Blog4 464x290 - Understanding the Causes of Varicose Veins
Venous

Understanding the Causes of Varicose Veins

One of the most bothering things that keep your legs from being flawless is varicose veins. They appear as snake-like bulges in the legs and in the thighs. According to a study, around 25% of all adults develop varicose veins. They are usually dark purple or blue in color. But you may be wondering, how […]

Blog3 464x290 - Venous Disease and Its Different Categories
Venous

Venous Disease and Its Different Categories

It is our primary duty to take care of our health. Being healthy means having a healthy mind, heart, and everything that makes up our body, including our veins. Veins are responsible for carrying blood from the body toward the heart. Without these veins, our blood will not circulate well which will affect our total […]

Blog2 464x290 - Understanding the Structure and Function of Veins
Venous

Understanding the Structure and Function of Veins

One of the most important in our body are the veins. They provide our body access to “life”. With dysfunctional veins, we may not be able to function properly and may also lead us to death. Veins Veins are elastic blood vessels that carry blood from various parts of the body to the heart. Most […]

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How to Treat and Manage Pulmonary Embolism?

Pulmonary Embolism is a life-threatening condition that is commonly caused by a blood clot in the lungs. The blood clot restricts blood flow and decreases oxygen levels in the blood which will affect other organs in the body. According to Mayo Clinic, one-third of people who have pulmonary embolism dies because of not providing immediate medical attention.

The most common symptoms of pulmonary embolism are shortness of breath, chest pain and cough. If you experience these symptoms, immediately consult your doctor.

Pulmonary embolism can be treated with medication, medical procedures, and therapies. The primary goal is to remove the blood clot, prevent the blood clot from getting bigger or stop new clots from forming.

Anticoagulation

Anticoagulants or blood thinners are being taken to people with pulmonary embolism to decrease the ability of the blood to clot. Anticoagulants do not remove clots but delay the enlargement and formation of blood clots. Anticoagulants come in pills, injection, or through an IV tube. Treatment may last from three to six months.

Thrombolysis

Thrombolytic therapy is used in patients with acute pulmonary embolism. Thrombolysis medicines are being taken to dissolve blood clots. Thrombolytic causes severe bleeding, thus it should be used in life-threatening situations. Apart from PE, thrombolysis is used in strokes and ST-elevation myocardial infarction. This treatment is not used in patients with hypotension or low blood pressure.

Embolectomy

Embolectomy can be surgical or through the use of a catheter. The primary goal of this procedure is to remove the emboli which block blood circulation. In cases of thrombi (blood clots), thrombectomy is used. This procedure should be used for patients with sub-massive acute pulmonary embolism and are experiencing major myocardial necrosis, new hemodynamic instability, severe right ventricular dysfunction or worsening respiratory failure.

Vena Cava Filters

The inferior vena cava is one of the largest veins that is responsible for returning deoxygenated blood to the heart. However, in cases of pulmonary embolism, filters should be installed in the inferior vena cava to trap the emboli. Inferior vena cava interruption is only applicable to patients with acute venous thromboembolism, massive PE, and patients having complications with anticoagulants.

Compression Therapy

Compression therapy is also advised for patients to prevent pulmonary embolism from occurring. The use of compression garments promotes healthy blood circulation in the veins. It is advised for patients with deep vein thrombosis (DVT) which causes pulmonary embolism. Usually, patients are asked to wear compression stockings with a pressure of 30-40 mm Hg at the ankle for two to three years.

Monitoring and Consultation

Long-term monitoring is an essential part of the recovery of the patient with PE. Basically, the length of the treatment depends on the severity of SE and presence of risk factors. If there are no risk factors, therapy can last for six months. However, if risk factors are present, it will be extended for at least four to six months. Moreover, patients who are experiencing early symptoms of blood clots, even varicose veins should consult a doctor to assess the health situation of the blood circulation.

How to Prevent and Treat Varicose Veins?

Around 25% of adults have varicose veins. It is a form of a venous disease that is usually benign and harmless, however, can be threatening in the long run. Last 2012, a 66-year old woman died due to excessive bleeding of the varicose veins. Thus, as early as now, you should be conscious of venous diseases and perform preventive measures to avoid acquiring varicose veins.

Lifestyle Change

Lifestyle change or simply being conscious of how you do things is the best prevention. This can delay varicose veins from forming, reduce pain, and prevent varicose veins from getting worse.

  • Avoid standing for long periods of hours without taking a break. However, if standing is part of your routine, make sure that you move or walk every single minute.
  • Sitting also promotes varicosities. When you sit, avoid crossing your legs.
  • When you lie on the bed, make sure to raise or elevate your feet and legs above your heart level to promote proper blood flow.
  • Avoid wearing super tight clothes, especially tight underwear and shorts that affect the blood flow in your waist, groin, and legs.
  • If you are obese or overweight, it’s time for you to lose weight.
  • Exercise regularly. It will improve your blood circulation.

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Compression Therapy

Compression therapy is one effective way of improving blood circulation. It can be done through wearing compression stockings, socks or tights. It promotes proper blood circulation in the veins. However, not all are advised to undergo compression therapy. One must be evaluated through Doppler investigation.

Medical Procedures

There are also various medical and surgical procedures available that remove or close varicose veins and allow healthy blood circulation in the body.

Sclerotherapy

This procedure uses a liquid chemical to close off varicose veins. The chemical irritates the varicose vein, causing it to scar and gradually close off.

Microsclerotherapy

If sclerotherapy is used to close off varicose veins, microsclerotherapy uses the same procedures but targets the smaller ones – spider veins.

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Laser Surgery

Basically, laser surgery makes use of laser light energy to remove varies veins. It does not involve the injection of chemicals or cutting.

Endovenous Ablation Therapy

In this procedure, the doctor will make a tiny cut in your skin and insert a device that will heat up the inside of the varicose vein through radio waves, causing it to close off.

Endoscopic Vein Surgery

This procedure is used in severe cases when varicosities are causing skin ulcers. The doctor will make a cut into your skin and insert a device that has a camera and surgical device to close off the varicose veins.

Ambulatory Phlebectomy

To do this procedure, the doctor will numb the area around the varicose vein. He will then make a cut in your skin and manually remove the varicose veins.

Vein Stripping and Ligation

During the operation, the patient will be put to sleep. The doctor will then make tiny cuts in your skin and remove the varicose veins.

Transilluminated-powered phlebectomy

This new treatment uses endoscopic transilluminator to see the veins underneath your skin. The surgeon will remove the varicose veins through a suction device.

The Benefits of Compression Therapy

Varicose veins are among the common problems of adults, especially women. Basically, they do not look attractive in legs and thighs, but they are commonly not benign and do not require treatment. However, it is recommendable that you take preventive measures to avoid developing varicose veins in some parts of your body in the future.

Varicose veins are results of poor blood flow in the veins. So, the key is to make sure that your blood circulates properly through the veins. One way is to undergo compression therapy that you can perform at the comfort of your home.

How does Compression Therapy work?

Compression therapy has been done by athletes before. They rely on compression socks and shorts after a workout to reduce muscle soreness. On the other hand, compression therapy is also used to increase blood flow activity in the lower body. Compression garments like socks, socks, shorts, and tights provide vein support by applying pressure to the body part. They are effective in stretching out vein walls to improve blood circulation, thus eliminate swelling.

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Who is allowed to undergo Compression Therapy?

Sufferers of venous diseases are the main candidates for compression therapy. Venous diseases result in the formation of blood clots or varicose veins. It occurs when the valves of the veins do not function properly which affect the blood flow.

Compression garments are available in pharmacies and even in online shops. However, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) suggests undergoing Doppler Ultrasound first before purchasing compression garments. It is a non-invasive test that estimates the blood flow through your blood vessels. It will tell you if you are fit to use compression garments.

It is also advised if you consult your doctor first. They will give you the proper medications or will advise you actions to do in addressing your problem with varicose veins or other venous diseases. They will also recommend you custom made compression garments to ensure that you will get the expected correction.

What are the Benefits of Compression Therapy?

Using compression garments have good effects to the body. Basically, it increases blood flow while decreasing blood volume in the veins. It also reduces refluxing affected veins and eliminates pathologically elevated pressure. It also has good effects on your tissues. It increases the drainage of noxious substances, reduces inflammation and promotes faster muscle recovery. Through compression, muscle aches, swelling, and fatigues will be minimized. Moreover, it improves movements of tendons and joints.

compress - The Benefits of Compression Therapy

How do I use and maintain compression garments?

Usually, doctors will advise you to wear your compression garments every day to obtain proper correction. You have to wear them in the all throughout the day and take them off when you go to bed. They can really be uncomfortable especially during a hot season.

Compression garments are usually replaced every three months, depending on the frequency of use. Of course, you have to buy two to three pairs so that you can use another pair if you wash the used pairs. If your compression garments get damaged, make sure to replace them as they no longer have an effect.

Understanding the Causes of Varicose Veins

One of the most bothering things that keep your legs from being flawless is varicose veins. They appear as snake-like bulges in the legs and in the thighs. According to a study, around 25% of all adults develop varicose veins. They are usually dark purple or blue in color. But you may be wondering, how can a person get varicose veins?

Overview of Varicose Veins

Varicose veins, also known as varicosities occur when you veins become enlarged and appear like bulges in some parts of your body, especially your legs. Basically, veins return deoxygenated blood from the other parts of the body to the heart and lungs. However, when these veins become too much pressured, its walls thicken and twist, thus forming varicose veins.

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Cause of Varicose Veins

There are various theories that try to explain why varicosities occur in veins. According to research, defective or damaged valves cause the formation of varicose veins. However, it is still unclear why valves become inefficient or dysfunctional. Some experts suggest that inherited problems may cause the valves to weaken. Further, certain factors, like age or immune system problems affect the health of these valves.

A healthy vein allows the blood to flow smoothly towards the heart. The blood is prevented from going backward by a series of valves. However, if these valves do not function properly, the blood will flow backward and will accumulate in the vein, causing it to swell and enlarge, forming varicose veins.

Risk Factors

There are certain factors that will increase your risk of acquiring varicose veins. These include:

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Age

The elasticity of the veins decreases as a person gets older. With this, the valves will weaken which will allow the blood to flow backward instead of going directly to the heart.

Pregnancy

Pregnancy increases blood volume, however, it decreases the flow of blood into your legs and your pelvis. The natural circulatory change occurs to support the development of the fetus. However, it has unfortunate side effects in your veins.

Sex

Women are the most vulnerable to developing varicose veins. Hormonal changes during menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause cause the vein walls to weaken. Moreover, taking birth control pills and other hormones may increase your risk to varicose veins.

Family History

If some of your family members had varicose veins, there is a chance that you will also develop this condition.

v3 - Understanding the Causes of Varicose Veins

Obesity

Basically, when you gain too much weight, there is too much pressure for the veins to carry the blood to the heart. Thus, obesity affects the health of your veins.

Standing for Long Periods of Time

This is considered as one of the factors that really cause varicose veins. If you are standing, especially for long durations, you are not helping your vein to carry the blood towards your heart. Standing makes it hard for the valves to transport the blood upward.

Rarely, varicose veins are acquired because of other underlying health conditions, including ulcer, deep blood clots that swell and bleeding, among others.

Venous Disease and Its Different Categories

It is our primary duty to take care of our health. Being healthy means having a healthy mind, heart, and everything that makes up our body, including our veins. Veins are responsible for carrying blood from the body toward the heart. Without these veins, our blood will not circulate well which will affect our total functioning.

However, there are various threats that our veins may encounter. These are called venous diseases or impairments and disorders that may affect our venous system.

What are Venous Diseases?

Our body is composed of a network of veins that can be compared to the branches of a tree. There are small and larger veins. Veins carry blood from the rest of the body to the heart. However, increased pressure and other risk factors tend to weaken our veins which lead to venous disease or also called as venous reflux.

According to Vein Health Care Center, approximately half of the U.S. population are affected by venous diseases. Venous disease can manifest physically like varicose veins, but some forms of venous diseases do not have visible signs. It can affect both men and women of all ages.

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Common Types of Venous Diseases

A venous disease takes a lot of forms, however, it can be categorized into two broad categories: thrombosis and insufficiency.

Thrombosis

Thrombosis happens when there is a blood clot formation in the venous system. This phenomenon is called thrombus. The blood clot will affect the blood flow, disabling veins to carry blood to the heart.

Superficial Thrombophlebitis

Blood clots that appear in the superficial or skin-deep veins are often associated with inflammation or phlebitis. These are effects of underlying disorders, most especially cancers. The combination of the clot and inflammation is called Superficial Thrombophlebitis. In this case, the vein may be swollen and may feel warm and tender. However, this is not very dangerous. Physicians treat its symptoms by application of moist and heat, anti-inflammatory medications and leg elevation.

Deep Vein Thrombosis

Blood clots that are formed in the veins deep within the leg part are more difficult to diagnose. This condition called Deep Vein Thrombosis is characterized by leg pain and swelling. It may be a result of a normal blood clotting or of a specific event, including surgery or cancer. Without treatment, it will lead to pulmonary embolism which is characterized by shortness of breath, chest pain, cough, and fever. Almost 200,000 of American die of Pulmonary Embolism every year.

Insufficiency

Vein insufficiency refers to the infraction in the blood flow activity because of the abnormality in the vein wall which leads to inadequate venous drainage. It can be classified into superficial and deep venous insufficiency.

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Varicose Veins

The superficial venous insufficiency is characterized by varicose veins which manifest externally. Varicose veins are snake-like formations just beneath our skin.

Chronic Venous Insufficiency

On the other hand, chronic venous insufficiency is caused when there is an inadequacy in the drainage from the veins deep within the limbs. It is characterized by leg pain, swelling, skin discoloration and coarsening of skin texture.

Understanding the Structure and Function of Veins

One of the most important in our body are the veins. They provide our body access to “life”. With dysfunctional veins, we may not be able to function properly and may also lead us to death.

Veins

Veins are elastic blood vessels that carry blood from various parts of the body to the heart. Most of the veins carry deoxygenated blood while the others carry oxygenated blood. Veins are often closer to the skin. They are also less muscular than arteries which take oxygenated blood from the heart to all parts of the body. Veins are also more difficult to trace than arteries.

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Structure of a Vein

A vein consists of three layers: the tunica adventitia, tunica media, and tunica intima. The tunica adventitia is the strong external covering of veins which consists of connective tissues and elastic fibers. The tuna media is the middle part which consists of smooth muscles and elastic fibers. Lastly, the tunica intima is the inner layer and has the direct contact with the blood flow. It consists of smooth endothelial cells and has a hollow center through which the blood flows. These three layers also compose the artery.

Types of Veins

The veins can be categorized into four main types. On the other hand, there are certain veins that connect one main type of vein to another.

Pulmonary Veins

This set of veins carries oxygenated blood from the lungs to the heart. Pulmonary veins take a vital role in the pulmonary circulation and respiration.

Systemic Veins

Systemic veins carry the deoxygenated blood from the rest of the body back to the heart. The two largest veins are found in the systemic venous system. vein2 - Understanding the Structure and Function of Veins

Superficial Veins

Superficial veins are close to the surface of the skin. They are not paired with an artery unlike other types of veins. They are physiologically important for the cooling of the body.

Deep Veins

Deep veins are located deep in the body and come with corresponding arteries. Deep veins transport the vast majority of the blood. Because they are found deep in the body, complications in deep veins are difficult to operate.

The veins that directly connect the superficial veins to the deep veins are called communicating veins, whereas the perforator veins drain from the superficial veins to the deep veins.

Vena Cavae: The Largest Veins in the Body

The vena cavae, divided into superior and inferior vena cava are the two largest veins in the body. They are part of the systemic venous system. The superior vena cava can be found in the upper chest region and is formed by brachiocephalic veins. It is also bordered by aorta and pulmonary arteries. They drain blood from theupper body parts (including head, neck, and chest). On the other hand, the inferior vena cavatransports deoxygenated blood from the lower body parts (including legs, pelvis, abdomen, and back) to the right atrium of the heart.

What is Pulmonary Embolism?

Our veins play a vital role in carrying blood towards our heart. However, there are certain complications that threaten our veins. One of these is Pulmonary Embolism. According to the Vascular Disease Foundation, 100,000 to 180,000 Americans die due to pulmonary embolism every year. Thus, they urge the people, especially women to learn about the risks of pulmonary embolism and other venous disorders.

Pulmonary Embolism

pul1 - What is Pulmonary Embolism?

Pulmonary Embolism happens where there is a blockage in one of the pulmonary arteries in your lungs. It is commonly caused by Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) or a blood clot formed in the veins deep in the body. These blood clots usually start in the legs or pelvis. According to WebMD, more than 300,000 acquire pulmonary embolism, in which one-third of them dies if left undiagnosed or untreated. Thus, it is important to immediately consult a doctor.

Symptoms

The signs and symptoms of pulmonary embolism can vary greatly, depending on the size of the clots, how much of your lung is affected, and whether you have underlying health complications. These are common symptoms of pulmonary embolism:

Shortness of breath – Since pulmonary embolism affects your lungs, you will experience shortness of breath which always gets worse with exertion.

Chest pain – You will also experience a chest pain, as if like you are having a heart attack. The pain may also get worse when you breathe, cough, eat or bend and usually won’t go away even if you rest.

Cough – The cough may produce blood or pink, foamy mucus.

Other symptoms may include fever, excessive sweating, rapid heart rate, anxiety, heart palpitations, dizziness, discolored skin, and leg pain or swelling.

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Causes and Risk Factors

As mentioned earlier, pulmonary embolism is caused by a blocked artery in the lungs which is commonly known as deep vein thrombosis (DVT). These blood clots make it difficult for the lungs to provide oxygen to the rest of the body. Blockages in the blood vessels can also be caused by certain substances, including fat from the marrow of a broken bone, air bubbles, part of a tumor, collagen and other tissues.

An individual will also beat a higher risk if they have family members who experience pulmonary embolism and other venous disorders. Some medical conditions also increase the risk of an individual. Cardiovascular disorders, especially heart failure produces clot formation in your heart. Certain cancers can also increase the levels of substances that promote blood clot formation. Even chemotherapy increases the risk. Further, surgery is found one of the leading causes of blood clots in the body that’s why surgeons advise medication to prevent major clots after the surgery.

Apart from medical conditions, certain activities also increase our risk to pulmonary embolism. Bed rest or spending too much time in bed may affect your blood flow and may increase your risk to heart failure and obesity. Long trips can also slow down the blood flow in the legs which may contribute to blood clot formation.

Other risk factors include smoking, pregnancy, obesity and taking birth control pills.

 

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