Tuesday, February 26, 2019

15 Facts About Vein Disease

There are a lot of myths about venous (vein) disease, and how to treat it. Rather than add to the confusion by repeating them here, we're happy to present these 15 facts to consider.

1. Vein problems are among the most common chronic conditions in North America.

2. Approximately half of the U.S. population has venous disease.

3. In this country, 50 to 55 percent of women and 40 to 45 percent of men have venous disease— of these, 20 to 25 percent of the women and 10 to 15 percent of men will have visible varicose veins.

4. Varicose veins affect one out of two people age 50 and older, and 15 to 25 percent of all adults.

5. Every year an estimated 4.6 million U.S. work days are lost due to venous disease.

6. Gender and age are two primary risk factors in the development of venous insufficiency.

7. Individuals who have been pregnant more than once, have a family history, or spend a great deal of time standing increase their risk of the disease.

8. If varicose veins are not treated, they will not go away on their own; in fact, they usually get worse over time.

9. Without treatment, early symptoms of venous disease can lead to lipodermosclerosis, a disease of the skin and connective tissue; an increased chance of superficial venous thrombophlebitis, clotting in the superficial veins that causes severe pain; or ulceration, wounds on the leg that will not heal.

10. Venous disease can be a factor in chronic leg cramping or restless leg syndrome.

11. Symptoms and progression can usually be controlled with compression.

12. Some people with venous disease present with no symptoms.

13. Treatment can stop the progression of the disease; it can restore health and quality of life for those with early stage symptoms and for those struggling with late-stage symptoms.

14. For most people, even debilitating symptoms are treatable.

15. It’s critical that an evaluation involve close attention to the entire venous system, so that poorly functioning veins can be treated at the source. 

Education is an important first step toward better health – and that includes your vein health! 

To learn more about the prevention and treatment of venous disease, visit a phlebologist (vein specialist) certified by the American Board of Phlebology (ABPh). While many practitioners may practice vein care, a board certified phlebologist meets the ABPh’s high standard and has the knowledge, skills, and experience to provide quality patient care related to the treatment of all aspects of venous disease.

If you'd like to schedule an evaluation of your vein health, contact us at Vein Healthcare Center. We're happy to answer your questions!

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

What is Pelvic Venous Congestion Syndrome?

Veins have one-way valves that help keep blood flowing toward the heart. If the valves are weak or damaged, blood can flow in the wrong direction in the veins in the legs and feet, often causing them to swell. When this happens near the pelvis, it is called pelvic venous congestion syndrome. Simply put, varicose can also develop internally, in the pelvis, uterus and ovaries. 

Those internal varicose veins can cause symptoms similar to those in the legs. Patients will often have visible varicose veins on their upper legs or labia, but not always. The main symptom is pelvic pain that lasts for six months or more. 

Patients with PVCS report a prolonged deep and dull ache, often associated with movement, posture, and activities that increase abdominal pressure. Like varicose veins in the leg, the achiness that increases with prolonged standing can often be relieved by lying flat or elevating the legs.

Chronic pelvic pain (CPP) occurs below the belly button in the pelvis. The pain may be unilateral or bilateral – meaning on one side of the pelvis or both – and is often more pronounced on one side than the other. The pain is chronic and appears to have no obvious source. Symptoms may also include rectal discomfort or increased urinary frequency, bloating or gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms.

According to some studies, more than 26% of women suffer from CPP, but data about its prevalence is incomplete. When taking into account the number of factors that could also cause chronic pelvic pain, one can see how misdiagnosis by medical professionals might occur. 

Conditions range from problems in the gastrointestinal tract to gynecologic diseases and urologic abnormalities. While some of these conditions are easily diagnosed, other causes of chronic pelvic pain are extremely difficult to recognize and have often been underdiagnosed or overlooked– even though studies show that PVCS occurs in up to 30 percent of patients who have chronic pelvic pain. 

Pelvic venous congestion syndrome, or PVCS, although easy to describe can be challenging to diagnose. In fact, PVCS is often misdiagnosed or never diagnosed at all. 

To learn more about PVCS and how it is diagnosed and treated, read the latest issue of Vein Health News. If you think your pelvic pain may be related to your venous health, feel free to contact us at the Vein Healthcare Center.