Vein disease causes leg cramps

Just saw Susan H. back 2 weeks after her left Great saphenous vein closure and she commented on how the very next morning she only had cramps in the non treated leg , the treated leg cramps we gone.  Has not had left leg cramps in last 2 weeks.  Excited to hear this great news, not surprised just gratified.  Now off to the procedure room to treat the rt leg.  venous insufficiency does cause night time leg cramps and should be considered prior to extensive neurologic or metabolic workup.  Get a venous assessment before you try Chuck Woolery’s Highlands night time leg cramps PM!

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Check your veins before (or after) hip or knee replacement! Reduce your risks of complications.

This patient had left leg swelling for the past six months since his left total knee replacement. He had two ultrasounds which negative for deep vein thrombosis (DVT) yet his swelling and pain persisted. On further review of his history he stated that he had had swelling in his left leg for some years prior to his left total knee replacement. He presented to our office for further venous insufficiency evaluation. He was found to have significant left great saphenous vein insufficiency which is treatable with endovenous thermal ablation. The take-home lesson is that patients with evidence of leg swelling or other signs of venous insufficiency who are being treated for hip or knee arthritis should strongly consider preoperative venous evaluation.  Those patients who continue to have leg swelling months after their total hip or knee replacements,
despite negative ultrasound for deep vein thrombosis should also be evaluated by a Vein Specialist for Venous insufficiency.

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Another Tool to Treat Venous Insufficiency

Rachel Norton has been teaching first grade since 1994. In her free time, she likes to go to the beach with her husband and daughters. Rachel, who also likes to cook and craft, is a Florida native who relocated from one coast to the other.

“I’m from Miami and I moved to Lehigh Acres in 1991,” she notes, “so I’ve been on the west coast for twenty-five years.”

As a teacher, Rachel stands most of her day at school. Being on her feet so much has naturally had an impact on her legs. The first indication was the appearance of several unattractive spider veins, which she decided to have treated. She wanted to find a doctor she could trust.

Rachel found Joseph G. Magnant, MD, a board-certified vascular surgeon who specializes in treating veins. Dr. Magnant’s practice, Vein Specialists, which has offices in Fort Myers and Bonita Springs, is dedicated to the modern evaluation and minimally invasive treatment of leg vein disorders.

“I learned he specializes in veins, and that’s all he does all day long,” says Rachel. “I had to trust the doctor I chose, and it was comforting to me to know that was Dr. Magnant’s forte.”

Rachel liked Dr. Magnant immediately and felt she could trust him because of his expertise. Dr. Magnant successfully treated her spider veins, so when she developed more symptoms years later, she didn’t hesitate to return to him.

“My right leg became very achy, and I thought something was wrong,” she remembers. “I wondered why I was experiencing the pain. My leg wasn’t swollen or discolored. I didn’t have bulging veins or anything I could see, but I could feel it.”

Dr. Magnant performed an ultrasound examination and told her she had the early stages of venous insufficiency, which is when blood flows down the legs but can’t flow back up toward the heart. Rachel chose to postpone treatment at that time.
As the months went on, however, Rachel’s symptoms got worse. The pain in her right leg spread into her right foot as well.

“My foot started burning,” she describes. “I couldn’t sleep through the night because it felt like my foot was on fire. There was a throbbing pain that was almost constant, but at times the pain was worse. My foot was burning to the point where I was limited to wearing certain shoes.”

When these symptoms began affecting her daily routine, Rachel returned to Dr. Magnant.
“When I started experiencing the burning in my foot, I went back to him,” she states. “I tried to wait until this summer, but I ended up going back in March.
“Dr. Magnant did another ultrasound. The ultrasound showed that the venous insufficiency had progressed. He said we needed to treat it now. We had a conversation regarding a new procedure called VenaSeal™.”

VenaSeal is a vein closure technique that permanently seals leaky veins using a medical adhesive instead of heat. It produces the same end result as the ablation techniques using radiofrequency waves or a LASER, which Dr. Magnant frequently uses in his vein practice.
“Dr. Magnant said the VenaSeal technique accomplishes the same end result as heat ablation except it uses glue,” comments Rachel. “I would be his first patient to have the treatment. I trusted his expertise. Besides, VenaSeal requires only one insertion of the catheter versus the heat [based] procedures, where they enter the leg multiple times, and I don’t like needles.”

“Rachel has had problems with her right leg for a number of years,” describes Dr. Magnant. “I presented her with the different options for treating her two leaking veins. One was the traditional method with endothermal ablation using either radiofrequency or LASER-based techniques, and the other option was the new technology that’s been available less than a year that uses a medical adhesive, VenaSeal.

“Rachel was willing to take a chance on the new technology. She was my first patient to undergo it. She was a trailblazer, and she has done very well postoperatively.”

Veins are the blood vessels that return deoxygenated blood to the heart and lungs. Inside the veins are one-way valves that assist blood flow against gravity. When these valves become stressed and begin to leak, it causes blood to pool in the ankles or lower legs. The condition is venous insufficiency. It is more common than most physicians and patients realize.

“Forty million adults are affected by venous insufficiency, including one out ofthree people over the age of fifty,” alerts Dr. Magnant. “It is a medical condition, just like hypertension, diabetes and high cholesterol are medical conditions. We need to proactively manage it rather than reactively managing it.”

Dr. Magnant points out that venous insufficiency has many signs and symptoms. Signs are physical findings that can be seen with the eyes. Symptoms are the effects that patients feel. Physicians should check for both.

“There are not just the obvious signs, such as bulging varicose veins,” he explains. “True, varicose veins are part of it and are the easiest signs to diagnose. However, in the absence of varicose veins and in the presence of other symptoms such as heaviness, achiness, nighttime leg cramps and nighttime urination, the physician should consider the possibility of underlying venous insufficiency.

“The investigation of venous insufficiency with ultrasound is so straightforward, so accurate and so noninvasive that it makes perfect sense to be more proactive rather than waiting for the disease to progress or for the complications of the disease, such as skin ulcers, to develop.”

VenaSeal is like the ablation techniques for most of the procedure. Dr. Magnant uses ultrasound to guide a needle into the leaking vein. He then inserts a catheter into the vein and advances it to the top of the leg near the groin to treat the great saphenous vein, the vein running down the length of the leg, or behind the knee to treat the small saphenous vein. Here is where the VenaSeal differs. Instead of heat, it uses a safe, sterile medical adhesive to seal the vein.

“VenaSeal is another tool in our toolbox of options for treating venous disease,” points out Dr. Magnant. “It provides the same level of effectiveness as the endothermal ablation techniques, but it also offers certain benefits for some patients.”
In some cases, the patient’s entire great saphenous vein needs to be treated. Using the endothermal ablation techniques, Dr. Magnant can only treat the vein to the mid calf due to its proximity to a nerve.

“I never treat that vein below the mid calf because beyond that point, the great saphenous vein and the nerve are spiraling around one another,” informs Dr. Magnant. “With VenaSeal, I can treat that vein all the way down to the ankle without significant risk of injury to the nerve.”

Another advantage, and one that was especially attractive for Rachel, is avoidance of multiple needle sticks. VenaSeal requires only one to insert the catheter.

“Some people are very needle-phobic,” notes Dr. Magnant. “For those who feel they’ll pass out at the mention of the word needle, this is a good option for them.”

A third benefit is a decreased risk of any burning sensation or heat injury, although these risks are already very low with the ablation techniques.

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Broken Capillaries Or Small Facial Veins: What Are The Treatments?

Joseph G. Magnant, M.D., F.A.C.S., R.P.VI.

Have you noticed a group of small red vein clusters on your face? Have you ever wondered what they are or how you treat them? The tiny veins are right under the surface of the skin, making them very delicate and easy to enlarge and break. The medical term for broken facial capillaries is telangiectasia. There are a few causes of this condition. The small veins just under the surface of your skin are very delicate. An injury to the face, scrubbing too hard while washing your face, sun damage, smoking and alcoholism are all preventable causes of broken capillaries. Other, less avoidable causes are heredity, ageing due to thinning skin, and sometimes telangiectasia is associated with rosacea. Unfortunately, telangiectasia won’t repair itself so prevention and treatment is key.

The treatments for telangiectasia are laser and thermal therapies or facial aesthetic surgery. Fortunately, there an easy and affordable treatment therapy called VeinGogh Ohmic Thermolysis System. According to the VeinGogh analysis, the thermal energy generates a tiny, regulated, high frequency current delivered to the vessel via a hair-thin probe. A “microburst” of energy selectively heats the vein, coagulating the blood and collapsing the vessel wall, which is quickly absorbed into the body. All this is accomplished without affecting the outer layers of the skin resulting in a quick return to normal daily activities.

Another vein treatment option called sclerotherapy might be presented with larger facial veins. During the sclerotherapy procedure, the veins are injected with a solution that scars the vein and inhibits blood flow. The vessels collapse and the body naturally eliminates the vein.

Does VeinGogh only work on veins?

No! VeinGogh can also be used to eliminate cherry angiomas (raised red freckles or moles), small hemangiomas (raised freckle or mole), skin tagsspider nevi (cluster of small veins)and even the redness of rosacea.

Here are few tips to reduce facial spider veins:

  • Wear sunscreen daily
  • Gently was your face
  • Reduce or eliminate alcohol
  • Avoid trauma to skin
  • Avoid anything that will put constant pressure on your face
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Vein Disease Can Contribute to Restless Legs Syndrome

Joseph G. Magnant, M.D., F.A.C.S., R.P.VI.

Restless legs syndrome, or RLS, is believed to affect as much as ten percent of the population in the United States. A patient, Laura, is among that group, but it wasn’t until she was older that her RLS symptoms really began to distress her.

It was in the evenings and at night when Laura’s restless legs would cause her distress and disrupt her. This late-in-the-day onset of symptoms is a primary characteristic of RLS. The most commonly reported symptom of the syndrome is a throbbing, creeping or crawling sensation in the legs. This uncomfortable feeling leads to an uncontrollable, and many times overwhelming, urge to move the legs in order to get relief.

“The RLS affected me most when I would sit for long periods, like traveling on an airplane or watching a movie in the evening,” says Laura. “In order to relieve my legs, I’d have to get up and walk around. It became pretty unbearable.”

“Most nights, right before I am about to fall asleep, my legs would ache so bad that I would have to get up and walk around just to alleviate the uncomfortable feeling. It caused me to kick my legs and toss and turn in bed throughout the night.”

After doing some research on the various causes RLS, Laura scheduled an appointment to have her veins evaluated to see if she could get any relief. She underwent a venous insufficiency ultrasound examination to identify if there was underlying venous insufficiency that could be causing her RLS. The ultrasound results showed severe leakiness in the great saphenous vein (GSV).

Venous contribution

Veins are blood vessels that are specially designed to pump blood back toward the heart, against the force of gravity. Inside the veins are a series of one-way valves that open and close with the rhythm of muscle contractions. Healthy valves close tightly, keeping blood moving upward toward the heart. With vein disease or venous insufficiency, the valves do not close properly, causing symptoms.

Venous insufficiency has many signs and symptoms and they go beyond the visible varicose veins. They include achy legs, swollen legs and skin discoloration and ulceration. Vein disease can also be a contributing factor in the development of RLS.

With venous insufficiency, the valves of the deep and/or superficial veins of the lower extremities are either stuck or scarred in the open position or, more often, are floppy and continue to open, or prolapse, beyond the closed position. This results in reflux, or backward blood flow in the veins, which produces increased hydrostatic pressure in the downstream venous system.

Typically, the normal pressure in healthy veins, veins in which the valves are closing properly, is approximately ten millimeters of mercury at the level of the ankle when a patient is standing. If the valves are leaking from the groin all the way down to the ankle, by the end of the day the pressure could be as high as fifty or sixty millimeters of mercury. All of that extra pressure causes fluid to leak out of the veins into the skin, fat and muscle, causing pain and swelling.

It is thought that the return of this fluid, which contains water and protein, from the muscles back into the lymph vessels at night, when the legs are elevated, can trigger a cellular electrolyte imbalance and the symptoms of RLS. Thus, RLS symptoms often go hand-in-hand with venous insufficiency. However, not everyone with RLS has venous insufficiency, and not everyone with venous insufficiency has RLS.

We recommend that, before patients start taking prescription medication for restless legs syndrome, they request a consult by a qualified vein specialist. He or she will likely order an ultrasound evaluation to identify whether there is significant underlying venous insufficiency that might be causing or contributing to their problem.

There is no downside to getting an ultrasound; there is no radiation involved, no needles, no pain and it is a physiologic test that reveals which veins are leaking and how much they are leaking. Venous ultrasound for insufficiency is conservative and noninvasive, and it accurately identifies which patients are most likely to benefit from treatment.

Clearly, other causes of RLS exist, however, we encourage patients to consider venous insufficiency as a contributing factor and to request a venous insufficiency evaluation by an experienced vein specialist prior to undergoing a million-dollar workup for other diagnoses or initiating medical therapy for RLS.

Patients are simply unaware that a disease process is causing their symptoms and, further, that the disease can be treated. More often, patients tend to accept the way their legs feel and attribute the achiness or restless legs to the normal result of aging, heredity or being on their feet all day.

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Revealing Vein Disease: Swollen and Achy Legs!

After years of suffering with symptoms of vein disease, Lynn learned the truth and discovered a minimally invasive treatment to cure her symptoms!

Dr. Joseph Magnant, Vascular Surgeon and Vein Expert

The swelling and achiness in her legs started long before Lynn retired from her career in business development 11 years ago. Aside from gardening, Lynn’s hobbies, including reading and staying active with crafts, kept her sitting for long periods and she noticed her legs were always exhausted by the end of the day.

“I felt like I was carting around concrete blocks because my legs and my ankles would swell,” Lynn recalled. She also experienced cramping, fatigue and trouble sleeping at night.

She reported that she did not have any visible varicose veins, so it did not occur to her that it might be a venous thing. She had other health issues so she kept thinking her symptoms were related to some of her other health issues.

After doing some research on the various causes of her symptoms, Lynn scheduled an appointment to have her venous system evaluated.  She underwent venous insufficiency ultrasound examination, and then sat down with her vein specialist to discuss the ultrasound findings and treatment options.

After 15 years, Lynn finally learned that a very real and potentially serious vein disease was the cause of her swollen and achy legs. More importantly, she learned that she didn’t have to live with it.

Veins are blood vessels that are specially designed to pump blood back toward the heart, against the force of gravity. Inside the veins are a series of one-way valves that open and close with the rhythm of muscle contractions. Healthy valves close tightly, keeping blood moving upward toward the heart.

With vein disease or venous insufficiency, the valves do not close properly. This allows blood to flow backward down the legs and pool in the veins. The pooled blood can lead to bothersome symptoms such as swollen, achy legs or leg cramping, and other signs of progressive venous disease such as varicose veins, and skin changes that can lead to bleeding veins and leg ulcers. These complications, Dr. Magnant emphasizes, are signals that vein disease is present.

Symptoms and signs of venous disease are numerous. Varicose and spider veins are the most common indicator of vein disease. They are the easiest to diagnose. But in the absence of spider or varicose veins and in the presence of other symptoms such as heaviness, achiness, nighttime leg cramps and nighttime urination, a physician should consider the possibility of underlying venous disease. If you have varicose veins, you most likely have venous insufficiency, but someone can have venous insufficiency without presenting varicose veins.

The investigation of venous disease with ultrasound is accurate and noninvasive that it makes sense to be proactive rather than waiting for the disease to progress or for the complications of the disease to develop.

Patients are simply unaware that a disease process is causing their symptoms and, further, that the disease can be treated. More often, patients tend to accept the way their legs feel and attribute the achiness, cramps, swelling, etc. to the normal result of aging, heredity or being on their feet all day.

For Lynn, the turning point was learning that the feelings she was experiencing were not normal and came from a treatable disease. She encourages others to examine their own situations and seek help if they recognize themselves in the symptoms.

“Do not overlook the fact that your ankles are swelling or your legs are swollen and you have dull, aching pain or cramping at night or interrupted sleep,” she suggests. “Do not push that off and say, It’s always been like that or I’ve always had that uncomfortable feeling.”

If you are experiencing any signs and symptoms of venous insufficiency, don’t wait to get a vein evaluation. Log onto www.eVeinscreening.com to find a local vein specialist in your area and take your free virtual vein consult today!

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