varicose veins and Coronavirus

Varicose Veins: The Hidden Cost of Lockdown?

At the start of the year, nobody could have predicted that just three months in, we’d be facing a global pandemic. For the first time in our lifetime, we were forced into lockdown. Not only has the lockdown caused significant financial difficulties, but it’s also impacted our health too.

With non-essential treatments being halted, it has caused a lot of pain and misery for patients. This is especially true for those dealing with varicose veins. Not only that, but the lockdown has also increased the risk of developing the condition.

Here, we’ll look at why varicose veins are one of the hidden costs of lockdown and what you can do to ease them.

Why are varicose vein cases increasing in lockdown?

The main reason varicose veins are becoming more prominent during lockdown is mostly down to inactivity. Not only does sitting still for long periods increase the risk of developing varicose veins, but it also exasperates the condition in those who already have it.

The legs need regular circulation to remain healthy. If you’ve suddenly become more sedentary, it’s going to increase the pressure on the veins and reduce circulation. Another factor is that patients can’t seek treatment during a lockdown. So, the condition is left to worsen over time.

How can you ease symptoms?

If you are suffering from varicose vein symptoms, there are some things you can try to ease them. Until you can seek proper treatment, the following steps may help to reduce the symptoms:

  • Keeping the legs working
  • Wear compression stockings
  • Keep the feet elevated
  • Moisturise daily

It’s important to move around as much as you can during the day. Keep yourself busy with housework, gardening or by exercising outdoors. Wearing compression stockings can also help to maintain good circulation when you are sitting or standing for long periods.

You’ll also want to keep the legs elevated when you’re still. Ideally, keep them above hip level if you can. Then, finally, moisturising daily can also help to keep the legs in good condition. It retains elasticity and supports the cells walls, reducing the symptoms.

Our treatment facilities are currently due to reopen sometime in July. In the meantime, we have established a telemedicine clinic which enables Cornwall Vein Clinic to carry out your out-patient consultation by secure video link.

This means that you can have your varicose veins assessed without attending a hospital clinic so that you are in a position to have your treatment as soon as facilities are available. For more information, call 01872 308520 or email enquiries@cornwallveinclinic.com.

varicose veins faqs

Varicose Vein FAQ

Varicose veins are an extremely common health problem. However, despite how prevalent they are, few patients know much, if anything, about them. Here’s everything you need to know about varicose veins in a handy FAQ format, but get in touch if you’d have more questions – in advance of our clinic reopening in July, we are offering video consultations for new patients.

What are varicose veins?

Varicose veins are characterised as bulging veins which can be seen on the surface of the legs. However, they can also occur on other parts of the body too. They are said to affect around 30% of the population and for the most part, they aren’t dangerous. However, they do need to be treated, otherwise they will get worse and potentially cause serious health concerns.

What are the symptoms?

There are a number of symptoms associated with varicose veins. Some patients don’t experience any symptoms at all, while others suffer from severe symptoms that impact their quality of life. The main symptoms of varicose veins include:

  • Bulging veins
  • Itchiness
  • Pain or soreness
  • Heaviness
  • Ulcers

Itchiness and soreness are the most common symptoms experienced. Ulcers occur in more severe cases, caused when the condition is left untreated for too long. The nutrition within the skin becomes damaged and starts to deteriorate. This in turn causes the ulcers.

What treatments are available?

These days, there is a wide range of treatments available for varicose veins. Traditionally, vein stripping was the only option where the veins were surgically removed. While this is still an option for severe cases, most can be treated with minimally invasive procedures. These include:

The most popular form of treatment tends to be endovenous laser ablation. However, the treatment suitable for you will depend upon the severity of the condition, your medical history and personal preferences.

Do I need to see a specialist?

The NHS used to offer varicose vein treatments, though most have now taken the condition off their list of treatments. Therefore, if you want to seek treatment, you will need to book a consultation at a specialist clinic.

At Cornwall Vein Clinic, we offer a wide range of treatment options. During your consultation, we will assess the condition and recommend the best form of treatment. You can also ask us any questions you may have prior to the procedure.

If you’re suffering from varicose veins, don’t leave them to worsen. Contact us today to book a video consultation.

Telemedicine at the Cornwall Vein Clinic

New telemedicine information from Cornwall Vein Clinic

In response to the changes to daily routines that are now required as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, Mr Woodburn is now offering remote telemedicine consultations at the Cornwall Vein Clinic. This will mean that patients can still see a specialist and discuss their condition and potential treatment options with them, without having to leave their home.

Find out more about our Telemedicine Measures and how we plan to keep you safe.

If you have any further questions, call us on 01872 308 520.

 

benefits of Clarivein

New trial finds benefits of Mechanochemical Ablation for varicose veins

A new randomised trial has revealed that Mechanochemical Ablation can offer more benefits than EVLA for varicose veins. Currently, EVLA (Endovenous Laser Ablation) is considered one of the most effective varicose vein treatments. However, the results of this new study could change the way practitioners treat the condition.

Here, we’ll look at what the new study revealed and what Mechanochemical Ablation entails.

Understanding the study

The study enlisted 100 patients who had been diagnosed with primary varicose veins. There were numerous exclusion criteria included in the study, preventing certain patients from taking part. Those who were pregnant, had an active or healed ulcer, and a history of superficial thrombophlebitis were just some of the patients excluded.

The 100 patients included in the study were randomly separated into two treatment groups. One received EVLA treatment, while the other received Mechanochemical Ablation treatment.

All of the patients had an ultrasound assessment of the vascular system and completed a Chronic Venous Insufficiency Questionnaire. After the treatment, follow up appointments were provided after one week, a month, six months and one year. Both treatments proved a success for all patients. However, those who received Mechanochemical Ablation experienced reduced operative time and fewer complications after the procedure.

What is Mechanochemical Ablation?

Mechanochemical Ablation, also known as Clarivein, is actually performed in a very similar way to EVLA. The only difference is that it doesn’t use heat. The procedure involves inserting a rotating catheter into the vein, alongside a sclerosant drug. This effectively closes the vein and it takes around an hour in total to perform.

It only requires a local anaesthetic, so you’ll be able to return home the same day. You will be required to wear compression stockings for around one week after the surgery. An ultrasound scan will also need to be carried out within 1-2 weeks of the procedure.

What are the risks?

There are very few risks associated with Mechanochemical Ablation. The main ones include a risk of infection, allergic reaction, non-closure of the vein and blood clots. However, the majority of patients experience very minimal side effects after the treatment.

Mechanochemical Ablation is an effective varicose vein treatment. This recent study shows its benefits over EVLA, helping healthcare professionals and patients make a more informed choice over the best course of treatment.

For more information on the benefits of Clarivein, call us on 01872 308 520 and book an appointment at the Cornwall Vein Clinic.

varicose vein treatment recovery

What is the recovery like after varicose vein treatment?

If you have been told you need to undergo varicose vein treatment, it’s common to wonder what the recovery process will involve. While your recovery will largely depend upon the procedure you undergo, the majority of treatments we offer at the Cornwall Vein Clinic offer a quick and painless recovery.

Here you’ll discover more about the recovery process after varicose vein treatment and what you can expect.

How long does it take to recover from varicose vein treatment?

The exact recovery time will depend upon the type of varicose vein treatment you have undergone. If you are having EVLA treatment, patients usually find they can return to work within approximately three days. If you are having the veins stripped, on the other hand, you can expect to experience issues with mobility for up to 28 days.

The less invasive the treatment, the shorter the recovery will be. You will be told what to expect in terms of recovery timeline when you attend your consultation.

Will I need pain relief?

After treatment, it’s common to experience a little pain and discomfort. Any bruising and swelling should resolve within one to two weeks. If you do experience pain and discomfort, you can take 400mg of Ibuprofen every 6-8 hours. Alternatively, you could take Tylenol, around 500mg every 12 hours.

If pain medication isn’t helping, you should contact the surgeon for assistance.

How long do I need to wait before I can exercise?

Typically, you won’t have to wait too long to return to normal activities. You’ll be able to start exercising within 7 to 10 days. Ideally, you should avoid lifting anything heavier than 20lbs until this period too. You can partake in a modified workout program, though it is best to consult the surgeon who will advise you on what exercises you can do, and when you can do them.

What can I expect from the recovery?

There are a few things you can expect to experience throughout the recovery. For example, you may feel a tight sensation along the treated vein. This will resolve itself over time and it is completely normal. You may also notice inflammation and tender, hardened knots in the treated area. Your surgeon will discuss the side effects and what to expect during your consultation.

One of the common misconceptions regarding varicose vein treatment is that it is painful, and recovery can be lengthy, but new techniques and developments in technology means it is now usually fast and relatively pain-free. Call us on 01872 308 520 to discuss your treatment options at the Cornwall Vein Clinic.

VenaSeal recommended treatment

NICE recommends innovative varicose veins treatment

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), has recently recommended an innovative varicose vein treatment. Cyanoacrylate glue occlusion is being recommended as one of the best treatments for varicose veins.

Here, we’ll look at why this innovative treatment has been given a NICE seal of approval.

What is Cyanoacrylate glue occlusion?

Cyanoacrylate glue occlusion is a keyhole treatment for varicose veins. It works by sticking the walls of varicose veins together, effectively closing them off.

A tube is placed into the vein near the knee, passing through to the great saphenous vein via ultrasound. The glue is then inserted into the affected vein through the tube. What’s great about this treatment is it reduces the need for multiple anaesthetics to be provided. It also offers a much shorter recovery time than some alternative treatment options, with stockings and bandages not typically required.

This type of treatment has been available for a while now, but it has only recently received a recommendation from NICE. This is because, up until now, there has been very little research into its side effects and effectiveness. Now, patients can opt for this innovative treatment in the reassurance that it does come recommended by NICE.

It is also commonly known as VenaSeal in the UK and it is the only treatment option to use medical glue to close the veins.

Understanding VenaSeal treatment

VenaSeal treatment is one of simplest and effective way to treat varicose veins. While it does come with complications like any type of treatment, it doesn’t have the same level of risk as heated treatments, such as nerve damage and skin burns.

The recovery is minimal, with most patients able to return to their normal activities the same day. This is because less anaesthetic is used, it is a minimally invasive procedure and you won’t need any pre-treatment drugs.

This innovative treatment is one of the best procedures available to treat varicose veins. However, it is worth noting that it isn’t suitable for all patients. Book a consultation with a vein specialist now to determine the best course of treatment for your varicose veins.

does weight lifting cause varicose veins

Does weightlifting cause varicose veins?

Varicose veins can be caused by a number of factors. Genetics, being female, old age and being overweight can all increase your risk of developing the condition. In some cases, excessive exercise has also been linked as a risk factor.

For those who enjoy weightlifting, there is some concern over whether it too can trigger varicose veins. So, can you get the condition through weightlifting? Here, you’ll discover everything you need to know.

Can varicose veins be caused by weightlifting?

While it’s a common belief that weightlifting causes varicose veins, this isn’t actually true. Instead, what happens is the veins often bulge out after a weightlifting session due to the strain placed upon them throughout the exercise.

The bulging you see in the veins after a workout is temporary. It occurs due to the fact that extra blood is pumped to the muscles during exercise. The veins in the body need gravity to pump the blood back to the heart. During exercise, it may take longer for the blood to be pumped back to the heart, causing a temporary build-up of blood in the veins. This is what causes them to bulge outwards.

So, weightlifting doesn’t tend to cause varicose veins, but this could change if you’re lifting weights that are too heavy.

The danger of lifting heavier weights

The only time weightlifting could link to the development of varicose veins is if you are lifting really heavy weights. This puts severe demand on the muscles, in turn putting extra demand onto the veins. The pressure within the venous system can also be increased due to heavier weights, which over time can weaken the vein walls.

However, varicose veins will still only typically develop in those predisposed to the condition. Provided you only lift weights you can handle, it shouldn’t lead to the development of varicose veins.

So, those bulging veins you notice after a workout aren’t varicose veins. They are temporary and will usually subside once the body is fully rested. Varicose veins, on the other hand, are permanent. They won’t go away, and they’ll worsen over time.

If you do suspect you have varicose veins, it’s important to get them treated. Book a consultation with a vein specialist to determine the cause and severity of the condition. This will help to determine the type of treatment required to clear them up.

diet and varicose veins

Eating your way to better vein health

While varicose veins aren’t always preventable, there are ways to lower the risk. One way to protect yourself against vascular disease is to pay attention to your diet.

Here, we’ll look at how what you eat can impact vein health and the top foods you can add to your daily diet to reduce the risk of vein troubles.

The role of antioxidants in vein health

Oxidation can prove problematic for the veins. When molecules and oxygen mix in the body, it causes the function and structure of the molecules to change. This can lead to the development of free radicals, which can encourage plaque rupture, blood clots and atherosclerosis.

Antioxidants are used to fight off free radicals in the body. So, by eating a diet rich in antioxidants, you can reduce these risks to vein health.

Could the Mediterranean Diet be key?

The Mediterranean Diet has long been advertised for its health benefits. Due to its high antioxidant content, it’s unsurprising that it is often recommended for enhanced vein health.

Skinless poultry, fish, whole grains, vegetables and low-fat dairy are the main staples of the diet. Although it can’t guarantee you won’t develop varicose veins if you follow it, the diet certainly has vein health benefits that can’t be ignored.

What foods should varicose vein sufferers avoid?

When overhauling your diet, it’s not just a case of what you should eat for better vein health, but also which food groups to avoid. Refined carbs should be avoided and you should opt for complex carbohydrates such as brown rice and oats. Regular alcohol consumption can contribute to the formation and worsening of varicose veins. Foods that are high in sodium should also be limited as high levels of sodium in the blood causes the body to retain more water, putting more pressure on the veins.

Seeking treatment for varicose veins

While increasing the amount of antioxidant-rich foods in your diet can help reduce the chances of developing venous disease, it doesn’t eliminate the risk entirely. If you do suspect you have varicose veins, it’s important to seek treatment.

It’s also important to note that you can’t use a healthy diet to eliminate varicose veins if they do develop. It may be used as a preventative measure, but it won’t clear up existing venous disease issues.

There are a lot of effective varicose vein treatments out there. Some are even minimally invasive, capable of being carried out in your lunch hour. The earlier you get them treated, the less invasive the treatment will need to be. Venous disease worsens if it is left untreated so seeking a diagnosis and treatment plan early will prevent further issues caused by the condition. For more advice on the management and treatment of varicose veins, call 01872 308 520 to book a consultation at the Cornwall Vein Clinic.

varicose vein treatment timing

Knowing when is the right time to treat varicose veins

Do you suffer from varicose veins? Often considered a merely cosmetic issue, it’s common for patients to hold off seeking treatment. However, what many don’t realise is that varicose veins often become worse if they aren’t treated. For many men and women, venous disease will continue to progress over time, often leading to unpleasant symptoms.

Here, we’ll look at some of the most common varicose vein symptoms that could be telling you it’s time to seek advice from a varicose vein specialist.

There is a change in the aesthetics of the leg

One of the key signs it’s time to treat your varicose veins is if you start to notice aesthetic changes to the veins and/or leg. It could be that the veins have started to bulge out more, the colour of the surrounding skin has changed, or the skin may have become cracked and dry.

Any changes in the appearance of the veins or the skin should be looked into. So, keep an eye on the aesthetics and seek treatment if things do start to change.

Your legs are becoming tired and sore

Many people mistakenly think that varicose veins are just a cosmetic issue. However, they can become painful. You may find your legs start to ache and feel sore after walking. You may also notice they become a lot more tired over time.

If varicose veins are causing you any discomfort, that alone is a sign that they need to be treated.

Development of ulcers

One of the more serious complications to watch out for is the development of ulcers. These tend to occur during the more advanced stages of the condition. You’ll find they most commonly develop around the ankles and they take a long time to heal. Once you start to develop them, you’ll also find they re-occur frequently too.

These are just some of the signs it’s time to treat those varicose veins. However, even with no symptoms, it’s still important to seek treatment. This is because venous disease worsens if it isn’t treated. So, while you may not have any current symptoms, if you leave it too long, you’ll start to develop them.

There are so many great treatment options available these days, so why put up with varicose veins when they can be easily eliminated? Book a consultation today at Cornwall Vein Clinic and discover which treatment option would work best for you. Call 01872 308 520 to book an appointment.

dangerous varicose veins

How to Spot Potentially Dangerous Varicose Veins

Our veins play a crucial role in our health. However, like all parts of the body, they can develop numerous issues in their lifetime. Varicose veins are a very common, yet embarrassing condition which is largely associated as a cosmetic issue. However, if left untreated, they can also become potentially dangerous.

So, how do you know whether you have dangerous varicose veins? Here, you’ll discover how to spot them and when to get them treated.

Symptoms of potentially dangerous varicose veins

Most varicose veins are harmless, although if left they do have the potential to turn dangerous. The good news is, there are numerous symptoms you can watch out for to determine whether you need to seek immediate treatment.

The most common signs your varicose veins may be dangerous include:

  • If there is pain or swelling in and around the vein
  • Redness/discolouration around the area
  • Aching or throbbing in the affected area

While these symptoms don’t necessarily point to your varicose veins being dangerous, they can be a sign to watch out for. At the very least, these symptoms make life so much more unpleasant when you’re dealing with them on a daily basis.

The importance of seeking a diagnosis

Regardless of whether or not you experience the symptoms above, if you suspect you have varicose veins it is crucial to have them assessed. Booking a consultation with a vein specialist can help identify varicose veins and the best course of treatment.

All varicose veins have the potential to turn dangerous. So, it makes sense to have them treated as quickly as possible. That way, you’ll rectify the problem before it has a chance to negatively impact your health. The earlier you seek help for your veins, the less invasive the treatment is going to be too.

Understanding your treatment options

To prevent varicose veins becoming a more serious issue, having them treated is highly recommend. There are a lot of different treatments available these days including Endovenous Laser Ablation, VNUS Closure and Ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy treatment.

At your consultation, you will be advised which type of treatment will work best for you. You may just be surprised by how fast and painless these treatments can be. So, if you’re concerned about your varicose veins, book a consultation at the Cornwall Vein Clinic today.