autumn varicose vein treatments

Why Autumn is the Perfect Time to Treat Varicose Veins

For those living with varicose veins, it can be an embarrassing and frustrating condition. Many sufferers feel so self-conscious over their bulging veins, that it affects their day to day life. Some may avoid wearing certain types of clothing for example or avoid activities such as swimming.

If you’ve been suffering with varicose veins, autumn is a great time to get them treated. Here, we’ll look at why this changing season is the best time to seek treatment.

You can hide the treatment

One of the biggest reason’s autumn is the perfect time to treat varicose veins is because you can hide the treatment. While many types of varicose vein treatments are fast and painless, they can lead to bruising and swelling. This can last days, weeks or months depending upon the treatment and a number of other factors.

Autumn is a time where we start to cover the legs up to protect them from the cold. So, if you’re looking for a time to treat the condition where you won’t have to worry about showing off your legs, autumn is a great option.

It gives you plenty of time to recover

It can take quite a while to see the overall results of varicose vein treatment. While improvements may be noticed immediately, full results may not show for months. This is especially true if you are having larger veins treated. It is estimated larger veins take around three to four months to see results.

As you don’t have to worry about showing off the legs until summer, having treatment in autumn gives you plenty of time to recover.

Compression stockings are more comfortable

After most types of varicose vein treatment, compression stockings can be worn for support and to reduce swelling. In summer, these can be really uncomfortable. The stockings keep the legs warmer, making them ideal for use in autumn. Of course, autumn fashion also helps to cover up the stockings, keeping the treatment hidden.

These are just a few of the reasons why autumn is the best time to seek varicose vein treatment. While it can be tempting to put it off, the earlier you seek treatment for your varicose veins, the better. If you want to keep the treatment hidden and experience great results in time for summer, call 01872 308 520 to book a consultation with a vein specialist now.

varicose vein myths

5 Myths About Varicose Veins You Shouldn’t Believe

Varicose veins are one of the most common, yet surprisingly misunderstood conditions. There are a lot of myths surrounding the condition and how it should be treated. Here, you’ll discover 5 myths about varicose veins you shouldn’t believe.

  1. Varicose veins are just cosmetic

This is potentially the most dangerous myth in circulation. Varicose veins have long been considered a cosmetic issue, but they can cause severe health problems too. When left untreated, they worsen over time potentially leading to blood clot development in the legs. They can also be really uncomfortable to deal with.

  1. Crossing your legs can cause them

Years ago, patients were advised to not cross their legs because doctors believed the pressure on the calf caused varicose veins to develop. However, experts now know this isn’t a cause, but the myth still remains. So, don’t worry, crossing your legs isn’t going to lead to varicose veins!

  1. Surgery is your only treatment option

Surgery did used to be the only treatment option, but these days you’ll find a wide range of varicose vein treatments available. Some are non-invasive and very fast to perform. You have injections, laser treatment and glue inserted into the vein for example. Surgery is used for severe cases only.

  1. Massage can eliminate them

As varicose veins are often thought to be caused by poor circulation, massage is often seen as a great way to eliminate them. However, the truth is that most varicose veins aren’t caused by poor circulation. This means attempting to treat them with massage isn’t going to work. In fact, in some cases it could lead to clotting. So, it’s best to seek proper treatment.

  1. Pregnancy can cause them

A lot of pregnant women appear to develop varicose veins. However, they aren’t caused by the pregnancy. Those who do experience varicose veins in pregnancy have generally had the problem for some time. However, it only becomes more noticeable during pregnancy, which is what leads to the confusion.

These are just a small handful of the myths surrounding varicose veins you should be aware of. If you do suspect you have them, it is important to book a consultation with an experienced varicose vein specialist. They will be able to advise you of the treatments available to eliminate them.

benefits of compression stockings after varicose vein removal

New Study Reviews Effectiveness of Compression Garments After Varicose Vein Removal

A new study has looked into the effectiveness of compression garments after varicose vein removal. Commonly worn by patients, particularly with mild venous disease, compression garments are widely considered beneficial.

So, what did this new study find and are compression garments effective after varicose vein removal?

Understanding the study

The new randomised controlled trial was carried out by the Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust. It revealed that patient reported outcomes after undergoing radiofrequency ablation, was no better with compression support than it was without it.

The trouble with this new study is that it focuses on simple truncal ablation without phlebectomies. Most are actually carried out with phlebectomies simultaneously, or at least with thread vein injections. In these cases, compression garments can aid in recovery as they can improve comfort and reduce visible bruising. They can also prevent bleeding after undergoing phlebectomies.

So, while the new study showed no real improvement in those who wore compression garments, it was a limited study focusing on one type of treatment.

What are compression garments?

Also known as compression stockings, compression garments are basically a type of elastic hosiery. They are worn on the legs, helping to promote good circulation and preventing numerous health conditions.

They are designed to produce consistent pressure, helping the valves of the veins to function better. You will usually be advised to wear them to make the legs more comfortable before and after undergoing varicose vein treatment.

Should I wear them?

If your varicose vein specialist has advised you to wear compression stockings, then you absolutely should wear them. While they aren’t going to necessarily improve the outcome of the treatment, they can make the legs much more comfortable. They are mostly used as a form of relief, rather than as a treatment option by themselves.

So, while this new study may show compression garments don’t always help to improve the outcome, they do still have their benefits. In fact, they can work wonders for eliminating pain and discomfort.

recurrent varicose veins

Why Do Some Varicose Veins Reoccur After Treatment?

Your varicose veins may have been troubling you for many years and, once you’ve made the decision to go ahead with treatment, the hope is that they will be permanently removed. However, for some patients, varicose veins can reoccur, and estimates vary as to how many people may be affected.

Causes of recurrent varicose veins

There are several reasons why your varicose veins may come back.

  • The wrong veins were treated initially
  • The right vein was targeted but the wrong procedure was employed to remove them
  • Lifestyle factors can trigger the develop of further varicose veins
  • New varicose veins have formed since or other veins that were faulty have worsened and become noticeable over time

1. Treating the wrong vein

Understanding which vein may be faulty – the great saphenous vein (GSV), small saphenous vein (SSV), accessory saphenous vein (AASV), pelvic varicose veins, incompetent perforating veins and other abnormal veins can be responsible for varicose veins – or even a combination of veins that require treatment, is obviously essential

Ultrasound imaging is now much more advanced, and this technology, performed by an experienced vein specialist, will identify which vein require treatment.

2. The wrong varicose vein treatment was used

Veins are connective tissue and the body works to repair any damage normally, so this can be why varicose veins can reoccur even after they are treated.

Choosing an experienced vascular surgeon that can recommend the most appropriate treatment is essential.

3. Lifestyle factors can play a role

Although genetics are identified as the chief factor in developing varicose veins, other lifestyle factors can cause varicose veins to worsen over time. Obesity and pregnancy can both increase your chances of developing varicose veins in the future.

4. New varicose veins form or worsen

Also, many different veins can experience reflux. Unless all problematic veins are treated, new varicose veins may appear in the future. Typically, if patients suffer from varicose veins, there’s usually a genetic cause and so there are often multiple veins that are problematic at the time of treatment and new varicose veins can develop over time. Thorough imaging prior to treatment can identify any other veins that could cause problems in the near future.

However, if you have chronic varicose veins, due to a strong genetic predisposition, ongoing assessment and treatment may be required.

For more advice on recurrent varicose veins, call 01872 308 520 to arrange a consultation at the Cornwall Vein Clinic.

cycling and varicose veins

Cycling and Varicose Veins

In a bid to fight obesity, the UK government is encouraging more people to cycle to work. The recent coronavirus pandemic has also led to an increase in cyclists, as people look for safer, alternative transport.

While cycling can do wonders for the body, it has been linked to the development of varicose veins for many years. Here, we’ll look at how cycling can impact varicose veins and why treatment should be sought as early as possible.

How does cycling impact varicose veins?

What many vein experts have seen over the years, is that cyclists often have worse veins than other patients. The exact reasons for this are unknown. However, it could be down to the veins becoming more prominent due to cyclists experiencing increased venous return; causing the veins to dilate.

There has also been an observation that cyclists suffer with a different type of varicose vein known as perforator veins. These are the veins that pump blood through the muscles, rather than just under the skin. This type of varicose vein in cyclists is thought to be caused by the added pressure placed onto the calf muscles.

A lower body fat and the wearing of specially designed cycle apparel can mean that cyclists feel their veins are more prominent and noticeable, causing them to seek treatment.

Currently, there is no scientific evidence to link varicose veins to cyclists. However, there does appear to be an association between them.

Can you prevent the risks?

Unfortunately, preventing varicose veins isn’t always possible. Varicose veins aren’t necessarily caused by cycling itself. The main risk factor of developing the condition is genetics. So, if your mother or father had them for example, you’ll have an increased risk of developing them yourself.

Cycling is actually great for the body. It’s benefits far outweigh its potential risks and it can actually improve the condition by ensuring plenty of blood is pumped back up to the heart. It is generally only after you are resting you will experience the symptoms of varicose veins, not while you are cycling.

Why seeking treatment for varicose veins is essential

Whatever the cause of your varicose veins, it is important to get them treated quickly. When left, varicose veins tend to worsen. In severe cases, they can cause blood clots to form, causing potentially deadly consequences.

Varicose vein treatment is quick and practically painless. There are a lot of different treatments available, including minimally invasive procedures. Book a consultation today to see which treatment would work best for your varicose veins.

varicose veins and restless legs

Varicose Veins and Restless Legs

Did you know there is a link between varicose veins and restless legs? It isn’t uncommon for patients to suffer from both conditions at the same time. The question is, how are the conditions connected and will you always develop one alongside the other?

Here, you’ll discover everything you need to know about varicose veins and restless legs.

What are varicose veins and Restless Leg Syndrome?

Varicose veins are enlarged, swollen veins. They largely occur in the legs and feet but can also develop in other areas of the body. They are noticeable through the skin and they can cause other symptoms such as aching, pain and uncomfortable feet, legs or ankles.

Restless legs are also referred to as Restless Leg Syndrome. It affects the nerves of the legs, causing them to twitch and move the legs, particularly at night. The condition can also cause symptoms such as aching, burning and swelling of the legs.

What is the link between these two conditions?

Varicose veins have been linked to restless legs. However, they don’t necessarily cause Restless Leg Syndrome. Instead, they can cause patients to move their legs more at night due to uncomfortable symptoms.

The symptoms of the two conditions can also be remarkably similar. For example, both can cause the legs to swell, ache and present a burning sensation. So, if you have both conditions, the symptoms could become unbearable.

What treatments are available?

The good news is there are treatments available. As varicose veins are typically the source of discomfort, it is a good idea to get them treated as quickly as possible. The earlier you seek treatment, the less invasive it is likely to be.

There are lots of varicose vein treatments available today and many of them are non-invasive. This means they are also quick to carry out. You won’t necessarily need any downtime depending upon the treatment.

If after treating your varicose veins you still have restless legs, you’ll need to seek treatment for that too. However, most of the time patients find that once they have treated the veins, their restless legs automatically reduce.

varicose veins in men

Varicose Veins in Men

Varicose veins are often associated with women. However, did you know they can affect men too? A lot of men develop the condition at some time in their lives and it causes just as much embarrassment and discomfort as it does for women.

James Blunt is the latest male celebrity to reveal he has undergone varicose vein treatment. His story follows a little after radio DJ Chris Evans shared his experiences of varicose vein treatment.

Here, you’ll discover everything you need to know about varicose veins in men.

Varicose veins are common in men

Varicose veins are more common in men than you might realise. The condition is said to affect approximately 10% to 15% of men over the age of 15 in the UK. However, the actual number could be higher than this given that most men don’t seek treatment.

While it doesn’t take the issue away, knowing you aren’t alone can help. It also shows that due to how common the condition is, there is a lot of information out there, alongside effective treatments to eliminate the issue.

They aren’t just a cosmetic issue

One of the main reasons why men don’t always get varicose veins treated is because they think they are purely a cosmetic issue. However, while this is true in the beginning, when left untreated varicose veins can cause a range of problems.

In the most severe cases, varicose veins can cause blood clots which can travel up to the heart. This can lead to an obstruction, resulting in death. Obviously, this is the worst-case scenario and it is rare. However, the risk is there. The condition worsens over time so it’s best to get it treated as soon as possible.

The importance of effective treatment

If you do suspect you are suffering from varicose veins you should make an appointment with a specialist. The NHS stopped providing varicose vein treatment, so a specialist is the only option. However, you’ll find that specialists also have the best treatment options available.

At the Cornwall Vein Clinic, we have a range of innovative treatments on offer. During your consultation, the best course of treatment will be identified. You’ll find many are non-invasive and could even be carried out during your lunch break. Book a consultation today to start the process of eliminating your varicose veins.

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.