Summer Heat Hurts … When You Suffer with Venous Disease

legs

Every summer thousands of people stay in the heat of the Arizona desert but still get out for boating, hiking and fun in the sun. But people with vein problems can be acutely affected in the summer, both physically and emotionally.

Dr. Jeffrey Alpern D.O. founder of Vein Specialists of Arizona says now is the time to pay even closer attention to your vein problems, especially in the heat of summer.

“The veins’ job is to carry de-oxygenated blood back to the heart. The blood in the legs travels up against gravity, so when the valves in the veins become damaged, blood “leaks” back into the legs and creates a “pooling” effect, which can result in varicose veins or even leg ulcers,” Dr. Alpern explains.

Dr. Alpern continues, “Varicose veins tend to worsen during the summer months because the heat dilates the veins – expanding the veins, and make a vein leak even more while causing increased achiness or tenderness. As the veins distend and fill, they become heavy. The heavy leg then becomes tired. As the nerves in the vein wall are distended, the leg can feel tender, discomfort, pain, and can cause cramps.”

Also, as the veins dilate in the heat, the distention and increased filling makes varicose veins enlarge and more visible. So, in addition to physical pain or discomfort, people with vein problems go to great lengths to keep their legs covered, making it hard to enjoy the summer months. Self-consciousness about veins can lead to embarrassment in social situations and, ultimately, a diminished quality of life. For many of my patients with venous disease, just being able to show their legs in public is their end goal.

The treatments for venous problems are the same during the summer as the rest of the year. Minimally invasive treatments include: light-assisted sclerotherapy for small veins; ultrasound-guided therapy for larger veins; and endovenous laser ablations (EVLA) and radiofrequency (RF) for the largest veins.

Dr. Alpern is proud that Vein Specialists of Arizona is one of the few clinics nationwide to offer the latest technological venous treatment not available elsewhere. Their mission is to provide safe, effective, convenient, painless and affordable state-of-the-art vein treatment in an office environment.

Specifically, VSA provides minimally invasive vascular surgery using local anesthesia (when appropriate) for the aesthetic treatment of spider veins and varicose veins and to eliminate venous disease in patients with venous pathology in need of correction.

After treatment, most patients who have undergone any type of sclerotherapy can go out in the sun almost immediately, although wearing sun block for six months after any vein procedure is recommended to decrease the possibility of hyperpigmentation. It’s usually fine to swim twenty-four hours after most vein treatments. Generally, there will be some minimal bruising which may last a few days, but there are many self-tanners and cosmetics that can cover them up as short-term options. These bruises are generally preferred over a bulging varicose vein.

If someone with varicose veins, spider veins or ulcers is not ready to undergo a vein procedure immediately, summer is still a good time to think about vein health. Scheduling an evaluation with a certified phlebologist allows people to learn about their venous issues and review their options for treatment. It may take several weeks or more for the complete resolution of veins following treatment, so people can plan to show off their legs next summer by getting an evaluation now.

So, although the summer sun doesn’t “cause” varicose veins, the increased temperature from the summer sun can make them worse. www.VeinsAZ.com

Tips for relief and prevention – Here are some tips for relieving symptoms from varicose veins and other vein problems:
• Stay as cool as possible. Heat dilates veins and causes pain and other symptoms to worsen.
• Swim and walk. Both exercises pump the calf muscles and improve circulation.
• Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water and other fluids.
• Elevate the legs whenever possible.
• Wear graduated compression stockings. Wearing compression stockings all day will keep the legs feeling as good at the end of the day as in the morning.

ABOUT VEIN SPECIALISTS OF ARIZONA
Vein Specialists of Arizona (VSA) is a state-of-the-art vein center that defines a new standard in care for the diagnosis and treatment of varicose veins, legs ulcers and chronic venous insufficiency. From vein treatments that correct existing underlying pathology to procedures that erase spider veins before the patient’s eyes, we think you will find VSA to be your best choice for venous issues. For more information please visit website, www.VeinAZ.com or call 623-428-0068.

ABOUT DR. JEFFREY ALPERN
Dr. Jeffrey Alpern is a Cardiovascular Surgeon who was the first D.O. to perform a heart and heart/lung transplant in the world. Among his other impressive qualifications, Dr. Alpern trained at the world renowned Cleveland Clinic and was Surgical Director of Heart and Lung Transplantation at both Temple University and Hahnemann University Hospitals in Philadelphia Pennsylvania. He currently is Director and founding member of Desert Cardiovascular Surgeons in Phoenix, and of Vein Specialists of Arizona recently located in the West Valley. Dr. Jeffrey Alpern, D.O is one of a handful of surgeons worldwide to use fast, virtually painless, safe and effective laser ablation and radiofrequency (RF) techniques for the treatment of existing varicose veins, chronic venous insufficiency and venous leg ulcers.