Varicose Vein Symptoms | Bulging Veins

Signs and symptoms of vein disease are many and varied. Some of these are limited to subtle and relatively non specific complaints that the patients might have such as restless leg syndrome, or itching and burning of the skin, a heavy feeling at the end of the day, an aching or a swelling of the ankles or lower parts of the leg.

Others are much more specific such as gross varicose veins, bulging veins in the skin, or ulcerations which frequently start inside the ankle. Nevertheless, all of these can lead to the diagnosis confirmation of underlying pressure problems of larger veins in our legs, and all of which can lead to treatment that is covered by most insurance carriers and medicare.

To learn more about your varicose vein symptoms, and to find out about treatments for varicose veins and vein disease, contact Bunker Vein at (512) 726-0599.

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Dr. Stephen Bunker and his medical team will be at the KEYE Television studios on Tuesday, December 16, 2014. They will be discussing frequently asked questions about sclerotherapy and other minimally invasive treatments for varicose veins.

Watch for the live interview 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 free screening.

What is sclerotherapy and what types of patients are good candidates for this procedure?

Sclerotherapy is a medical procedure used to eliminate varicose and spider veins. The procedure involves injecting a solution directly into the vein, which causes the vein to scar and collapse, forcing the blood to reroute through healthier veins.

  • Those who are best suited to take advantage of this type of therapy are:
    men and women between 30 and 60 years of age, in good overall health, whom have not had prior blood clot(s)
  • women whom are at least three months past childbirth.

All of these patients should be evaluated for abnormalities in larger, underlying veins, which, if present, should be treated first.

What is endovenous treatment and what types of patients are good candidates for this procedure?

Sclerotherapy | Ultrasound Guided Treatment | Bunker VeinThis is a minimally invasive ultrasound guided technique used to treat varicose veins by inserting a laser fiber or catheter into the vein called the saphenous vein. The laser fiber, or catheter, heats the inside of this vein causing it to collapse and remain shut. The treatment is performed by a physician trained in phlebology (a vein specialist). A good candidate for the treatment needs to have realistic expectations of the results and meet certain criteria. Upon having a consultation with our physician, a venous ultrasound may be ordered to determine if there is any abnormal backward flow (reflux) in the vein(s).

Can these minimally invasive therapies permanently cure varicose veins?

Currently, minimally invasive treatments have very high success rates compared to traditional surgical treatments. Over a period of years, however, new abnormal veins may develop, and patients may need to return for maintenance treatments after their initial session is completed. Follow-up ultrasound examinations are usually performed to monitor for these developments.

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).

Many of the insurance companies will require a period of time, ranging from six weeks to ninety days, of so-called conservative therapy. This means that the patient must wear medical grade compression stockings during the day, elevates their legs nightly for roughly 30 minutes, and takes a medication in the class of what are known as NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) — these are Advil, ibuprofen, Motrin, Aleve, etc. — to help reduce inflammation in the legs.

Although this conservative therapy is not a cure for vein disease, the patient may receive some significant symptom relief. But once the stockings are removed, the medications are stopped, the disease usually recurs and progresses.

When to Call Your Doctor

Call Bunker Vein for an appointment at (512) 726-0599 if:

  • Varicose veins are painful
  • Varicose veins are getting worse
  • Putting your legs up or not standing for a long time is not working
  • You have a sudden increase in pain or swelling
  • You have a fever, redness in your leg
  • You get leg sores

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Dr. Stephen Bunker and his medical team will be at the KEYE Television studios on Wednesday, November 12, 2014. They will be discussing frequently asked questions about diabetes and varicose veins.

Watch for the live interview at 3:15 PM for answers to these questions and more! Be sure to call into the phone bank during the news hour and schedule your free screening.

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

Does diabetes cause varicose veins?

Person Self-Administering an Injecting in the ArmThere are no proven direct links between diabetes and varicose veins. Standing for long periods of time, however, does increase the risk of varicose and spider veins – and people who are overweight and stand for too long place greater strain on the veins in their legs. Being overweight also increases the risk of developing diabetes, as well as developing other medical conditions that can impair healthy blood flow. Simply put, the more weight that the legs have to support, then the harder it is for veins to fight gravity and do their job.

What types of foot problems are common in people with diabetes?

Diabetes causes damage to small blood vessels, including those that supply the nerves. Foot problems most often happen when there is nerve damage, also called neuropathy. This can cause tingling, pain (burning or stinging), or weakness in the foot. It can also cause loss of feeling in the foot, resulting in developing an injury without knowing about it. Poor blood flow, or changes in the shape of the feet or toes, may also cause problems.

What can people with diabetes do to prevent varicose veins?

To prevent swelling, people with diabetes should do the following:

  • Cut down on salt intake
  • Elevate the legs when resting
  • Eat high-fiber foods such as bran cereals, whole grain breads, and fresh fruits and vegetables to promote regularity
  • Avoid clothing or undergarments that are tight or constrict the waist, groin or legs

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).

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).

Can athletes get varicose veins?Many athletes say their legs feel great when training, but about 30-45 minutes after a training session, the leg with varicose veins (bulging veins) aches, throbs, or feels more tired than the normal leg. When athletes elevate their legs, the symptoms can subside, providing relief.

During exercise, muscles require more oxygen, so more blood travels down the leg through the arteries. The extra blood needs eventually needs to return upward, back to the heart. If the veins are not working properly, some of the blood remains in the lower leg. This leads to aching, throbbing, heaviness and tiredness.

Learn more about Bunker Vein & Imaging Center’s free screening or call (512) 726-0599.

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Varicose Veins Standing All Day | Teachers at RiskStanding all day can cause a number of health problems, including the development of varicose veins. Numbness in the toes and lower calves is one of those most common symptoms of varicose veins.

Standing for long periods can cause blood to pool in the leg veins, increasing the pressure within the veins. In persons who are prone to varicose veins, the veins can stretch as a result of increased pressure, which may weaken the walls of the veins and damage the valves.

According to a 2005 study, standing for 75% of the workday was shown to increase the risk of hospitalization for varicose veins.

Learn more about Bunker Vein & Imaging Center’s free screening or call (512) 726-0599.

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Varicose Veins Young AdultsAlthough varicose veins in teens and young adults are uncommon, the underlying cause – malfunctioning valves in the legs – starts surprisingly young. For a majority of people, it’s a very slow progression to developing symptomatic varicose veins or other venous problems such as swollen ankles, discoloured skin, venous eczema or venous leg ulcers.

In some people, however, varicose veins and venous damage seems to occur early. Therefore it is important to know that teens and young adults can have varicose veins – or the associated complications with “hidden varicose veins” – and if symptomatic varicose veins or other signs of venous disease do appear, it should be investigated fully and not ignored.

Learn more about Bunker Vein & Imaging Center’s free screening or call (512) 726-0599.

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Varicose Vein Treatment Doctor Stephen R-bunkerDr. Stephen Bunker and his medical team will be at the KEYE Television studios on Tuesday, July 22, 2014. They will be discussing the various things patients should take into consideration when choosing a vein care specialist.

Watch for live interviews at 9:00 AM. 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.

What certifications should someone look for when choosing a vein care specialist?

In my opinion, a patient should look for a physician who is certified in diagnostic radiology. Diagnostic ultrasound is critical to determining the underlying source of your vein problem. Ultrasound allows the doctor to observe and measure the backward flow of blood, or venous reflux, through the vein and determine whether it is properly functioning. Interventional radiologists have extensive training in ultrasound technology. Doctors who are trained and experienced in ultrasound are better equipped to handle image-guided procedures, resulting in a smoother procedure experience for the patient.

What should someone look for when it comes to the evaluation of their veins?

A patient should make sure the vein care specialist is using duplex ultrasound to evaluate their veins. Duplex ultrasound provides the physician with a clear picture of the veins. This will then allow the physician to determine: direction of blood flow, condition of the veins, and valve function. Duplex ultrasound will help your physician pinpoint the source of the problem.

It’s also important that the physician’s practice treats only veins. Several different types of doctors are now offering vein treatment; however it is important to choose a physician who specializes in vein treatment exclusively. The venous system is multifaceted. A vein care specialist understands this complexity and is trained in the latest most effective procedures.

Do all vein care specialist accept insurance?

No. Unfortunately, not all physicians offering vein care treatment accept insurance. Vein disease is a medical condition and most insurance companies, including Medicare, will help cover the cost of treatment. However, rules and requirements vary from carrier to carrier. Make sure your vein care specialist’s office staff is knowledgeable on the subject, specifically with the rules for the conservative treatment pre-conditions that can develop over time.

interventional radiologyInterventional radiologists’ main focus is minimally invasive techniques that can produce improved outcomes, reduced infection rates, faster recovery time, and shortened hospital stays. Many years ago, interventional radiologists saw themselves among the first minimally invasive specialists – they were using their expertise in angioplasty and catheter-delivered stents to treat peripheral arterial disease. But not too long after that, cardio and vascular surgeons increased their use of interventional techniques.

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Advantages of an Interventional Radiologist

Diagnostic ultrasound is critical to determining the underlying source of your vein problem. Ultrasound allows the doctor to observe the backward flow of blood (the venous reflux) through the vein and determine whether it is properly functioning.

Interventional radiologists have extensive training in ultrasound technology. Doctors who are trained and experienced in ultrasound are better equipped to handle image-guided procedures, resulting in a smoother procedure experience for the patient.

Another advantage of using an interventional radiologist is avoiding a hospital if it’s not necessary. Hospitals can be uncomfortable and lead to a higher risk of developing secondary infections. Because of highly effective and proven technologies, physicians skilled in minimally invasive vein treatments can perform almost every procedure in the office on an outpatient basis.

While there are many doctors who have some knowledge of vein disease, it’s recommended to seek a doctor who specializes exclusively in vein treatments, understands the complexity of the venous system, and is trained and experienced in the cutting-edge effective procedures.

Dr. Stephen Bunker is a vein specialist certified by American Boards of Radiology, Nuclear Medicine, and Vein and Lymphatic Medicine. To find out more about Bunker Vein’s non-surgical procedures, call (512) 726-0599 or contact us online to request a free screening.

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