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VENOUS REFLUX DISEASE

What is venous reflux disease?

Venous reflux disease is the disease of the leg vein valves that elevates venous pressure.

What causes venous reflux disease?

Venous reflux disease occurs when the valves that keep blood flowing out of the legs and back to the heart become diseased or damaged, causing them to not close properly.

What are the symptoms of venous reflux disease?cc

  • Leg heaviness or fatigue
  • Varicose veins
  • Swollen legs
  • Pain in the legs
  • Ulcers
  • Skin coloration changes

Risk factors that can contribute to venous reflux disease include:

  • Age
  • Family History
  • Gender
  • Multiple pregnancies
  • Obesity
  • Heavy lifting
  • Standing for prolonged period of time

How is venous reflux disease diagnosed?

The physician does a complete medical history and examination of your legs. Additionally, a test called a vascular or duplex ultrasound may be used to examine the blood circulation in your legs.

How is venous reflux disease treated?

The Venefit procedure is performed in an outpatient setting. A catheter will be placed in the diseased vein through a small opening in the skin. The tiny catheter powered by radiofrequency 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 will re-route itself to other healthy veins. Following the procedure, a simple bandage is placed over the insertion site, and additional compression may be provided to aid healing.

Smoking is a major risk for several diseases including heart disease, stroke, and several cancers. Even low-tar cigarettes and light smoking can increase the risk of heart disease substantially. There are now several alternative approaches to helping people stop smoking. These include nicotine-replacement patches and gum as well as oral medication.

If you are able to stop smoking, your risk of a heart attack or stroke decreases within a few weeks. The risk goes down to that of a nonsmoker within about 2 years. In addition, a lot of patients comment that they feel healthier and have more energy after they've stopped smoking.

Hypothyroidism can increase blood cholesterol levels and that contributes to heart disease; however, if the hypothyroidism is being treated with a thyroid hormone, then the cholesterol returns to normal.

Birth control pills can cause a small increase in the risk of thrombosis and heart attack. That occurs mainly in people who have been on the pill for more than 10 years and who smoke cigarettes.

There is an increase in the risk of heart attack if a first-degree relative (parent or sibling) has had a heart attack or stroke. That is mainly seen when the relative has had a heart attack before the age of 45 if they are male, 55 if they are female. Obviously, you cannot change your family history, but a positive history should suggest the need to improve all the other risk factors like stopping smoking and decreasing cholesterol.

Heart disease is potentially reversible by attending to risk factors like cholesterol, blood pressure, and smoking. Several studies have shown, for example, that aggressive lowering of blood cholesterol with LDL levels below 100 can open up blocked coronary arteries at least partially. Perhaps I should explain that LDL cholesterol is the "bad" cholesterol component.

I would suggest a diet that is balanced among all the main food groups, with fat content making up no more than 30 percent of calories and most of that fat being unsaturated. I would not advise patients to eat a diet that is restricted in carbohydrates or fruits and vegetables, because this may adversely affect vitamin intake and blood cholesterol.

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