Embrace Your Beauty

October is Medical Ultrasound Awareness Month. In recognition of this I thought I would address one of the more frequent questions people will ask when first seeking treatment for venous disease: "Why do I need an ultrasound?" Patients will also comment: "But I only want the little veins treated so that my legs look better." The most important thing we do at Genesis is educate you about vein disease. Addressing these questions is almost always part of that education.

The answer to both questions lies in the fact that the bigger internal veins let blood flow backwards towards your feet and drive it to the surface. Thus, the ugly surface veins have a source inside your legs! In order to properly identify the damaged vessels and determine a treatment plan, an ultrasound must be done. If you don’t identify the source of a problem, you shouldn’t expect it to go away. That is why it is mandatory for all new patients to have an ultrasound so that we can treat you the medically correct way. If we don’t, the veins will all come back, and you will not lower the risks of progressive vein disease.

Insurance companies also require an ultrasound along with symptom documentation to determine if your treatments are eligible for insurance coverage. Without this you will be left paying the full cost of treatment out of pocket.

So come and see us at the Genesis Laser & Vein Center to get your legs healthier and more beautiful the medically correct way and ensure that the insurance company will pick up their part, too!

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This fall I am going to be doing a lot of weekend car drives. My son started his freshman year at a college in Iowa and will be part of the football team. I am hoping to not miss a game! As someone who practices what I preach, I will be donning my compression hose for these lengthy car rides.

I frequently get asked about why you should wear compression hose while travelling. Vein disease is a chronic, progressive disease and there is only so much that treatment will do. After you have had treatment, your blood clot risk is diminished, but still higher than the people without vein disease. This is because you also can have bad veins that are located in your calf muscle. Unfortunately, we cannot identify these reliably and even if we could, current treatments cannot safely treat these. There is a very high rate of blood clot formation if we try to treat the calf varices.

Thus, we are left with a compromise. If you wear your thigh high graded compression hose, you will lower your blood clot risk while traveling. Traveling is defined as 2 or more hours in a car regardless of how many stops and any plane travel. Multiple studies have confirmed that the risk is lower while travelling with thigh high graded compression hose. Your legs will also feel better when you arrive at your destination.

I hope you all get to enjoy your favorite football team this fall and do yourself a favor and don’t forget to put your hose on if you have to travel to see them! Your legs will thank you.

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Everyone enjoys being out in the warmth of the sun. However, did you know that exposure to the sun can make your vein disease worse? Sunlight has ultraviolet and infrared radiation. Ultraviolet radiation is what can damage your skin cells and lead to skin cancers. When you are exposed to infrared radiation, it will heat your skin. The combination of both types will also lead to a weakening of your collagen.

Remember that the basic genetic defect in vein disease is weak collagen. If you have vein disease and you spend a lot of time out in the sun, you may actually be accelerating the formation of surface varicose veins! So, while you are enjoying the outdoors, remember to use a mineral based sunscreen on your legs. Not only will it slow down the formation of new varicose veins, but it will also keep your leg skin as tight as possible.

If you have visible varicose veins, come and see us so we can keep your legs healthy and beautiful!

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This month my inspiration is coming hot off a weeklong trip to the lovely Lake of the Ozarks. Genesis has not only impacted my professional life, but taking advantage of our services has also had a huge impact on my personal life. After spending the week in my swimsuit, I have to give a shout out to a few of the services that made this a bit less painful than it could have been.

First, the vein care I have received over the past 15 years has helped keep those pesky varicose veins from popping up all over. Unlike my mom and grandma, I am not embarrassed to show my legs due to a highway of veins. Yes, there are a few, but I know all too well what they would look like if I did not keep up with my treatments. Plus, my legs feel good to boot!

Second, I got rid of my menopause belly thanks to CoolSculpting. My abdomen was never the area of choice for fat to deposit when I gained weight, but menopause changed that. Two CoolSculpting treatments later my abdomen was back to its pre-menopause state and stays that way if I maintain my weight.

Finally, bioidentical hormone replacement has helped me maintain muscle mass, which helps me keep my weight in check. Of course, all of this only helps if I continue to do my part – maintaining a healthy diet and getting plenty of exercise.

So, thank you Genesis for adding a boost of confidence to my vacation and giving me a hand in my journey to stay healthy and active as I age. Call us if you would like to find out how Genesis can partner on your aging journey. After all, there is no anti-aging, just aging as best as we can. The benefits, like being grandma to Charlotte, far outweigh the downside!

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Have you ever noticed the brown discoloration on some people's or maybe your own legs? This is a sign of longstanding, untreated vein disease. If they don’t get treatment, they will likely progress to developing an ulcer on the leg. This is the result of vein disease and can be prevented by early intervention.

So how do veins turn the skin brown? The basic problem is increased pressure in the legs. When the internal veins allow blood to flow towards the feet and not back to the heart, some of the fluid leaks out into the tissues. This eventually causes the legs to swell. When the pressure internally is high, it decreases the blood flow to the skin. The first thing that happens is you lose hair from the ankles, and it progresses towards the knees over time. As the pressure continues to increase over time, eventually the blood flow to the skin is so poor that the skin begins to die from the inside out. Skin that has turned brown is very damaged and will be prone to infections and sores. This process takes place over 40, 50, 60 years and starts at birth since vein disease is hereditary.

However, if you get early treatment, you can avoid these problems. If your legs are discolored or if you have any visible varicose veins, you likely have vein disease. So come see us at Genesis Laser & Vein. The sooner you get treatment, the healthier your legs will be and the better they will look!

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This month’s View on Veins post is written by Genesis Laser & Vein patient Sunny Carron, age 50.

Along with green eyes and a love of the outdoors, I realized at the age of 24 I had also inherited my dad’s vein disease. This started during my first pregnancy, and I was introduced to maternity compression hose for the first time. It was not love at first sight, but did relieve the aches and pains in my legs. After each pregnancy, the pain from the varicose veins decreased enough to manage. Over the years it progressed and invited friends to the party: spider veins.

I grew very self-conscious of my legs, and if I wore shorts (only around the house), the kids would say, “Oh Mom do your owies hurt?” Yes, they did! I thought about getting treatment, but heard awful stories of how painful the process was and that is was not effective. I resigned to have legs that looked and felt terrible.

When I turned 48, I was very aware that the symptoms had increased and my capabilities of getting through my evenings had decreased. I started realizing how much I had to rest my legs after work before I started another activity. I started doing some of the dinner prep at the kitchen table, so I could sit and rest my legs. I also realized how often I was taking turns propping one leg and leaning on the other while standing to get relief. I have always been an active person by walking, biking, or kayaking, but these activities proved less desirable with the heaviness in my legs. The night bouts of restless legs and charley horses were the finale in my decision to seek treatment and get my life back.

I spoke to my primary care doctor, got an ultrasound and then a referral. I did not have a good feeling with the initial referral, so I waited a month or so. I then decided to look into other options as the symptoms and sleepless nights reminded me it was needed. I called Genesis Laser & Vein and felt so comfortable right away on the phone. As I walked in on my appointment day the office was calm and soothing music was playing. The staff was just as kind and welcoming as they were on the phone. My experience has always been a great one. Then after meeting with Dr. Prasad, I knew I was where I needed to be.

The day of my first procedure I was so scared and could not seem to relax; the nurses were so sweet and chatted with me to help me feel calm. Dr. Prasad came in, said hello and realized I was a nervous wreck. He put his hand on my shoulder and said let’s walk through everything again, until you are ready. After I felt better, he started and we all chatted through the procedure and it was over very quickly. I have loved how the staff and Dr. Prasad never try to hurry the visit, but always answer my questions and help me feel reassured. They are wonderful!

After the first two procedures, my restless legs were no more. Shortly after the restless legs were gone, my charley horses were gone, too. This is a process, but with each week I notice more energy back in my legs. I am not propping my legs up at night to rest before the next task, unless I want to. I am back to feeling capable in completing my days, including the things I love. Would I do this again? YES PLEASE, but sooner, much sooner.

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