Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Year of the Nurse


In 1993, the American Nurses Association (ANA) declared May 6 as the start of National Nurses Week. The annual celebration usually culminates on May 12, Florence Nightingale's birthday.

Last year, the World Health Assembly, the governing body of WHO, designated 2020 as the Year of the Nurse and Midwife -- and the ANA followed WHO’s lead by declaring a U.S. extension of the Year of the Nurse into 2021.

Nurses have always gone above and beyond to serve our communities, but since the pandemic started over a year ago, we've all seen the impact that nurses make every day. That's why ANA chose the theme "Nurses Make a Difference" to recognize the contribution of nurses during the month of May.

At the Vein Healthcare Center, we know how hard nurses work, and we're well aware that venous disease can be a real occupational hazard for nurses who are often on their feet for hours at a time. Here are just a few tips for how nurses can take care of themselves by taking care of their legs and feet. ANA is also providing videos and other resources to help nurses celebrate and participate.

Happy National Nurses Week, Month, and Year to all of the nurses out there. Thank you for everything you do!

Visit the Vein Healthcare Center in South Portland, Maine to learn more about the symptoms of vein disease and how to treat it.

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

The latest issue of Vein Health News!

In our latest issue of Vein Health News, we're helping doctors and their patients clear up some misconceptions about vein disease. 

In an easy-to-read Q&A format, Dr. Cindy Asbjornsen answers commonly asked questions about tired legs, blue veins, and more.

We also explain the latest findings about lymphedema, including current treatments.

Click on the link to read Vein Health News!

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Better year, better legs!

Are you ready to be more active this year? Don’t let tired, veiny legs stop you! Many people don't realize that the reason their legs are so achy isn't due to age or fatigue but because of venous disease.

Like Sue M., 63, from North Yarmouth, Maine. Sue said: “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."

Contact us for an evaluation of your leg health and to learn about the treatments that are available to you. It's time for a better year -- and better legs!

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

One Chef's Perspective

Joshua B. is a chef. Years in the restaurant business have kept him on his feet for extended periods of time, which— combined with a family history of varicose veins— was a recipe for unhealthy legs. 

“I started getting varicose veins in high school, but as unsightly as they were, they never really bothered me,” said Joshua.

As the New Hampshire native got older, his veins got worse. They continued to get bigger and stay swollen for longer periods of time. Even crawling on the floor with his young kids was hard because of the varicose veins on his knees. But the self-proclaimed “tough guy” continued to live with the discomfort. When he was about 27 years old, however, he started to experience undeniable medical issues.

The skin covering Joshua’s veins gradually got thinner and thinner, especially on the insides of his ankles. Eventually the skin got so thin on the inside of his right ankle that it ruptured and began spraying blood “like a squirt gun coming out of the side of his foot,” as Joshua described it.

“It was scary. I didn’t know what to do, so I rushed to the emergency room where they gave me a Novocaine injection and stitches that stayed in for a week,” he said.

That was the first emergency. Ten months later another bleeder opened up higher up on Joshua’s right leg. He finally began to take the problem seriously
and went to two different doctors for treatment.

One physician encouraged vein stripping. The other physician advised against it but offered no alternatives. Joshua was confused: “I never really had a clear path of what to do.”

Finally, Joshua found his way to the Vein Healthcare Center. An ultrasound revealed the source of the problem, and Joshua worked with Dr. Cindy Asbjornsen on a treatment plan. He proceeded to have endovenous laser ablation (EVLA) on his right leg first, followed by his left leg two months later. Dr. Asbjornsen followed both EVLA procedures with sclerotherapy. As Joshua put it, the EVLA “dams up the river,” and then the sclerotherapy gets rid of the other streams leading up to it.

Joshua was nervous before the procedures, but found that it was a lot easier than he expected. Although his goal was to restore healthy venous return
in his legs, he’s been surprised by how much more comfortable and confident he feels.

“I’m not as apprehensive about wearing shorts and showing off my legs now, because before they were gnarly and bumpy,” he said. “They’re not Tom Brady’s legs yet, but they look much better than they did.”

Overall, the experience has been an educational one for Joshua. Once he really understood what varicose veins were and what his specific problem was, he couldn’t wait to fix it. In fact, he wishes a vein exam could be part of every general physical.

“It’s a quick thing to look at someone’s legs to see if there are varicosities. There are a lot of possible treatments, and the earlier you start the better off you are.”

Click here to read more about real patients' experiences with vein disease and treatment. If you have any questions, we encourage you to contact us at the Vein Healthcare Center!

Monday, January 20, 2020

10 Tips To Make Your Legs Feel Better

If your legs feel achy or tired, it may be a venous issue. Best to check with a vein specialist for a thorough evaluation. (See tip #10 below!)

In the meantime, there are things you can do to alleviate your discomfort and perhaps even prevent your symptoms from progressing:

1. Elevate. Elevate your legs above your heart as often as possible -- for as long as 30 minutes or as briefly as three minutes. The best time is after you have been standing or after a hot shower.

2. Wear loose-fitting clothing. Avoid tight-fitting clothes around your legs and waist. It will help by not impeding circulation in your lower body.

3. Avoid high heels. High-heeled shoes shorten the muscles in the back of your leg and prevent deep veins from operating at their full capacity.

4. Sit properly. Focus on good posture and avoid crossing your legs  or sitting in ways that can compress veins for prolonged periods.

5. Walk. Walking causes the rhythmic contraction of calf muscles and helps promote blood flow to the heart. Walk at least 30 minutes every day – all at once, or in shorter increments.

6. Take a break. Take frequent walking breaks to avoid sitting or standing for periods of more than two hours.

7. Wear compression stockings. Wearing compression stockings purchased from your pharmacy will help promote the flow of blood when you are flying, on your feet for long periods, or carrying heavy loads.

8. Don’t smoke. Smoking and exposure to second-hand smoke constricts veins and affects overall circulation.

9. Know your history. Women with a family history of vein disorders, or those who have relatives with varicose veins, should wear compression stockings during menarche and menopause, and during pregnancy – most importantly, during the first trimester.

10. See a vein specialist. Contact a board certified phlebologist for a screening and evaluation, or to find out more about risks, prevention, and treatment of venous disease.

To make an appointment with Dr. Cindy Asbjornsen, founder of the Vein Healthcare Center, click here or call 207-221-7799. We can help make your legs feel better!

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Compression: How To Put It On & Take It Off

At the Vein Healthcare Center, we've said it before and we'll keep on saying it: we love compression!

To help patients better understand how to put on and take off their compression stockings -- what they refer to in vein care as "donning and doffing" -- we've adapted this downloadable guide from our friends at medi-usa.

If you have any questions about compression, please contact us at 27-221-7799 or email If you're interested in taking the next step in vein care, click here to learn more.

Monday, October 21, 2019

Don't forget the "medi" in medi-spa

There are more than 4,200 so-called "medi-spas" in the U.S. Some of them offer facials and massages, while others offer vein procedures or cosmetic enhancements like Botox or dermabrasion. But is it safe?

In our latest issue of Vein Health News, we take a look at these businesses where aesthetics meets medicine. We also offer some good advice on how to make sure that you're not wasting your money, or worse, putting your health at risk.

If you have questions about vein procedures and safety, please ask us! Call the Vein Healthcare Center at 207-221-7799 (Monday through Friday during regular business hours), or send us an email at