The Good, the Bad and the Ugly – surgeries at FirstMed

Newsletter - Jan 2015 -Varicose veinsBlue veins should only be found in blue cheese.

Surgeries can be corrective and preventative procedures, life-saving treatments or simply removal of something ugly. FirstMed specialists perform an array of abdominal and vascular procedures including hernias, appendectomies or colon surgeries, vein therapy, skin lesions, warts & moles, or even the removal of scars.

“A scar can often become painful, or it may be often irritated by contact with clothing” says Dr. Ervin Bács, surgeon and vascular surgeon specialist at FirstMed, “which then needs to be removed. In other cases, a patient may notice that a mole is growing or changing, which also should to be removed in order to minimize the risk of the mole or skin lesion becoming cancerous”.

If a procedure requires only local anesthesia, you can have it done at the clinic.

One condition, though not just medically but also aesthetically disadvantageous, is varicose veins. This is best treated in winter so we can show off our legs in shorts or skirts in the summertime.

How do varicose veins develop?

In healthy leg veins, there are valves preventing blood from rushing back into your legs when the muscles relax. However in time as the valves age, or become faulty, the blood can fall back down the leg, which eventually result in unsightly varicose veins. Vein treatment is not just about aesthetics, there are health concerns as well. Varicose veins can make legs ache and tire easily; thread veins can develop and, worse, run the risk of ulceration.

While women are more prone to varicose veins, due to pregnancy and hormonal issues, with time all veins begin to lose their elasticity. Heredity, occupation, and lifestyle (e.g. weight, exercise habits, and diet) all contribute to vein problems.

Many people, especially men, consider the early treatment to be simply cosmetic, something women do with spider veins, and they may not undergo treatment until the problem is more advanced and the only option is vascular surgery. But there’s much we can do before that point.

Tips for prevention:

  • Exercise. Walking is a great way to encourage blood circulation in your legs.
  • Watch your weight and diet. Excess pounds add pressure to veins. Eat a low-salt, high-fiber diet to prevent the swelling that may result from water retention and constipation.
  • Avoid high heels – low-heeled shoes work calf muscles more. Don´t wear tight clothes around your waist, legs or groin.
  • Elevate your legs; take several short breaks daily to elevate your legs above the level of your heart.
  • Avoid long periods of sitting or standing. Try to move around at least every 30 minutes.
  • Don´t sit with your legs crossed.

Being a specialist in vascular surgery, Dr. Bács performs sclerotherapy, a preventative treatment that can stem the need for a more invasive vascular surgery.

During the process, medicine is injected into the vessels causing them to shrink and close down. After the injection, the patient has to walk around without pause for roughly 20 minutes, and then the area is kept dry and under compression bandaging for 48 hours. Sclerotherapy is relatively free of complications, but patients may experience some bruising, itching and redness in the first 48 hours. Often, more than one appointment is necessary, since the doctor may work on the vessels in the area about the size of an apple.

Dr. Bács notes that if patients with vein problems do not seek preventive treatment, in a few years the more complex surgery is necessary. He adds, however, that vein surgery is not a major lifestyle intrusion.

“We carry out the procedure in a hospital, where the patients are in-and-out in one day. Typically, a surgical wound will heal in one or two weeks,” says Bács, “but the area should be kept away from the sun for two or three months to minimize scarring.”

Call FirstMed to directly schedule an appointment with Dr. Ervin Bács, or speak to your primary care provider for a referral.

This article appeared in our January, 2015 Newsletter. For further information about the online publication and to sign up, please click here.