Progress Continues in Stroke Prevention

M. Vince Weaver, MD

Discusses his journey…

Working through the resistance …

And gaining acceptance for technology…

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Fighting Peripheral Artery Disease: Lifestyle Changes & Treatment

Lifestyle Changes to Avoid PAD
Smoking and diabetes are among the most significant risk factors for developing PAD. Smokers should quit smoking and try to sustain a healthy lifestyle. Management of diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol with medication and diet can help with disease progression and other cardiovascular risks. Regular exercise for those with claudication helps open alternative small vessels to improve oxygen levels. This may improve endurance for walking. Treadmill exercise has been shown to improve cardiovascular function and quality of life. Exercise programs can increase pain-free walking time and walking distance for people with PAD.

Treatment of Peripheral Artery Disease
Certain medications like cilostazol and pentoxifylline have been used to treat symptoms of PAD. These medications have been proven effective for improving some symptoms of PAD. Pain and/or cramping caused by claudication due to peripheral artery disease are among them. Surgery may be needed to bring relief to some patients suffering with PAD. A vascular or endovascular surgeon can perform a surgical technique called revascularization to restore blood flow to the affected arteries. The surgical method depends on the severity of the blockage and other factors. The presence of a non-healing wound or infection could lead to gangrene and possible amputation.
Other operations include:
• Angioplasties for single lesions in large arteries
• Atherectomies for plaque removal
• Vascular bypass grafting to redirect blood flow
• Thrombolysis and thrombectomy to remove blood clots

When to See a Doctor
Call your doctor for an appointment if you have leg pain or any other symptoms of peripheral artery disease. Absent symptoms, screening for PAD is still recommended for people with risk factors like high blood pressure or obesity or those over age 50 with a history of smoking or diabetes. Screening is also encouraged for anyone over age 65. Schedule an appointment with a vascular surgeon at Total Vein Care to screen for PAD. (https://totalveincarelouisiana.com/)

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Peripheral Artery Disease – Catch it Sooner Rather Than Later

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a condition where blood flow to the limbs is diminished. It’s a common circulatory issue caused by narrowing of the arteries that provide blood to these areas. Cholesterol and fatty deposits can build up over time on the inner walls of the arteries and lead to blockage and reduced blood flow. The arteries in the legs are most commonly affected by PAD. The decreased blood flow causes symptoms such as leg pain and cramps. This is known as claudication. Peripheral artery disease can sometimes be a symptom of a more serious condition called atherosclerosis.

Causes and Risk Factors of Peripheral Artery Disease
A major cause of PAD is atherosclerosis, a disease that also results from narrowed and blocked arteries. Fatty deposits build up on the arterial walls over time and disrupt blood flow. Atherosclerosis can narrow and block arteries in various areas of the body, including the heart, brain, and limbs. Other less common causes of PAD include blood vessel inflammation, limb injuries, or exposure to radiation.

Risk factors:
• Heredity
• Advanced age
• Smoking
• Diabetes
• Obesity
• High blood pressure
• High cholesterol

Symptoms of Peripheral Artery Disease
Almost half of PAD sufferers may have little or no symptoms. The main symptom of PAD is muscle pain when affected areas are in use. This is known as intermittent claudication. Leg pain, specifically in the calf, is the most commonly reported symptom. The reduced blood flow doesn’t produce enough oxygen to meet the demand of muscles in use. Claudication can range from slight discomfort to incapacitating pain. Severe claudication can interfere with the ability to perform simple physical activities like walking. Pain can occur while at rest if the disease progresses. Other symptoms of PAD include skin ulcers, bluish skin, cold skin, poor nail and hair growth in the affected limb, and erectile dysfunction in men. Complications may include stroke, heart attack, and loss of tissue or limb(s) due to injuries or infections.

When to See a Doctor
Call your doctor for an appointment if you have leg pain or any other symptoms of peripheral artery disease. Absent symptoms, screening for PAD is still recommended for people with risk factors like high blood pressure or obesity or those over age 50 with a history of smoking or diabetes. Screening is also encouraged for anyone over age 65. Schedule an appointment with a vascular surgeon at Total Vein Care to screen for PAD. (https://totalveincarelouisiana.com/)

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Microphlebectomy: What Is It?

If you suffer from bulging veins or larger varicose veins, you may be a candidate for microphlebectomy. We perform this procedure in the Total Vein Care office in Baton Rouge. Only local anesthesia is required and there is little-to-no downtime for most people.

What is microphlebectomy?

A minimally invasive procedure, microphlebectomy is performed to remove large varicose veins on or near the surface of the legs. It involves making tiny punctures or incisions — so small that very often, no stitches are required. The varicose veins are pulled through the incisions, and in fact, even large veins can be removed through the tiny incisions used in this technique.

Preparing for microphlebectomy

Before we can determine if this procedure is right for you, you’ll be evaluated by one of our vascular surgeons. This will include a venous ultrasound to determine:

  • If varicose veins are the true cause, or if they are connected to other veins that may need to be treated first
  • If clots in the superficial or deep veins need to be addressed

The steps of microphlebectomy

This procedure typically takes about one hour. Here is what to expect:

  • The veins to be treated are outlined or marked
  • Local anesthesia is injected into the skin
  • Small (2 mm) incisions are made over the treated vein(s)
  • Veins are removed segment by segment
  • Steer-strips are used to close the incisions
  • You will be able to walk after the procedure
  • You should wear compression stockings for three days to one week after surgery

Trusted vein care in Baton Rouge

If large varicose veins or painful, bulging veins are keeping you from the activities you love or from showing your legs, Total Vein Care is here for you.

Our board-certified surgeons have valuable experience in performing microphlebectomy procedures with optimal results. In fact, all state-of-the-art treatments are done in-office to make your vein care as convenient as possible. Let us help you look, feel and live better with a customized treatment plan to solve your vein problems, big or small.

To learn more, call us today at (225) 442-9663 or click here to use our online form.

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Dr. Andrew Olinde Named to Prestigious 2017-2018 Best Doctors in America List

Dr. Andrew Olinde has been named one of the Best Doctors in America® for 2017-2018. The prestigious recognition marks the eleventh time that Dr. Andrew Olinde has earned this honor. He was the only Vascular Surgeon to receive this award in Baton Rouge.

The highly regarded Best Doctors in America® List, assembled by Best Doctors, Inc. and audited and certified by Gallup® results from exhaustive polling of close to 40,000 physicians in the United States. In a confidential review, current physician listees answer the question, “If you or a loved one needed a doctor in your specialty, to whom would you refer?” Best Doctors, Inc. evaluates the review results, and verifies all additional information to meet detailed inclusion criteria.

Best Doctors has earned a sterling reputation for reliable, impartial results by remaining totally independent. Doctors cannot pay to be included in the Best Doctors database, nor are they paid to provide their input. The List is a product of validated peer review, in which doctors who excel in their specialties are selected by their peers in the profession.

Over the past 20 years, Best Doctors has earned global acclaim for its remarkable database of physicians, regarded as the world’s premier effort to create a validated, peer-reviewed database of excellence in medicine. The Best Doctors methodology is rigorously impartial and strictly independent; only those doctors recognized as the top 4% of their respective specialty earn the honor of being named one of the Best Doctors in America. The experts who are a part of the Best Doctors in America database provide the most advanced medical expertise and knowledge to patients with serious conditions – often saving lives in the process by finding the right diagnosis and right treatment.

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Veins vs. Arteries: What’s the Difference?

Your veins and arteries carry blood to and from your heart to the rest of your body. Without them, your body would not be able to function. They help provide essential nutrients and oxygen to your organs and tissues while carrying away waste. While they work together to keep your body working well, there are a few significant differences between the two.

Differences between veins and arteries

Both veins and arteries are blood vessels, however, there are important differences between how they work and what they do.

Arteries

All blood vessels leading from the heart are called arteries. Arteries are attached directly to the heart and are in charge of taking oxygenated blood (pure blood) away from the heart to fuel the tissues throughout the body. This is true for all arteries except the pulmonary artery, which carries deoxygenated blood back from the lungs. Arteries have thick, elastic, muscular walls and do not contain valves, largely because most blood flows downward with the pull of gravity. They are also located deeper in the skin, which helps prevent a loss of oxygen through the skin’s surface.

Veins

The blood vessels that carry blood from various parts of the body and organs are called veins. All veins, except the pulmonary vein, carry deoxygenated blood (impure blood). By contrast to arteries, veins are thinner and contain valves. The valves are critical for preventing the backflow of blood, which can lead to varicose veins, vein disease or other vein conditions.

If you are experiencing any signs or symptoms of vein disease, contact Total Vein Care at (225) 442-9663 to schedule an annual or semi-annual vein screening. We will treat your painful, unsightly, leg veins quickly and effectively so you can get back to enjoying your life.

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Dr. Olinde featured in Healthcare Journal of Baton Rouge

Vascular surgeon Andrew Olinde, MD, was named Chief Medical Officer at Baton Rouge General in December. In this role, Dr. Olinde is responsible for building positive relationships with the physician community and representing the General publicly on medical topics. In addition, he continues to see patients at the Vascular Specialty Center located on the General’s Bluebonnet campus.

Read the Complete Article >>>

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Symptoms of Vein Disease You Shouldn’t Ignore

Every beat of your heart sends blood through a complex system of large and small blood vessels called the circulatory system. Healthy veins are essential for maintaining proper blood circulation throughout your body and keeping your heart, lungs and kidneys is good working order. When your veins become weakened or compromised, you’re at risk of heart disease, heart attack, or a number of other potentially life-threatening conditions if you don’t seek vein treatment. Knowing the symptoms of vein disease will help you know when it’s time to see a vein specialist.

Many people believe spider veins or varicose veins are mostly a cosmetic issue, however, they can have serious negative effects on your health. If you suffer from vein problems, the doctors at Total Vein Care want to remind you that it’s important to get a vein screening every 6 to 12 months.

Signs and symptoms of vein disease

Please contact us so you can get proper medical treatment the moment you begin to experience any of these signs or symptoms of vein disease:

  • Weak or heavy feeling in the legs
  • Swelling or cramping in the lower legs or ankles
  • Aching or throbbing legs
  • Itchy, dry skin near affected veins
  • Leg cramps
  • Varicose or spider veins
  • Leg ulcers
  • Skin discoloration near affected veins

If you experience sudden swelling in your lower legs or ankles, seek immediate medical attention. This could indicate that a blood clot has developed in your leg.

Complications of vein disease

Here is a list of possible complications that occur as a result of untreated vein disease:

  • Bleeding
    Diseased veins located near the surface of the skin are prone to bleeding. Once this happens, it increases your risk of bleeding in the future. If you experience any bleeding from spider or varicose veins, be sure to seek medical attention.
  • Ulcers
    Diseased veins are at risk of having a higher blood pressure than normal. Over time, fluid may build up as a result and cause extremely painful ulcers near the ankles.
  • Blood clots
    Any sudden swelling in the leg needs to be examined by a medical professional immediately because it could mean a blood clot has formed. Once a blood clot is present in your vein, you are at risk of heart attack or stroke.

If you are experiencing any signs or symptoms of vein disease, contact Total Vein Care at (225) 442-9663 to schedule an annual or semi-annual vein screening. Regular vein screenings are important for preventing vein disease or complications associated with poor vein health. At Total Vein Care, we will treat your painful, unsightly, leg veins quickly and effectively so you can get back to living your life.

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Diagnosing Vein Disease

If your primary care physician believes you are at risk for vein disease he may refer you to a vascular specialist. The vascular specialists at Total Vein Care can evaluate your known (and unknown) vein issues, and recommend the best treatment.

How is vein disease diagnosed?

When you share your concerns about your vein health with a vascular specialist, he will do a physical examination to check for any visible signs of vein disease. For example, he will check your legs, arms, and neck for swelling. Preliminary steps for diagnosing vein disease may also include a series of questions about your family history. Additionally, your doctor may want a detailed description of any aches or pains you are experiencing, particularly in your legs.

After your initial consultation and physical exam with one of our highly credentialed vascular specialists, we use an advanced duplex color ultrasound-imaging tool to determine the extent of your vein problems.

This testing is performed onsite at our Vascular Specialty Laboratory – one of the first accredited vascular laboratories in the country. Our experienced and certified vascular technologists perform all tests using state-of-the-art equipment.

While the test provides sophisticated information, it is simple and painless for you. The test requires no special preparation on your part, and it only takes about an hour to perform.

You may be familiar with ultrasound technology, which is a noninvasive diagnostic tool that uses high frequency sound waves to produce an image on a screen. Duplex color ultrasound is a more advanced form of ultrasound technology. It produces color-coded images to show our surgeons where your blood flow is severely blocked or where vein valves don’t close properly, this issue is also known as venous insufficiency. Determining which valves are insufficient is vital for planning effective treatment.

Duplex color ultrasound combines:

  • conventional imaging information to show the structure of your blood vessels, and
  • information on blood flow through your veins.

To properly treat many vein issues, we must first have an accurate diagnosis so that we can get to the root of the problem.

If you’re ready to find out the status of your vein health, contact us at 907-885-0390 to schedule a vascular ultrasound today.

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How You Can Keep Your Veins Healthy

The veins and arteries are the super highways of the circulatory system. The arteries carry oxygen and nutrient-rich blood to the tissues and organs, and the veins return the blood back to the heart. Healthy, free-flowing veins are vital to circulatory health, and can help you avoid conditions such as:

  • Phlebitis (inflammation of the veins)
  • Blood clots or any obstruction to blood flow in the veins
  • Varicose veins and spider veins

Live a healthy-vein life

By adopting a vein-healthy routine, you can improve circulation and muscle tone, which can lower your risk of developing vein disease and varicose veins. Here are few things you can do to help improve vein health:

  • Elevate the legs – When possible, raise your feet higher than your heart to reduce blood pooling and pressure in your legs.
  • Exercise daily – Moderate walking, climbing stairs, cycling and swimming engages your calf muscles. This reduces pooling and pressure in the veins and can prevent or slow the progression of varicose veins.
  • Be a savvy traveler – During long car or plane trips, activate your calf muscles by flexing your ankles periodically to pump the blood through your legs. On the road, be sure to stop for short walks every few hours.
  • Stay cool – Try to avoid hot tubs and hot baths. Heat tends to increase vein distention and lead to more pooling of blood.
  • Avoid smoking – Nicotine from smoking and carbon monoxide from second-hand smoke damages an important layer of cells inside the veins, allowing fats and plaque to stick to vein walls and impede blood flow.
  • Use sunscreen – Apply it to the areas you have varicose veins. This helps prevent exposure to ultraviolet rays, which have been linked to the exacerbation of vein disease.
  • Lose excess weight – Excess weight can put pressure on your lower body; increasing the risk of developing varicose veins, or making existing ones worse. Losing weight can help improve your circulation and relieve vein pressure.
  • Eat your veggies – Studies show that foods high in fiber, such as vegetables and fruits, can help protect the arteries and veins by improving circulation and reducing constipation.

Vitamins for vein health

The vitamins below have been shown to be beneficial to vein health:

  • Vitamin C 500 milligrams per day can help build collagen and elastin, which also support healthy skin and blood vessels.
  • Vitamin E – Essential for blood vessel health, vitamin E helps prevent certain proteins from forming clots in the veins.
  • Vitamin B3Also known as niacin, vitamin B3 contributes to balancing cholesterol levels within the veins, which ultimately helps blood move smoothly.

Trusted vein care in Baton Rouge

Healthy veins help you look and feel good. If you’re concerned about varicose veins and spider veins, or are feeling the discomfort they can cause, Total Vein Care is ready to help. And we’re right here in Baton Rouge.

Our board-certified physicians have a combined 30 years of experience in diagnosing and treating varicose veins, spider veins and vein disease. And with an on-site, accredited vascular diagnostics lab and state-of-the-art and treatments that can be performed in-office, advanced vein care is more convenient than ever.

To learn about high quality vein care that can restore your confidence and improve your quality of life, call us today at (225) 442-9663 or click here to use our online form.

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