Prevention

The leading cause of vascular disease is, quite simply, old age. But while we get on in years we can do much to avoid or minimize atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and venous impairments. And meanwhile we'll live much happier and much healthier.

OK let's start with the obvious: Stop smoking. Smoking causes cancer, heart disease, emphysema, bronchitis, stroke, poor circulation, bad dentition, pregnancy complications, and other undesirable outcomes......including death and wrinkles.

Once you have wrinkles or vein disease we can help you. But if you're a smoker and you continue to smoke the cigarettes will win and we'll lose.......You and those of us trying to help you and those who love you.

According to the American Cancer Society, these are the changes that take place in your body when you stop smoking.

    WITHIN 20 MINUTES
  • Body temperature of feet and hands increase to normal
  • Pulse rate drops to normal rate
  • Blood pressure drops to normal
    AFTER 12 HOURS
  • Pulse rate will slow and skin temperature increases
  • Oxygen level in blood increases to normal
  • Carbon Monoxide level in blood drops to normal
    AFTER 24 HOURS
  • Chance of heart attack decreases due to improved cardiac function and circulation
  • Fine motor coordination will improve
    AFTER 48 HOURS
  • Nerve endings start regrowing, therefore ability to smell and taste is enhanced
    AFTER 72 HOURS
  • Bronchial tubes relax, making breathing easier
  • Lung capacity increases
    WITHIN 2 WEEKS TO 3 MONTHS
  • Circulation, stamina and walking improves
    1 TO 9 MONTHS
  • Coughing, sinus congestion, fatigue and shortness of breath decrease
  • Cilia regenerate in lungs increasing ability to reduce infection.
  • Energy increases
    1 YEAR
  • Risk of heart disease decreases 90%
  • Heart will have returned to nearly normal condition
    10 TO 15 YEARS
  • Risk of lung, tongue and throat cancer will be roughly the same as if you had never smoked.

Vascular Epicenter will soon be adding a special laser device designed for quitting smoking. Please inquire.

More links about quitting smoking:

www.smokefree.gov
www.quitsmoking.com
www.cdc.gov/tobacco/quit_smoking

Next, exercise. We're always encouraging our relatively sedentary patients to play golf. Not a golfer, you say? Fine; go out and play lousy golf. You'll walk uphill and downhill and walk some more while you focus on the game.

Circulatory problems start with disuse of your extremities. Use your legs more and you solicit those blood vessels to work for you. Veins in particular are at risk.

Virchow's triad (19th century) refers to the three main etiologies (causes) of clotting:
(1) Stasis or slow flow;
(2) Vessel wall injury; and
(3) Increased risk from internal metabolic and biochemical factors, also known as hypercoagulable state.

The first listed item is also the #1 reason for vein disease and it can be avoided mainly by exercise.

When mainline lower extremity venous valves are diseased by clot or insufficiency, detours or collaterals become more prominent and this can lead to swelling, pain, tissue loss including skin ulcerations, and unsightly varicose and spider veins. Vascular Epicenter can offer treatments for these occurrences.

Compression stockings are often necessary as initial therapy and they are also available by prescription in Vascular Epicenter.

Exercise also improves cardiovascular function and can therefore help you live longer and with improved quality of life.

www.exercise.about.com
www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=1200013
www.familydoctor.org/online/famdocen/home/healthy/physical/basics/059.html

Eating right and exercise reverse obesity. We'll soon be introducing another special laser device at Vascular Epicenter to get rid of small and medium fat deposits and regions of skin redundancy (e.g. jowls under one's chin, that extra "paunch" after pregnancy and subsequent delivery) but morbid obesity is a much more serious entity:

www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa/Obesity
www.obesity.org
www.obesity.org

Dr. Epstein is an experienced hospital-based physician and he can advise you when your clinical problems require inpatient treatment and/or attention by other specialists.