varicose veins consultation

Which treatment option works best for varicose veins?

These days, there’s a huge range of varicose vein treatments available. We’ve come a long way from the days where vein stripping was the only option. With many minimally-invasive treatments now on offer, patients are spoilt for choice over how to eliminate their varicose vein issues.

The question is, are some treatments better than others? Here, we’ll look at which treatment option works best for varicose veins.

Study suggests laser ablation could be best

Recently, researchers from the University of Glasgow have revealed that laser ablation tends to be the most effective treatment for varicose veins. Surgery also came close, but it’s the minimally invasive procedures which really shone through.

It’s important to note here that the procedures deemed the best in the study were based on patient satisfaction reported five years after treatment.

The importance of undergoing a varicose veins consultation

Although laser ablation was found to be one of the best treatment options available, it may not be suitable for all patients.

Varicose veins can vary significantly in severity. This means that different treatments work better on different patients. This makes it crucial for patients to undergo a consultation before choosing a treatment option.

A vein specialist will be able to assess the condition and establish the most effective course of treatment. In severe cases, surgery may be the only option to permanently rectify the condition.

Are varicose vein treatments permanent?

The majority of varicose vein treatments will permanently destroy or close off the affected vein. However, what many patients don’t realise is that the condition can re-occur in a different vein.

So, while your existing varicose veins may be treated, it’s not guaranteed you won’t develop the condition again in a different vein. If you’re looking to eliminate your varicose veins, book a varicose veins consultation with the Cornwall Vein Clinic today.

pregnancy and varicose veins

Varicose veins and pregnancy

Along with swollen ankles, haemorrhoids and hair loss, varicose veins are one of the many less than pleasant side effects of pregnancy. Although usually harmless, they are very common in pregnant women, and like any medical condition, it’s important to keep an eye on them so they do not result in more serious complications.

Inside your veins are tiny valves that open one way, letting the blood through and then closing to prevent the blood flowing backwards. Varicose veins develop when the walls of the veins become stretched and less elastic and the valves weaken. If blood collects in the veins, they can become swollen and enlarged.

During pregnancy, the growing uterus puts extra pressure on your veins, causing varicose veins to develop. The hormonal changes that occur in pregnancy, such as an increased level of the hormone progesterone that dilates the veins, can also contribute to a worsening of existing varicose veins or the development of new ones.

Each pregnancy puts you at greater risk and older mothers are more prone to developing them. Genetics also play a role and if your own mother or grandmothers suffer from varicose veins then you are likely to develop them at some point and pregnancy is often the catalyst. In fact, it’s thought that about 28% of women who didn’t have varicose veins before pregnancy will experience them at some point before birth.

In most cases, varicose veins will not cause any significant problems but towards the end of your pregnancy, it’s common to suffer from insomnia and aching or itching legs due to varicose veins can contribute to this. So, is there anything you can do to prevent pregnancy-related varicose veins and what are your treatment options?

Preventing varicose veins during pregnancy

It’s not usually possible to prevent varicose veins forming, particularly if you are genetically susceptible. However, you can help with the symptoms by trying to limit the time you spend standing and wear compression garments if you find yourself on your feet for longer periods of time due to your job.

Lying on your left side, keeping the legs elevated as much as possible and not crossing them can also help. Regular, light exercise has many pregnancy-related benefits including helping to relieve pressure on the legs and improve blood flow.

There are a number of minimally-invasive treatment options available. You’ll usually be advised to wait till after pregnancy as the appearance of the veins and any associated symptoms can improve greatly after childbirth. However, if your baby is starting to reach important milestones and you’re still suffering, then call 01872 226100 to arrange a consultation at the Cornwall Vein Clinic.

stages of varicose veins

Understanding the different stages of varicose veins

Varicose veins have long been considered a simple, harmless cosmetic issue. However, in recent years, experts have been pushing to educate patients on the severity of the condition.

There are numerous stages of varicose veins, and the longer the condition is left untreated, the worse it will become. Understanding these different stages can give you a good indication of when varicose veins need to be treated. While early treatment is always recommended, below you’ll discover which stage of the disease you’ll absolutely want to seek help to prevent serious complications.

How do varicose veins progress?

Varicose veins progress through different stages. Initially, they start out as spider veins. They can then develop into Reticular varicose veins, before progressing to venous nodes. Stage 4 is when they turn into Chronic Venous Insufficiency, before finally developing into Trophic ulcers or varicose eczema.

It’s worth noting that not everyone will experience the progression from stage 1-5. However, it is a possibility.

At what stage should you seek treatment?

Ideally, you’ll want to seek treatment as early as possible. So, if you notice spider veins or Reticular varicose veins, that’s the ideal time to seek treatment. This is because the earlier you seek treatment, the easier it is to eliminate the veins. It’s also much better for your health if you can prevent the problem from becoming serious.

You’ll especially want to seek treatment if you’ve experienced any changes within the veins. Are they more painful or prominent? If so, it’s a clear sign they’re starting to progress into the later stages of the condition.

What varicose veins treatment options are available?

There are lots of treatment options available for varicose veins today. These include Endovenous laser treatment, micro sclerotherapy and treatment for venous ulcers. The type of treatment required will depend upon the severity of the condition, along with numerous other factors.

If you are worried about your varicose veins, book a consultation with one of our vein specialists today. After an initial diagnosis, a treatment plan will be recommended. Remember, the earlier you seek treatment, the less invasive it will be.

varicose vein remedies

Amazon promoting unproven varicose veins remedies

Online eCommerce giant Amazon has recently come under fire for promoting unproven remedies to treat conditions such as varicose veins. The shocking remedies, containing bizarre ingredients such as saliva from rabid dogs, highlight just how unregulated the products sold by the internet giant are.

Experts are branding the site irresponsible for not checking what these remedies actually are. So, what’s the harm in these remedies and could they actually work?

Could unusual remedies help tackle varicose veins?

One of the main bizarre remedies listed on Amazon to treat varicose veins is Lac Caninum. A homoeopathic treatment derived from dog’s milk, it is also listed as being able to treat a wide range of serious medical conditions. The question is, do these bizarre treatments actually work?

While some homoeopathic remedies can help to reduce the symptoms of varicose veins, these extreme remedies aren’t one of them. If anything, treatments which contain bizarre ingredients could prove more harmful to your health.

Varicose veins are basically weakened or damaged veins, and no homoeopathic remedy can fix that. However, some may be able to reduce itching, swelling and pain which can be caused by the condition.

The importance of seeking proper treatment

Those who do have varicose veins are urged to seek professional treatment. Although they are viewed as a cosmetic issue, when left alone varicose veins have the potential to become a lot worse. In severe cases, they can even prove to be life-threatening.

Therefore, due to how severe the condition can become, it is highly advised against turning to a natural remedy. There are many different minimally invasive treatment options available, such as laser treatment, which can eliminate the condition quickly and effectively. The earlier you seek treatment, the less invasive the treatment will be.

When looking for varicose vein remedies online, it’s important to remember not all of them will be genuine. The bizarre treatments listed on Amazon are just a few of the potentially dangerous remedies circulating the internet. Always seek treatment from a professional varicose vein clinic where you know the treatment you receive is going to be safe and effective.

varicose vein treatment timing

When Should Varicose Veins Be Treated?

It is estimated that around half of our population will suffer from a vein issue at one time in their lives and although commonly thought to be a problem that affects older patients, varicose veins can develop from your 20s onwards.

Varicose veins tend to occur mostly in the legs. Their large bulging appearance can cause a lot of embarrassment and frustration. However, did you know they can also become a serious health complication? Many patients are unsure when to seek varicose vein treatment, if at all.

If you’re worried about your varicose veins, here you’ll discover when to seek treatment.

Could varicose veins disappear by themselves?

Although in very mild cases, varicose veins could appear to have vanished after making lifestyle changes, it’s rare for them to fully disappear. You can control them, but they are usually still there underneath the surface. This is because they are usually caused by weakening or damage to the veins.

If you have moderate to severe varicose veins, they aren’t going to disappear by themselves. It’s also unlikely you’ll be able to reduce them if they are particularly severe.

When is the best time to seek treatment?

If you suspect you have varicose veins, it’s best to seek treatment as early as possible. Even if they are barely visible, treating them early ensures they don’t become worse. Another benefit of seeking early treatment is that you won’t need to undergo invasive procedures.

There are so many different treatment options available now, many of which are minimally invasive. So, if you want to save yourself from invasive surgery, seeking treatment for varicose veins as early as possible is highly recommended.

Warning signs to watch out for

There are some warning signs to watch out for when you’re suffering from varicose veins. If you experience any of the following symptoms, you should seek treatment immediately:

  • Development of a rash or sores on the legs
  • The vein becomes red, swollen, warm and tender to touch
  • Pain
  • Skin colour change around calf and ankle
  • Bleeding of the vein

Even if you don’t experience negative side effects, seeking treatment for varicose veins early is recommended. If you suspect you may have varicose veins, book a consultation with a vein specialist today.

Are men risking their health due to embarrassment of seeking varicose vein treatment?

A recent story published in the Mirror has highlighted the stigma which still exists for men regarding varicose veins. An ex-marine has opened up about his embarrassment to seek treatment for varicose veins while he was actively serving with the troops.

Roderic Yapp put off seeking treatment despite the health risks they posed. If injured, the marine worried he could bleed out from his varicose veins but couldn’t justify taking the time off to seek treatment for a cosmetic issue.

So, are men risking their health due to the embarrassment of seeking varicose vein treatment? Here we’ll look at why so many men still avoid seeking treatment for varicose vein related issues.

What causes men to feel embarrassed over varicose veins?

One of the main reasons a lot of men feel embarrassed to seek treatment for varicose veins is because it’s often talked about as a women’s issue. However, research has discovered that the condition actually affects around 56% of men in Britain. So, it’s far from a women’s only issue.

More education needs to be provided to show men that it is a common and very treatable condition. Just like cosmetic surgery is becoming more acceptable for men, so too should varicose vein treatment.

The importance of seeking treatment

Another reason many men don’t seek treatment for varicose veins is that they feel it’s a purely cosmetic issue. However, if left untreated, varicose veins usually worsen over time. They can lead to a lot of nasty health problems, including potentially deadly blood clots.

So, varicose veins are far from a cosmetic only issue. That’s why it is so important to seek treatment as early as possible. The quicker you get them treated, the sooner they can be eliminated.

Lots of effective treatments now available

There are so many varicose vein treatments available today and many use non-invasive techniques. In fact, if you only have mild varicose veins, it’s possible to get them treated in your lunch break, returning to work right afterwards.

So, if you’re a man suffering from varicose veins, know that you certainly aren’t alone. Seeking treatment now could spare you a lot of health complications and embarrassment in the future. Call 01872 308 520 to find out more.

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