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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do I set up an appointment?

If you are presently under the care of a physician for your pain and/or pain-related problem, you should discuss a referral to the Vein Center with your physician.

What should I bring with me?

Please bring with you to your appointment any medical records or X-ray reports you have related to your pain, a list of medications you are currently taking, and any information you have relating to health insurance coverage.

What are some types of Venous Disease?

What is Venous Insufficiency?
Venous Insufficiency is a condition caused by incompetent (leaky) valves in the venous system. This condition leads to increased pressure in the veins of the leg which can result in aching, swelling, varicose veins, discoloration, and ulcers.

What are Varicose Veins?
Varicose veins are enlarged superficial veins of the legs. They are usually raised above the surface of the skin and are bluish in color. Varicose veins can be associated with aching, burning, itching, swelling and discoloration. Left untreated, they will often increase in size and become symptomatic. They are often associated with venous insufficiency.

What are Spider Veins?
Spider veins are very small superficial veins. They can be red or blue in color and often have a fine "branching" appearance. Spider veins are frequently associated with deeper feeding veins known as reticular veins. They may be associated with localized pain or burning, but often cause no symptoms.

What are some common symptoms of Venous Disease?

Some symptoms of this disease include:

  • The appearance of varicose veins and spider veins
  • Chronic leg and ankle swelling, leg pain, and tenderness
  • Numbness or tingling down the legs
  • Skin discoloration or skin ulcerations

If you experience these or other uncomfortable leg symptoms it may be a sign of more serious leg problems, and you should contact your physician.

What are some of the treatments offered at The Vein Center?

All procedures are done at the Vein Center at Lowell General Hospital. The selection of a specific procedure is based on a patient's symptoms, a physical examination, and an ultrasound if indicated. Two common treatments are:

  1. Endovenous Ablation: A minimally-invasive technique with local anesthesia and ultrasound guidance is used to locate the veins and then laser therapy is applied to treat them. A catheter is placed into the incompetent vein through a ¼ inch incision and the diseased vein is closed using a painless laser.
  2. Ambulatory Microphlebectomy: This procedure involves the removal of varicose veins through micro-incisions using local anesthesia.

How can I boost my leg health?

While our medical practice is all about restoring the look and feel of healthy legs, the opportunity to maintain healthy legs and leg veins begins with you. There are a number of methods to incorporate as part of your daily regimen, reducing the possibility of developing venous disease of the leg, varicose veins and spider veins. We encourage you to review the following tips that are best suited to your lifestyle and interests to help you keep your legs fit. It's your opportunity to take the initiative to boost your leg health.

  • Uncross your legs when sitting: Crossing your legs can restrict blood flow. We suggest crossing your ankles while keeping your feet on the ground.
  • Avoid High Heels, Wear Low-Heels or Flats: Low-heel shoes work with the calf muscles more which is better for your veins.
  • Elevate your legs parallel to the ground when reading and watching TV: This improves the blood flow to the rest of your body.
  • Avoid Long Periods of Sitting or Standing: Change your position, shift from one leg to the other.
  • Get your legs moving: By simply walking you generate blood circulation in your legs; what could be easier?
  • Maintain a healthy weight: This takes unnecessary pressure off your leg veins
  • Don't wear tight clothes around your groin and calves: This can restrict your circulation.
  • Limit tub-time, take showers: Take warm not hot baths and end by splashing cold water on your legs. Hot baths can dilate blood vessels decreasing the return of blood from the legs to the heart.
  • Sheer support stockings, panty hose, and support socks for men: This can reduce leg discomfort by keeping blood from "pooling" in your feet and ankles, thereby reducing swelling.
  • Moisturize your skin regularly: Your skin will maintain its elasticity and support your cell walls,which can help prevent varicose veins.

This information is not a substitute for medical advice or treatments. Only your health care professional can accurately evaluate your condition and make informed decisions regarding your care.

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