Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Love your feet

If you take care of your feet, they’ll take care of you! In our latest issue of Vein Health News, we look at ways to treat sore feet and legs for people who work on their feet for long periods of time.

We spoke to Ginger LeClair, a nail technician at Coco Cheveux Salon in South Portland, Maine. Nurses, doctors, and pharmacists – men and women – make up about 20% of her clientele.

Here are a few of Ms. LeClair’s expert tips for keeping your feet feeling good:
  • The most common foot problem I see is general foot fatigue from standing for hours on end.
  • Rough, dry heels are another common issue. If left untreated, the dryness can eventually lead to painful cracks (fissures), which is harder to remedy. Once they start, they usually just get worse.
  • Use a pumice block when you shower to clean away any dead or rough skin on the heels.
  • Apply a foot cream at night, so it absorbs while you're at rest.
If you are having foot or leg discomfort, pain, or extreme fatigue at the end of the day, schedule an evaluation at the Vein Healthcare Center to find out if it's venous (vein) related. There are modern treatments that are minimally invasive so you can get back to work!

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Are graduated compression stockings the same as TED hose?

In a word: no. TED hose are not the same as graduated compression stockings. There are many people who do not realize there is a difference.

T.E.D. is an acronym for Thrombo Embolic Deterrent, so T.E.D. hose are "anti-embolic" stockings. They are often worn after surgery to help prevent Deep Vein Thrombosis -- also known as DVT. They work well for this purpose, but they are only 8-15mmHg of compression. As soon as someone is out of bed post surgery and is able to stand, there is more pressure on the veins and the TED hose become much less effective. 

TED hose do not help with the symptoms of venous disease, nor do they halt the progression of venous disease.   

A graduated compression stocking prescribed for chronic superficial venous insufficiency is generally 20-30 mmHg, which means there is approximately 30mmHg of pressure at the ankle, 25 mmHg in the mid-calf, 20 around the knee, 15mmHg in the lower thigh, 10 mmHg in the mid thigh, and 5 mmHg in the upper thigh. This graduation encourages good venous return. Another difference is that, in general, compression stockings are much more tolerable to wear on a daily basis. 

Though compression stockings are much easier to put on than TED hose, they can still be difficult to put on. So if you are prescribed to wear either compression stockings or TED hose, ask your provider for tips -- or even coaching -- for how to put them on and take them off. (That's called "donning" and "doffing" in the compression business.) There are lots of online resources to guide you.

If you have any questions about compression therapy or T.E.D. hose, contact us at the Vein Healthcare Center. We're here to help!

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

We love compression!

At the Vein Healthcare Center, we talk about graduated compression. A lot. 

In fact, Dr. Asbjornsen wears 20-30mmHg socks or stockings almost every day. Doctors are always on their feet, and graduated compression fights—and beats—gravity, keeping the blood circulating from the legs back up to the heart.

In our last issue of Vein Health News, the cover story was all about caring for your legs and feet when you’re constantly using them. Our colleague Tom Musone from the compression company Juzo gave us six tips about how to use compression to make your legs feel better:

1. Wearing compression every day can prevent edema (leg swelling), alleviate venous symptoms, and make your legs feel better overall.

2. Make sure you wear graduated compression stockings. That means the pressure is highest at the foot and ankle and gradually decreases as the garment rises up the leg. This pressure gradient makes it easier for the body to pump blood up towards the heart and more difficult for gravity to pull blood downward.

3. Compression also increases the pressure in the subcutaneous tissue, which helps to reduce and prevent swelling by moving excess fluid back into the capillaries.

4. Gradient compression is expressed in millimeters of mercury, or mmHg. Unless otherwise directed by a medical professional, look for 15-20 mmHg or 20-30 mmHg.

5. Current evidence supports wearing either knee-high or thigh-high style compression stockings when standing for prolonged periods. A good fit is the most important factor.

6. Get fitted by a certified fitter to find the brand, product, and style that’s right for you. These days there are dozens to choose from.

Dr. Asbjornsen swears that even if she weren’t a vein specialist prescribing compression stockings to patients, she would still tout the benefits of wearing it, because her legs feel so good at the end of the day!

If you have any questions about graduated compression for venous relief, prevention, or both, contact us at the Vein Healthcare Center. We’re happy to educate about the benefits of compression.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Thank you from all of us at the Vein Healthcare Center!

As another year comes to an end, I am counting my blessings for getting to do work that I love. I couldn’t do it without the Vein Healthcare Center team. What a pleasure it is to work with these skilled and thoughtful professionals every day!

I’m also grateful for all of our patients. Thank you for coming to us for better health and an improved quality of life. We’re always here to answer your questions.

Have a wonderful holiday season and start to the new year. And keep walking!

Dr. Cindy Asbjornsen

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Preventing phlebitis

In our last post, we explained phlebitis, when a vein in the superficial vein system becomes inflamed or swollen. In this post we talk about prevention.

Dr. Cindy Asbjornsen advises that all the things that prevent DVT (deep vein thrombosis) also keep phlebitis at bay:

If you’re interested in learning more about the topic of phlebitis, you can read about it in our current issue of Vein Health News.

Do you have other questions? Give us a call, or email us, at the Vein Healthcare Center.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

What is phlebitis?

Phlebitis happens when a vein in the superficial vein system becomes inflamed and swollen. (It is also referred to as superficial phlebitis.) Spontaneous phlebitis happens when there is a sudden onset of vein inflammation.

Three out of 10 patients may develop spontaneous phlebitis after endovenous laser ablation (EVLA) therapy, but it is very preventable, especially if patients follow the post-procedure guidelines closely.

Post-operative requirements include wearing prescribed graduated compression stockings and walking at least 30 minutes a day. If a patient does experience pain or swelling, he or she should apply heat to the area (NEVER ice), elevate the legs, and take a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, such as ibuprofen or naproxen.

If phlebitis does occur and is not treated in its early stages, thrombophlebitis, or the formation of a blood clot associated with phlebitis, can develop. It is important to note that both phlebitis and thrombophlebitis are common conditions that both occur in the superficial vein system, not the deep vein system. (A blood clot in the deep vein system is called a deep vein thrombosis, or DVT.)

In our next post we will talk about how to prevent phlebitis. Contact us at the Vein Healthcare Center if you have any questions about phlebitis or would like to schedule an appointment.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

How “bad” are your veins?

There are many levels of vein disease, and it is progressive. Without intervention, the severity of symptoms will increase and complications could arise that can have a serious impact on a person's overall health.

In order to have a standard way to talk about vein problems, a group of experts created a classification system known as C.E.A.P., which stands for Clinical, Etiology, Anatomy, and Pathophysiology.

The “C” in C.E.A.P. stands for the clinical severity rating of a patient’s veins and is the most significant in physician-to-physician communication. For patients, recognizing what C.E.A.P. classification they are in may help them to decide if and when to seek treatment.

Click on the image below:

If you recognize any symptoms from the chart above, or if you have any questions about veins at all, contact us at the Vein Healthcare Center.