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Here’s to your vein health

March is DVT Awareness Month

Back of bare legsDr. Lisa Pavone is a strong supporter of vein disease awareness. “Venous health issues are prevalent,” she says, noting that as many as 50 percent of individuals over the age of 50 have some sort of vein health issue, which could include:

  • Deep or superficial vein thrombosis (blood clots)
  • Phlebitis
  • Chronic venous insufficiency
  • Varicose and spider veins
  • Venous ulcers

What are the risks of untreated vein disease? If the valves inside your leg veins are damaged as a result of vein disease, the valves may not close completely, allowing blood to leak backward or flow in both directions, affecting leg health.

Many patients come to Dr. Pavone with vein-related issues that can be treated at the Livonia Vein Center with an outpatient procedure, depending on the diagnosis. Typically, a patient is evaluated during a basic physical. If there is a need for an ultrasound, the test is performed in the office.

Vein Health During Pregnancy

Dr. Lisa Pavone advises pregnant women to wear compression stockings. “Pregnant women are at increased risk of developing varicose veins due to hormonal changes, increased blood volume and growth of the uterus, which can compress veins in the pelvic region. Compression stockings can help maintain vein health during pregnancy.”

Here are some of the questions Dr. Pavone encourages individuals to ask themselves to help determine if they have a vein issue:

  • Are your legs tired, heavy, restless, swollen, sore or painful, especially at the end of the day?
  • Are symptoms worsened by prolonged sitting or standing?
  • Do your legs feel better when you’re walking or when legs are elevated?
  • Have you tried support stockings to alleviate the pain?
  • Do you find yourself using Motrin or other Ibuprofen to alleviate the pain?

Depending on the diagnosis, vein disease treatment may include:

  • Injection Sclerotherapy: Injecting an irritating solution (sclerosant) into the spider and/or varicose veins to close the veins.
  • Endovenous Thermal Ablation: Ablation therapy is a reliable, safe and effective method of treating varicose veins, and is an alternative to surgery.
  • Surgery: While there are many non-surgical methods to treat varicose veins, surgery is sometimes needed to remove veins that cannot be treated via ablation or sclerotherapy. This type of procedure is scheduled through the University of Michigan Cardiovascular Center in Ann Arbor.
  • Compression stockings: Pressure-gradient compression stockings can improve or relieve symptoms such as leg swelling, aching and heaviness. At the Livonia Vein Center, they are also used after most vein treatments to minimize side effects and enhance effectiveness.

The U-M Livonia Vein Center’s free venous disease screening is Friday, March 22. Call 734-432-7662 for more information.