Embrace Your Beauty

I frequently get asked about varicose veins and pregnancy. Specifically, does childbirth make you more likely to get varicose veins and does it make it worse. The answer to both is YES. Those kids, the gifts that keep on giving!

When you become pregnant, one of the early changes that occurs is your blood volume expands. If you have more blood in your veins, it is like blowing air into a balloon. Remember that the basic problem in vein disease is that the walls are not as strong as they should be. Therefore, any varicose veins you already have will look bigger very quickly and you may notice new ones popping up.

As your baby gets bigger, it will occupy more of the space in your pelvis. Remember that your leg veins drain into the pelvic veins. As the baby gets bigger and bigger, it will press on the pelvic veins and cause the blood trying to exit the legs to back up. Also, the pressure inside the veins will increase. The result will be an increase in the size of the existing varicose veins, increased swelling in the legs, and new veins appearing on the surface of your legs.

Lastly, when you are pregnant, you will produce hormones that are designed to relax collagen. The reason for this is to allow a widening of the pelvis so your baby can come out safely. Unfortunately, these hormones have an effect on all of your collagen. So, if you have existing varicose veins, they will get worse. If you haven’t developed any, you will be more prone to getting them as time goes on. This effect gets worse with each subsequent pregnancy, so the more children you have, the more likely you are to develop vein disease.

The good news is that after the birth of your child, issues one and two go away! Unfortunately, issue three, the hormonal effect, is cumulative and stays with you. So, once you are pregnant, it would be beneficial to wear medical grade compression hose until delivery. The hose will reduce your leg swelling, reduce the risk of blood clots, and make the legs feel better. They will not reduce the risk of developing vein disease. However, once you have delivered, you should seek care to treat your varicose veins. We would love to see you at the Genesis Laser & Vein Center!

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As we age, we have been conditioned to put up with aches and pains as “part of getting older!” With newer discoveries and treatments, that is not always the case for your legs. Do you wish your legs would feel lighter, more energetic, less sluggish, and even look better? At the Genesis Laser & Vein Center we can help you achieve this.

Vein disease is a progressive disease that starts when you are young. Like a lot of medical conditions, the earlier you begin treatment, the better the results are. A common misconception is that if they don’t hurt, it is okay. This couldn’t be further from the truth. When you have vein disease, the main risk when you are younger is a higher risk of blood clots. If we reduce the amount of blood pooling in your legs, the risk goes down. Plus, your legs will feel lighter and more energetic! Also, as you treat the surface veins, you will be less self-conscious about the looks and hopefully be more active.

As the years go on, you will need ongoing treatment. But if you start earlier, these treatments are less frequent, and the results are better. So, if you want to live your best and healthiest life, come in and let us evaluate you. We can then help your legs stay healthy, which is far better than trying to fix things when they break!

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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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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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