Quick question – do your legs ever feel
After standing on your feet for a long period of time?
That’s because gravity is not your friend, friend. Especially if you have a job that requires you to stand for long periods at a time. We’re talking to you — hairstylists, retail and restaurant folks, healthcare professionals, assembly line workers, teachers and everyone else who has to be on his or her feet all day or all night long.
Standing for long periods is a big pressure cooker situation for your legs. As blood flows down through the legs, your leg muscles must work against gravity to pump the blood back up towards the heart. This is no easy task — as your leg muscles rely on movement and change of position to pump and squeeze the veins properly. Legs that encounter fairly constant downward gravitational pull are very likely to feel — see the list above.
Over time, this pressure can cause veins to stretch. And once veins begin to stretch and lose elasticity, circulation through the legs becomes sluggish. Lax vein walls mean vein valves do not open and close tightly. So blood begins to flow backwards (known as venous reflux) – and the symptoms of vein disease begin to be felt and seen.
To magnify the problem further, if you’re pre-disposed to vein troubles due to genetics, hormonal changes (pregnancy & menopause), are overweight, and lead a sedentary lifestyle, you’re even more susceptible to experiencing leg vein issues and, if left unchecked and untreated, to possibly developing advanced forms of vein disease, such as venous stasis dermatitis or leg ulcers.
Stand up to leg pain.
We applaud industries who recognize the hazards of working on your feet, like the salon professional industry. In a recent issue of Modern Salon, this article — It’s Not Vain to Mind Veins — does a great job informing hairdressers about the hazards associated with standing for long periods and educating them about the symptoms and causes of vein disease. Good on you, Modern Salon!
Temporary solutions for relief right now.
Temporary relief can come in the form of a nice soak in an Epsom salt-infused tub, putting the feet up and watching a show, or even a swim or mild walk around the neighborhood can bring relief and get your circulation moving again. It’s also a great idea to wear medical-grade compression tights and/or socks during those long shifts on your feet. Take it from the Hamilton Vein Center nurses – they swear by their compression socks!
Permanent solutions for everlasting relief.
If your leg pain or discomfort becomes routine, make an appointment to come in for a comprehensive vein screening and ultrasound. Let’s rule out — or rule in – vein disease as a factor (What is vein disease). If vein disease is found to be the culprit, today’s advanced, minimally invasive vein treatments will shut down the diseased vein and put you on the road to peppy, energized legs as quick as you can take a lunch break. Yes, all treatments are performed on an outpatient basis and most take less than an hour!
Hamilton Vein Center Houston Area
Hamilton Vein Center San Antonio
Hamilton Vein Center Austin
Resource used in this post — Modern Salon, May 2016
We’ve been helping people with vein issues look and feel better since 2010, and it’s always been our mission to educate folks about vein disease and how, left untreated, it can lead to painful and often debilitating conditions. Needless to say, we love it when we get some help getting this message out – like the article we came across in the August 2016 issue of Prevention magazine.
Titled “Problem Solved. Varicose Veins” — this article hits on some common causes of varicose veins for women – like the hormonal changes of menopause and aging, plus information about some tried-and-true treatments, “surprising solutions” (natural & unconventional remedies), and “what’s next” – new and noteworthy treatments. All good things.
Dr. Hamilton reviewed the article, and we would like to share his thoughts on what was reported about this all-too-often misdiagnosed and under-treated medical condition that affects nearly 50% of the population over 50 and, when left untreated, can often lead to debilitating conditions like leg ulcers and skin changes.
Tried and True Treatments
When it comes to treating conditions brought on by vein disease – like varicose and spider veins, the go-to methods are sclerotherapy, compression therapy and endovenous thermal ablation. This article gives accurate information on all three ‘tried-and-true’ remedies.
Readers are informed about the benefits of sclerotherapy treatment – that it is an outpatient procedure that eliminates spider veins and small varicose veins. At Hamilton Vein Center, we perform two types of sclerotherapy – foam and liquid. Compression socks and stockings (compression therapy) are great pain and swelling relievers. We recommend compression therapy for all patients who need relief while waiting for insurance approvals and/or a vein treatment. Compression therapy is also an important part of post-treatment recovery – speeding the healing process.
And, finally, long-gone are the days of painful vein stripping. Today’s gold standard for treating larger surface veins is endovenous thermal ablation – or as we call it at HVC, radiofrequency ablation (RFA). HVC vein specialists use image-guidance to insert a very small catheter into the vein and pinpoint the exact location of the diseased area. Heat is then delivered to that area, collapsing the vein. Blood that has given off its oxygen is rerouted to the deep veins, which are very effective in getting blood out of the legs and up to the heart and lungs – where blood receives a nice, fresh blast of oxygen. Closing the vein and re-routing the blood keeps it from pooling in the veins that don’t work. This is what brings relief — and improves skin color and texture, leg ulcers and other conditions. Near-immediate relief and a high-efficacy rate make this treatment a favorite amongst vein specialists and patients alike.
The main thing Dr. Hamilton wanted to point out in this section is that the only true solution for bad veins is to have them treated with a minimally invasive procedure that’s designed to tackle your specific vein issue. The Prevention article is correct in saying that exercise, bioflavonoids and horse chestnut are terrific ways to improve blood flow, relieve swelling and strengthen vein walls – but most of the time, if you have diagnosed vein disease, it will progress and you will need minimally invasive intervention to stop it!
What’s Next? New & Noteworthy Options
As leaders in today’s vein treatments, HVC embraces the latest technologies and is often asked to participate in clinical trials. The Prevention article mentions three notable, new treatments – VenaSeal, MOCA and TIPP. (You can see that vein treatment folks like their acronyms!)
Dr. Hamilton had positive things to say about all three of these treatments as far as patient comfort and overall success rates – with the most noteworthy drawback being that, because they are so new and studies are still being performed (for efficacy, etc), they are either not covered by most insurance and/or take time to get insurance approval. Basically, they just need to prove themselves and gain some traction and acceptance by more vein treatment doctors and insurance companies. That said, as new treatments become available – it opens up a greater range of treatment options for patients. Which is, of course, great news.
VenaSeal – This is the only approved method of closing veins that doesn’t entail using heat or sclerosants. Instead, vein specialists use an adhesive (think superglue) and apply pressure to close the vein. Best part – you don’t have to wear compression stockings afterwards! Worst part – not covered by insurance yet.
MOCA – Despite sounding like a latte-inspired treatment, MOCA actually stands for “mechanochemical ablation” where via a special infusion catheter the vein’s lining is agitated with a rotating wire tip and sealed with a liquid sclerosant. Dr. Hamilton gives a big thumbs up to this procedure. It’s fast, effective but takes time to get approval. He was even asked to be a part of a treatment study made up of a multi-center group of vein specialists. Study the study here (and impress your friends with your MOCA vein treatment knowledge).
TIPP – the best “tip” Dr. Hamilton can give you about ‘transilluminated powered phlebectomy’ – is to understand that this is a very new procedure, utilizing fiber-optic light to illuminate vessels and extract them with a special surgical tool. This procedure allows doctors to remove larger clusters of varicose veins without harming circulation. Again, it’s the new-treatment-on-the-block, so not widely available yet. But another “one to watch.”
The August issue of Prevention is on newsstands now. This monthly publication is a great healthy lifestyle magazine – and is also available online at prevention.com. We highly recommend it! Thank you, Prevention, for helping to spread the news about vein issues and the number of ways to keep them healthy and in check!
If you have any leg pain, discoloration, swollen, texture changes, or noticeable varicose veins, come in so we can take a look and see if vein disease is to blame.
Houston 281.565.0033 | San Antonio 210.504.4304 | Austin 512.551.1403
Hamilton Vein Center physician liaisons are our vein disease education ambassadors, meeting with doctors and health care providers to educate them about vein disease, the symptoms of vein disease, and how Hamilton Vein Center can help their patients with suspected vein problems live healthier lives.
One thing our liaisons are hearing from doctors right now is that many Texans are experiencing — swollen legs! Turns out TEXAS HEAT + WEAKENED / DILATED VEINS = SWELLING
Has the Texas heat caused your legs to resemble a puffer fish too? Well, at least without the prickles (we hope).
The Summertime Flyer our liaisons are leaving behind with providers has some great tips on how to keep legs less puffer-fishish. We want to pass along this Summer Swelling Survival Guide on to you too! Click here Summertime Flyer to read how to keep your legs cool and summer on in comfort.
It’s important to remember that leg swelling is often a sign of a potential vein problem. Veins that become dilated by heat can weaken, which can lead to irregular blood flow through the veins. That’s when problems can take shape — like swelling.
If you are experiencing leg issues of any kind, schedule a vein consultation at a conveniently located Hamilton Vein Center — and see if your veins are up to something that will last longer than the Texas heat.
Houston 281.565.0033 | San Antonio 210.504.4304 | Austin 512.551.1403
(Content in the HVC Summertime Flyer is adapted from Varicose Veins in Summertime from varicoseveins.org)
Crawling spiders, creeping, jumpy and electrical shock are just a few of the unsavory feelings millions of Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) sufferers experience on a regular basis.
The cause(s) of Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) is an ongoing study with plenty of theories but no pinpointed reason, but it is interesting to note that a whopping 91% of RLS sufferers also suffer from underlying vein disease. Of course vein disease isn’t considered – most of the time — by doctors when a patient presents RLS symptoms. As vein specialists we know that undetected vein disease is behind the exacerbation or is the cause of many conditions – from RLS to leg ulcers and edema.
The bright spot in all this is that 89% of sufferers with detected vein disease who undergo a minimally invasive vein treatment note significant reduction or complete relief from symptoms afterwards!
We came across a recent article on Prevention.com (What Restless Legs Syndrome Feels Like) that describes the various feelings RLS sufferers experience. Take a look and if you are suffering with any symptoms of Restless Legs Syndrome, make an appointment to come in for a comprehensive vein consultation and ultrasound today. If vein disease is detected, relief is in your future!
Houston 281.565.0033 | Austin 512.551.1403 | San Antonio 210.504.4304
People suffering with edema know all to well the pain and discomfort associated with swollen calves, ankles and feet. But what they may not know is that today’s advanced vein treatments can stem or end the pain and discomfort all together!
What causes leg swelling?
There are many reasons why our legs swell from time to time. You may notice some swelling after a long car drive, sitting at a desk all day, or living in Texas during the summer. But for people suffering with chronic swelling (edema), the causes are more often brought on by lymphatic dysfunction and/or a more progressive stage of vein disease – a medical condition caused by poor functioning vein valves. If vein disease is left unchecked, venous hypertension builds, forcing fluid to pool in the lymphatic system and tissues beneath the skin.
What’s the connection?
Because the body’s lymphatic and venous systems are intricately connected systems, both are affected when one or the other – or in some cases – both systems are diseased or compromised. Lymphedema and vein disease even share similar symptoms, including skin changes that can lead to leg ulcers and venous dermatitis – both of which are advanced conditions of vein disease.
Get your veins checked.
The bright spot in all this is that today’s minimally invasive vein treatments can bring immediate relief and reduce or eradicate leg swelling symptoms in lymphedema sufferers and vein disease sufferers. Relief starts with a visit to a Hamilton Vein Center clinic to have a comprehensive ultrasound of your leg veins by one of our highly skilled vein specialists. As vein specialists who are expertly skilled in image-guided diagnostics, we can determine right away if vein disease is present and its severity. Many lymphedema sufferers have compromised veins and getting these veins treated can be an integral part of their recovery. And for people with edema that is caused solely by vein disease, it should resolve after vein treatment is completed.
If you’d like to end your leg swelling and end or reduce your symptoms of lymphedema, contact Hamilton Vein Center today. Our vein specialists have the knowledge and the tools to help you feel better!
Houston 281.565.0033 | Austin 512.551.1403 | San Antonio 210.504.4304
The secret to a longer, better quality, happier life with your legs starts by paying attention to the hard-working leg veins pumping and defying gravity 24/7/365 for you. And as it’s Valentine’s Day today and love is in the air — we give to you these 5 easy tips on how to show your veins some love!
- Make a date for a comprehensive ultrasound.
Ultrasound is the secret weapon in the fight against vein disease – helping our vein specialists see what’s going on with blood flow in your legs. Ultrasound gauges the severity of vein disease – if it is present.
As part of our treatment protocol, our vein specialists always perform a leg vein ultrasound. During the ultrasound, a simple squeeze of the calf shows red for backward flow and blue for blood traveling upwards towards the heart – the way it’s meant to flow.
It’s important to have ultrasound done correctly and by someone highly trained in detecting vein disease. A staggering 94% of vein disease is missed by regular ultrasounds. This stat primarily represents ultrasounds performed in hospitals and by doctors, heath techs and surgeons looking for deep vein thrombosis (DVT) in the deep leg veins. Vein disease affects the superficial leg veins, which are closer to the skin’s surface.
What’s ironic about this 94% stat, though, is that the venous reflux that results from weakened and engorged vein walls and dysfunctioning vein valves, should be obvious during an ultrasound, whether looking for DVT or any other vein problem. Continue reading “Show Your Veins Some Love!”
Hamilton Vein Treatment Center The Woodlands
9323 Pinecroft Dr., Ste. 200
The Woodlands, Texas 77380
(by Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Hospital)
Hey, all you moms out there. We’re talking to you today — about “mom legs” — the scourge of many a mother. We promise you, “mom legs” are not just one more thing you have to put up with as a mom. You are not alone. And today’s vein treatments can help.
Case in point: We have a “mom” patient who underwent a VNUS Closure on her right leg about four years ago. This gal had first noticed vein problems during her second pregnancy. The problems really ramped up during her third pregnancy – she had to wear compression hose pretty much for nine months. Her mom has vein disease — complete with restless legs and lots of spider veins and achiness, so our patient was predisposed to develop vein disease down the road. Which it did. Well, our patient was back in recently because she felt a twinge of “something going on” with her left leg and just wanted to get it checked out. (That’s the thing once you have a vein treatment – you know the signs and get it checked out if you feel anything! Turns out no vein disease was present for this mom – so that’s good news).
Anyway, while “our mom” was in, she mentioned how she has lots of mom friends who sometimes talk about their “mom legs.” Mostly referring to the spider veins running up the backs of thighs, behind the knees and a few bulges here and there. Our patient told us that when she hears this from other moms, she tells them about her vein treatment – and that it, in her case, it was vein disease that was causing the spider veins, plus the feelings of heaviness and achiness. When her friends hear about the discomfort part – they almost always say – “Yeah, I get that too.”
It’s not surprising that a good number of moms are battling mom legs. The vein disease stats are stacked against women versus men (of course) and when you add pregnancy to the equation, the odds are even worse.
Why Vein Disease Loves Women.
Genetics – You really can blame mom in this case. Girl, if your mama has mom legs, chances are you’re going to get/have already developed mom legs. If your mom has vein disease, you have a 50% chance of developing it. If both your mom and dad have it, your unlucky chances increase to 90% of developing vein disease – and mom legs.
Gender – women are more prone to developing vein disease than men due to the release of female hormones during ovulation and pregnancy and diminishing hormones during menopause. These hormonal fluctuations cause the vein walls to relax, leading to insufficient flow of blood through the veins and backward flow of blood (venus reflux).
Fact: 1 out 3 women versus 1 out of 5 men develop vein disease during her/his lifetime
Pregnancy — nine months of hormonal changes, increased blood volume, weight gain and your growing baby pushing down on the pelvic area take their toll on your veins. Many women develop varicose veins during pregnancy. Luckily most of these vein issues recede or go away entirely after the birth. However, if you are predisposed and/or already have vein disease, the veins are weakened even further and you have a good chance of developing bulges, spider veins, and other vein disease conditions quicker.
During pregnancy, your bod and your veins are dealing with:
1. Increased Blood Volume – during pregnancy, blood volume increases 25-40%, making the body work harder to pump. Pumping more blood through veins can weaken them and make already weak veins enlarge and engorge even more. Many women experience bulging varicose veins during pregnancy, which usually go away after the birth.
2. Increased Pressure – due to increased blood volume; gravity from the growing belly pushing on organs and veins; and weight gain
3. Family History – a genetic predisposition to vein disease increases your chances of developing varicose veins and related vein disorders whether you experience pregnancy or not. Pregnancy exacerbates the situation – even kick-starting it for some.
4. Hormonal Changes – increased levels of progestin cause veins to dilate, plus fluctuations. After nine months of being stretched and enlarged, they sometimes don’t bounce back to their pre-pregnancy selves.
Fact: 30% of women will develop varicose veins during the first pregnancy, and 55% will during their second and subsequent pregnancies)
Mom Legs are Easily Treatable.
Today’s vein treatments let you say “bye, bye” to spider veins, bulging veins and other discomforting signs of vein disease – without taking time out of your busy schedule. And while moms are notorious for putting others ahead of themselves, it’s important to remember that vein disease is a progressive medical condition that will worsen over time if left untreated. So mom legs can get to “I gotta cover up my legs all the time legs” as the symptoms intensify and conditions worsen.
Mom legs aren’t just “part of getting older.” Get your legs back to being just “your name here’s legs” At Hamilton Vein Center we offer an array of vein treatments that go to the source of your vein problem – from sclerotherapy for the treatment of cosmetic spider veins to closing the diseased vein via VNUS Closure and VenaSeal — a breakthrough image-guided treatment, which uses an adhesive agent or glue delivered to a patient’s vein through a catheter — now FDA approved and offered at Hamilton Vein Center to specialty vein treatments like ambulatory phlebectomy.
If you’re not liking the look of your mom legs and/or are experiencing any discomfort – and we mean, any discomfort, make an appointment at a conveniently located Hamilton Vein Center and let us help you look and feel better in no time.
Houston 281.565.0033 | San Antonio 210.504.4304 | Austin 512.551.1403
Vein treatments have come a very long way since the days of vein stripping. Gone are the days when vein treatment was invasive and required a hospital stay. Enter VenaSeal — a breakthrough image-guided treatment which uses an adhesive agent or glue delivered to a patient’s vein through a catheter — now FDA approved and offered at Hamilton Vein Center.
Today, nearly painless minimally-invasive procedures like radiofrequency ablation (RFA) have become the standard. Treatments are done in an outpatient setting and patients are usually back on their feet immediately. So while thermal ablation procedures like radiofrequency ablation are still a fantastic option for most, VenaSeal is a great alternative option for some patients. A few advantages to VenaSeal include no need for post-procedure compression stockings, fewer needle sticks, and immediate improvement in symptoms.
VenaSeal will be featured on The Dr. Oz Show tomorrow, November 5th on KRIV Fox 26 at 1pm. Tomorrow’s show is titled Michael Strahan’s 3 Rules To Win Big and Transform Your Life. If you or someone you know is suffering from leg pain or any symptoms of vein disease including achiness or heaviness, swelling, restless legs, cramps, skin changes or ulcers, tune in to find out more about the new treatment. If you are ready to take the next step and get relief today, give us a call to learn more and schedule your consultation.
Hamilton Vein is currently offering VenaSeal, the safe and effective next gen treatment at our Sugar Land clinic. Since the procedure is so new, it is cash pay. For patients opting for RFA, most insurance and Medicare do cover these procedures since vein disease is a medical condition.
Learn more about
Tune in at 1pm on Fox
With Halloween being the official kick off to Pumpkin Eating Season, we rounded up a few sumptuous, yet healthy recipes to help you enjoy the Season in tasty fashion. Starting with those delectable seeds…
Smoke & Spice & Everything Nice Pumpkin Seeds
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 1 ½ cup unshelled, raw pumpkin seeds
- 1 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon light brown sugar
- 4 to 5 squirts olive oil spray
Preheat oven to 300F degrees.
Remove the seeds from the pumpkin and separate them from the stringy pulp and rinse the seeds in a colander under cold water. Shake off any excess water, spread the seeds on a baking sheet and roast for about 10 minutes or until seeds are dry, tossing halfway through.
In another small bowl, combine the onion powder, garlic powder, mustard, smoked paprika, cayenne, salt and brown sugar.
Place the seeds in a medium bowl and lightly spray with oil. Add 3/4 of the spice mixture and toss to evenly coat. Evenly spread the seeds on a sheet pan covered with parchment and roast for 20 to 30 minutes or until brown and crunchy, tossing half way through. Immediately spray more olive oil over the seeds and toss with the remaining spice mixture.
We know we’re in Texas and fall isn’t always a season for us, but we can pretend the leaves are changing and the wind is blowing from the north by whipping up tasty soups and cranking the A/C down.
So grab your blender or food processor and Thai one on!
Thai Pumpkin Soup
- 1/2 large onion, peeled, chopped
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 Tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 1/4 cups (305 g) canned pumpkin
- 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh ginger root
- 1 garlic clove, peeled, chopped
- 1 1/2 cups (360 ml) chicken or vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) coconut cream
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) coconut milk
- 1/2 Tablespoon chopped green chilies
- 1/2 Tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Pinch of pepper
- Sauté onion in olive oil until soft. Add tomato paste, pumpkin, ginger, garlic, broth, coconut cream and coconut milk. Combine until thoroughly heated through.
- Place mixture, chilies, and lemon juice into your blender or food processor and secure lid.
- Blend for 2 1/2 minutes or until smooth.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper
- Serve garnished with chopped cilantro, chopped peanuts, and sour cream or plain yogurt.
Shake up your morning breakfast smoothie routine with this lip-smacking, protein-punch pumpkin goodness.
Pumpkin Protein Shake
- 1 cup Silk brand unsweetened almond milk
- ½ cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling) (link to Pioneer Woman recipe)
- 1 teaspoon honey, agave nectar, or sweetener of choice
- 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
- ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1 medium banana
- 6 ice cubes
Add all ingredients to a blender and process until well combined. Taste and adjust sweetener, if desired.
If you don’t already have a hummus obsession, you’re about to develop one.
Pumpkin Hummus with Cinnamon Tortilla Chips
For the hummus:
1 cup reduced-sodium chickpeas
3/4 cup canned pumpkin
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
2 tsp coconut oil, melted + additional for drizzling, if desired.
For the chips:
1 qhole wheat tortilla
1/2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
Truvia, for sprinkling
Cinnamon, for sprinkling
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and rub a cookie sheet with melted coconut oil, set aside.
- To de-skin the chickpeas: Drain the chickpeas and spread them out on a paper towel. Gently squeeze each chickpea until the thin,papery skin comes off. Repeat with remaining chickpeas
- Add the chickpeas, pumpkin , maple syrup, pumpkin pie spice and 2 tsps of coconut oil into a small food processor and process until smooth. You may need to stop the processor and scrape down the sides every so often to get everything smooth and mixed, depending on how strong your processor is.
- Cut the tortilla into 8 triangles and lay on the prepared cookie sheet. Brush with 1/2 of the melted coconut oil and then sprinkle with cinnamon and Truvia. No need to use an exact measurement, just give a good pinch of Truvia for each chip.
- Bake for 8 mins, or until lightly golden. Flip the tortillas, brush with remaining oil and sprinkle with more cinnamon and Truvia. Bake for another 7-8 minutes until the tortillas are a deep golden, brown. They will not seem crunchy at first, as the Truvia will melt. But, once the chips cool and Truvia hardens, you will nice and crunchy chips
- Drizzle the hummus with additional melted coconut oil, if desired, and DEVOUR with the chips!
Who said dips are just for appetizers? This one keeps the party going to the end!
Creamy Cheesy Pumpkin Dessert Dip
15 oz can of canned pumpkin
8 oz of whipped topping
2 cups of powdered sugar (or other sweetener)
8 oz cream cheese, softened
2 teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
Graham Crackers, Ginger Snaps, or Vanilla Wafers
- Cream together cream cheese and powdered sugar (or sweetener substitute) in a large bowl.
- Add canned pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice and mix well.
- Fold in whipped topping or whipped cream. Place in a new bowl. Cover and chill for one hour.
- Serve with graham crackers, ginger snaps, or vanilla wafers.
Happy Pumpkin Eating Season, Y’all!! Let us know what you think of the recipes