Dr. Stephen Bunker and his medical team will be at the KEYE Television studios on Thursday, August 7, 2014. They will be discussing the common misconception that varicose veins affect only older people and answering various frequently asked questions about how varicose veins can also affect young people, such as:

Watch for live interviews at 3:00 PM for answers to these questions and more! Be sure to call into the phone bank during the news hour and schedule your complimentary consultation.

This will also be a monthly television event, so stay tuned by liking our Facebook page.

Varicose Veins Can Affect Young Adults

We see a number of patients that are in their late teens or early 20s, that have manifestations of the underlying medical problem related to varicose veins. This problem known as chronic venous insufficiency deals with the internal workings of the larger, deeper veins in our legs, where back pressure builds up into the veins in the skin.

Chronic venous insufficiency is a long-term condition. It occurs because a vein is partly blocked, or blood is leaking around the valves of the veins. This can be recognized early with the latest technology that involves ultrasound and a good vascular examination of the lower extremities.

Older patients tend to have more obvious manifestations of the disease on the skin, and thus the diagnosis is more easily made. The treatment, however, is similar.

Learn about the various treatments available for varicose veins or call (512) 726-0599 for more information. We have two locations: in Westlake (West Austin) and in Round Rock (North Austin).

Varicose Vein Treatment | Venefit ProcedureThe treatment of varicose veins has historically involved a surgical procedure where the patients are hospitalized, a general anesthetic is used, and discrete or specific cuts are made in the leg to allow the surgeon to literally pull or strip the larger veins out of a leg that are responsible for the development of these varicosities. Recovery time for these procedures has been 2-3 weeks.

Modern Varicose Vein Treatment

With the ushering in of the 21st century and its attendant technology, we’ve pretty much removed the necessity for a surgical approach to these medical problems. These days we use high technology with ultrasound to map out the specific segments of veins that are not working properly, and limited, non-invasive procedures are used. Small tubes called catheters are used under local anesthesia to literally close the veins and leave them in place when they’re not functioning properly. Most patients can return to their normal activities within 2-3 days.

Click on the link to learn more about the non-invasive varicose vein treatments we provide at Bunker Vein & Imaging Center, or contact us at (512) 726-0599 for a free screening. We have two locations in the greater Austin area: in Westlake and Round Rock.

Photo Credit: Covidien Venefit Procedure

Men's Health Varicose VeinsDr. Stephen Bunker and his medical team will be at the KEYE Television studios on Monday, June 9, 2014. They will be discussing varicose veins relating to men’s health, and how and men are also at risk for developing this medical condition.

Watch for live interviews at 5:00 PM. Be sure to call into the phone bank during the news hour and schedule your complimentary consultation!

This will also be a monthly television event, so stay tuned by liking our Facebook page.

Are men at risk for developing varicose veins?

A common misconception is that only women are at risk for varicose veins. Both men and women are at risk for this disease. In fact, recent studies have shown 43 percent of men are expected to develop some form of venous disease by the time they reach their 60s.

What can happen if men overlook or ignore their varicose veins?

If left untreated, varicose veins can progress to become Chronic Venous Insufficiency, a more serious form of venous disease. This progression may present increasingly severe signs and symptoms over time. These signs and symptoms include but are not limited to:

  • ankle swelling
  • fatigue
  • pain of the legs
  • Restless Leg Syndrome
  • skin damage
  • ulcers

Treatments for diseased veins can be effective in preventing the progression of Chronic Venous Insufficiency and eliminating varicose veins.

Can men do anything to prevent varicose veins and Chronic Venous Insufficiency?

If men have mild forms of venous disease, a lifestyle change can help to control existing symptoms and prevent the disease from progressing to Chronic Venous Insufficiency. These changes include:

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

Unfortunately, varicose veins cannot always be prevented so it is important to talk to a vein specialist about treatment options before the condition progresses into Chronic Venous Insufficiency or symptoms worsen.

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Who Gets Varicose Veins? Vein Disease Affects Everyone“Many people are surprised to learn that it is estimated that half the U.S. population is suffering from some form of vein disease,” says Dr. Stephen Bunker, of Bunker Vein & Imaging Center.

“Over 30 million people are suffering from some form of this disease actively, such as with varicose veins, severe symptoms, ulcerations of the skin, etc.”

According to WebMD.com, varicose and spider veins can occur in men or women of any age, but they most frequently affect women of childbearing years and older. Family history of the problem and aging increase one’s tendency to develop varicose and spider veins.

Risk Factors for Vein Disease

Who gets varicose veins?

  • Older age
  • Being female (Hormonal changes from puberty, pregnancy and menopause can lead to varicose veins. Taking birth control pills or hormone replacement can also increase your risk.)
  • Being born with defective valves
  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • History of blood clots in your legs
  • Standing or sitting for long periods
  • Family history of varicose veins

For more information, call (512) 726-0599 or learn more about our free screening.

Photo Credit: alexdecarvalho via Compfight cc

Dr. Stephen Bunker and his medical team will be at the KEYE Television studios on Tuesday, April 22, 2014. They will be discussing some common misconceptions about varicose veins, as well as answers to frequently asked questions such as “What causes varicose veins?” and more.

Watch for live interviews at 5:00. Be sure to call into the phone bank during the news hour and schedule your complimentary consultation!

This will also be a monthly television event, so stay tuned by liking our Facebook page.

Check out the video that’s been featured on KEYE TV:

What Causes Spider Veins and Varicose Veins?

What causes spider veins and varicose veins?Many people believe that this is a female disease, and although women are two to three times more likely to develop varicose veins than men, the underlying risk factors of genetics, lifestyle, job type, overweight, lack of exercise, trauma to our legs, etc., means that we treat several men at our clinic each week.

According to WebMD.com:

The National Institutes of Health estimates that 60% of all men and women suffer from some form of vein disorder. A quarter of varicose vein sufferers are men, although Dr. Robert A. Weiss [of Johns Hopkins School of Medicine] notes that it is almost always women who seek help for spider veins.

Seeking Treatment

Whatever the reasons men are less likely to seek out treatment for varicose and spider veins, it’s just as important for men as it is for women to get treated earlier rather than later. Timely diagnosis and treatment helps prevent serious vein diseases and conditions, such as deep vein thrombosis (DVT), pulmonary embolism, and chronic venous insufficiency.

If you are a woman or man suffering from varicose veins, call (512) 726-0599 or request an appointment online for a free screening. We now have two locations: in Westlake and Round Rock.

Photo Credit: Parker Knight via Compfight cc

Does insurance cover varicose veins?Contrary to popular belief, insurance companies do cover the diagnosis and treatment of the majority of these vein conditions.

Not just a cosmetic issue, what we’ve learned is that underlying vein problems deep to the skin can create the pressures that create visible veins in our legs and the spider veins that we see in a vast majority of people who believe that this is just a cosmetic problem.

According to an article in Fox News, “large varicose veins call for more aggressive treatment: endovenous laser ablation.” Although this can be a costly treatment, “it is often covered by insurance, since in rare cases varicose veins can cause blood clots and ulcers.”

To find out whether your medical insurance covers treatments by Bunker Vein, call (512) 726-0599 or request an appointment online for a free screening. We now have two locations: in Westlake and Round Rock.

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Deep Vein Thrombosis Swollen Leg

Swollen Leg is a Sign of Deep Vein Thrombosis

In a recent article in The Atlantic, “When a Cramp Is Actually a Clot,” a runner tells the story about how she was diagnosed with deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Her story is typical: DVT is often mistaken by both patients and doctors for something else, such as a runner’s cramp.

An estimated one in 1,000 Americans are diagnosed each year with a Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The number of Americans with DVTs, including those are undiagnosed, is estimated to be up to 600,000. As many as 100,000 deaths each year are directly or indirectly linked to a DVT.

A DVT alone is usually not life-threatening. Essentially, it’s a blood clot that forms in a vein deep inside a part of the body, which mainly affects the large veins in the lower leg and thigh.

But if part of the blood clot breaks loose and flows back into bloodstream, it could eventually get stuck in a passageway that is too small for it to pass through, such as those in the lungs. This results in a pulmonary embolism (PE), and that can kill you.

More than one-third of DVT patients have PE’s, according to the Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Prevent Deep Vein Thrombosis and Pulmonary Embolism, issued in 2008. “Often, the first symptom of DVT is a fatal PE,” said Dr. Elizabeth G. Nabel, director of the National Institutes of Health’s Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

“Recent long travel; a prolonged period of remaining in the same position; and red, painful, swelling were among the causes and symptoms listed. I had all but the redness and swelling. I called my doctor. She said to go to the nearest emergency room.”
— Christine Purley, avid runner

Early diagnosis is the key to a positive outcome, and diagnosis — along with treatment — is not difficult or painful. Treatment is completely non-invasive and a quick procedure.

Learn more about Bunker Vein & Imaging Center’s non-invasive treatments for varicose veins, which left untreated can lead to deep vein thrombosis.

Call us at (512) 726-0599 to make an appointment for a free screening.

One of the major misconceptions about vein disease is that athletes and people with an active lifestyles are prevented or protected from developing this condition. In a recent article published in the The Paramus Post in New Jersey, a local doctor shares a patient’s experience:

varicose vein treatment for athletesJane was always an athlete. Running was her main activity but in her 50’s Jane’s left knee was painful during and after running. After much physical therapy and medication, Jane had a knee replacement. Three years later she is back competing in triathlons. Her left leg is always more swollen than the right. It feels heavy and throbs by the end of the day. Jane has chronic Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT).

Many of the athletic patients at Bunker Vein & Imaging Center have come in with limitations in their training programs and compromises in their performance. When we examine them carefully we find out that they have run of the mill varicose veins, just as the rest of the population does. Following treatment, they notice a significant improvement in their training and performance levels.

If you’re an athlete or lead an active lifestyle, and you feel you might have varicose veins or another vein problem, call (512) 726-0599 or contact us online to request an appointment for a free screening. We have two locations available in the greater Austin area:

2712 Bee Caves Road, Suite 122
Austin, TX 78746

Round Rock:
301 Hester’s Crossing, Suite 120
Round Rock, TX 78681

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Vein Disease Isn’t Just a Cosmetic Issue

One of the main focuses of our center is that patients need to realize that they may have a chronic underlying and progressive disease. Seeing varicose veins or spider veins on their skin is not just a cosmetic problem, but it is often related to this underlying medical condition, which can progress and lead to more serious conditions.

Some patients may experience specific symptoms in their legs, such as heaviness, burning, itching, pain, and restlessness, that can be an indication of varicose veins. However, varicose veins themselves can be symptoms of various medical conditions, including:

misconception: varicose veins cosmetic issue

Deep Vein Thrombosis: Not “Just” a Cosmetic Issue

  • Blood Clots – clumps that occur when blood hardens from a liquid to a solid.
  • Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) – blood clot that forms in a vein deep in the body.
  • Edema – swelling caused by fluid in your body’s tissues. It usually occurs in the feet, ankles and legs, but it can involve your entire body.
  • Thrombophlebitis – swelling (inflammation) of a vein caused by a blood clot.
  • Lymphedema – happens when lymph builds up in your body’s soft tissues. Lymph is a fluid that contains white blood cells that defend against germs. It can build up when the lymph system is damaged or blocked.

If you have noticed varicose veins or spider veins on your legs, or any related symptoms, it’s important to get them looked at by a doctor who specializes in vein issues, to make sure that they aren’t signs of a underlying medical condition. Contact us online or call (512) 726-0599 to request an appointment for a screening.

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