How to prevent varicose veins this summer

Now that summer has officially started, it’s time to ditch the winter wardrobe. However, if you want to really get to show off that summer body, one thing you’ll want to avoid is varicose veins.

Varicose veins don’t just look unsightly, they can also cause a number of health problems too. So, if you don’t want to spend your summer covering up your legs to hide these nasty veins, there are a few things you’ll want to do to prevent them. Here, we’ll look at some of the best ways to prevent varicose veins during the hot summer months.

Elevate the legs at night

Poor circulation can make varicose veins more noticeable and once summer arrives, the heat can exasperate the veins further, leading to swelling, aching and pain.

So, to avoid this, keeping the legs elevated at night can really help. Place a few cushions or pillows underneath the legs while you sleep. This will boost circulation during the night.

Exercise regularly

Making exercise a part of your normal routine is also a good varicose vein preventative measure – or certainly help alleviate the symptoms. Regular exercise encourages better blood circulation in the legs, which helps to push along the blood that has collected in the veins and also helps to lower blood pressure, another contributing factor to varicose veins. If you haven’t exercised in a while, it’s important to start getting back into it gradually. If you try to do too much too soon, it could place additional pressure onto the veins.

Exercising regularly will also help to boost circulation, as well as strengthen the veins. Swimming is a particularly good exercise to do in the summer. Not only does it keep you cool in the hot weather, but it’s also easier on the body.

Seek treatment if varicose veins do develop

If you do suspect you have varicose veins, it’s best to seek treatment early. The earlier you get the problem treated, the less invasive the treatment will be and the better the result aesthetically. There are lots of effective treatments on the market and many of them are non-invasive.

Overall, preventing varicose veins isn’t always possible. However, the steps above can help to minimise your chances of developing them in the summer months. The main thing to remember is that if signs of varicose veins do start to appear, seeking treatment early is crucial.

New Study Aims to Take Minimally Invasive Varicose Vein Treatments to the Next Level

A new study conducted by Vienna’s Institute of Functional Phlebosurgery, Karl Landsteiner Society, has revealed exciting results into a new minimally invasive varicose vein treatment. The technique, along with its preliminary results, were presented at the Charing Cross Symposium in London.

The new treatment is said to require no needles, knives or a catheter and, most excitingly, requires no anaesthesia.

How will the new varicose vein procedure work?

The new procedure is said to be an automatic procedure, using a HIFU system. This device recently received a CE mark, and it uses both embedded ultrasound and an HIFU transducer which produces a focal heat of 85 Degrees Celsius. It also incorporates a single-use membrane and liquid which is used to protect the skin against burns during the procedure.

The treatment device will offer very precise vein targeting. Known as a SONOVEIN unit, it is first placed in the correct position compressing the vein, before planning the procedure on a touchscreen.

Preliminary results prove promising

The new treatment has just completed a feasibility study, after gaining ethical approval. The team followed participating patients for three months, treating a total of 50 legs. Patients with more severe varicose veins were chosen in order to effectively test the new device.

Adjunctive methods such as sclerotherapy, ligation and phlebectomy weren’t used throughout the study. The results showed that the new procedure was feasible for all of the patients enrolled and 34% of them were treated without any anaesthesia and there were no major side effects witnessed.

The fact it can treat more severe forms of the condition without anaesthetic is also an exciting finding.

How soon is it likely to hit the market?

This new automatic, needle and knife free varicose vein treatment certainly appears as though it could hit mainstream markets. However, it has only undergone a feasibility study. Further testing will need to be provided, meaning it could take many years before we see it on the market.

The good news is, there are lots of existing varicose vein treatments available, both surgical and non-invasive. Those suffering from varicose veins should therefore book a consultation to see which treatment options are currently best suited to them.

Preventing Varicose Veins When You Sit or Stand All Day

preventing varicose veinsThere are a lot of risk factors which can contribute to the development of varicose veins. One of the most common causes is either sitting or standing on the legs all day. Sitting down all day causes the blood to pool in the legs. It also increases your risk of developing blood clots. Standing on the legs all day can have a similar effect, and it places the legs under a lot of pressure.

So, if you have a job which requires you to sit or stand still all day, is it possible to prevent varicose veins from becoming worse?

Varicose vein prevention #1: walk around frequently

One of the best things you can do is to walk around as frequently as you can. If you’re sitting at a desk all day, be sure to take lots of short breaks to just get up and stretch the legs. You don’t have to walk far, just across the office and back is enough to start the blood pumping again.

Even if you work standing up, it’s still important to move around, rather than just standing in one place for long periods of time.

Varicose vein prevention #: ensure you’re maintaining a healthy weight

If you’re overweight, that’s going to put additional pressure onto the legs. Combine this with a lot of inactivity and it’s going to contribute towards varicose veins. So, losing weight if you need to, is recommended. You should also look to maintain a healthy weight by exercising and eating healthy which will have a whole host of other health benefits.

Flex the muscles and wiggle the toes

If you don’t have the option to get up and walk around, even just wiggling the toes and stretching the muscles can help to prevent varicose veins from developing. You’ll need to do this quite frequently to see the benefits.

Varicose vein prevention #1: consider wearing compression stockings

Finally, another preventative measure is to wear compression stockings. These are also used to treat the symptoms of mild to moderate varicose veins once they have developed. They’re comfortable to wear and they help to support the veins, encouraging adequate blood flow.

Lifestyle changes such as these could help to alleviate the discomfort associated with varicose veins, but there is little evidence that they can prevent varicose veins from developing and the nature of gravity means that varicose veins will likely worsen over time as it’s not feasible to expect sufferers to spend the majority of the day off their feet.

There is now a number of minimally invasive treatments that eradicate varicose veins by disrupting the vein wall, causing it to collapse where it is then safely absorbed by the body. The methods they employ are slightly different and the vein specialists at Cornwall Vein Clinic can advise you on the benefits and limitations of each procedure.

Varicose vein warning signs to watch out for

Varicose veins can affect anyone, at any stage of their life. While you likely already know the main tell-tale sign to look out for – large, bulging visible veins – did you know there are a lot of other symptoms you could experience if you develop venous disease?

Here, we’ll look at some of the more uncommon warning signs to look out for in order to detect and treat varicose veins as soon as they become a problem.

Swelling in the legs and ankles

When varicose veins develop, the veins can become blocked, causing blood to pool out and build up in the surrounding areas. This can cause the legs and ankles to swell up. They can also cause blood clots which can also lead to swelling. As the legs and feet are under a lot more pressure when you’re suffering from varicose veins, this can also cause swelling to become worse.

So, if your legs and ankles are swollen and you aren’t pregnant, it could be a warning sign of varicose veins.

Restless legs

Although Restless Leg Syndrome is a stand-alone condition, it can also be brought on by venous disease. If your legs feel restless and uncomfortable, particularly at night, it could be a sign of varicose veins. However, diagnosing varicose veins based on restless leg symptoms alone can be tricky for GPs. Therefore, it could be worth visiting a vein specialist if you do suspect venous disease is behind your symptoms.

Itching or burning of the skin

A lot of patients experience an itchy or burning sensation on the skin surrounding their varicose veins. As blood builds up within the damaged blood vessels, it can start to leak through to the skin. This means oxygen to the skin is reduced, causing it to become itchy and red. If left untreated, the itching can become worse and sores can develop.

These are just a few warning signs of varicose veins to watch out for. Although they may start off as a cosmetic issue, varicose veins have the potential to cause a lot of pain and misery to patients. If you think you’re suffering from varicose veins, book a consultation with a vein specialist today

Patients Suffering Due to NHS Varicose Vein Cutbacks

After the NHS announced they were withdrawing routine treatment of varicose veins last year, numerous patients have been left to suffer alone. GPs are turning away patients complaining of varicose vein symptoms, telling them they can only step in if they develop open sores. Unable to cope with the pain associated with venous disease, this has left patients with no other option than to pay for private treatment.

While varicose veins are largely associated as a cosmetic issue, they do often cause unpleasant symptoms such as itchy or aching legs, pain and even difficulty walking. When left untreated they can also become dangerous to the health, with the potential for blood clots to develop. Therefore, patients who have been turned away from their GP should look to seek out private treatment to avoid potential complications.

The impact varicose veins can have on your health

The impact varicose veins can have on the health is finally starting to be recognised. Not only can they lead to potentially life-threatening problems, but they can also have a significant impact on mental health too.

Physically, varicose veins can cause pain, itching and swelling. The severity of these symptoms can vary significantly, with some patients unable to walk, which in turn can lead to weight gain. As they can be particularly worse during the night, they can also cause issues with sleep, leading to fatigue. These physical symptoms can be difficult to live with alone, but the mental impact they can have can be equally as debilitating.

Varicose veins can lead to depression, anxiety and issues with self-confidence. Many patients cover up the veins, even in hot weather to avoid people seeing them. The physical, combined with the mental effects varicose veins can have on the health can make the condition extremely difficult to live with.

Understanding your varicose vein treatment options

There are a lot of treatment options available privately and many of them come at an affordable cost. What’s more, many of the treatments offer long-term results, making them, even more, cost effective. From compression stockings and injections to laser treatment and surgery – there are more treatment options for varicose veins available now than ever before.

Call 01872 308 520 to book a consultation with the Cornwall Vein Clinic today to discover our full range of treatment options. The sooner you seek treatment for varicose veins, the easier and less complex the treatment will be.

Recurrent miscarriages and endometriosis may increase risk of venous thromboembolism

A new Japanese study has revealed that recurrent miscarriages and Endometriosis may increase the risk of Venous Thromboembolism. These new risk factors could prove crucial for ensuring pregnant women at high risk of the condition can be monitored and treated correctly. So, what is Venous Thromboembolism and what exactly did the new study find?

What is Venous Thromboembolism?

Venous Thromboembolism is a potentially fatal condition, referring to blood clots which develop within the veins and travel up to the lungs. There are two main types of the condition including pulmonary embolism and deep vein thrombosis.

Deep vein thrombosis typically starts in the leg and if you suffer from varicose veins then you shouldn’t necessarily worry that it can result in DVT as varicose veins typically affect the veins closest to the surface of the skin. However, with very severe varicose veins, there can be a potential risk of DVT occurring.

With DVT, the blood clot develops and lodges within the vein. A pulmonary embolism is where the blood clot breaks free from the vein wall and travels up to the lungs. It’s more common in blood clots which have developed within the thigh and if the clot does travel to the lungs, it will potentially prove fatal. In pregnant women, it’s one of the leading causes of maternal fatality.

What did the new study find?

The Japanese study, published within the Thrombosis and Haemostatis Journal, analysed national data to identify risk factors which contributed to the development of the condition. The study was carried out on the Japanese population as the condition is much less common in Japanese populations.

It looked at data from approximately 103,070 pregnant women, between January 2011 and March 2014. The researchers discovered several risk factors for the condition, including high BMI, IVF treatment, older maternal age and smoking. All of these risk factors had already been discovered through previous studies, but Endometriosis and recurrent miscarriages were two new risk factors identified.

Seeking treatment for varicose veins

Although there are numerous reasons Venous Thrombosis can develop in pregnancy, sometimes it’s down to poor vein health. Therefore, seeking treatment for varicose veins before you decide to get pregnant, is a good way to minimise the risks.

If you’re concerned about your vein health, call 01872 308 520 to book a consultation with the Cornwall Vein Clinic today. The earlier the condition is treated, the fewer complications it’s likely to cause.

Men and varicose veins

men and varicose veinsIt’s often thought that varicose veins are a ‘women’s problem’ and certainly many more women seek treatment due to unhappiness with the appearance of their legs, but actually a similar number of men are affected, with that number rising in both sexes as they get older.

Varicose veins typically are a cosmetic problem and that might be one of the underlying reasons why men do not seek out treatment. However, left untreated, varicose veins can develop into more serious health concerns and, even in the short term, can cause chronic aching and itching which is less than satisfactory.

1 Varicose veins: more than cosmetic

Healthy veins pump the blood smoothly back up to your heart but when the small valves inside the veins stop working properly, the blood can flow backwards and collect in the vein, causing it to become swollen and enlarged.

However, as well as their lumpy appearance and darker, purple colour, it can cause a whole host of other problems:

  • Aching legs that can feel heavy or uncomfortable
  • Swollen ankles and feet
  • A burning or throbbing sensation in your legs
  • Muscle cramps in your legs – these can be worse at night, keeping sufferers awake
  • Dry, thin skin over the vein that can become very itchy

2 Varicose veins: now you’re not alone

Middle-aged women aren’t the only sufferers of varicose veins. Many men can develop them and they can develop from puberty onwards.

So, the message to male patients is: don’t wait to seek treatment – prevent varicose veins from becoming a bigger problem.

3 Varicose veins: reduce less than satisfactory lifestyle habits

Although it’s hard to pinpoint an exact cause of varicose veins, there are certain lifestyle factors that are linked to an increased susceptibility to developing them. These include being overweight and inactive. Other factors include your hormones, your age and a genetic predisposition.

4 Varicose veins: seek treatment

As well as being less motivated to deal with a ‘cosmetic’ problem, men can often be reluctant to undergo treatment if they think it will be invasive or involve much downtime or recovery. The good news is that there is now a whole range of minimally invasive treatments available, including Venaseal, VNUS Closure, Endovenous Laser Ablation or Mechanicochemical Ablation.

Don’t assume any leg pain is a result of muscle fatigue or pulled muscle after a strenuous workout. Call 01872 308 520 to arrange your consultation at the Cornwall Vein Clinic if you’re concerned about varicose veins.

The Link Between Diabetes and Varicose Veins

Although varicose veins are largely viewed as a cosmetic issue, the truth is, they can link to other, more serious health issues. One of the more serious conditions which is linked to venous disease is diabetes.

Here, we’ll look at the link between diabetes and varicose veins and what to do if you suspect you do have venous disease.

How are diabetes and varicose veins linked?

Diabetes can really affect the circulation within the legs and feet. As glucose levels increase, it can cause numbness within the limbs. Then, as diabetes progresses, the blood flow within the arteries of the feet and legs can start to reduce, eventually causing damage to the nerves.

With varicose veins, the condition also impacts the circulation within the legs and feet. So, if you have diabetes, it’s going to put additional pressure onto the veins, worsening the symptoms of venous disease. If you do have diabetes as well as venous disease, it also increases your risk of suffering from the complications linked to both conditions.

Which patients are most at risk?

It’s entirely possible for patients to suffer from both diabetes and varicose veins. While the risk of developing both conditions simultaneously is largely associated with older, overweight patients, there are a few other risk factors you should be aware of.

A family history of the condition, pregnancy, obesity and age are all possible risk factors to be aware of.

What to do if you suspect you have venous disease

If you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes and you’re worried you may also be developing varicose veins, it’s important to seek treatment as soon as possible. Delaying treatment increases the risk of complications. It’s also known that delaying treatment could mean if complications do arise, they will be much more severe.

There are lots of varicose vein treatments available these days, with many of them offering a non-invasive procedure. You can find out your treatment options when you book a consultation with a specialist. You’ll also need to make sure you seek treatment to get your diabetes under control too. If you’re concerned about varicose veins, book a consultation with the Cornwall Vein Clinic today.

Varicose vein removal set to be one of biggest aesthetic trends of 2019

Varicose vein removal has been listed as one of the biggest aesthetic trends for 2019. Each year, we see new emerging trends within the cosmetic surgery and aesthetic market, but this is the first-time varicose vein removal has made it onto the list.

Here, we’ll look at why varicose vein removal is dominating the market this year and the treatment options available.

What’s causing the rise in varicose vein removal?

There are a few factors experts believe are leading to the rise in varicose vein removal procedures. The biggest driving factor is likely the removal of free varicose vein treatments on the NHS. In 2018, it was revealed that many NHS hospitals were no longer going to provide free varicose vein treatment. So, patients now have no other option but to opt for private treatment.

According to statistics, two-thirds of Brits admit they feel self-conscious about their bodies due to varicose or spider veins. It’s thought that the pressures of social media are also to blame for the rise in varicose vein removal treatment. There is a lot more pressure for people to look their best so unsightly varicose veins can understandably cause a lot of issues with self-esteem.

Although aesthetic concerns are driving the growth in varicose vein removal, the fact more people are seeking treatment could be a positive outcome from a health point of view. When left untreated, varicose veins can develop into a more serious issue, potentially causing blood clots which could prove fatal in severe cases.

What treatment options are available?

The treatment options available to correct varicose veins these days are comprehensive and are also a factor in why varicose vein removal is becoming ever more popular. As technology has advanced, it’s brought many new innovative techniques onto the market. Many of these are non-invasive, meaning treatment is quick, painless and requires very little, if any, downtime.

The earlier varicose vein treatment is sought, the less invasive it’s likely to be. If you’re concerned over your varicose veins, book a consultation with a vein expert today. You may be surprised just how easy it is to eliminate the condition.

Can weightlifting cause varicose veins?

There’s a lot of reasons varicose veins can develop over your lifetime, but could it be down to the type of exercise that you do? Weightlifting, for example, is a popular yet strenuous activity. You’ll often notice the veins in your legs bulging after a workout. So, could these be varicose veins?

Here, you’ll discover whether or not your weightlifting habit could be causing varicose veins.

Does weightlifting increase the risk of varicose veins?

You’ll find a lot of contradictory advice on whether or not weightlifting can increase the risk of varicose veins. Some experts claim it doesn’t, while others claim the pressure placed upon the veins during weightlifting can eventually lead to varicose veins. So, what’s true?

Well, on the whole, weightlifting isn’t known to increase the risk of varicose veins, but only if it’s done correctly. If you partake in strenuous weight lifting and you do it in excess, there is a possibility it could weaken the veins over time, resulting in varicose veins. If you do it with the correct posture and don’t overdo it, it’s unlikely you’ll develop varicose veins.

How to tell the difference between the pump and varicose veins

The main reason people think weightlifting has given them varicose veins is because of the ‘pump’ that’s left after a lifting session. The veins bulge out, mimicking the appearance of varicose veins.

However, the pump is actually where there is an increase in blood in the veins, causing them to bulge outwards. As you exercise, more blood and oxygen is sent to the muscles, causing the veins to fill up more than they usually would. The pump will go down after a while once you’ve stopped exercising.

Varicose veins, on the other hand, don’t suddenly disappear. They are caused by faulty valves, leading to blood pooling in the veins. You’ll typically experience other symptoms too if you have varicose veins, such as aching and itching.

Seeking a diagnosis

If you’re unsure whether or not you’re suffering from varicose veins, it’s important to seek a proper diagnosis. Even though varicose veins are often dismissed as a mere cosmetic issue, if left untreated, it can lead to more serious health problems. So, book a consultation with a vein specialist to determine whether yo01872 308 520u’re simply seeing the pump from your exercise, or whether you’ve developed varicose veins.