to treat vein issues, contact us at the Vein Healthcare Center. We will evaluate your vein health — including spider veins, varicose veins, and leg ulcers — and recommend the best treatment for your individual condition and health goals. Schedule your appointment today.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Celebrating women's health

The 19th annual National Women's Health Week kicks off on Mother's Day, May 13! Led by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office on Women’s Health, it's a chance for women to consider their own health and take steps toward being healthier.

At the Vein Healthcare Center, we encourage all women to pay attention to what their bodies are telling them, including their legs -- especially if venous disease seems to run in the family. 

To celebrate women's health, this week and every week, we'd like to offer you our eArticle called "Women and Vein Treatments." You can learn about the three potential high-risk times that women are vulnerable to venous disease, how pregnancy impacts veins, and what kind of vein treatments are available today.

With the right information, women have the ability to reduce their risk of developing venous disease or decrease its severity. If you'd like to find out more about your vein health and schedule an evaluation, don't hesitate to contact us at the Vein Healthcare Center. 


Monday, April 30, 2018

It’s almost shorts season

"I just wanted to be able to look at my legs and not feel awful. For the first summer in 25 years, I wore shorts and did not feel embarrassed." - Shaye R. 

"I wore a skirt for the first time in decades." - Jane S.

"Even though I'm only 30, I gave up caring what my legs looked like, but now you can see the shape of my legs again!” - Lisa F.

For these former patients of the Vein Healthcare Center, their main goal was to make their legs feel better. But after vein treatment, they were delighted to find that their legs also look better.

As summer approaches -- shorts and skirts weather -- it can be emotionally difficult for those with visible vein disease to enjoy their time out and about. At the Vein Healthcare Center, our philosophy is that patients who want to treat their problematic veins aren't being vain, they want to improve their health and quality of life. Being comfortable with their legs in public is part of that quality of life.

To hear more about patient experiences at the Vein Healthcare Center before and after venous treatment, check out Perspectives, a resource you can download and share.

Education is an important first step toward better vein health. The next step is to receive a complete evaluation. To schedule a new patient visit, call us at (207) 221-7799 or request an appointment online

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Good post-EVLA care can prevent complications


Endovenous laser ablation, or EVLA, is a minimally invasive treatment used to address specific large varicose veins in the legs. It is considered the gold standard in treatment of venous symptoms, and has largely replaced previous, more invasive standards of care, such as vein stripping. 

EVLA has opened the door for many patients with venous disorders to eliminate symptoms and improve their appearance with minimal time investment and minimal pain, but there are some things to be aware of after EVLA treatment.

As the leg heals, there may be bruising and swelling of the treated area, however, both are self-limited and usually resolve within the first two weeks after the EVLA procedure. 

Phlebitis is another common adverse complication -- one that commonly occurs with any IV stick, or even spontaneously from varicose veins. It is more common with EVLA because with this procedure, we are intentionally "irritating" the vein. The national incidence for resulting phlebitis is recorded at ~30%, however, at my office, we instruct patients who experience any post-procedure pain to use elevation, heat and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, essentially treating pain prophylactically (as a preventative measure). Thus, we tend to have a much lower incidence of post-procedure phlebitis at VHC.

We also guide our patients in their post-EVLA care so that they can experience effective healing and a quick recovery.

If you'd like to learn more about EVLA and other vein treatments, contact us. We're happy to answer your questions or schedule an evaluation of your vein health.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Listen to your legs

Sometimes venous disease is very obvious. Bulging, twisty veins that wrap around your legs is one manifestation. Purple spidery veins on the backs of your thighs may be another. But there are other, more subtle clues that your veins may not be working as well as they should.

Do your legs sometimes feel achy or throbbing? Do you have leg cramps in the middle of the night? Are your legs exhausted by the end of the day?


These may be signs of vein disease, and it's best not to ignore them for a couple of reasons. For one thing, your body is trying to tell you something is wrong. Waiting for the issues to go away on their own may actually make them worse as time goes on. If you find out what the problem is, you can take steps to fix it!


Sue, age 63, from North Yarmouth, Maine is one of our patients at the Vein Healthcare Center. Here's what Sue had to say about her own experience:

“I work at a daycare and when I came home at the end of the day, my legs were like cement. I could not move them. It was affecting me tremendously but because it didn’t hurt, I had no idea my veins were the problem. I had EVLA done in both legs, and they felt much lighter right away.
You can read more patient experiences like Sue's by clicking here. If you are having issues with your legs that you can't quite explain, take a look at this list of questions, and see if you can relate. Finally, contact us at the Vein Healthcare Center to make an appointment for an evaluation of your venous system. There may be a way to fix the problem.