October 3, 2022 by Peter B. Laird
Beyond Varicose Veins: Treating Both Medical, Cosmetic Issues Comprehensively at the Vein Clinic at Boca Raton Regional Hospital
Varicose veins often spur women to visit vein clinics that offer mostly cosmetic solutions. Affecting an estimated 30 million U.S. adults, varicose veins may cause swelling, aches and pains. They may not always be considered serious, but varicose veins may lead to skin ulcers or result from a history of blood clots in veins deep inside the leg. Enlarged varicose veins and swollen legs may also signal other potentially serious health issues such as deep vein thrombosis, better known as DVT.
In the most serious cases, DVT can cause a blood clot to partially or totally break away and travel to the lungs. The vascular team with the Vein Clinic at Boca Raton Regional Hospital provides comprehensive treatments that are both therapeutic and cosmetic to address varicose veins and other symptoms of venous disease — unlike many independent vein clinics that advertise widely to women.
“We look at the entire circulatory system,” emphasizes Eileen C. de Grandis, M.D., vascular surgeon and medical director of the Vein Clinic at Boca Raton Regional Hospital. “We look for venous disease. We look for arterial disease. We look for lymphatic disease. We try to get you the right diagnosis for what you have, and then tailor your surgical procedures or non-surgical treatment to treating that actual problem.”
Varicose veins are enlarged, twisted, or bulging veins that can be blue, red, or skin-colored. They are a very common reason for women to visit a vein clinic. But about half of all women who consult with Dr. De Grandis’s team are diagnosed with other underlying health issues. Varicose veins can be a symptom of chronic venous insufficiency, which occurs when the leg veins do not allow blood to travel back to the heart.
Spider veins, a milder type of varicose veins, are smaller than varicose veins and often look like a sunburst or “spider web.”
“Many women will have multiple problems like circulation issues,” explains Dr. de Grandis. “We treat the aesthetic as well, but we are a comprehensive vascular center and we treat the circulation system as a whole. We look at you as a whole person and determine if a treatment’s right for you. The women who come here feel comfortable because we give them medical validation for a cosmetic or non-cosmetic problem.”
The Vein Clinic offers a wide range of procedures tailored to your needs. These may include:
- Ultrasound- Non-invasive imaging of veins to help diagnose underlying disease;
- Sclerotherapy – chemical injections to remove veins
- Phlebectomy – micro-incisions to remove veins
- Ablation – removal of veins with a heat source
- Stents – Metal tubes to open blocked blood veins
- Filters – To prevent clots from going to the lungs
- Thrombolytic therapy – chemicals to dissolve blood clots.
- Mechanical thrombectomy – physical removal of blood clots
Services provided include:
- Stocking measurement and fitting
- Medical condition and treatment education.
“Treating a medical problem can prevent or improve the cosmetic problem,” said Dr. de Grandis. “Unlike other centers, if the problem isn’t cosmetic and it’s something else, we can address that something else. And we can take care of the cosmetic problem simultaneously. Think of us as a comprehensive one-stop shop. If you take your car in to an auto-body shop because there’s a chip in the paint but there’s also a problem with the carburetor, then you want them to be able to take care of the carburetor also. But you also still want the paint job to get fixed at the same time. In the same way, the doctor you choose to take care of your circulation should be able to treat all the problems in your arteries and veins, not just a piece of it here and there.”
Vascular evaluations at the Vein Clinic always begin with a thorough social and medical history to determine the underlying cause of your symptoms.
“We always ask for a full history because it tells us a story about you,” said Dr. de Grandis. “What do you do for a living? Do you lift heavy things, do you stand on your feet every day? Can you walk up stairs, walk around the block? Who do you care for, who helps you at home? We also ask medical questions because they are also important to who you are. Have you had any heart lung, kidney problems? Have you had any blood clots in the past? (That’s actually a very relevant problem!) Have you had any surgeries? What have you tried that hasn’t or has worked to make you feel better?
“Most vein centers don’t ask this because they do not view you as a whole person. At our practice, it is important to determine how these disease processes will affect your life — and how you may develop varicose veins in the future.”
In addition to varicose and spider veins, the experts at the clinic treat a wide range of venous diseases and cosmetic issues, including:
• Blood clots and DVT
• Post-thrombotic syndrome
• Chronic venous hypertension
• Venous insufficiency
• Venous wounds and ulcer
“And we really boil down to that key question: what bothers you about your legs? Is it the swelling? Is it the pain? Is it the disability? And it’s not wrong to say, ‘I just don’t like how they look.’ That’s important because it has psychological implications too. And that affects your daily function.”
You can make an appointment directly to see one of the Vein Clinic’s vascular surgeons, or your physician can make a referral. Call 561-955-3500 for more information.