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August 13, 2013 > Common Vein Condition Threatens Healthy, Active Lifestyles

Common Vein Condition Threatens Healthy, Active Lifestyles

Local physician to explain causes and latest treatments for varicose veins at free lunchtime seminar

You may be surprised to learn that varicose veins, which are caused by blood-flow problems in the legs, are a very common condition, especially as more people are living longer. Half of Americans age 50 or older have varicose veins, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. This includes an estimated 72 percent of women over age 60.

"Varicose veins can be extremely painful and debilitating," said Gabriel Herscu, M.D., a vascular and endovascular surgeon with Washington Township Medical Foundation (WTMF), who is also on the medical staff at Washington Hospital. "Yet, the condition is often unrecognized and undertreated, and this can lead to devastating consequences for some people."

According to Dr. Herscu, the good news is there are now a number of effective, minimally invasive treatments available to help treat varicose veins.

"Some of these treatments are very low risk and can be done during an office visit, allowing the patient to continue with work or other daily activities right away," added Dr. Herscu. "These approaches can offer profound benefits to people who have been suffering from the effects of varicose veins."

For many people, successful varicose vein treatment also means they no longer have to face the difficulty and discomfort of putting on and wearing compression stockings.

Dr. Herscu will explain more about varicose veins - why they occur, who gets them, and how they can be treated - at a free "Lunch 'n Learn" session. The program is scheduled for Wednesday, Aug. 28, from 12 noon to 1 p.m. and will be held in the Women's Center Conference Room of the Washington West Building, next to Washington Hospital, at 2500 Mowry Ave. in Fremont.

To reserve your spot, go online to or call (800) 963-7070.

"Varicose veins are a chronic disease that can have debilitating effects over many years," stated Dr. Herscu. "Symptoms often advance slowly, so the individual doesn't fully appreciate the impact on their ability to live a normal, active life."

It is important to recognize the symptoms of varicose veins because, if the condition is allowed to continue untreated, more advanced, debilitating disease patterns can result.

Varicose veins may be accompanied by aching legs at the end of the day, a feeling of heaviness in the legs, fatigued legs, restless or cramping legs at night, and itchiness of the legs.

"When I tell people about these symptoms, they often have a revelation because they had never considered that varicose veins could be their problem," added Dr. Herscu. "Once they put the pieces of the puzzle together and are treated, it can be life changing because they often become more active again. Until that moment, they hadn't realized how the condition was holding them back."

At the Aug. 28 seminar, Dr. Herscu will also discuss the causes and risk factors associated with varicose veins. For example, the condition can be related to family history, obesity, having a profession that requires long periods of standing, and a history of blood clots in the legs. For women, it can also be related to having had multiple pregnancies.

Dr. Herscu will also talk about how varicose veins have secondary implications because they can cause aesthetic problems, affecting a person's mood and self-esteem. In addition, many women with unsightly varicose veins have wardrobe difficulties because they are uncomfortable wearing clothes that reveal their legs.

Today, there are a number of minimally invasive surgical procedures to treat varicose veins, and Dr. Herscu will talk further about treatment options at the seminar. There will also be time for questions and answers about treatments, as well as signs, symptoms and diagnosis of this common condition.

Besides the free educational session, on Saturday, Aug. 24, Dr. Herscu will offer a free screening for varicose veins, spider veins and painful or heavy legs. Held at 39141 Civic Center Drive #335 in Fremont, the event is sponsored by WTMF's Washington Vein Rejuvenation Center. Dr. Herscu will be available to examine leg veins and review treatment options. For more information about this event, please call (510) 248-1850.

Learn more

For more information about the Washington Vein Rejuvenation Center, go online to To learn about Washington Township Medical Foundation, visit For more about Washington Hospital, go to

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