Hello again! It’s Dr. Dave wiling to share some interesting vein facts…and the other half of my tuna sandwich from lunch if you need it.
I regularly attend special conferences given by the American College of Phlebology (the governing body of the field specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of vein diseases). One particular conference…attended by only a handful of Phlebologists from around the country…focused on advanced uses of ultrasound for patients with venous disease.
The conference took place in Dallas and if y’all never been to Dallas…you know as much of the town as I do: I spent the entire 2 days diligently sitting in the lecture room paying attention and taking notes. Yeah it sounds kinda geeky…but think of it this way: I took the hit for the team…I sat there so that you, my dear reader, didn’t have to. [you’re welcome]
The practice of medicine, in any and every field, requires keeping pace with rapidly emerging data. Turn your head for a moment and the vista in front of you changes. My education…college…med school…2 residencies…a preceptorship…those were just the beginning.
Aside from the fact that most states and medical boards require a physician to obtain a certain number of “continuing medical education” credits each year, docs need to get the latest info just to keep up with patients who Google info prior to office visits [kinda like you just did!]
And, frankly, that’s the way it should be; gone are the days when docs lorded over their patients in a paternalistic way…dispensing diagnoses and prescriptions with a ham-fisted noblesse oblige attitude. I say good riddance.
Not trying to sound all militant or mushy…but there is a difference between fixing patients and healing them. While someone can learn the skill-set required to fix varicose veins, true healing has to incorporate caring for the whole patient and involving them…getting them invested…in their own care; taking ownership of their bodies. That’s the point of this blog: getting you interested.
There is a payoff and today’s post is an example: Tips and Tricks to keep your legs feeling great. Keep reading to find out more!
Of all the lecturers at the Dallas conference, one of the most dynamic and passionate was a doc out of one of the Harvard-affiliated hospitals who discussed Deep Vein Thromboses (deep vein clots…”DVT’s” if you want to be hip to the jazzy doctor lingo).
Dr AlMahameed had a few fantastic tips regarding the prevention of what’s been come to be called “Economy-Class Syndrome”
. If you’ve never heard of it, here’s the basic idea: if you are like me and fly in the Economy Class section of the plane…where we are made to sit all squished for usually hours at a time…we are subject to prolonged immobility.
Immobility is a definite risk factor for developing clots in our deep veins. A very bad thing to get…as it can lead to worse things like pulmonary emboli (clots that travel from leg to heart and lung…a potentially fatal problem).
In the past few years, the topic has gained momentum in the medical and public literature alike. Perhaps it’s because the incidence is increasing…who knows?…maybe those icky little airplane-food meals we used to gripe about (but now pine for) had some blood thinners secretly mixed in with the salt packets. Or maybe it’s just getting more press attention. In any case, it’s a hot topic.
The 2 great tips I learned to combat clots from forming both involve the use of one’s “calf muscle pump”. For those dear readers who have tuned in to this blog since its beginning, this pump is old news. For you newbies…look back at my lectures on anatomy and physiology and then join us back here. We’ll wait patiently for you.
Right…so to prevent Economy Class Syndrome and the insidious formation of deep vein clots try these 2 tips:
1. As often as you can remember to do it, pump each foot up and down (like pumping the brakes in your car…or pumping the pedals on your drum set like an airborne Neal Peart) whilst singing the alphabet.
Try to keep the singing inside your head or the person next to you might stare at you like you are some sorta meshugganah. Well…I dunno…I guess they might just start singing along with you. Who knows? Before long the whole Economy Class section of the plane could unite in a clot-preventing-alphabet-singing chorus.
2. Dr AlMahameed suggested that doctors recommend their patients to bring along extra drinks on the plane. All of you physiology-minded smarty-pants out there are probably thinking that the logic behind it is to keep patients well hydrated and thus decrease the relative viscosity of blood in vessels.
Sure,sure…that may be true…but a better reason is because after drinking all that fluid, patients will have to keep getting up and walking to the lavatory to pee! Simply brilliant, if you ask me.
3. Wear graduated compression stockings.
We can chat more about these things during your consultation appointment.
If you are one of those fancy-folk up in First Class…I care about you,too. I’ll just adapt the tips for us hoi polloi to suit you:
1. Every hour get up and stroll down the aisle to the very back of the plane whilst waving your hand from side-to-side in regal fashion and pausing intermittently to nod at us, your socioeconomic inferiors. Pardon our inability to bow and curtsy: we are firmly wedged in place until landing.
2. Liberally drink the free champagne offered to you in crystal stemware. Forego the use of your lavish powder room and deign to ambulate to the commoners’ lavatory. Be sure to sneer at us as you dramatically close the curtain separating cabin sections upon your return.
Aaaanyway…I learn a ton at my conferences…so stay tuned for more valuable tips and tricks in upcoming posts.
Meanwhile, if you want to learn more about how to improve the look and feel of your legs…visit your fellow Economy Class comrades here at Rosen Vein Care.
Call 847-272-8346 or Click the Button Below to get yourself scheduled for your initial 1 hour initial consulation with me.