If you spend much of your day sitting or standing, you may have vein issues. These can include cosmetic concerns about spider veins, leg pain from varicose veins or aching and swelling in the legs caused by venous insufficiency. If your legs are in need of attention — either for cosmetic purposes or health-related issues — you may benefit from a venous evaluation.
As a specialist in venous disease (or vein disease doctor) I see a range of patients at the University of Michigan Livonia Vein Center. Some are concerned about the look of their legs due to spider veins and others come to us with blood clots. No matter what your concern, we can help. Even if your leg issue can’t be resolved at the Vein Center, we are part of the Venous Health Program at the University of Michigan Frankel Cardiovascular Center, with access to specialists in vascular surgery, interventional radiology and vascular medicine. This means we can get you where you need to be for the best possible care.
A vein disease doctor’s 3 top tips
Although there are no methods that guarantee prevention, the majority of vein specialists agree on three ways to promote good vein health and reduce your risk for blood clots and other vein problems.
- Don’t sit still for long periods of time: The job of a vein is to return the blood to the heart. For the leg veins, getting blood back to the heart means moving the blood up the leg. When activated, the calf muscle works like a pump and squeezes the veins to drive the blood up out of the leg. Activities like walking, swimming and biking engage the calf muscle pump and reduce pooling blood in the leg.
- Elevate your legs: Another way to help the leg veins is to raise the leg above the level of the heart. With the leg elevated, blood travel to the heart is downhill and gravity is working with the veins.
- Use compression stockings: Don’t stop reading! These are not your grandmother’s stockings! Compression stockings can be attractive and comfortable. They provide external pressure on the legs, which reduces the volume of blood pooling in the leg and decreases pressure in the veins.
Take the next step:
- If you think you have a vein-related issue, be sure to see a vein specialist for a full evaluation.
Emily Cummings, M.D., is a board certified physician currently specializing in venous disease and is a member of the American Venous Forum and the American College of Phlebology.
The University of Michigan Samuel and Jean Frankel Cardiovascular Center is a top-ranked heart and heart surgery program among Michigan hospitals. To learn more, visit our website at umcvc.org.