Image of two men walking on the golf course.

Varicose Veins Do Not Discriminate Gender

If you thought varicose veins only occur in women, think again.

Recent estimates show that 43% percent of all men are expected to develop some form of venous disease by the time they reach their 60s, with as high as 56% of men currently showing symptoms of varicose veins.

And while they may not be pretty, varicose veins are not just a cosmetic issue. Many men make the mistake of putting off treatment, assuming that the affected veins are just an eyesore.

But without seeking treatment, men place themselves at risk for developing much more serious conditions, including chronic venous insufficiency and superficial venous reflux disease.

Increasingly severe signs and symptoms of untreated venous disease include but are not limited to:

  •  Ankle swelling
  • Fatigue
  • Leg pain, aching, or heaviness
  • Restless Leg Syndrome
  •  Skin damage or discoloration
  •  Ulcers

What can men do to prevent varicose veins and other venous disease?

To prevent mild forms of venous disease from forming or progressing, making some simple healthy lifestyle changes can often be the most effective approach.

If you feel you may be at risk for or experiencing varicose veins, consider:

  •  Managing blood pressure and body weight
  • Exercising regularly
  • Strengthening calf muscles
  •  Elevating legs whenever possible
  • Avoiding periods of prolonged standing or sitting
  • Eating a diet low in salt and rich in high-fiber foods

It can’t wait—do not ignore your varicose vein symptoms.

If you are experiencing pain, swelling, or discomfort in the legs, do not put off seeking the help of a vein specialist. Even after making some of the lifestyle changes above, you may find that your varicose vein symptoms continue to progress.

Don’t wait until it’s too late to seek treatment—you could end up with a much more serious problem. Call Bunker Vein at (512) 726-0599 to schedule your free consultation and keep your legs healthy and strong!

Doctor shows information: varicose veins

Do you feel you may be developing varicose veins? Understanding varicose veins and treatments is the first step toward knowing whether you should seek medical help.

Identifying Varicose Veins

Varicose veins occur when blood vessels are unable to properly regulate the flow of blood in the veins, and as it collects, they swell. They are often a dull red or blue, or flesh-colored, and may appear raised above the surface of the skin, like swollen, twisted cords.

Varicose veins are most often accompanied by bothersome or painful symptoms. If you are experiencing any of the following, it’s best that you see a doctor right away:

  • Your vein(s) are red, swollen, bleeding, warm, or sore

  • The skin on your leg and/or ankle has thickened and changed color

  • You have a rash or skin sores near your ankle

  • You are unable to proceed with your day-to-day life because of leg pain or discomfort

  • Your vein(s) cause you to feel embarrassed or uncomfortable in shorts or a swimsuit

How Do I Know for Sure if I Have Varicose Veins?

When you schedule a free consultation, Dr. Bunker will often be able to diagnose varicose veins just from a quick physical evaluation of the legs while sitting and standing. You may need to answer some questions about your symptoms, or have an ultrasound test to examine the veins’ structure and blood flow below the surface.

After your consultation, you will know for sure whether you should seek treatment.

Understanding Varicose Vein Treatments

If you do require treatment for varicose veins, Dr. Bunker will select the most appropriate method(s), including:

  • Conservative therapies, or simple measures that often reduce the progression and symptoms of varicose veins. These include wearing medical-grade compression stalkings, taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs such as Ibuprofen, and making healthy choices like walking, weight management, and avoiding long periods of sitting or standing.

  • Endovenous Laser Therapy (EVLT), in which laser-light energy heats the vein wall and causes it to close, allowing other, healthier veins to take over

  • Venefit Targeted Endovenous Therapy, similar to EVLT, only using radio-frequency energy

  • Sclerotherapy, only used in very specific cases, in which medication is precisely injected to irritate the vein wall and cause it to collapse

 If you think you may have varicose veins, call Bunker Vein & Imaging Center to schedule your free screening at (512) 726-0599 or contact us online to find out for sure.

image of woman with tennis shoes for National Women's Health Week

National Women’s Health Week Kick-Off

In honor of all women and their most vibrant health, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services kicked off National Women’s Health week on Mother’s Day, May 10 and will observe it through this Saturday, May 16.

This is a great opportunity to tune into your own health goals and start or deepen a commitment to simple preventative measures to keep up good health and reduce your chances of developing illness, including varicose veins.

Making Healthy Eating Choices

One of the simplest and most effective ways to prevent disease is to give your body whole, fresh, nutrient-dense foods. Instead of following a diet, try finding what works best for you. In general, more fresh greens, fruits, vegetables, “good” fats, whole foods and grains, and less refined sugars, artificial sugars, fried foods, and processed foods.

If you are at risk for or may be developing varicose veins, reducing your salt intake will help alleviate swelling. And don’t forget lots of clean water—try replacing sweet teas or sodas with flavored (but unsweetened) sparkling water.

Moving Your Body and Sweating

Another fundamental step to having and keeping good health is regularly getting a good sweat. If you hate running or going to the gym, find other ways to move that you enjoy. Hike, swim, jump rope, dance, climb, walk…there are so many options! But the key to staying committed is finding what feels best to you, not doing what everyone else is doing.

Regular exercise keeps your legs, veins, and circulation strong, and maintaining a healthy weight reduces the downward pressure on your legs that contributes to the development of varicose veins.

Being Proactive with Preventative Screenings

If you’re experiencing symptoms of any kind and feel you may be at risk for an illness, don’t wait until the last minute to seek help. Listen to your body and rule out any doubt with a preventative screening, available for many ailments including varicose veins.

Varicose veins can be very painful. If you are experiencing pain, throbbing, or discomfort in your legs, make your health a priority and schedule a free screening now. Call Bunker Vein at (512) 726-0599 or contact us online.

lpw_old_crest_no_textWe are extremely proud and honored to have Dr. Bunker chosen and celebrated by The International Association of HealthCare Professionals. They have selected him to represent radiology in their publication, The Leading Physicians of the World. His passion for venous and lymphatic medicine, along with Bunker Vein & Imaging Center, is also highlighted.

“Dr. Bunker is an exceptional radiologist with three decades of experience in diagnostic radiology, nuclear radiology, nuclear medicine, and venous and lymphatic medicine. The founder of the Bunker Vein & Imaging Center located in Austin, Texas, Dr. Bunker and his team function on a solid commitment to help people and strive to provide the highest standard of treatments for varicose veins, spider veins, and venous disease. “

To read the full announcement or to find out more about Dr. Bunker’s medical history and career highlights, click here.

Back to Work in No Time

With the newer approaches to varicose veins, patients can return to work after treatment frequently within one or two days and certainly within two to three days. The old two- to three-week recovery periods have pretty much been replaced.Image of people walking

After receiving treatment, most patients are able to resume their normal activities right away. The only restriction they may have is to avoid long periods of sitting, especially while traveling on the air or road, in order to keep the circulation moving.

Compression stockings are often recommended post-procedure to aid in recovery and comfort, and may be worn for one to several days as needed.

While it’s best to be gentle with yourself and allow for plenty of care and rest after a vein procedure, vein treatment patients respond best to a moderate level of low-impact activity during the recovery period, rather than inactivity or bed rest—making it even easier to get back into the swing of things quickly.

Are you considering varicose vein treatment? Call Bunker Vein at (512) 726-0599 to schedule your free screening.

Austin Varicose Vein Treatment ReviewsDr. Bunker’s professionalism and patient concern and care were always number one, The procedures were very intense at times that if it had not been for the upbeat personality of Dr. Bunker and his staff than the procedures would have been much more difficult to with stand. I was very grateful for their attitude to help me thru everything that I had to experience to improve my health.
— Pam B.

(Results May Vary*)

Learn more about varicose and spider vein treatments, or call (512) 726-0599 to make an appointment for a free screening.

Image of walking for varicose vein prevention

An Easy Way to Practice Varicose Vein Prevention

Spring is here, the sun is shining, and it’s a perfect time to begin or revive your daily walking routine.

Going for a quick walk is one of the easiest and most effective ways to encourage and maintain healthy veins, and to alleviate the swelling and pain that can come with varicose veins.

Walking is easily adaptable for anyone, so no matter what your current fitness level walking can make a big impact for your feet and legs. Getting out for even a leisurely stroll for 10 or 15 minutes will improve your circulation and blood flow.

As Dr. John C. Wolf, Associate Professor of Family Medicine at Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine explains, walking creates a rhythmic contraction of your leg muscles, which help to prevent blood from flowing backward, a common issue for veinous disease.

Walking is especially effective when applied as a daily activity in between prolonged bouts of sitting or standing, as these times tend to aggravate varicose vein symptoms and progression. Use your daily walks to get a breath of fresh air, take a break, have some time to yourself, or to spend time with friends or your dog.

According to the American Heart Association, your regular walking routine has tons of other benefits aside from caring for your veins. Just 30 minutes of walking per day has been shown to reduce the risk of many chronic diseases, improve blood pressure and blood sugar levels, and enhance mental well being.

If you are experiencing pain in your lower legs despite a regular walking routine or have questions about varicose vein symptoms, contact Bunker Vein at (512) 726-0599.

 

Source: Wolf, John C. “EXERCISE ONE OF THE FIRST STEPS IN TREATING VARICOSE VEINS” Family Medicine. Retrieved from: http://www.oucom.ohiou.edu/communications/familymedicine/archives/2001/2515(FM).html

Image of leg pain

A few weeks ago we kicked off Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) Awareness Month with a guide to recognizing the signs and symptoms of this hard-to-diagnose and potentially fatal disease. But the very best way to protect yourself from life-threatening blood clots is to prevent them from happening in the first place.

Pulmonary embolism (PE), the deadly blood clot that occurs in the lungs as a result of untreated DVT, has been cited as possibly the most common preventable cause of death in American hospitals, with almost 60% of hip replacement patients contracting DVT in the absence of preventative measures.

So what can you do to prevent blood clots caused by DVT and PE?

First and foremost, take good care of yourself. Cultivating a healthy lifestyle, while not an “easy fix,” is the most effective way to prevent not only DVT and PE, but all forms of disease and ailment.

The key components of a healthy lifestyle are:

  • Regular exercise (it doesn’t take much, just 30 minutes 3-5 times per week)
  • A nutritious diet that includes more living, whole foods than processed ones (think fresh fruit instead of fruit snacks and salted nuts instead of chips)
  • Sufficient, restful sleep
  • Avoiding long periods of sitting, standing, or inactivity

If you travel often, you know how hard it can be to maintain these healthful habits on the road, but it’s actually even more important to take good care of yourself away from home.

To lessen the toll that long flights or drives can take on the legs:

  • Skip that cocktail. Alcohol thins the blood and can affect your circulation.
  • Instead of using sleeping pills to nod off at night, try taking several long, deep breaths. Fill your belly and lungs like a balloon, as far as they’ll go, then slowly release.
  • Drink lots of water! It’s so important to stay hydrated on-the-go.
  • Get up and move your legs. Walk up and down the aisle a few times when the pilot turns off the fasten seatbelt sign, or pull over at a rest stop every couple hours.
  • Try wearing medical-grade compression stockings for extra support

If you are preparing for surgery of the legs, hips, or pelvis, consult with your doctor to identify which preventative measures you should be taking.

Following these guidelines won’t completely eliminate your chances of contracting DVT, but they will significantly reduce them. If you feel you may be at risk or would like more information on preventing blood clots, call Bunker Vein today at (512) 726-0599 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.

Image of possible DVT leg pain in lower legWhat is DVT?

Deep-vein thrombosis, or DVT, is a common vein condition which can sometimes be difficult to spot, and without the proper treatment can lead to fatal complications. Each March, we’re committed to raising awareness about DVT and making sure you know how to recognize the signs and symptoms.

While spider veins and varicose veins tend to have clear, apparent, visual symptoms, DVT can sometimes be lurking below the surface without any obvious signs. This is because DVT occurs in deep veins rather than superficial veins, often surrounded by muscle tissue and hidden from the eye.

DVT is the formation of a blood clot, or thrombus, in the deep veins most often in the legs, which interrupts normal blood flow and circulation.

Common Symptoms of DVT Include:

  • Swelling of the affected limb(s)
  • Pain or discomfort
  • Paleness, redness or discoloration of the skin
  • Increased heat around the affected area, similar to a wound or infection

While the symptoms listed above are commonly linked with DVT, they can also be caused by other vein conditions or simply muscle strain or inflammation. Further, a majority of DVT cases do not exhibit any immediate symptoms at all, making this condition difficult to clearly diagnose.

The only way to know for sure whether you may be experiencing DVT is to consult with a vein specialist, who can rule out or confirm DVT through ultrasound or blood work.

Are You at Risk for DVT?

Individuals over the age of 60 are at highest risk for DVT. If you have one or more of these risk factors, we highly recommend you seek further attention immediately to prevent more serious complications:

  • Previous diagnosis of DVT or pulmonary embolism
  • Hereditary disposition to clotting (thrombophilia)
  • Obesity
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Recently undergone major surgery (especially in legs, hips, or pelvis)
  • Pregnancy or giving birth within the last 6 months
  • Stroke
  • Cancer
  • Heart disease
  • Certain autoimmune disorders, such as lupus
  • Hormone replacement therapy or birth control (this risk is compounded by smoking)

Don’t let DVT sneak up on you. Call Bunker Vein today at (512) 726-0599 if you think there’s even a small chance you may be at risk, or contact us online to schedule a free screening.


Many people present (arrive) to our clinic with spider veins, believing that they are in fact a manifestation of varicose veins. But they’re actually quite different.

Varicose veins are the dilated, bulging blood vessels that we frequently see in our skin, whereas spider veins are little tiny burst blood vessels, more like what we call capillaries, and these are frequently (but not always) related to just a cosmetic issue.

The Main Differences Between Spider Veins and Varicose Veins

Varicose Veins

  • Often duller red, blue, or flesh-colored, and may appear raised above the surface of the skin, like swollen, twisted cords.
  • Occur when the valves in the walls of the blood vessels are weakened or damaged and no longer able to regulate the flow of blood. As it collects, the affected veins enlarge and swell.
  • Often have noticeable symptoms, including itching or burning of the legs, aching or restlessness, swelling, pain and sometimes even ulcers near the ankle.
  • Untreated, may lead to more serious health issues.

Spider Veins

  • Often brighter red or blue and appear close to the surface of the skin, like tree branches or spiderwebs (hence their name).
  • Occur when small, surface blood vessels become permanently dilated.
  • Can be due to blood backup like varicose veins, but may be due to other factors like strenuous activity or injury, sun exposure, or hormonal imbalance.
  • May cause some itching, burning, or discomfort, but are typically less symptomatic than varicose veins.
  • Often, but not always, cosmetic in nature.

If you have any questions about these differences or any other issues relating to vein health, please call us at 512-726-0599.

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