Bulging Vein treatment options

Know the Signs of Vein Disease Before It Progresses

Have you started to notice deeply colored veins in your legs that seem strange? Are you worried about a family member who frequently has swollen or painful legs? It’s normal to wonder if the problem is vein disease in these situations. Knowing the symptoms of spider veins and varicose veins can help you find the answer.

How Can You Tell If You Have Vein Disease?

The symptoms of vein disease can vary significantly depending on how long you’ve had the problem and other health factors. In fact, some people barely notice any symptoms aside from the cosmetic appearance of spider veins. For other people, aching and burning sensations appear from the very beginning. These common symptoms usually appear in one or both legs:

  • Leg cramps
  • Itching
  • Swollen ankles/legs
  • Persistent aches or sharp pain
  • Strange feelings of heaviness or pressure in your legs

In addition to discomfort, you may also see the telltale appearance of spider veins or varicose veins. If you’re on the fence about whether you have vein disease, you’re not the only one. It can be tricky to be sure, especially at the beginning.

Why Is It Important To Detect Vein Disease As Soon As Possible?

For some people, vein disease can cause significant pain or discomfort. It’s hard to have a normal day when your legs ache or burn constantly. Even worse, when night time comes, it’s not easy to fall asleep if you have throbbing or itching from varicose veins. Fortunately, vein issues aren’t something you have to live with. Our compassionate health professionals can help you find relief. Whether you’re working, spending time you’re your family, relaxing on the patio, or putting on your pajamas, you can feel comfortable and happy.

Another reason that acting ASAP to resolve vein problems matters is that these conditions can progress if left untreated. At first, you may only notice a few spider veins that don’t really bother you. However, over time, blood vessels can expand into swollen varicose veins. This happens as damaged valves that control normal blood flow start to weaken and allow blood to put too much pressure on artery walls. Other serious complications can appear as well, such as blood clots. The great news is that these conditions are preventable and treatable, so there’s nothing to worry about as long as you keep your veins as healthy as possible.

Finally, catching vein disease while it’s still young is good for your self-esteem. We’ve spoken with many women and men who feel self-conscious about spider veins and varicose veins. They may shy away from wearing shorts, bathing suits, or dresses that they used to love merely because they don’t want people to see the purplish veins. There’s no reason to put yourself through that experience. Modern vein disease treatments generally have great success in reducing or eliminating the appearance of varicose veins and spider veins.

What Are the Stages of Vein Disease?

It’s important to recognize the signs of vein disease now to prevent further complications. We can help explain how vein disease can progress and what signs to consider. There are seven main stages of vein disease, ranging from signs that are less obvious to more serious.

    • Stage 1 – Vein Swelling:

      • At this stage, most of the damage is happening underneath the surface. Know that vein disease may not be visible yet. You may have vein disease even if you do not see varicose veins at the skin’s surface. Symptoms include leg pain, aches or cramps, throbbing, itching, heaviness in your legs, burning, swollen legs or ankles, and restless legs.
    • Stage 2 – Spider Veins:

      • Keep a lookout for spider veins. Spider veins are small, damaged veins that appear on the legs’ surface. They can be blue, purple, or red, and look like thin lines, web-like networks, or branches. These veins can cause aching, burning, or pain.
    • Stage 3 – Varicose Veins:

      • Watch for varicose veins, which are enlarged, swollen veins that are often dark purple or blue in color. Primary symptoms are pain, swelling, heaviness, and discoloration. The veins can bleed, and ulcers can form when the disease progresses. The extra weight can make your legs feel exhausted or painful after a long day.
    • Stage 4 – Heavy Legs and Tiredness (Edima):

      • Check to see if you are experiencing edema. This is swelling in the legs and ankles. Leaky valves cause blood to pool in your legs, which causes swelling when you are on your feet for long periods of time.
    • Stage 5 – Ankle Symptoms (Corona Phlebectatica):

      • Look for corona phlebectatica, which are abnormally visible blood vessels at the ankles that look like blue and red spider veins. Common symptoms are pain, itching, a burning sensation, and swelling.
    • Stage 6 – Skin Darkening or Hardening:

      • Be aware of skin changes. Bleeding and fluid buildup caused by damaged veins can affect the skin’s color. Progressive skin changes can lead to leg ulcers. Symptoms include pain, hardening of the skin, and skin color changes.
    • Stage 7 – Serious Complications:

      • Watch for leg ulcers. This stage produces a wound on the leg or ankle caused by abnormal or damaged veins, leading to venous hypertension and a breakdown of the tissue. Patients also have an increased risk of developing blood clots at this stage, a potentially life-threatening condition. It’s urgent to act quickly to treat vein disease by stage 7, but it’s even better to catch it long before.

      As a reminder, you can reach out to us anytime for more information about vein disease and request a screening. Don’t hesitate to also ask your existing health care team – a nurse, family doctor, or podiatrist – about vein disease and be honest and open about your symptoms.

What Should You Do If You Think You Have Vein Disease?

If your first thought when noticing signs of vein disease is to visit a doctor, you’re absolutely on the right track. However, it’s not enough to go to your favorite general practitioner. You need a vein specialist — someone who understands how to correct faulty veins effectively and painlessly.

There are three easy steps to receiving great results.

      1. Schedule Consultation: Scheduling your first appointment is easy. Contact us today for a free screening.
      2. Health Insurance: Talk through health insurance benefits with one of our insurance experts. After receiving your approval letter, we will reach out to you about financial planning.
      3. Schedule Vein Treatment: Leading-edge, minimally invasive treatment options are performed in our state-of-the-art facility by Dr. Rimas Gilvydis. We provide quick, convenient in-office treatment with excellent results that require little-to-no downtime.

Why wait to schedule a consultation for varicose or spider veins, or consider treatment that can help address leg pain and discomfort? Act now to stop the progression of vein disease, which if left untreated can harm your quality of life and limit your active lifestyle. Call (779) 696-8346 today. Don’t hesitate to also ask your existing health care team – a nurse, family doctor, or podiatrist – about vein disease and be honest and open about your symptoms.

Vein Clinic Experience and Results

Why Choose Us: Experience and Results

Living with the symptoms of varicose veins or spider veins can disrupt your quality of life. At Northern Illinois Vein Clinic, we are the leading experts in vein disease in the region because we focus solely on the treatment of leg vein disease. We deliver successful outcomes, and our patients become our best advocates.

Patient Experience

We prioritize your experience during each step of the process. During the consultation, we explain what vein disease is and how it progresses, perform an exam that assesses if you have vein disease and how advanced it is, and we discuss next steps, which may include minimally invasive treatment in our clinic that will help relieve symptoms, improve the look of your legs, and requires little-to-no downtime. Each treatment plan is individualized to the patient depending on the stage their vein disease is in. Vein disease is covered by most insurance plans and before treatment, our team will work with your insurance and health benefits to secure medical coverage whenever possible.

Patient Outcomes

Our 5-star experience means that patients trust us to refer their family and friends back to our clinics. We also take pride in the fact that local healthcare providers trust us to refer their patients for care. After treatment, the most common thing we hear from patients is, “I wish I would have done this sooner.” Patients often go on to be our best advocates, regularly leaving 5-star reviews and recommendations on Google, Facebook, and other healthcare review platforms. One patient said:

“Dr. G. is a genius in his field! After two procedures the transformation in my leg and life is truly miraculous.”

Unmatched Expertise

Dr. Rimas Gilvydis brings the diagnosis and treatment of venous disease to the 21st century, combining modern technology with advanced expertise. He is a board-certified vascular and interventional radiologist, as well as a diplomate of the American Board of Venous & Lymphatic Medicine. Our leading-edge, minimally invasive treatments are performed in our state-of-the-art facilities by Dr. Gilvydis and his team. The team has performed more than 24,000 successful laser vein treatments.

You don’t have to delay help for your varicose veins or spider veins. Vein disease is progressive and if left untreated can become serious. A simple consultation can assess your legs and determine the next steps in your individualized treatment plan. If you are experiencing any symptoms of vein disease, contact us today.

Restless Leg Syndrome Treatments Northern Illinois Vein Clinic

Is Vein Disease Causing Restless Legs Syndrome?

What Is Restless Legs Syndrome?

Restless legs syndrome is a nervous system disorder that causes unpleasant sensations such as itching or tingling in the legs, feet, or thighs. People who have RLS feel an overpowering urge to move their legs to make these uncomfortable feelings go away. Unfortunately, moving around only provides temporary relief. Trying to ignore them simply doesn’t work, either, because they can last for hours. According to one study, correcting vein issues significantly improved RLS in patients, with some experiencing a large improvement and others noticing complete relief.

Why Is RLS Serious?

Restless legs syndrome can profoundly impact your quality of life and overall health, mainly because it affects your ability to get enough sleep. The symptoms of RLS often get worse at bedtime, making it impossible to fall asleep normally. They can even wake you up in the middle of the night.

Not sleeping properly affects your entire body. You may feel physically, emotionally, and mentally exhausted during the day. Focusing at work can be difficult, and you don’t have the same energy levels. Your immune system also takes a hit without proper rest, so it’s easier to get sick.

Who Does RLS Affect?

Anyone can develop restless legs syndrome, and some people with mild symptoms aren’t even aware they have it. That said, RLS is more common in middle-aged and senior adults. The

symptoms may appear earlier in life and worsen with age, gradually becoming more difficult to ignore.

Women are more likely to experience the disorder than men, though many men have RLS, too. Many pregnant women have temporary problems with restless legs syndrome. About a month after giving birth, the symptoms gradually disappear.

The risk factors for vein disease are similar. About a quarter of all adults – men and women – will develop varicose veins at some point in their lives. Women carry a slightly higher risk, as pregnancy can cause varicose veins.

How Can You Tell That You Have RLS?

The main way to tell that you have restless legs syndrome is that you experience strange feelings in your legs that only go away when you move. For some, the sensations are painful. Others notice an intense feeling of itching. You may even feel like something is crawling on you, even though nothing is there.

Here are some of the main symptoms of restless legs syndrome:

  • Itching
  • Aching
  • Throbbing
  • Leg tingling
  • Pins and needles
  • Crawling sensations
  • Feelings of someone pulling on your muscles
  • Involuntary leg movements

These symptoms can show up every night or only a few times a week. They can change, get more intense, and move from one side of the body to the other. Even though RLS typically affects your legs, strange feelings can also appear in other parts of your body, such as your arms, head, or chest.

What Causes RLS?

Scientists aren’t exactly sure what triggers restless legs syndrome. There may be more than one cause. Many people who have RLS also have a family member with the condition, so it’s likely there is a genetic link, as well.

Another trigger may be varicose veins or other vein circulation problems. Swollen veins caused by blood pooling in the legs can cause similar symptoms to RLS, such as itching and aches. Many people who have RLS and varicose veins notice that treating one of the conditions also provides relief for the other.

In some people, RLS appears to be related to levels of brain chemicals called neurotransmitters. One of these chemicals, dopamine, plays a role in controlling muscle movements in the body. RLS may happen when dopamine levels are imbalanced, which explains why certain antidepressant medications and allergy medications can make symptoms worse.

Low levels of iron or other vitamins may also contribute to RLS. People who have chronic diseases may develop RLS, especially when these conditions cause iron deficiency. Severe kidney problems, diabetes, nerve damage, and Parkinson’s disease can cause similar symptoms.

Why Does RLS Get Worse at Night?

One of the most common questions people have about RLS is why it gets worse at night and usually goes away early in the morning. One of the simplest explanations may be that your legs are exhausted after a long day sitting or standing. If your legs feel heavy or achy in the evening, try treating your feet with a soothing massage and see if that helps.

What Things Should You Avoid If You Have RLS?

Identifying your personal triggers can do a lot to help with RLS symptoms and vein disease. Here are some of the things you may want to avoid, especially near bedtime:

  • Alcohol
  • Smoking
  • Caffeine
  • Overexertion
  • Stress

Anxiety makes RLS symptoms worse and causes even more problems sleeping. In turn, not sleeping makes you feel more stressed. To break the cycle, you need to do things that help you feel relaxed at night.

What Things Can You Do to Alleviate RLS?

The good news is that there are many things you can do at home to alleviate the symptoms of RLS. Discover what works best in your case and add it to your regular routine. Here are some suggestions:

  • Take a warm bath at night.
  • Eat a balanced diet with fruit, veggies, nuts and beans.
  • Give your legs and feet a gentle massage.
  • Wear compression stockings.
  • Encourage good sleep habits.
  • Read or listen to relaxing music near bedtime.
  • Exercise or walk during the day.
  • Sleep on your side and use a pillow between your legs.

In addition, it’s a good idea to speak with a medical professional who has experience with RLS. This is especially important if you’re experiencing intense symptoms or problems getting in the way of your lifestyle.

What Treatments Are Available for RLS?

The first thing a professional will do to help you find relief is narrow down the cause. This means asking a lot of questions about your symptoms. Here are some common treatment options for restless legs syndrome:

  • Dietary supplements:

    • If you have anemia or iron deficiency, your doctor will recommend a nutritional supplement or diet that gives you more of the vitamins and minerals you need.
  • Vein disease treatment:

    • When the symptoms of RLS are triggered by vein circulation issues and damaged veins, minimally invasive vein treatment may be the answer. These treatments close off malfunctioning blood vessels and reroute blood through healthy veins. This can provide relief from the heaviness, soreness, and itching that make RLS worse.
  • Medications:

    • If the cause of RLS in your case is a dopamine deficiency, specific medications that boost dopamine levels may give you relief. Medications are usually the last resort after other treatments have been tried.

Treatments can involve some trial and error as the doctor tries to get at the underlying problem. If you have a chronic disease such as diabetes, thyroid disease, or varicose veins, treatment will also focus on improving those conditions.

How Can Vein Treatment Help You?

If you have chronic venous insufficiency, spider veins, or varicose veins, these conditions may be triggering your RLS symptoms. At Northern Illinois Vein Clinic, our caring professionals can help you find treatment options tailored to your needs and lifestyle. Contact us online or call (779) 696-8346 right away to schedule an appointment.

Endovenous Laser Ablation (EVLA) in Illinois

Facts About Endovenous Laser Ablation (EVLA)

Sometimes, well-meaning friends say that you should “learn to live with” varicose veins or insist that they’re “not that bad.” You know the truth: These veins can cause a lot of pain, make it hard to sleep, affect your self-esteem, and interfere with your happiness. That’s why high-tech treatments such as endovenous laser ablation are such a relief.

About Endovenous Laser Ablation Treatment

Endovenous laser ablation is a state-of-the-art technique that uses a laser to permanently seal problematic veins. These veins are responsible for the symptoms you experience, from burning and itching to soreness and swelling. The laser seals off the varicose vein and the blood then flows through other healthy veins.

With EVLA, doctors insert a tiny catheter into the vein being treated, similar to an IV for giving your body extra fluids. The difference is that this catheter has a fine wire with a laser device. This is what the term “endovenous” means: “inside the veins.” The laser cauterizes faulty veins from inside, restoring excellent blood flow. Many patients love the fact that EVLA is minimally invasive — no surgery required.

Helpful Things to Know About EVLA

Does the idea of EVLA still make you nervous? If so, that’s not surprising. Many of our patients who are absolutely thrilled with the results initially felt apprehensive, too. It’s normal to be anxious about treatments that you don’t know much about. To help you feel more comfortable, we want to share some exciting facts about EVLA.

1. Endovenous Laser Ablation is Extremely Effective

Studies about EVLA report success rates that range between 94% and 100% for all patients, according to The Vein Institute. In other words, EVLA is amazingly effective at getting rid of problem veins. These numbers are even more amazing when you look at traditional treatments from the past, such as vein stripping. This type of surgery has a success rate of 78%, which is OK but not compared to EVLA.

2. Most of the Time, You Only Need One Treatment

You can get on with your life, feel comfortable, and get back to doing the things you love. Only a tiny percentage of people require follow-up treatment.

3. EVLA Treatment Usually Takes 45-60 Minutes

EVLA is a non-invasive procedure, performed in our state-of-the-art outpatient facility and you are walking immediately after the procedure. There’s no hospital stay or extended recovery to worry about. The specific amount of time for treatment depends on how extensive the varicose veins are in both legs, but generally, the procedure takes a maximum of one hour.

4. You’re Awake the Whole Time

If you get nervous thinking about general anesthesia, don’t worry. During EVLA, patients are awake and alert. We may help you relax with some music or soothing scents, but you can talk with us as much as you want.

5. EVLA Doesn’t Hurt

We do use localized anesthetic for the area of treatment. This helps to ensure you don’t feel a thing. For most people, the treatment is completely painless. As we said, patients leave our clinic happy with the procedure.

6. Endovenous Laser Ablation Is Safe

According to many doctors, EVLA is a safe and effective treatment for varicose veins. It’s less invasive than surgery since only one minor incision is needed to introduce the laser for treatment. That’s why recovery is also exceptionally fast. You may notice some bruising and soreness for a few weeks, but nothing serious.

7. You Can Go Back Home Right Away

We don’t want to get in the way of asking for vacation days from work, but the truth is that you don’t need any special recovery time after undergoing EVLA treatment. You can get back on your feet and back to your normal routine right away. The only thing you need to do for follow-up care is to wear compression stockings for up to 10 days to support your veins. It’s also important to avoid strenuous workouts or jogs during this time.

8. Endovenous Laser Ablation Isn’t the Only Modern Therapy Available

EVLA is phenomenal for treating large and painful varicose veins. However, if you have problems with spider veins or other small-yet-visible veins, EVLA isn’t the best choice. Fortunately, there are modern alternatives, such as sclerotherapy. The result is the same — sealing faulty veins — but the method is different. In any case, you can find relief from vein issues without worrying about surgery.

Contact Northern Illinois Vein Clinic

At Northern Illinois Vein Clinic, we’re friendly, helpful, and experienced. We’ve performed more than 24,000 successful vein treatments and helped countless patients enjoy a better quality of life thanks to endovenous laser ablation and other treatments. What helps many people feel more comfortable prior to treatment is talking with our caring staff and asking all the questions they want. Learn more about EVLA by contacting us right away. You can also reach out by calling (779) 696-8346.

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Image Credit: Shutterstock/ HENADZI KlLENT

 

Risks of Varicose Veins

Guys: Don’t Ignore Varicose Veins

We get it. Guys don’t often obsess over the look of varicose veins at the beach.

But men make up about 25% of varicose vein patients nationwide and nearly 45% percent of our patient base at Northern Illinois Vein Clinic. Almost half of all men get varicose veins at some point, and the debilitating pain associated with vein disease is not something to ignore. Read on to learn more about varicose vein symptoms, risk factors, and other factors to think about that contribute to vein health.

Varicose Veins Worsen if Left Untreated

In 2018, a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association determined that there was a greater occurrence of serious health problems when varicose veins were present. The significant observation of the study was that the risk of developing deep vein thrombosis (DVT), a blood clot deep in the veins, was over five times greater in varicose vein patients than those who did not have varicose veins.

Vein disease will worsen over time if left untreated. Complications include leg ulcers, where the skin breaks down and allows bacteria to enter, causing numbness and infections.

Varicose veins look like purple or blue blood vessels on your thigh or calf. You also might experience aching, heavy or sore legs, restless legs, sometimes with swollen ankles or feet, especially after standing or sitting for long periods of time. Rather than waiting until symptoms worsen, see a vein specialist if you’re concerned about varicose veins.

Risk Factors of Varicose Veins

Risk factors associated with vein disease include a sedentary lifestyle, obesity, age, smoking, and family history. You can help prevent varicose veins by exercising, increasing your water intake, and consuming more fiber, vitamin C, and rutin (found in food such as cherries, blueberries, apples, apricots and buckwheat).

These activities and wearing compression socks/stockings can also help ease symptoms related to varicose veins but will not stop their progression. Individuals often feel the achiness and heaviness in the legs due to vein disease before it becomes visible. For this reason and if and when varicose veins become more visible, treatment is the next step.

At Gilvydis Vein Clinic, we treat varicose veins simply and easily through minimally invasive procedures such as endovenous laser ablation and ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy. These are highly effective treatments that are covered by most health insurance and with minimal recovery time.

Our specialists can help you determine if you have varicose veins and if vein disease has progressed to something more serious. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and read more about other men who have taken steps to treat their varicose veins.

leg circulation from pregnancy

Treat Varicose Veins Between Pregnancies

Your risk of developing vein disease – especially varicose veins – increases if you have a family history of them or if you spend long periods of time standing or sitting.

Varicose veins affect both women and men, and a common risk factor for women is pregnancy. More than 40% of pregnant women experience varicose veins during pregnancy.

These bulging, twisted veins can cause legs to feel heavy, restless, painful, and achy, and increase the risk of developing blood clots.

Pregnancy causes a woman’s body to work harder than normal, leading to the development of varicose veins. Here’s why:

  • The body produces higher levels of progesterone, which are linked to varicose veins.
  • These increased hormone levels relax veins and promote blood to flow in the wrong direction.
  • More blood is flowing through the body, causing the veins to work harder, resulting in weakened valves that can lead to pooling of blood within the veins.
  • The pressure of an enlarged uterus on the pelvic veins can obstruct the veins from draining into lower extremities and lead to the backflow of blood.

For many women, varicose veins will be less noticeable (although still present) after pregnancy once progesterone levels return to normal. For others, vein disease will progress after pregnancy, worsening the look of and pain associated with varicose veins.

The good news? In both cases, a thorough evaluation and noninvasive treatment can help. And a consultation can be scheduled between your second and third trimesters.

During the consultation, we will assess your level of vein disease, explain the condition and answer your questions, and fit you for compression stockings (insurance requires these to be worn prior to treatment). Modern technology allows for vein disease to be treated in between pregnancies.

Our founder Dr. Rimas Gilvydis, a board-certified vascular and interventional radiologist, has spent his career treating vein disease and educating patients, individuals, and the medical community that vein disease – including varicose veins – is not purely cosmetic and that painful vein stripping (which your mother or grandmother might have experienced) is a thing of the past.

The Northern Illinois Vein Clinic team has performed more than 24,000 successful laser vein treatments, delivering innovative treatment with minimal downtime and discomfort. We are known for excellence in vein care and for always providing the highest-quality, individualized care with the best possible outcomes for our patients.

If your varicose veins appeared during or after pregnancy, call us at 815-981-4742 to schedule a consultation or contact us right here on our website. Don’t let the debilitating pain often associated with vein disease take time away from your pregnancy or time with your children.

compression socks for leg circulation

Why Are Compression Stockings Important?

Compression stockings are snug-fitting pieces of clothing for the legs. They look similar to other socks or stockings, but their unique design puts gentle pressure on your ankles and legs. Compression therapy is likely to be recommended if you have varicose veins or another type of venous insufficiency.

How Compression Stockings Help Veins

Healthy veins have a series of valves that help push blood upwards to the heart. This promotes good circulation in the feet and legs. When someone has a vein disorder, however, leg valves don’t always work correctly. Without the needed pressure, blood can start to pool in the feet, triggering the pain, discomfort, and aesthetic issues related to varicose veins.

Compression stockings assist with blood flow. They can reduce the size of your veins, which increases upward pressure and improves circulation. Compression stockings can help with the symptoms of vein disease but do not stop the progression of the disease. Here are some of the ways this type of vein treatment can help:

  • Heavy or aching legs:

    • Compression socks give your legs a rest. That way, they feel lighter and more comfortable throughout the day.
  • Swelling:

    • Some people who have varicose veins experience pain, swelling, burning, or itching. By preventing blood from pooling, compression stockings can alleviate these symptoms.
  • Poor circulation:

    • If you usually have poor circulation in your toes, feet, ankles, or legs, this type of therapy may improve things significantly.
  • Dizziness:

    • With good circulation, your heart doesn’t have to work hard to get blood to your tissues. This can reduce feelings of dizziness or lightheadedness.

In addition to these benefits, compression stockings support your veins and may reduce the appearance of spider veins and varicose veins. They also help prevent serious conditions such as deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and leg ulcers.

Types of Compression Stockings

There are three main categories of compression stockings, along with countless individual styles. Your doctor may prescribe knee-length or thigh-length stockings with the right amount of pressure, depending on your needs.

Graduated compression socks are usually the ideal choice for vein treatments. They start tighter and get looser toward the top of your leg.

Patients who aren’t able to be very mobile may benefit from specialized anti-embolism stockings. This type of compression therapy is usually firmer than other stockings for vein treatments. It provides extra protection against DVT when physical activity is challenging.

Nonmedical stockings (also called support hosiery) are general compression garments that focus on giving tired legs a rest. Athletes, pilots, and other people with aching legs may experience some benefits, but these are more for everyday use and prevention rather than part of the vein treatment process.

Why Are Compression Stockings Important?

As people age, the risk of developing a vein condition becomes more likely. The walls of veins start to weaken, making it harder for them to transport blood correctly. Compression stockings can provide vein support. This is especially important following vein treatments, such as endovenous laser ablation or sclerotherapy for varicose veins.

Compression stocking can help with the symptoms of vein disease before treatment. We encourage patients to use them before treatment and one to two weeks after endovenous laser ablation treatment. One of the most important roles of compression socks is to prevent blood clots from forming. People who have chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) are at risk of DVT and pulmonary embolism, which are life-threatening. Because compression stockings promote healthy blood flow in the feet and legs, they can significantly reduce DVT risk. Wearing them may literally save your life.

FAQs for Compression Stockings

Here are the answers to several common questions about compression stockings. This information is general. It’s always a good idea to ask your doctor for more specific recommendations.

  • Do You Have To Wear Compression Stockings All the Time?

    • Compression stockings are designed to be worn during the day. You should take them off before going to bed at night. When you get out of bed in the morning, put them on again.
  • Why Do Compression Stockings Require Professional Fitting?

    • Each pair of compression stockings needs to fit your legs perfectly. Such a complex measuring process always requires the expertise of a vein specialist.
    • The stockings have to apply just the right amount of pressure to work properly, not too much or too little. In fact, the pressure varies in different parts of the garment. The bottom part near your ankles needs to squeeze your legs more firmly than the area closer to your calves.
  • Who Should Wear Compression Stockings?

    • Individuals with varicose veins or CVI should wear compression stockings. People who are at risk for DVT, such as someone recovering from surgery, also need them. If your job requires you to spend extended periods of time standing or sitting, you may want compression socks for extra support.

Learn More About Professional Compression Treatments

If you have varicose veins or another type of circulatory issue, there are many vein treatments available that can help. At Northern Illinois Vein Clinic, we have caring professionals who want to help you find relief. Find out more about high-quality compression stockings and other options that really work by contacting us right away. You can also reach us by calling (779) 696-8346.

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Image Credit: Shutterstock/ Albina Gavrilovic

Family history increases risk for developing varicose veins

It’s important to know our family history for various medical issues, from cancer to vein disease.

A visit to the doctor’s office is a frequent reminder of this need-to-know information every time we have to fill out a form or confirm details with a nurse during a checkup.

Another question to ask your immediate and/or extended family members is for their history with vein disease, be that varicose veins, spider veins, or deep vein thrombosis (DVT). It’s common to assume these issues are just cosmetic, but vein disease is serious and will worsen over time if left untreated.

Study links varicose veins, DVT

How serious are varicose veins? A 2018 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found that among adults with the condition, there is a significantly increased risk of developing DVT, when a blood clot (thrombus) forms in one or more of the deep veins in your body, usually in your legs.

A blood clot is a life-threatening complication, so treating varicose veins before they get worse is critical. There are real health risks associated with vein disease.

Symptoms can be debilitating

The look of varicose or spider veins can be annoying and embarrassing. They can appear as red and blue spidery lines on our legs or bulging, twisted veins that make us choose long pants over shorts or a bathing suit every time (or be grateful for added layers during the winter months).

But clothing doesn’t cover up the symptoms of vein disease, which can feel unbearable and interfere with everyday activities like sleeping, standing, and walking. The most common symptoms of varicose veins include:

  • Aching or throbbing pain in the legs
  • Slightly swollen legs, ankles or feet
  • Itchy legs
  • Hot or burning sensation in the legs
  • Heaviness in the legs or feet
  • Restless legs
  • Skin that looks discolored or thick along the legs or feet

Talk to your doctor if you’re experiencing any of these symptoms. Or you can contact us anytime for a consultation, and we can determine what next steps are needed.

 Ask Your Parents

Nearly 55% of women will develop varicose veins, and 45% of men, too. That’s why it’s critical to understand your family history on both your mother’s and father’s sides. Vein disease affects both men and women.

The earlier vein disease is treated, the better, and women no longer need to wait until after they’re done having children. Vein disease can be treated between pregnancies, and we can do consultations for women in their second and third trimesters.

Men are less likely to seek treatment for vein disease. Men tend to wait on treatment and ignore the early symptoms, allowing the disease to advance. Men will seek treatment when they start experiencing the more debilitating symptoms of the disease. Vein disease affects individual lifestyle activities and quality of life. Today’s treatment is safe, with little or no downtime allowing men to get treatment without having to miss work.

One of your parents or grandparents may be reluctant or hesitant to talk about varicose veins because they were previously treated with painful vein-stripping procedures. Those are outdated treatments. At Northern Illinois Vein Clinic, our founder Dr. Rimas Gilvydis performs minimally invasive sclerotherapy and endovenous laser ablation that produce minimal pain and offer little-to-no downtime.

Our team has performed more than 24,000 successful laser vein treatments. Don’t wait to schedule a consultation for varicose or spider veins. Act now to stop the progression of vein disease, which, if left untreated, can debilitate your quality of life and limit your active lifestyle.

 

Image credit: Monkey Business Images, Shutterstock

patient experience at vein clinics

We Prioritize Your Experience

Living with the symptoms of varicose veins or other vein disease can be debilitating and disrupt your quality of life.

Taking steps to talk to your doctor about your symptoms or start researching options for care can also feel intimidating. The information can seem overwhelming and reading about a potential online diagnosis can cause anxiety.

Our founder Dr. Rimas Gilvydis and our team here at Northern Illinois Vein Clinic (NIVC) work to remove the stress and fear from seeking treatment for varicose veins, spider veins, and other leg vein issues.

Patients are some of our strongest advocates, regularly leaving five-star reviews and feedback on Google, Facebook, and other health care platforms. We take great pride in knowing our patients leave our clinic with a good experience and great results.

Here are some of the most common comments we hear from patients.

“I wish I would have come in sooner.”

You will hear us frequently say that vein disease is progressive if left untreated. Many people suffer in silence or live with the debilitating pain from varicose veins for years before talking to their doctor about their symptoms or coming to see us for a consultation.

That’s why we work hard to teach people about the signs and symptoms, as well as the stages of vein disease.

Another reason people delay treatment is because they think it still involves the painful vein stripping procedures that were common many years ago (maybe your mother or grandmother went through that). Today’s varicose vein and spider vein treatments are minimally invasive, and our patients experience little-to-no downtime.

Though the risks of vein disease increase as we get older, it can develop in your 20s or 30s, especially after pregnancy and/or if they run in your family. The good news is you can treat these painful, bothersome veins at any age, including between pregnancies.

“My experience was easy.”

This is feedback we’re especially proud of. It’s our goal to make vein treatment as seamless as possible, whether you start with a free screening or consultation or are referred by your doctor.

Vein disease in most cases is a medical condition, not just a cosmetic issue. Our staff will work with your insurance to secure coverage whenever possible to help reduce your out-of-pocket costs.

Patients say treatment is painless or they experience minimal or temporary pain. It’s minimally invasive and delivered in the comfortable setting of our clinic by our accredited staff.

“The team was friendly and helpful.”

Yet another point of pride! Vein disease is common, but not commonly understood. Patients tell us our staff makes them feel comfortable by explaining their condition and all the available treatment options, as well as clearly outlining the next steps for their care.

Learn more about our awesome team – including their education, training and why they love working at NIVC – here.

At the end of the day, we’re happiest when patients tell us they are pain free and able to get back to everyday activities that had been disrupted by vein disease. That could be something as simple as taking the dog for a walk without leg pain or hitting the gym again to stay healthy rather than be sidelined by bulging, achy varicose veins.

Call us at 779-696-8346 to come see us at our clinic or request a free screening online. We look forward to delivering the same five-star experience our patients have come to expect.

Varicose Veins in Pregnancy

Pregnancy and Varicose Veins

Spider veins and varicose veins are parts of pregnancy that many people don’t talk about, which is why it’s natural for new moms to get nervous. If you’re pregnant or in between pregnancies and have spider veins or varicose veins, you probably have a lot of questions. Here are the answers you’re looking for.

Are Varicose Veins Common During Pregnancy?

Varicose veins are actually fairly common in pregnant women. Pregnancy causes a woman’s body to work harder than normal, leading to the development of varicose veins. Approximately 40% of women experience spider veins or varicose veins during pregnancy. These bulging, twisted veins can cause legs to feel heavy, restless, painful, and achy, and increase the risk of developing blood clots.

Of course, you don’t have to be a first-time mom to be surprised by this vein condition. Some women have several children without noticing any problems, only to experience varicose veins during their third or fourth pregnancy.

Are Varicose Veins Harmful to a Pregnancy?

While seeing bulging veins can make you understandably nervous, you can rest easy, they don’t hurt your baby.

Veins disease can produce a range of symptoms, including discomfort, itching, pain, swelling, heaviness, or burning Sometimes, the swollen veins mainly cause cosmetic issues. Other times, women have trouble sleeping because of the throbbing. Fortunately, there are ways to alleviate many of these symptoms.

For many women, varicose veins will be less noticeable (although still present) after pregnancy once progesterone levels return to normal. For some, vein disease will progress after pregnancy, worsening the look and pain associated with varicose veins. The good news? In both cases, a thorough evaluation and noninvasive treatment can help. Modern technology advances allow for vein disease to be treated in between pregnancies to initiate a faster response to stop the progression of the disease.

Are Vein Issues Hereditary?

There are several potential causes of varicose veins. For instance, family history of vein disease can increase your risk of developing varicose veins during pregnancy.

What else causes varicose veins in pregnancy? Here are a few additional reasons pregnant women can experience them:

  • Blood volume: During pregnancy, your body produces a higher volume of blood than normal. This increases the amount of pressure your veins have to deal with.
  • Hormones: Some of the hormones released during pregnancy dilate your blood vessels to allow more blood through. At the same time, these hormones soften vein walls. This combination can lead to bulging veins.
  • Fetal development: As your baby and uterus grow, they exert more pressure on the veins in your legs. This pressure can temporarily prevent some of the blood from returning to the heart. That’s why varicose veins primarily occur in the legs.

This means that there’s not much you can do to avoid or prevent spider veins from appearing. Think of this condition as a part of pregnancy, similar to morning sickness or back pain.

Are There Any Steps You Can Take to Alleviate the Symptoms?

There are several things you can do to make the symptoms better:

  • Rest with your legs raised
  • Swim
  • Avoid standing or sitting for long periods of time
  • Take a nap
  • Sleep on your left side
  • Wear compression stockings

Doctors don’t generally recommend any treatments or medication for varicose veins during pregnancy, but you can treat them in between pregnancies should you plan to have more children.

What can you do during your pregnancy?

During your 2nd or 3rd trimester, you can schedule a consultation to have your level of vein disease assessed and have all your questions about vein disease answered. You can be fit with compression stockings to alleviate your symptoms during your pregnancy.

Are Varicose Veins Permanent?

This is one of the biggest questions that moms-to-be have. Will your veins ever go back to normal?

At Northern Illinois Vein Clinic, we know how important healthy legs are to any woman. After careful research, we’re happy to say that varicose veins caused by pregnancy can often disappear afterward. Veins typically go back to normal a few months after giving birth. For some women, though, vein disease will progress, worsening the look of and pain associated with varicose veins and potentially causes bigger issues such as blood clots.

What if you’ve already had your baby but still see hints of spider veins or varicose veins that you don’t like? Are there any treatments if you still have some swelling or pain? Here are several noninvasive and comfortable treatment options. For example, endovenous laser ablation uses a tiny laser to seal problem veins.

If you want to find out more about any of the treatments, which can be performed after or in between pregnancies, we’re happy to help. Contact our caring medical professionals for great answers to all of your questions.

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Photo Credit: Shutterstock/ADragan