The thought of heart surgery can be scary. Uncertainty about the procedure and your life afterward can make for an intimidating idea. But, with preparation, you can help ease your concerns and prepare for a healthy life after your procedure.
Why Bypass Surgery Is Necessary
For many reasons, the arteries surrounding your heart can become clogged with plaque, making it harder for your heart to pump blood through your body. Clogged arteries can have severe consequences on your health, including high blood pressure, heart attacks, and strokes.
Clogged arteries also increase your risk of Coronary Artery Disease (CAD).
CAD can result in symptoms such as:
Abnormal heart rhythm
Shortness of breath
Swelling in the feet and hands
It’s worth noting that some people don’t experience symptoms of CAD in its early stages, but the disease can still progress to lead to a heart attack from the blockage.
How to Prepare
Asking your doctor questions is crucial to ease concerns about bypass surgery. Your doctor can answer your questions and explain the details of your procedure. Also, your doctor gives you a thorough exam to ensure you’re healthy enough for surgery. Along with following your doctor’s advice, there are several steps you can take to prepare. First, quitting smoking before your procedure can help. Chemicals from cigarettes can create fatty deposits in your arteries and contribute to the problem.
Next, make a trip to your dentist. Since heart and oral health share a surprising connection, you may need clearance from your dentist before your procedure. Bacteria from gum disease can create problems for your heart. Your dentist can examine you can write a clearance letter to confirm your oral health.
Also, preparing your family and friends is crucial to aid in your recovery. For the first few weeks after your procedure, you will need help to complete tasks such as cooking, bathing, and changing bandages.
Bypass surgery is an essential tool to help restore your health. Preparing for your procedure can help you deal with concerns before and after surgery. If you want to learn more, please reach out to Suffolk Vein and Vascular. Schedule a consultation today by calling (631) 476-9100 to reach any of our 3 locations.
Keeping your blood flow in order is crucial to maintaining good health. Your blood flow handles carrying oxygen-rich blood and nutrients to your organs. Compromised blood flow to your brain can have devastating effects on your health. A transient ischemic attack is an interruption in blood flow to your brain. This condition can be sudden and life-threatening. But, several steps can help prevent a transient ischemic attack from happening. Here are the signs you should look for and what you can do to protect yourself.
Is TIA the Same As A Stroke?
Transient ischemic attacks are often called mini-strokes or warning strokes. Both conditions are similar as they both interrupt blood flow to the brain. But, TIA differs from a stroke because the symptoms don’t last as long as a stroke’s symptoms. Also, the blockages that cause TIA are temporary and leave no permanent damage. But, if you’ve suffered from TIA, it could mean that a stroke may happen soon.
What Causes TIA?
A primary cause of a transient ischemic attack is plaque buildup in the arteries. The buildup occurs in the area responsible for delivering oxygen to the brain. Plaque buildup can slow down blood flow and cause a blood clot to form and travel to the brain.
What Are The Symptoms of Tia?
TIA and stroke symptoms are similar. But the difference is TIA symptoms usually resolve after about an hour. Symptoms of TIA can include
Loss of balance
Paralysis on one side of the body
Although TIA symptoms don’t last long, you should still seek medical attention immediately.
How Can TIA be Prevented?
Contributors to TIA are poor diet, lack of exercise, smoking, and regular drinking. One of the most effective ways to avoid TIA is to watch your cardiovascular health.
Lifestyle changes like quitting smoking, drinking less, and a healthy diet can help.
Working with your doctor can help you find the best treatment method to reduce your risk of TIA and stroke.
If you have questions about TIA, Suffolk Vein and Vascular Center can help. We serve the Port Jefferson Station, Hauppauge, and Riverhead areas. Schedule a consultation today by calling us at one of our 3 locations (631) 476-9100 (Port Jefferson Station), (631) 979-0222 (Hauppauge), or (631) 591-9003 (Riverhead).
Unsightly varicose veins can ruin your summer plans. Going out is nerve-wracking If you’re self-conscious about showing your legs. To avoid painful removal procedures, you may think you have to live with varicose veins. But, answers are closer than you think. Endovenous laser therapy (EVLT) is a minimally invasive procedure that can improve your quality of life. Here is what EVLT involves and how you can determine if it’s an option for you.
What Causes Varicose Veins?
Our bodies experience many changes as we age. When the valves in your blood vessels are damaged or weakened, blood collects in the vein. As blood pools in the vein, they bulge near the top of the skin, resulting in varicose veins.
How EVLT Treats Varicose Veins
Endovenous laser therapy (EVLT) is an outpatient procedure that usually takes less than an hour to complete. EVLT uses a small incision to insert a fiber into affected veins to guide the laser surgery. Next, laser energy seals the damaged vein walls and re-routes the blood that causes varicose veins. With the blood re-routed, circulation improves, and your symptoms start resolving.
How EVLT Benefits You
Some treatments for varicose veins are invasive and have extensive recovery times. EVLT is a short-minimally invasive procedure with little downtime once completed. A local anesthetic makes the surgery
painless, and most patients report immediate symptom relief.
After the procedure, you can get back to your regular activities immediately. However, you’ll have to take measures to ensure long-term results. You should avoid:
Standing or sitting for long periods
Risks of EVLT
Every procedure has the potential for risks, and EVLT is no exception. The chances of complications after an EVLT procedure, but risks can include:
Deep vein thrombosis
Is EVLT Right For You?
If you have varicose veins and are considering EVLT, talk to one of our professionals. Suffolk Vein & Vascular serves the Riverhead, Port Jefferson Station, and Hauppauge areas. Call any of our offices today at (631) 591-9003 (Riverhead), (631) 476-9100 (Port Jefferson Station), and (631) 979-0222 (Hauppauge) to schedule an appointment.
Most people don’t think about their vascular health until they notice something that worries them. Then it’s hard to stop thinking about it.
If you’ve developed spider veins, you might wonder if you did something wrong or if they’re a warning sign of a more serious condition. While spider vends tend to be harmless, if they appear in a highly visible area or are painful or irritating, the concern grows into anxiety.
The short answer: you have nothing to worry about. Here, we’ll discuss what they are, how they form, and our recommended treatments.
What Are Spider Veins?
Spider veins are small, thin blood vessels that rise to the surface of the skin and are easy to see as a result. They tend to look like strands of spiderwebs or tree branches and are much darker and more prominent than most veins.
They are very common; nearly half of all American adults develop spider veins. Even though they’re common, they can still cause anxiety.
Backflow of blood from damaged vessels (called “venous reflux”) causes spider veins. Since the valves don’t work as well, blood builds up in the vessels and makes them swell beyond their normal boundaries.
Aging, changes in hormones, obesity, and a lack of exercise all increase the risk of spider vein development, as can exposure to sunlight and an existing family history of spider veins.
How Are Spider Veins Treated?
Non-surgical spider vein treatments are ideal compared to many other medical procedures. They are very effective, go no deeper than the surface of the skin, and require minimal recovery time. Spider veins can be treated in several ways.
Compression stockings around the affected limb put pressure on the veins, which reduces their swelling and forces blood through the valves at a normal rate. While these sleeves don’t remove the veins themselves but do improve their symptoms.
In sclerotherapy, your doctor injects a solution that collapses the swollen spider veins. The body absorbs the destroyed veins into the body and automatically redirects blood flow. A single treatment takes about an hour, and most patients only require 2-4 treatments.
Ultimately, there’s no way to prevent them entirely. But weight loss, exercise, support stockings, and wearing flat, comfortable shoes help reduce your risk.
Frequent leg movements also help, especially when sitting or standing in one place for long periods of time. This is especially helpful if you work a job at a desk, and don’t get the chance to move around very often.
If you have a problem with varicose veins, you may have chosen to have foam sclerotherapy to reduce or eliminate their appearance on your body. This procedure is non-invasive because it uses ultrasound to help guide the foam used to close the veins.
The process will cause them to shrink and become less noticeable. In some cases, sclerotherapy may result in the veins disappearing completely.
Being non-invasive, some patients can return to their normal activities the same day as the procedure. However, as with any medical procedure you have done, there can be issues you will have to deal with afterward. The importance of caring for yourself is key to having a desirable recovery.
Avoid Hot Water
You will want to refrain from taking a hot bath or shower after your procedure. In addition, patients should avoid sitting in a sauna or a hot tub. Hot water can cause your skin to exfoliate, leading to some serious skin irritation after foam sclerotherapy. It can also lead to clogged pores, which could cause infections later.
If you must exercise after your foam sclerotherapy, you should limit it to walking. Vigorous exercise or jogging will cause you to produce a lot of sweat. That can carry bacteria to the treated area, which may lead to skin irritation at the least and infection at the worst. You will be able to go back to your regular exercise regimen in 24 to 48 hours.
Any medical procedure could lead to a mild amount of pain. If you experience any, you should avoid over-the-counter medications such as Ibuprofen. Some of these drugs can cause an excess of bruising or bleeding. If you have pain following your procedure, let us know, and we will be able to give you medication that can help without causing worse side effects.
We Can Help
If you have decided that foam sclerotherapy is the course of treatment you want, we would be excited to help you. At Suffolk Vascular and Vein Center, founded by Dr. Robert M. Pollina, we have a team of specialists focused on helping our patients reach their goals to attain their dream appearance. Call us at 613-203-2284 for a consultation and let us help you get on the way to a new you.
People who visit a vein or vascular specialist for varicose veins may be encouraged to have an ultrasound done. This form of imaging is the gold standard in diagnostic care for varicose veins because, without special imaging, the doctor has no way to truly evaluate veins using observation. An ultrasound exam provides a comprehensive, very detailed map of the veins in the lower extremities. We don’t just see the veins, but we see their size, where they branch off, and where they are interconnected. Using ultrasound imaging, the specialist can evaluate how well the valves in the veins are working. The imaging, because it shows real-time motion, can identify whether or not there is reflux happening. Venous reflux is a major contributor to varicose veins. It involves the backup of blood where a valve has stopped functioning properly. Ultrasound can also show if a vein if blocked or if a blood clot has developed.
How Does Ultrasound Work?
Ultrasound imaging is a non-invasive test and is painless, safe, and efficient. Ultrasound creates images via the use of high-frequency sound waves. These sound waves are not heard during the exam. They travel through the body and meet structures in the target area. In this case, ultrasound waves meet the veins. This meeting causes a change in the frequency of the sound waves, resulting in an image that is displayed on a computer screen. Vein specialists often rely on ultrasound to accurately diagnose venous insufficiency. People with spider veins, itching, aching, or swelling of the ankles or legs, discoloration of the skin on the leg or ankle, or slight bulging of varicose veins tend to be excellent candidates for venous ultrasound.
What Can I Expect at My Leg Ultrasound?
Venous ultrasounds on the legs usually take 30 to 45 minutes. To observe the veins, the doctor or technician applies a water-soluble gel on the skin of the target area. They then place a handheld device against the skin and move it across the area being studied. The device emits sound waves, which are directed inward by the gel. The ultrasound exam may include imaging both when you are standing and when you are lying down. This improves image quality in three ways. The change in position gives the best access to all veins in the target area. It shows changes in blood flow through different positions, and it evaluates the efficacy of the calf muscle pump, an integral aspect of good blood flow out of the legs. During a venous ultrasound, the technician may also apply compression to the leg to observe how blood flow changes as a result.
Preparing for Lower Extremity Ultrasound
There are a few things that patients can do to make their lower extremity ultrasound comfortable and efficient. These include:
Drink plenty of water before the appointment. Hydration maximizes peak patterns and rates of blood flow for the exam.
Wear loose-fitting clothing. This will make it easier to move onto and off of the table.
Do not apply lotion or other products to the legs on the day of the exam. This may interfere with the ultrasound gel.
How Does Ultrasound Help Plan Vein Treatment?
Ultrasound imaging is an essential aspect of vein treatment. The images show the doctor where the venous reflux is happening, the vein or veins that are involved, and their precise location. Imaging shows the doctor if the problem is related to venous reflux or a blood clot, each of which requires a unique course of treatment. Using the data obtained through ultrasound, the doctor can confidently make treatment recommendations. At Suffolk Vascular & Vein, we perform the following vein treatments:
Endovenous radiofrequency ablation
Endovenous laser ablation
Having a venous ultrasound does not obligate you to receive the treatment that is recommended. What this screening does is help you understand exactly what is happening to cause uncomfortable symptoms and it helps your doctor provide you with the most accurate information regarding your condition and how it may be treated. Contact us to schedule a visit at one of our three New York locations.
People who visit us for vein treatment often come to their appointments complaining of varicose veins or spider veins. Often, where there is one, there is the other. The reason is simple, both varicose veins and spider veins are symptoms of venous insufficiency. This underlying condition is one in which a vein or veins get weak. The vein may widen with excessive internal pressure or one or more of the valves in a vein no longer closes properly. Like other parts of the body, the venous valves can wear out somewhat due to a lifetime spent working 24/7. When a valve does not close all the way, blood that should be moving up and out of the leg instead moves backward. This may only be a little bit of blood at a time but, over months or years, the volume becomes enough to make the vein swollen and twisted. Once the valve has stopped closing efficiently, the pooling of blood becomes a chronic problem. If you know you are at risk of venous insufficiency and its spider and varicose veins, you need to know what to do to manage your condition well. If you do, you might be able to avoid needing periodic treatment to remove problem veins.
Do you have venous insufficiency?
If you see webs of tiny, squiggly purple, blue, and red veins on your legs, you may immediately recognize them as spider veins. This is relatively easy. Varicose veins, however, may go unnoticed for a time. Most people, when asked about the symptoms of varicose veins, answer that the veins bulge visibly. This is true, but visibility is not the only sign of varicose veins. In fact, other symptoms may occur before you ever see a bump on your skin from the swollen vein. These symptoms include:
Leg cramps or aching
Tingling or itching above the varicose vein
Unexplained skin discoloration that does not go away
Pain when standing that improves when the legs are elevated
Restless legs syndrome
A feeling of fatigue or heaviness in the legs
Venous insufficiency can become a chronic and frustrating problem if not managed well. At the first indication that a vein may not be functioning properly, it is highly beneficial to implement a few lifestyle habits.
Move Your Body More
You don’t have to be an avid fitness enthusiast to reap the rewards of daily movement. Many people find the idea of hours in a gym unthinkable and entirely unpleasant. Fortunately, the kind of exercise that is good for varicose veins is not the kind of exercise fitness gurus rave about. If you have varicose veins, what your doctor would like for you to do is walk. That’s it. Walking can do wonders for the efficient flow of blood through the legs. When you walk, your calf muscles contract and press on the veins as needed to pump blood upwards. To make the most of this lifestyle habit, walk for at least 30 minutes, at least five days a week. To increase the beneficial effects of walking, add some incline to the mix. Walking up and down even mild hills can change the way that the leg muscles contract.
Now, there are specific exercises that can be done to improve venous insufficiency. These target the calf muscles and can be done standing up, in a seated position, or lying down. They can be done in just a few minutes a day and, in some instances, even throughout the day while you’re sitting at a desk. Some examples include sitting with the feet flat on the floor and raising and lowering the heels to engage the calf muscles. Additional exercises for varicose veins can be found online.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Bodyweight is supported primarily by the legs. When there is too much weight to be supported, the veins may weaken under excessive pressure. The good news about this recommendation to manage weight is that it can be done in part by increasing physical activity. The walking that is recommended for vein health can also help you lose or maintain the best weight for your body frame. Additional tactics to manage weight may need to include some dietary changes. This can be made easier by joining a subscription-based diet program or by using a convenient smartphone app that tracks calories and other nutrients. One of the simplest ways to start losing weight is to trade take-out food for homecooked meals that consist primarily of lean meat or other healthy protein and fresh vegetables.
Limit Salt Intake
Like weight management is supported by increasing physical activity, limiting salt intake can be supported by making healthier food choices. The tricky thing about salt intake is that people who don’t add salt to their meals might think they don’t consume too much. These same people may eat packaged and processed foods every day, though, and these might contain significant amounts of sodium, which is the same thing as salt. Sodium is an ingredient used in crackers and cookies and chips. It may be found in cereals and is a component of soda, too. By changing dietary habits to include primarily fresh, whole foods, the issue of salt becomes easier to manage.
Elevate the Legs
Elevation is your legs’ best friend if you have venous insufficiency. When you lie down and rest your legs up on a wall or resting on the seat of a sofa or chair, the blood that has pooled is helped out. Elevation with the feet above the level of the heart removes the gravitational force that blood must work against to get back to the heart. Depending on your situation, you may want to elevate your legs at least once a day.
Vein health is a vital aspect of daily comfort. To consult with a vascular specialist about various vein treatments, contact Suffolk Vascular & Vein. We have offices in Port Jefferson Station, Hauppauge, and Riverhead, NY.
If you have started noticing varicose veins on your legs, you may wonder why you have them and what they might mean about your general health. These bulging, ropey veins are caused by blood backing up in a part of a vein, after all, so they must indicate a problem with circulation. Many people with varicose veins have these questions. Here, we touch on the relationship between these veins and health.
What are Varicose Veins?
Varicose veins are known for their appearance, mostly. However, they aren’t much unlike the tiny spider veins that many people develop around the ankles, knees, or other parts of the legs. In a perfect circulatory system, oxygenated blood is carried to all parts of the body via a system of arteries. The veins are vessels that carry deoxygenated blood back to the lungs and heart. The veins must work against gravity, and they do so via a series of one-way valves. Contractions of the calf muscles also facilitate the upward movement of blood out of the lower legs. If the valves fail, blood cannot exit the vein effectively. Some of the blood backs up and pools in a section of the vein. Once the pooling begins, it tends to continue and worsen over time. This is why, at first, varicose veins may look discolored or slightly puffy but, over time, become long, twisted ropes of swollen vessels.
There are a few risk factors that make some people more susceptible to varicose veins. These include:
Family history. If Mom, Dad, or a grandparent or sibling has vein conditions, the chances are higher of developing varicose veins.
XX chromosomes. Women are more likely to develop varicose veins as a result of their regular hormonal shifts.
Pregnancy. When pregnant, a woman’s blood vessels are under more pressure. Also, she is experiencing significant fluctuations in the hormone progesterone, which can loosen soft tissues in preparation for birth.
Injury. Specifically, injury to the lower legs can increase the risk of developing varicose veins.
Sitting or standing for too long. The valves in the veins work more efficiently when we regularly move our calf muscles. We do not do this when we sit or stand, so the blood moves less efficiently.
Age and weight are additional risk factors. However, they can be mitigated with regular exercise and effective weight management.
What Do Varicose Veins Say about Health?
Varicose veins can feel unnerving not only because they are protruding and cosmetically noticeable, but also because, as they get worse, they can cause uncomfortable symptoms. We should mention, too, that a varicose vein doesn’t have to be visible to be symptomatic. Whether it can be seen or not, this impaired vein can ache, burn, itch, sting, or cause cramping or heaviness in the leg. But do these symptoms mean anything about your overall health? Fortunately, in most cases, the answer is no. Varicose veins don’t mean that your circulation is generally poor or that you have higher risks for cardiovascular problems. This is good news, but it also doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do something to reduce your risk of getting more varicose veins if you can.
Managing Vein Health
First, if you have painful or cosmetically troubling varicose veins, you can get them treated. At Suffolk Vascular and Vein Center, we regularly perform vein treatments to eliminate varicose veins. Alongside proper clinical care, people with varicose veins are strongly encouraged to lose weight if they are currently overweight, to eat a healthy diet, and exercise regularly. Walking is an excellent form of exercise to work against the risk factors for varicose veins.
We are proud to provide outstanding, patient-centered care at our facilities in Hauppauge, Port Jefferson Station, and Riverhead, NY. To schedule your consultation for varicose vein treatment, contact us today.
The cardiovascular system is complex and fascinating. It is integral to the nourishment of every cell in the body as a vehicle for the transport of oxygen and nutrients. It also filters out CO2 and helps regulate body temperature. Because an unhealthy cardiovascular system is the origin of numerous diseases, it is imperative that we learn how to take optimal care of this aspect of our overall health and wellness. At Suffolk Vascular and Vein Center, we provide diagnostic and corrective treatments to repair problems in the cardiovascular system. Here, we will discuss some of the best habits to maintain to support it.
It’s no surprise that sleep is listed as a major habit for good health. Still, most of us get caught in the rut and grind of life with full-time work, school, family, and other obligations. When life is as busy as it is, we don’t often prioritize sleep. We should. The body is a machine just like any other. It’s technology is some of the most impressive to be found on earth, and it must be recharged sufficiently in order to complete its critical functions on a daily basis. A lack of sleep is a risk factor for cardiovascular problems. Fortunately, it is an easily managed factor when we understand its importance. Your body is unique so you’ll have to explore what works best for you, based solely on how you feel. Generally, we need 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night.
Our level of physical activity directly correlates to our degree of vascular health. Exercise is a critical aspect of how well the heart pumps blood through the arteries, and also how well the system returns blood to the heart through its matrix of veins. As such, regular physical activity can significantly improve the circulation of oxygenated blood to the limbs, reducing risks of conditions like peripheral artery disease.
Unmanaged stress has a cumulative effect on overall health. While we cannot eliminate all stressors from our lives, we can develop the skills to manage our personal stress levels. One way is to take mental health days when necessary and also when possible. Free time can include stress-relieving activities like yoga, meditation (guided meditations can be found online or using smartphone apps), coloring, or walking outdoors. Activities that release physical and emotional energy are often excellent for stress relief and are therefore good for the cardiovascular system.
We are proud to serve areas in and around Port Jefferson Station, Riverhead, and Hauppauge, NY. Contact us today to schedule your appointment.
For the vast majority of women, aching and cramping in the pelvic area are typically associated with menstruation. However, for some women, these symptoms persist day after day, sometimes for decades. The cause could be hiding in plain sight. From our perspective, we often see chronic pelvic pain as a sign of pelvic congestion syndrome. This condition usually affects women of childbearing age, and it may present a host of unpleasant symptoms aside from pain. These include:
Heavy menstrual bleeding
Pain in the low back and legs
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
The symptoms of pelvic congestion syndrome occur because one or more pelvic veins have narrowed. This inhibits venous blood flow through the pelvic area to the lower extremities. Blood pressure increases in the pelvic venous system, resulting in discomfort. The most common underlying cause for pelvic congestion syndrome is the patient’s anatomy. The internal structure of the body, specifically the pelvic area, can make some people more susceptible to what is commonly referred to as pelvic varicose veins. The iliac vein and iliac artery cross in the pelvis. The artery is thicker and more muscular so can compress against the vein. Surgical procedures to the hip or pelvic area could also be a factor in the development of this condition.
Pelvic Congestion Syndrome Diagnosis and Treatment
Any person who experiences chronic pelvic pain, which lasts six months or more, should consult with their primary care physician. If pelvic pain coincides with other signs of venous insufficiency, such as varicose veins in the lower extremities, a vascular specialist should be consulted. A specialist conducts a comprehensive consultation, review of symptoms, and medical history. Diagnostic imaging may be ordered or performed in the office. This usually involves non-invasive ultrasound or venous scans, which present a clear observation of blood moving through the pelvic venous system.
If venous stenosis (narrowing) is found, treatment focuses on widening the pathway for venous circulation through the pelvis to the lower extremities to relieve hypertension and uncomfortable symptoms. Pelvic congestion syndrome may be treated with medication or a minimally invasive procedure. The specialist may first prescribe hormone therapy to control blood flow more efficiently. Surgical intervention, if needed, may include angioplasty, with or without stenting. Angioplasty is a very common vascular procedure that dilates (widens) a circulatory pathway. If the affected vein is too weak, the vascular surgeon places a mesh tube into the vein to hold it open. Stents are considered permanent and necessary in some cases.
Suffolk Vascular & Vein Center is proud to serve the areas of Port Jefferson Station, Hauppauge, and Riverhead, NY. Contact us today for more information or to schedule your consultation.