Good Samaritan Hospital in Suffern has been hosting leg vein screenings this winter season with the most recent being January 23 and the next coming up on February 26. Visible leg veins are not only a cosmetic concern, but can progress to a serious disease referred to as Chronic Vein Insufficiency (CVI), if left untreated. With CVI, the vein valves no longer function properly, causing the blood to pool in the legs.
At a January 23, 2013 leg vein screening Dr. Anuj Shah, Cardiologist at Good Samaritan Hospital said, “Twenty million people suffer from venous reflux disease, it is common in both genders and the breakdown includes 15 million women and six million men. CVI is a progressive disorder and symptoms can worsen over time such as leg swelling, leg pain and venous ulcers that can lead to amputation. CVI is recognized as a medical condition and there is a minimally-invasive treatment available. Venous Oblation or a closure procedure is performed on an outpatient basis in the office. Using ultrasound, a tiny catheter is positioned into the diseased vein through a small opening in the skin. The tiny catheter, powered by radio-frequency energy, delivers heat to the vein wall. As the thermal energy is delivered, the vein wall shrinks and the vein is sealed closed. Once the diseased vein is closed, blood is re-routed to other healthier veins. After the procedure, a simple bandage is placed over the insertion site. There are good cosmetic outcomes with minimal or no scarring bruising or swelling and compression stockings may be provided to aid the healing process. Twenty-four people showed up for the screening and eighteen needed follow-up ultrasound testing on the leg or legs with symptoms. The other six people were symptom-free, but benefitted from the screening.”
The venous system is made up of a network of veins, including:
. Superficial Veins- veins located close to the skin.
. Deep Veins- larger veins located deep in the leg.
. Perforator Veins- veins that connect the superficial veins to the deep veins.
Healthy leg veins contain valves that open and close to assist the return of blood back to the heart. Venous reflux disease develops when the valves that keep blood flowing out of the legs and back to the heart become damaged or diseased. Consequently, the vein valves will not close properly leading to the symptoms of varicose or bulging veins, pain, swollen limbs, leg heaviness and fatigue. Risk factors include increased age, women who have been pregnant, people with a family history and people whose jobs require them to spend a great amount of time standing.
The next Leg Vein Screening Program with Dr. Anuj Shah will take place on Tuesday, February 26, 2013 from 5 to 8 p.m. For further information or an appointment, please call 1-888-606-2255.