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Vein Disease Q&A

Apr 12, 2013 10:15AM ● Published by Brian O

Dr. Gibbs - www.rmvein.com

Questions and Answers About Vein Disease With
Thomas E. Eidson, D.O.

By Dr. Gordon F. Gibbs

Dr. Gordon F. Gibbs is the Founder and Chief Medical Officer of Trinity Vein Institute in Arlington, Texas, and Rocky Mountain Vein Institute’s Colorado facilities. Dr. Thomas E. Eidson is the Associate Medical Director and Phlebologist at Trinity Vein Institute, and is Board-Certified in Family Medicine.

Dr. Gibbs sat down with Dr. Eidson to speak of vein disease, its symptoms and its treatments:

Q: Dr. Eidson, can you please explain exactly what is vein disease?

Dr. Eidson: “Vein disease is a chronic and potentially debilitating condition where the vein walls or valves weaken, stretch or become damaged and normal blood flow is interrupted. Blood begins to flow backward and increases pressure in the veins, causing more stretching, twisting, and swelling of veins. Ultimately this causes venous reflux disease.”

Q: Tell our audience, what are some of the symptoms?

Dr. Eidson:Venous reflux disease causes a variety of symptoms, which can include heavy or achy legs, restless legs, cramping, and what is known as ‘edema,’ or swelling in your ankles and legs. In most cases, patients develop varicose and spider veins. In extreme cases, skin breakdown, discoloration and ulcers may develop.”

Q: Are there different types of vein disease?

Dr. Eidson: “There are three types of veins in your legs. Superficial veins lie just under the skin and drain into perforator veins or deep veins. Deep veins lie inside the muscles and carry most of the blood back to your heart. In between superficial and deep veins are perforator veins that drain into deep veins. Varicose veins can appear as smaller bulging or twisty veins on the surface of your legs. As vein disease progresses, varicose veins enlarge and look like gnarled cords. Varicose veins occur only in the lower body—they don’t develop in arms. They can occur anywhere in your leg, from the groin down to the ankle. They most often appear in legs, although pelvic congestion syndrome can cause varicose veins on the lower abdomen and even hemorrhoids”

Q: What are the treatments for vein disease?

Dr. Eidson: “Medical technology has advanced quickly in recent years with elegant new options for treating vein disease. Minimally invasive, or endovenous, procedures have replaced hospital-based vein stripping. This opens the door for many patients who might have been advised that their venous problems were untreatable. Trinity Vein Institute offers radiofrequency ablations, or VNUS, and non-thermal ablations, or Clarivein, in addition to microphlebectomy, which is the removal of large ropey veins through tiny incisions. Various smaller varicose and spider veins can also be treated with sclerotherapy, a series of tiny injections that eliminate small veins.”

Q: Who gets vein disease, and what are the possible complications?

Dr. Eidson: “Nearly 80 million Americans suffer from venous disease. It’s a progressive disease, meaning it gets worse over time. Women are more likely than men to develop vein disease. The risk of developing venous disease increases with multiple pregnancies, obesity, standing for long periods of time, and a sedentary lifestyle, among other potential causes. If either of your parents have varicose veins, it is likely that you will, too. Most patients with venous disease have a very treatable condition and can expect a great outcome following treatment. However, some patients with deep venous thrombosis, also known as DVT, can develop long-standing swelling and pain, called post-thrombotic syndrome, related to damaged venous valves. If the DVT is diagnosed promptly, new catheter-based techniques can remove these DVTs and prevent post-thrombotic syndrome. Additionally, wearing graduated compression stockings daily for 2 years can reduce the changes of post-thrombotic syndrome by as much as 50%.

Q: Is there anything we should remember in particular about vein disease?

Dr. Eidson: “Yes. Keep in mind that vein disease is not life threatening, but it is life altering.”

About Dr. Gordon F. Gibbs
The founder and chief medical officer of Trinity Vein Institute and Rocky Mountain Vein Institute, Dr. Gordon F. Gibbs is a Mayo Clinic trained interventional radiologist board certified in phlebology, diagnostic radiology and fellowship trained in vascular/interventional radiology. He is an active member of the American College of Phlebology and The Society of Interventional Radiology. Dr. Gibbs is also Medical Director of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology at St. Mary-Corwin Medical Center in Pueblo, Colorado. For more information, please visit http://www.trinityvein.com/, send an email to info@trinityvein.com or call 888.730.VEIN (8346).

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