When You Need a Vein Doctor

Your body contains thousands of miles of blood vessels, including arteries, veins and capillaries. These various blood vessels make up what is called the vascular system (which also includes the heart, of course). If you develop vascular problems related to the veins and need vein treatment, you need a vein doctor like Dr. Raffi Krikorian, at New Look Vein and Aesthetic Center in St. Louis, Missouri.

Vascular Problems

Although vascular problems can technically include heart disease, most medical professionals use these terms to refer to vein issues such as varicose veins and spider veins. Varicose veins occur in the legs, while spider veins (which are much smaller) can also occur in places like the face. In both cases, these conditions occur because tiny flaps of tissue (valves) inside the vein stop working properly. When the valves fail, blood backs up in the vein and it becomes distended, causing the characteristic bulging, twisted varicose vein or the colored “starburst” of a spider vein. Spider veins may not cause any symptoms, but are often a cosmetic issue, while varicose veins may cause aching, burning or swelling in the legs.

What’s a Vein Doctor?

The term vein doctor isn’t used to describe a medical specialty. Interventional radiologists, interventional cardiologists and vascular surgeons may all be called vein doctors. Although their basic training is the same in medical school, each specialty covers different kinds of medical conditions and treatments. Radiologists specialize in the use of imaging technology to diagnose and treat disease, cardiologists like Dr. Krikorian specialize in heart and vascular disease, and vascular surgeons specialize in surgical treatment of vascular disease. When it comes to vascular problems like varicose veins or spider veins, any of these physicians may offer in-office treatments such as sclerotherapy or ambulatory phlebectomy, but only surgeons offer surgical procedures like a vein stripping.

What Services Does a Vein Doctor Offer?

Depending on the practice and specialty, a vein doctor may offer a variety of different treatments. Many of these are minimally invasive and can be performed in a doctor’s office or vein clinic. Recovery time is short (sometimes only a day or so). At New Look Vein and Aesthetic Center, we offer ambulatory phlebectomy, endovenous laser ablation (EVLT), radiofrequency (RF) ablation and ultrasound guided sclerotherapy for varicose veins. Sclerotherapy is considered the treatment of choice for spider veins. We can also recannalize (open) major veins that have become blocked and use ovarian vein emobolization to treat what is known as pelvic congestion syndrome. We also offer some of the newest treatments, such as Venaseal (a glue that can close varicose veins), mechanico-chemical ablation (MOCA) – which improves the results of sclerotherapy – and Varithena foam, which lasts longer and is more effective than regular sclerotherapy solutions.

If you have varicose or spider veins, we can help. Please contact us to schedule an appointment. We’re also happy to answer any questions about vascular disease, varicose vein treatment, insurance coverage or other related issues.

Refresh Your Look With Lunch-Hour Cosmetic Services

Think you’ve got to go under the knife to look younger, fresher and more vibrant? Think again. Today’s advances in cosmetic services will allow you to refresh your appearance quickly and painlessly.

In fact, many treatments can be performed during your lunch hour. You’ll be able to return to work and no one will be the wiser that you’ve had Botox or a dermal filler. They’ll just know you look great!

How Do Dermal Fillers Work?

Dermal fillers smooth out and diminish the appearance of wrinkles and lines on your face, neck or hands. Each filler is formulated a little differently so you’ll need to consult with Dr. Krikorian to determine which will meet your unique needs.

Here’s a look at popular dermal fillers that take only a few minutes to perform.

Bellafill®

Bellafill fills moderate to deep facial folds and wrinkles. It can also be used to reduce the appearance of acne scars and pits that make the skin look bumpy or marred. Bellafil contains microspheres which are made of a biocompatible material that has been used in the cosmetic industry for many years. Bellafill is one of the longer laster dermal fillers. It can last up to five years on nasolabial lines!

Juvederm®

Juvederm reduces the lines that appear between your mouth and nose. This filler can also be used to add volume to your lips. Juvederm contains synthetic hyaluronic acid gel which hydrates and fills lines on your face. Results last for up to a year.

Radiesse®

Radiesse replenishes your skin’s volume that diminishes over time. The product actually creates an internal support structure for your skin and prompts your body to make new collagen. You’ll look younger and fresher immediately following treatment, and results last for about a year.

What Aesthetic Products are Available?

Botox®

One of the most popular aesthetic products available today, Botox improves the look of frown lines, laugh lines and other wrinkles. It paralyzes the muscles that cause these lines to appear in the first place. Botox has been used for decades and is one of the most trust and effective ways to look younger and fresher. Results are apparently within four days, and follow-up treatments are usually required in about a year.

Latisse®

Did you know your eyelashes get thinner and lighter as you age? Latisse is an FDA-approved drug that works to make your eyelashes grow thicker, longer and darker. You use the serum at home but a doctor must prescribe it for you.

Don’t think you’ve got to devote lots of time, money and effort into aesthetic surgery in order to look your best. These cosmetic services will revive your appearance quickly and without too much pain to your body or wallet.

Men are Increasingly Opting for Cosmetic Services to Achieve a Youthful Appearance

While it’s true that more women seek cosmetic services than men, more and more guys are opting for a dermal filler or Botox to help them look their best.

In fact, the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery annual meeting in Nov. 2016 put a spotlight on the male cosmetic market.

“It is a growing segment that will continue to grow as more cosmetically-inclined millennial men age. It is also a market that many physicians are not prioritizing, allowing physicians [who do pursue it] to differentiate themselves from their competitors,” says Dr. Terrance Keaney, a keynote speaker at the meeting.

Because a man’s physical features are much different than females, a cosmetic doctor must take care when working with a male patient. If his facial shape is too masculine, he’ll look angry or threatening. Too soft, and he’ll look feminine.

That’s why different injection patterns for dermal fillers and a higher dose of neuromodulators (Botox) are often required for male patients. Care also must be taken to avoid giving men an unnaturally arched eyebrow or a high cheek apex.

How Can Dermal Fillers Help?

Men are concerned with the same age-related changes as women: wrinkles, volume loss and sagging skin.

Dermal fillers add volume in just the right spots for a more youthful, virile appearance. Areas of the face commonly treated among men are the nasolabial fold between the mouth and the nose, the cheeks where volume is lost and the hollows beneath the eyes. A dermal filler doesn’t relax muscles like Botox does. Rather, it adds volume back to your appearance. The effect can last for several months or up to five years, depending on the product used.

Since men’s faces are shaped differently and they have flatter cheeks, lower brows and sharper jaw lines, it’s important to find a physician who has experience treating men with cosmetic services and aesthetic surgery.

Dr. Krikorian has years of experience helping both men and women look their best. Whether it’s a simple prescription for Latisse or a complete refresh of the face, he has the skills to make everyone look youthful, vibrant and, most importantly, completely  natural. Call today to schedule a consultation.

 

Get Varicose Vein Treatment Before The Damage is Too Great

Think varicose veins will go away on their own? They won’t. In fact, they’ll get worse and could put your health at risk.

Going without varicose vein treatment could lead to hyperpigmentation and ulcers, as well as an increased risk of dangerous blood clots in your legs.

Many people think vein treatment requires surgery when in actuality, most can be treated at a vein clinic. Read on to learn why varicose veins occur and to discover your treatment options.

What Causes Varicose Veins?

The condition is quite common among people as they age. According to womenshealth.gov, about half of Americans over the age of 50 have varicose veins. However, the condition can occur in younger people, too.

Varicose veins are caused by weak or damaged valves in your veins. The damage is due to a variety of factors.

1. Aging. The valves in your veins stop working as well as you get older.

2. Heredity. Genetics plays a role in your risk of developing varicose veins. If a close relative has them, there’s a greater chance you will, too.

3. Weight. Excess weight adds stress to your veins leading to damage and varicose veins.

4. Sedentary lifestyle. Sitting or standing for long periods means your body’s circulatory system has to work haqrder to move blood to and from your extremities. The added effort causes vein valves to break down quicker.

5. Hormones. Fluctuations in your levels of estrogen or progesterone can lead to varicose veins. Puberty, menopause and taking birth control pills can causes these hormone levels to change.

6. Pregnancy. Pregnant women have a greater volume of blood in their bodies. Added to that, the growing fetus puts extra pressure on the mother’s veins. The combination of these factors can cause varicose veins during pregnancy. The condition will often improve after delivery.

What are My Varicose Vein Treatment Options?

Sclerotherapy is the preferred method vein doctors use to combat most varicose veins. It’s noninvasive, requires little down time and is highly effective. A sclerosing substance is injected into the problem vein. The solution causes the varicose vein to collapse and the blood that was flowing through the vein to clot. The varicose vein disappears, helping your legs to be healthier and more attractive. Sclerotherapy also works well for spider veins.

If you have varicose veins, schedule a consultation with vascular surgeons to determine a treatment plan. An ultrasound of your legs will likely be ordered so your vein doctor can have a more accurate assessment of your circulatory system.

To schedule a consultation, please call (314) 272-4150.

Understanding the Dangers of Deep Vein Thrombosis

Deep vein thrombosis, or DVT, is a serious condition that affects millions of people each year. Fortunately, with the proper vein treatment, complications of DVT can be prevented.

What is DVT?

DVT occurs when a blood clot develops within a vein located deep inside the body, obstructing the flow of blood. This condition can occur anywhere in the body, but it is most common in the leg. If DVT isn’t properly treated, pulmonary embolism can occur. With pulmonary embolism, the blood clot breaks free, travels through the veins and blocks blood flow in the lungs. This condition can be fatal.

The symptoms of DVT may vary. However, some of the most common symptoms include aching, swelling, cramps and tenderness. In some cases, DVT can occur without producing any symptoms. If DVT is left untreated for a significant amount of time, another complication known as “post-thrombotic syndrome” can occur. This condition is characterized by pain, itching, heaviness, tingling, ulcer, discoloration, varicose veins and swelling.

Treatment for DVT

When vein doctors discover DVT, they can treat it using a technique known as “thrombolytic therapy.” This treatment utilizes an injection of clot-dissolving medication, which breaks down the clot and restores the healthy flow of blood. This medication may flow through the blood vessels, or vascular surgeons may deliver the medication directly to the clot using a catheter. Some catheters used for this purpose also include attachments that help to break up the clot mechanically.

If DVT progresses to post-thrombotic syndrome, additional treatments may be necessary. For example, if the clot leads to the development of varicose veins, varicose vein treatment may be used to alleviate the symptoms.

What Should I Do if I Have DVT?

If you have been experiencing the symptoms of DVT, or if you have other reasons to believe that you may have a blood clot deep in your veins, you need to seek treatment from a vein clinic immediately. Please contact New Look Vein and Aesthetic Center to make an appointment with an experienced vein doctor.

Exploring Your Available Vein Treatment Options

If you are suffering from spider veins or varicose veins, you may feel both embarrassed and frustrated. Fortunately, you don’t have to let your abnormal veins continue to impact your life. Below is some information about the vein treatment options available from your local vein clinic.

Conservative Treatment

If your condition is mild, you may need only conservative treatment. Conservative treatment for abnormal veins typically consists of wearing compression stockings, elevating your affected limbs, losing excess weight and/or engaging in regular exercise.

Sclerotherapy

One of the most common vein treatment procedures performed by vein doctors is sclerotherapy. This treatment is appropriate for both spider veins and varicose veins. During the procedure, a special medication is injected directly into the affected veins. This medication causes the vein to collapse and be reabsorbed by the body. Sclerotherapy may be performed with or without ultrasound guidance.

Radiofrequency Closure

Radiofrequency closure is a varicose vein treatment options that works by introducing radiofrequency energy into a diseased vein. This energy heats the walls of the vein, forcing it to seal off. Blood is then redirected to healthier veins.

Endovenous Laser Ablation

Endovenous laser ablation is similar to radiofrequency closure in that it uses a catheter to deliver energy into the interior of a diseased vein. However, this procedure uses laser energy instead of radiofrequency energy.

Ambulatory Phlebectomy

For varicose veins located near the surface of the skin, ambulatory phlebectomy may be the best choice. During this procedure, vascular surgeons remove the diseased vein from the body entirely through small incisions or punctures. This procedure results in an immediate relief from all associated symptoms.

Each of the procedures above offers different advantages for patients with abnormal veins. In order to determine which procedure is right for you, you must first visit an experienced vein doctor. Your vein doctor will be able to provide you with an accurate diagnosis, as well as valuable insight you can use to make the right decision. Contact New Look Vein and Aesthetic Center to learn more.

Why Doctors Recommend Sclerotherapy

Among treatments for spider and varicose veins, sclerotherapy has remained popular for decades.  Vein doctors continue to recommend this procedure to address medical and cosmetic concerns by eliminating these unwanted blood vessels.

Why Vascular Surgeons Advise This Procedure

This technique stands somewhere in the middle of types of vascular treatment.  It remains the primary treatment for spider veins and is also a varicose vein treatment under certain circumstances.

On the one end of the spectrum are conservative treatments such as losing weight and wearing compression stockings.  At the other end is vein surgery.  The use of sclerosing agents falls between these two.  According the Mayo Clinic, it represents a fairly safe procedure with few complications.

Since vascular surgeons administer this treatment at a vein clinic on an outpatient basis, the procedure is much more convenient for patients than surgery is.  Compared to vein surgery, it is a minimally invasive option.

Injections used solve both cosmetic and health problems.  They improve a patient’s appearance by getting rid of spider and varicose veins.  They can also reduce symptoms like swelling, burning, aching, and cramping.  The procedure might be done alone or in combination with other treatments.

The University of Wisconsin Health indicates that the most common reasons why doctors recommend this procedure include:

  • Spider veins or small varicose veins not causing serious problems
  • Small varicose veins that return after vein stripping
  • Some larger varicose veins

At an initial consultation, a vein doctor will determine whether a patient is a good candidate for use of a sclerosant.  Among issues that disqualify an individual are pregnancy or recent delivery.

How This Vein Treatment Works

Vein doctors perform this procedure using a very fine needle to inject a special substance known as a sclerosant or sclerosing agent into a targeted vein.  Sclerosants are either liquids or foam.  Many practitioners today use a technique that combines ultrasound to locate deeper problem veins with sclerosants injected by catheters, usually when problem vessels are in the legs.

The University of Wisconsin Health reports that injecting the sclerosant into each targeted vein takes between 5 and 30 minutes.  The time required depends on how many blood vessels need treatment and how large they are.

The sclerosing agent irritates the walls of the vein, causing them to stick to each other.  Eventually, the vessel closes off and is no longer visible.  Healthy nearby veins assume the workload of the eliminated vessel.

After treatment, patients wear compression stockings for a specified period.  The procedure works well for around 80 percent of those who undergo it.  Sometimes patients require multiple sessions to achieve desired results.

It is important for individuals considering this option to realize that no treatment for spider or varicose veins can prevent new vessels from forming.  Because of this, many patients return periodically for additional treatment.

 

Non-surgical Cosmetic Services

According to industry experts such as the Cosmetic Surgery Times, nonsurgical cosmetic treatments are on the rise. These noninvasive alternatives to aesthetic surgery have certainly come a long way since storming onto the medical landscape in the 1990s. Citing the comprehensive research of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, the Cosmetic Surgery Times reported a total of 740,751 nonsurgical procedures in 1997. In 2014, by contrast, medical professionals performed nearly 8.9 million of these procedures. Here are just a few of the latest and most popular cosmetic services that do not require surgery.

 

Dermal Fillers

 

Dermal fillers are injected directly into the skin to improve its overall look and smoothness, softening facial creases and removing wrinkles. These fillers can also improve the appearance of recessed scars, enhance shallow contours, and thicken thin lips. Top dermal fillers currently on the market include…

 

  • Botox – One of the most popular dermal filler brands, Botox as been a household name in cosmetic treatment for years.

 

  • Radiesse – Clinically proven to last a year or more, Radiesse addresses wrinkles with tiny, calcium-based microspheres. These microspheres infuse with sagging skin fibers to restore their natural elasticity.

 

  • Bellafill – This dermal filler brand distinguishes itself because, unlike most fillers, it does not break down over time. Similar to Radiesse, Bellafill uses its own unique formulation of microspheres to generate collagen production.

 

Chemical Peels

 

A time-tested method of improving the overall appearance of human skin, the chemical peel uses various chemical compounds to remove the outer dermal layer of the face, neck, and/or hands. Once applied, these chemical compounds cause skin tissue to exfoliate and eventually peel off. The new skin underneath appears fully regenerated and significantly less wrinkled than the skin that was removed.

 

Latisse

 

The only FDA-approved method of growing and extending eyelashes, Latisse uses an active ingredient called bimatoprost to help people improve the fullness and general appearance of their lashes. By applying Latisse to the base of the upper eyelashes on a nightly basis, patients can not only lengthen the growth phase of each affected eyelash but also increase the overall number of hairs that experience growth during this phase. After using Latisse for a period of several weeks, patients typically see considerable improvements in the length and thickness of their lashes.

 

Astanza Revolution

 

A laser treatment for toenail fungus, Astanza Revolution is a great alternative to antifungal creams, which fail to treat fungus beneath the nail, and oral medications, which typically have harsh side effects. The Astanza Revolution process is fast, safe, painless and effective, penetrating through the infected nail and destroying fungus at the source. 85 percent of patients require only one treatment of 10 minutes per foot in order to completely eradicate all unsightly fungus.

What’s the Best Varicose Vein Treatment for You?

When you visit a vein clinic, your vein doctor will discuss a wide range of varicose vein treatment options with you. The number of different treatments available can seem overwhelming. But, there’s a reason there are so many different options. Some treatments are better suited for certain types of vein problems than others. One of the responsibilities of vascular surgeons is to help you understand the differences between each treatment and to help you pick the best one.

Your Varicose Vein Treatment Options:

If You’re Not Sure if You’re Ready for Treatment

Not every patient is ready for a medical vein treatment just yet. There are cases where vein doctors will recommend what’s know as conservative treatments, or self-care measures, to keep varicose veins from getting worse. These treatments won’t necessarily reverse your vein problems, but they can help slow down the progression of the varicose veins.

Conservative treatment options include wearing compression stockings, losing weight if you are overweight, and getting more exercise or physical activity.

If You Have Smaller Veins

Some vein treatments are more effective on smaller varicose veins or on spider veins. These treatments include sclerotherapy. During sclerotherapy, the vein doctor injects the spider or small varicose veins with a special chemical solution. The solution destroys the veins, so that they collapse and ultimately fade from view. The blood that was flowing through those veins is simply redirected to different veins in the legs.

You might need several treatment sessions with sclerotherapy before you see the full results from treatment. There’s also a version of the treatment that uses foam to collapse the veins and that might be more effective for treating larger veins.

If Your Veins Are Deeper

Some varicose veins are located deeper in the legs, which makes treating them with surface treatments a bit trickier. Ultrasound guided treatments can be an effective option if your veins are difficult to see on the surface. During ultrasound guided sclerotherapy, the vascular surgeon uses ultrasound imaging to find his or her way to the right vein, before injecting it.

Endovenous vein ablation can also be an effective treatment for deeper veins and for larger veins.

If Your Veins are Causing You Discomfort

Larger varicose veins often cause discomfort as well as make you feel self conscious. If your veins are causing throbbing, aches or other discomfort, treatment such as endovenous vein ablation or radiofrequency closure. Both methods use a catheter to seal off and destroy larger, bulky veins.

Another treatment for painful veins is ambulatory phlebectomy. It’s a minimally invasive procedure best suited for veins close to the surface of the skin. During the treatment, your vein surgeon will make small incisions near the affected veins, then carefully remove those veins from your legs.

Deciding to treat your varicose veins is just the first step. Discuss your vein treatment options with a vascular surgeon today, so that you’re able to make the choice that’s best for you.

Risk Factors and Complications of Toenail Fungus

Toenail fungus, known medically as onychomycosis is quite simply an infection of the toenail, and sometimes the surrounding tissue. Around 20 percent of the population have had it at one time of the other, according to the American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society, making it a quite common condition. It’s especially common in seniors, as more than ¾ of people over the age of 60 are affected by it.

Risk Factors of Developing Toenail Fungus

As mentioned, being older ups your risk of developing the condition. This is because older individuals can have reduced blood flow, slower growing toenail, and have had more years to be exposed to fungi. For many individuals the condition is purely a cosmetic annoyance, but it can be painful for some people and even lead to complications, which we’ll discuss below.

If your feet perspire heavily, wear shoes that impede ventilation, or wear socks that don’t absorb perspiration, you increase your likelihood of getting the disease.

Because toenail fungus is contagious, if you live with someone who has it, you can catch it. In addition, if you spend time barefoot at poors or in locker rooms or showers, then you up your chances of catching it.

If you or your family have a history of nail fungus, whether on your hands or feet, you’re more likely to get it. Having a history of athlete’s foot also puts you at a higher risk, as does being a male.

Individuals who have circulation issues, weakened immune systems, diabetes, or Down syndrome are also at an increased risk of it.

Complications of Toenail Fungus

Many cases of toenail fungus don’t lead to further problems, but some do. An especially severe case can be quite painful and can lead to permanent nail damage. What’s more, if you also have a suppressed immune system due to other conditions, medication, or diabetes for example, a toenail infection can spread beyond your toes.

People with diabetes are at risk for complications from toenail function. This is because these individuals can have a reduction in both nerves supplied to the feet and blood circulation making that at a higher risk of cellulitis, which is a bacterial skin infection. It is very important for people who have diabetes and toenail fungus to see their physician immediately and regularly.

We provide toenail fungus treatment here at New Look Vein & Aesthetic Center. Call us today if you have this condition or are looking for other cosmetic services, such as  Latisse, BOTOX, dermal filler,, and aesthetic surgery.

 

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