Chronic Venous Disease: Your Questions Answered

What is chronic venous disease?
• Venous insufficiency is a very common condition resulting from decreased blood flow from the leg veins up to the heart, with pooling of blood in the veins.
• When the valves become weak and don’t close properly, they allow blood to flow backward, a condition called reflux. Veins that have lost their valve effectiveness become elongated, rope-like, bulged, and thickened and are known as varicose veins — a result of increased pressure from reflux.
• Symptoms include: Swelling, skin changes, leg tiredness, heaviness, aching, cramps, itching, restless leg syndrome.

Who’s affected?
Chronic venous disease of the legs is one of the most common conditions affecting people of all races.
• – 20 to 25% of the women and 10 to 15% of men have visible varicose veins.
• Varicose veins affect 1 out of 2 people age 50 and older, and 15 to 25% of all adults.
• Gender, genetics, age and obesity are primary risk factors. Secondary risk factors include workplace conditions

How is Chronic Venous Disease diagnosed?
• A physician takes a health history, assesses symptoms and perform a physical exam.
• A physician may order a duplex ultrasound test or sometimes another test called a venogram to confirm diagnosis.
o Duplex ultrasound allows a physician
o to measure the speed of blood flow and to see the structure of leg veins.
o A venogram is an x-ray that also allows a doctor to see the anatomy of your veins. The physician injects a dye, called contrast, which makes the blood in your veins appear on an x-ray.

What is the treatment?
CVI is usually not considered a serious health risk. A physician will focus treatment on decreasing pain and disability.
• Compression stockings- Used to treat mild cases of CVI
• Sclerotherapy – A physician injects a chemical into affected veins. The chemical scars veins from the inside out so your abnormal veins can then no longer fill with blood.
• Endovenous Laser Therapy – A laser catheter is placed into the abnormal vein feeding the varicose veins. Laser energy/heat then closes the vein from the inside so the vein doesn’t have to be removed (stripped). This is done in our office, with minimal pain and downtime

Fewer than 10 percent of people with CVI require surgery to correct the problem. Surgical treatments include ablation, vein stripping, and angioplasty or stenting of a vein.

A vascular surgeon will help you decide the best treatment option for your particular situation.

For more information, go to or call 453-4614

Memorial’s Interactive Health risk assessment

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, claiming the lives of nearly one million Americans every year. Memorial offers a personalized, strictly confidential on-line heart risk assessment at no charge. Also available: Health Risk Assessment, Heart health topic center, blood pressure and your body, peripheral arterial disease risk assessment, Heart and Vascular Laboratory virtual tour, women and heart disease video, heartbeats and breaths calculator, and a recipe makeover.

Our health information tools can be found at

Melanoma & Skin Cancer Awareness: What you need to know

What is melanoma?

  • Melanoma is a cancer that begins in the melanocytes – the cells that produce the skin coloring or pigment known as melanin. Melanin helps protect the deeper layers of the skin from the harmful effects of the sun.
  • Melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer, will account for more than 75,000 cases of skin cancer in 2012. It accounts for almost 9,000 of the nearly 12,000 skin cancer deaths each year.
  • Melanoma is almost always curable when it is found in its very early stages.  The five-year survival rate for people whose melanoma is detected and treated before it spreads to the lymph nodes is 98 percent.


What are the risk factors for skin cancer?

The risk for getting skin cancer is real.  The American Academy of Dermatology estimates one in five Americans will develop skin cancer.  Risk factors include:

  • Unprotected and/or excessive exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun or tanning beds
  • Pale complexion (difficulty tanning, easily sunburned, natural red or blond hair color)
  • Occupational exposures to coal tar, pitch, creosote, arsenic compounds, or radium
  • You or other members of your family have had skin cancers
  • Multiple or unusual moles
  • Severe sunburns in the past

What are the signs and symptoms of skin cancer?

  • Any change on your skin, especially in the size or color of a mole, growth, or spot, or a new growth (even if it has no color)
  • Scaliness, oozing, bleeding, or change in the appearance of a bump or nodule
  • The spread of pigmentation (color) beyond its border, such as dark coloring that spreads past the edge of a mole or mark
  • A change in sensation, such as itchiness, tenderness, or pain

Can skin cancer be prevented?

You can still exercise and enjoy the outdoors while using sun safety at the same time.

  • Avoid the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  • Look for shade, especially in the middle of the day when the sun’s rays are strongest. Practice the shadow rule and teach it to children. If your shadow is shorter than you, the sun’s rays are at their strongest.
  • Wear protective clothing when you are out in the sun. Choose comfortable clothes made of tightly woven fabrics that you cannot see through when held up to a light.
  • Use sunscreen and lip balm with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher. Apply a generous amount of sunscreen and reapply every 2 hours and after swimming, toweling dry, or sweating. Use sunscreen even on hazy or overcast days.
  • Cover your head with a wide-brimmed hat, shading your face, ears, and neck.
  • Wear sunglasses with 99% to 100% UV absorption to provide optimal protection for the eyes and the surrounding skin.
  • Avoid other sources of UV light. Tanning beds and sun lamps are dangerous. They also damage your skin in other ways.



How is skin cancer treated?

Treatment depends on the size, depth and location of the cáncer.

  • Surgery – cancerous mole removed
  • Radiation if surgery isn’t an option
  • Chemotherapy – topical anti-cancer creams or systemic chemotherapy if cáncer has spread
  • Biological therapy to stimulate the immune system to kill cáncer cells




Sources:  American Academy of Dermatology, American Cancer Society, Mayo Clinic

Yakima Prenatal Yoga

Memorial is now offering prenatal yoga classes in Yakima.

Book your prenatal yoga class now!

New Prenatal Yoga in Yakima
5 week Sessions:
1st session April 6th, 13th, 20th, 27th and May 4th
2nd session May 25th, June 1st, 15th, 22nd and 29th
6 -7 pm

Fee: $20 for the 5 week session (limited scholarships available).
Space is limited, Registration required. Call Lori Gibbons, 509-248-7322

Prenatal Yoga helps decrease tension, improve flexibility and strength, prepare for the birthing process, and cultivate a connection between mother and child. No Yoga experience necessary! If you are experiencing common pregnancy discomforts such as back ache, and fatigue, or just want to stay in shape and have a healthy pregnancy, this class is for you. Mats and blankets provided

Taught by Gina Ord, Bilingual Occupational Therapist and Certified Yoga Instructor

Location: The Springs (use Springs Logo)
302 S. 10th Ave, Yakima WA 98902

Breastfeeding Tips

If the baby has diarrhea or vomiting, the mother should NOT stop breastfeeding. The best medicine for a baby’s gut infection is breastfeeding. Stop other foods for a short time, but continue breastfeeding. Breastmilk is the only fluid your baby requires when he has diarrhea and/or vomiting, except under exceptional circumstances. The baby is comforted by the breastfeeding, and the mother is comforted by the baby’s breastfeeding. Remember also, that breastmilk stools are more liquid than formula stools, so unless the baby is stooling more than eight times a day, watery stools do not necessarily mean diarrhea. If an infant has vomiting or diarrhea, a physician should be consulted.