By David Park, MD, FACS, Alexander Park, MD, FACS
Since VeinInnovations Johns Creek opened in 2013, surgeons David Park, MD, FACS, and Alex Park, MD, FACS, and sclerotherapist Laura Egan, RN, APRN, have been helping women and men alike have healthier, more attractive legs. Here is information on the vital importance of venous health to your overall health.
Why is venous health so important?
Venous health—the health of the leg veins carrying deoxygenated blood back to the heart and lungs—impacts more than just the health of a patient’s legs. Yes, varicose and spider veins, heaviness, pain, swelling, and restlessness can all impact the legs. But because these symptoms of chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) creep up slowly, many patients don’t realize how poorly their veins are functioning until they have bulging veins, a lot of pain, and/or venous stasis ulcers.
What if people are not treated?
The longer people postpone treatment, the more involved treatment becomes. Delay increases the likelihood that heaviness in the legs has become a reason to forgo exercise, or that pain and restlessness have compromised restorative sleep. Lack of exercise and sleep become quality-of-life issues, affecting weight gain, aging—health overall. Untreated, some patients develop venous stasis ulcers, which are dif cult to treat and heal.
What causes poor venous health?
When delicate one-way valves in leg veins fail, blood flows backward and pools, causing heaviness, pain, swelling, and bulging veins and/ or spider veins. Valves fail due to age, heredity, multiple pregnancies, and/or injury. Standing or sitting for long periods of time also causes problems. Many of our patients are also athletes, weightlifters, and men and women who played contact sports when they were younger.
Who has venous insufficiency?
An estimated 33 percent of women and 25 percent of men under the age of 50 have venous insufficiency. Over the age of 50, about half of all women and 40 to 45 percent of men have problems. The percentages increase with age.
What do patients find most surprising about treatments?
Most people don’t know varicose and spider veins are symptoms of a medical condition; they believe unsightly veins are just a “cosmetic” issue. Many people don’t know insurance covers medically indicated treatments. Patients are surprised to nd out that the condition can be addressed in the of office, with little or no downtime, and that treatments bring almost immediate relief.
What treatments do you do and what is involved?
All patients begin treatment with a thorough duplex Doppler ultrasound examination. When CVI is indicated, we choose the treatment that will work best for the individual. All treatments—radio frequency ablation, laser ablation, and ambulatory phlebectomy— are performed in the office, using local anesthesia. Ablative procedures shut down a diseased vein, rerouting blood to healthier veins. Procedures take less than an hour and most patients drive themselves to and from procedures. Spider vein treatment— sclerotherapy—is quick and virtually painless. In all cases, we encourage patients to walk and resume “light” normal activity and, depending on the patient and procedure, to avoid strenuous activity for a week or two.
For appointments, a free cosmetic ultrasound, or additional information, please call 678-731-9815.