MAKE NEW FRIENDS BUT KEEP THE OLD ONES

While preparing this blog, I was reminded of the little song we sang in grade school.  I always want to keep you informed about  new techniques in vein care, but on the other hand, I think my patients need to remember some information we have posted in old blogs.  So after I tell you about some new developments, I am re-posting an earlier blog that I think will be of benefit.

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Our patients continue to experience good results from the new Varithena  foam  for those twisty (doctor-speak is tortuous) varicose veins.  Previously these twisting veins were difficult to treat with the closure procedure, but now the Varithena foam readily spreads into even the most difficult reaches of these tortuous veins.  Seeing  such a high degree of patient satisfaction is indeed gratifying.   Getting rid of leg heaviness, achiness, swelling, throbbing and itching is always a good thing.

What could be newer?  GLUE!  Yes, now there is a glue for treatment of varicose veins.   And with this treatment, the wearing of compression hose for a week or so after treatment  is unnecessary.    Plus, we are finding most patients need less numbing during treatment.   Every improvement in vein treatment is easier and easier for the patient.

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Sometimes it takes a while for our insurance carriers to catch up with the newest developments in treatment.  We are now seeing most insurance companies coming on board with approval for Varithena foam treatment.  And we expect to have insurance approval for glue by the first of the year.

Despite advances, old fears and confusion about the issue of the safety of treating varicose veins continues to resurface.    So I am reposting information that is still very relevant, even though it is from a previous blog.  We all needed to be reminded of this timely information.  Read on……

WHAT IF I NEED MY LEG VEINS LATER FOR BYPASS SURGERY?

 

Patients sometimes wonder if having varicose vein treatment is a smart move.  They think they might need those leg veins (great saphenous veins) if they need bypass surgery in the future.

This is a good question!  Because in the past there was concern among physicians to preserve this vein.  The great saphenous vein was  often used as a replacement for an artery in heart bypass surgery.

Now, many cardiac surgeons prefer the radial artery from the forearm or the left internal mammary artery from inside the chest as a conduit for coronary arterial bypass procedures.

 

 

 Things have changed!  Doctors now believe there is no reason NOT to treat the great saphenous vein in the leg if needed.  If the vein is badly damaged, it will not work as a vein graft anyway.  Truth is, refluxing varicose veins (which have broken valves allowing the blood to flow back)  are unsuitable for use in these situations.  They are not healthy, functioning veins.

When  bypass surgery is needed,  heart surgeons  want the best veins possible for a good outcome that would last for many years to come.  And diseased veins would not be the best choice. There are several arteries that can be used as grafts for bypass surgery, but the most common is the left internal mammary artery (LIMA). The right internal mammary artery (RIMA) may also be used as a graft. These arteries are accessed thru the same chest incision used to access the heart. Occasionally, the radial (in the arm) or the gastroepiploic (near the stomach) arteries may be used, each accessed thru separate incisions.

Because we have many substitutes that can be used for the saphenous vein it makes it easy to recommend having the veins treated by thermal ablation.  In this way the patient’s symptoms and lifestyle can be improved without having to worry about needing this damaged and inferior vein for later bypass cardiac procedures.

 

 

 


This post was written by Vein and Skin Laser Center | June 29, 2017


CRAZY BUSY

When referring to something that is surprisingly wonderful or over-the-top great, my son will say, “crazy, right?!” It seems that’s the new word for all good things or occasions. Well our summer has been crazy, or crazy busy!

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That’s my introduction to tell you that this will be a quick blog. In June we had our annual beach vacation with our 3 adult children, their spouses and two grandsons.  Somehow, we lost the rest of June when we came back home.

Here’s how:

Lots of extended family have been dropping in….and staying!

 

I dropped OUT by spending three days and two nights at a friend’s house sewing non-stop to make drapes for Swaziland (44 panels, lined!).

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AND, our daughter and son-in-law, who live nearby got a PUPPY!  A 6 week old laborator.  We get to babysit often.

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My daughter summed this endeavor up aptly, “I don’t get anything done because when she’s awake she’s all over me and when she’s asleep I sit and look at her because she’s SO CUTE!”  Sounds like a new mother, right?  Crazy, right?  All good things, but June was eaten up.

Before, I end, I do have one little cute story to introduce this month’s recipe.  Hopefully I haven’t already given you the recipe for pound cake that I have cobbled together from several recipes.

THE STORY:

It was a last minute thought, as I was finishing lots of cooking for our family vacation, I threw together a pound cake, just in case anyone wanted some.  Well that ANYONE was my 4 year old grandson, Wilder.  He LOOOOOVED it and it became Becca Cake.  This was the motivating carrot for the trip…”want some Becca Cake?  Eat your dinner, etc.”  By the end of the trip, of course, it was gone.

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Wilder and family came back to Atlanta with us for  a few days and I promised him I would make another Becca Cake.  I wish you could have seen him one night, sitting at the counter, eating Becca Cake.   He had put so much in his mouth that he couldn’t chew; a puzzled look was on his little face as he was attempting to move the cake around in his mouth;  I was afraid he would choke!  But he got it down.

Next day I took older brother Dean to the Atlanta Aquarium; Wilder was left behind with Aunt Andie.  Dean got to PET A PENGUIN!  Crazy, huh?!

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Back home, Andie was watching TV in the den when Wilder came sauntering  through the room, carrying in his little hand and casually munching a piece of Becca Cake that was at least six inches wide, the size of about 5 pieces of cake.

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When questioned about how he got it and who approved it, he proudly announced, “I cut it myself!”  One can only imagine how all this happened and probably the sense of exhilaration he felt at having circumvented all the approvals he usually needed to get in order to have some Becca Cake.  Unfortunately for Wilder, his hopes spiraled  downward as Aunt Andie made an adjustment to his cake-cutting!!  Wilder thinks Becca Cake is crazy good!

BECCA POUND CAKE

3 sticks butter, 6 oz cream cheese and 3 cups sugar:  cream together

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beat in 6 eggs and 1 tablespoon of vanilla or 1 teaspoon of almond extract or half of both

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add gradually 3 cups White Lily plain flour

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Turn into greased and floured bundt pan

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bake at 325 for 1 hour 15 minutes.

SEE TRICK BELOW FOR GETTING IT OUT OF THE PAN:

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This post was written by Vein and Skin Laser Center | June 29, 2017