- Recent study connects stem cell research and varicose vein treatments.
The treatment of stubborn vein disease has been revolutionized by newer treatments. These minimally-invasive procedures do very little collateral damage. Previously, vein stripping was the “gold standard” in the treatment of varicose veins. Most doctors of all types now agree that this is a terrible procedure, and today it’s rarely performed.
These newer, faster, safer procedures have in many cases made treatment worth pursuing in the first place. Before, the potential benefits simply weren’t worth the considerable risks—and downtime, and scarring. Suffering with unsightly, uncomfortable varicose veins was often a better option.
Yet these contemporary techniques are also continuously being improved upon. That’s modern medicine, and it’s helping people live longer, healthier, happier lives.
Stem cells, blood clots, and varicose veins are connected.
The Institute of Chemical Biology and Fundamental Medicine (ICBFM) is an international medical think-tank based in Siberia. There, scientists collaborate to study some of the most fundamental (and interesting) questions in medicine. In particular, they’re interested in why cells do exactly what they do. Medicine is more than surgery and prescription medications. It seeks to understand how the body and the cells within it becomes diseased, and how they get better. This is the type of basic, high-stakes question the organization seeks to answer.
First some basics. All blood flow begins in the heart. Blood then flows into the high-pressure arteries, where it’s then distributed to every cell in the body.
The veins then return this blood to the heart. Yet because the venous system is a lower-pressure system it’s possible for blood to stall.
Varicose veins occur in this way. The veins begin to fail, and blood begins to flow in the wrong direction—away from the heart. Blood pools in the legs which cause varicose veins. Modern vein procedures can address this quite efficiently.
Yet once this process takes hold another problem can occur. In veins like the ones just mentioned there is always a small yet present danger of blood clot formation. Thankfully, new research by the ICBFM suggests that stem cell therapy may be able to help.
A vein treatment with no notable side effects.
Viable treatments are expected to be developed soon, and they’ll most likely have no side effects. It’s true that any treatment which breaks the skin carries some risk. When a solution of stem cells and other healing factors is injected into a diseased vein infection is possible. This injection wouldn’t have any higher risk than other injections, though.
“We’re injecting stem cells into the affected area,” continues the spokesperson. “They make lots of things happen. For instance, even if they don’t survive they encourage macrophage activity. This means that large digester-type cells come and gobble up damaged tissue. We think that this is part of what causes healing. We’re doing the research, publishing, and we’ve got a patent. It’s an exciting time for us.”
The next steps:
A central pillar of medical science is the “first do no harm” principle. All of your doctors—orthopedic surgeons, dentists, chiropractors, podiatrists—took an oath to act in your best interest, always. This means no guesswork on patients. Treatments which look promising must be proven effective through research.
According to the ICBFM, “a useful, targeted treatment is coming. We’re one of the groups doing the research which will make this possible. Will we win a Nobel Prize? Who knows. We believe that our ideas will be part of this treatment, though.”
The ICBFM is participating in research which will likely lead to a treatment in the indefinite future. Some patients need treatment soon however, and they shouldn’t wait. The procedures in use today are effective at treating bulging, ugly varicose veins and the symptoms which accompany them. These symptoms include pain, achiness, discomfort, swelling, and even severe conditions such as ankle ulcers and blood clots.
Many patients are surprised to hear that major medical insurance plans insurance will often cover existing procedures. If you’ve had enough of your vein problems then it’s easy to take action. Call the Advanced Vein Center at (724) 987-3220 today and book your appointment. One of our safe, highly effective, and minimally invasive procedures can most likely help.
Stem cells have the potential to become any type of cell the body might need. Perhaps more importantly they contain and produce healing factors which can positively influence most forms of cellular healing. This includes the growth of new veins in response to vein disease. This could potentially save lives in the treatment of blood clots.
Scientists at the institute are actively researching the use of stem cells for this purpose. So far they’ve managed to aid in the growth of new vessels at the site of clotting events. The results are still experimental, however. An ICBFM spokesperson said “we’re preparing the area for natural blood vessel regeneration. Right now we’re using stem cells to stimulate growth. We’re getting encouraging results, and we’re part of ongoing research. We want to cause veins to regenerate rapidly after a clotting event like a DVT.”
Such treatments should play a major role in treating relatively severe vein conditions like ankle ulcers. By bypassing damaged veins, a proper blood supply can be re-established to the skin of the ankle. Possibly serious ankle ulcers can then heal normally, or better yet not form at all.