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26/Sep/2017

A venous leg ulcer is a sore on the leg that takes a long time to heal, usually more than four to six weeks. The most common place for a leg ulcer to appear is in the inside of the leg, just above the ankle.
Those suffering from a leg ulcer may experience pain, swelling of the affected area, and itching. The skin around the leg ulcer may also harden and become discoloured. A bad-smelling odour may also be produced from the ulcer.
The most common type of leg ulcer is the venous leg ulcer, which account for more than 90% of all leg ulcer cases. Venous leg ulcers are more common in elderly people, and it is estimated that around 1 in 50 people aged 80 or above, suffer with leg ulcers.
How to treat and manage venous leg ulcers
With the right treatment, leg ulcers can be treated effectively. Some of the key steps of leg ulcer management include:
• Seeing a professionally trained healthcare specialist to diagnose the wound and provide advice on causes and treatment
• Once diagnosed, the affected area will need to be cleaned and dressed. The cleaning and dressing of the ulcer will remove dead tissue and other debris from the wound, creating the best conditions for the ulcer to heal.
• Compression stockings and bandages are typically applied to the venous leg ulcer in order to support the wound and improve the blood flow in the legs by squeezing the legs and encouraging the blood to flow towards the heart.
• Pain killers may be prescribed. The pain however should begin to lessen when the leg ulcer starts to heal.
• Antibiotics may also be prescribed in cases where in leg ulcer has become infected. However, it is important to note that antibiotics don’t help leg ulcers to heal but will help the body fight the infection.
Exploring the underlying cause of the venous leg ulcer
Whilst the careful management of a leg ulcer by a healthcare professional will successfully heal the sore, unless the underlying cause of the condition is addressed, patients are at risk of the leg ulcer returning.
Some of the most common reasons as to why venous leg ulcers appear, include obesity, varicose veins, immobility and age.
People can reduce the risk of being susceptible to venous leg ulcer by exercising regularly, wearing compression stockings, elevating their legs when possible and losing weight if they are overweight.
If you require treatment for venous leg ulcers, get in touch with the Vascular Consultancy, specialists in the diagnose and treatment of vascular conditions.


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26/Sep/2017

It is not uncommon for women to experience varicose veins whilst they are pregnant. This is because of the growing uterus, which puts pressure on the large vein on the right-hand side of the body, known as the interior vena cava. The pressure on this large vein puts additional burden on the veins in the legs.
Not only this but when a woman is pregnant, the amount of blood in her body increases, which can also put additional pressure on the veins. Progesterone levels also rise during pregnancy, which causes the walls of the blood vessels to relax. These factors can contribute to varicose veins developing within pregnant women. Or for women who already suffer from varicose veins, pregnancy can exacerbate the condition.
Whilst unsightly, varicose veins are usually not harmful, and are just another bodily burden many expectant ladies are forced to endure.
That said, there are certain strategies mums-to-be can take to help minimise the effects of varicose veins in pregnancy.
Get some exercise on a regular basis
It need not be a five-mile run or 50 lengths in the pool, but carrying out some gentle exercise regularly will get the blood pumping round the body and help stave off varicose veins.
As the Baby Centre advises:
“Exercise daily. Even just a brisk walk around the block can help your circulation.”
Watch your weight
It is generally recommended that pregnant women should keep weight gain to around 25 – 35 pounds. Additional weight puts pressure on the body and can overwork an already overworked circulatory system, making you more prone to varicose veins.
Get plenty of vitamins
Vitamins are important for the health of both the mother and her unborn baby. Eating a well-balanced diet full of vitamins will not only help keep a pregnant lady’s weight down but can also help the body repair itself, which can help reduce the risk of varicose veins appearing on the skin. As What To Expect writes in a feature about varicose veins and pregnancy:
“Get your daily dose of vitamins. A balanced pregnancy diet keeps veins healthy. Make sure to eat lots of foods with vitamin C, which your body uses to produce collagen and elastin (connective tissues that repair and maintain blood vessels.)
Elevate the legs
Legs and feet can become tired during pregnancy, especially during the latter stages. Elevating the legs whenever possible, such as putting them on a stool when watching TV in the evening or keeping them on a pillow in bed, will help alleviate tired legs, improve the blood circulation in the legs and stave off varicose veins.
Compression stockings
It might also be a good idea to wear compression stockings. These special support stockings are tighter at the ankle and become looser further up the leg, helping the blood flow back to the heart. With the blood flowing easier, compression stockings can help prevent varicose veins from becoming any worse.
If you are concerned about any aspect of varicose veins during pregnancy, or have had a baby and would like to get varicose veins treated, get in touch with the Vascular Consultancy, experts in the treatment of varicose veins and other vascular conditions.


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26/Sep/2017

Varicose veins do not always require treatment. However, if the veins are causing discomfort or pain, treatment is usually required to ease the symptoms, treat complications associated with varicose veins, such as leg ulcers and swelling of the skin, or for cosmetic reasons.

There are several treatments available for the effective removal of varicose veins. Varicose vein avulsions are the removal of varicosities from the leg by using a special hook via a small nick made to the leg. This varicose veins treatment is sometimes known as phlebectomies.

The procedure involves several tiny incisions made in the skin. The varicose veins are then removed from the surface of the leg with a needle or a small scalpel. A phlebectomy hook at the end of the needle or scalpel removes the vein.
Varicose veins avulsions can be carried out under a general or local anaesthetic, depending on the severity of the varicose veins and the wishes of the patient.

How long is recovery following varicose veins avulsions?

Following a phlebectomies procedure, the affected part of the leg is bandaged and the patient is provided with additional support via support stockings.

Recovery following this procedure is relative quick, typically within a couple of days. It is not uncommon for the affected area to weep slightly following the treatment, especially after bathing the leg. It is also common for the area to be prone to bruising and swelling, which usually settles within a couple of weeks after the treatment.

Benefits of varicose veins avulsions

There are several benefits of varicose veins avulsions as an effective treatment for this vein condition. As a local anaesthetic is usually sufficient in this type of procedure, recovery time is relatively quick with phlebectomies treatment.
As the incisions made to the skin are so minor, suture closures are not typically required.

As Vein Care notes, varicose veins avulsions are considered a more cosmetically acceptable surgical alternative to longer treatments which are employed via injections.

This type of varicose vein treatment can also reduce the risk of hyper pigmentation – brown discolouration – of the skin, as a result of the varicose vein treatment.

Vascular Consultancy offers various treatments for the removal of varicose veins, one of which is the Phlebectomies treatment.

If you would like to discuss treatment for varicose veins and the different procedures available, get in touch with Daryll Baker of the Vascular Consultancy. Daryll Baker is a leading UK specialist in providing advice, diagnosis and treatment for varicose veins and other vascular conditions.


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26/Sep/2017

If you suffer from varicose veins, you might welcome the colder months of winter. Bare legs can be covered with tights or trousers, and bikinis and trunks are certainly out of the question with temperatures rarely reaching double figures! While these unsightly veins on the legs can be conveniently covered up during the winter, the colder season can intensify the condition and amplify some of the problems associated with varicose veins.

Excessive central heating

Now’s the time of year when we turn the dial of thermostat up on the central heating. Although according to a report in the Daily Mail, excessive central heating and underfloor heating can trigger varicose vein flare-ups and make the symptoms worse.

Weight gain in the winter

With Christmas and all the extravagance that goes hand in hand with the festive season, followed by cold, wet weather making us reach for the comforts of the fridge, winter can be a time when weight gain tends to creep up on us.
Unfortunately, for those suffering from varicose veins, weight gain can make the condition worse. In fact, obesity is cited as being a major culprit in the development of varicose veins. This is due to the fact that additional pounds of weight can put pressure on the veins, which results in the larger veins in the legs bulging out more noticeably as the blood pools in the veins.

Lack of exercise

While the warm days of summer and the long, light nights compel many of us to reach for our trainers and embark on exercise regimes, by contrast, the damp, darkness and cold of the winter, makes us want to curl back under the duvet and stay in bed!
This lack of exercise in the winter can have negative consequences on those suffering from varicose veins, as the blood isn’t sufficiently pumped around the body.

In short, adopting a healthy lifestyle, which combines a healthy, well-balanced diet with regular exercise helps us maintain a healthy weight, thus reducing the risk of varicose veins becoming worse due to weight gain.

Some effective exercises to help relieve symptoms caused by varicose veins and prevent the condition from getting worse are leg lifts, calf raises, bicycle legs and side lunges. It is important to note that all of these exercises can be carried out indoors from the convenience of your own living room, giving you no excuse not to exercise, regardless of the season or what the weather’s doing outside!

If you would like any advice about varicose veins, or require a diagnosis of a vascular condition or information about treatments, get in touch with Daryll Baker, one of the UK’s leading vascular consultants.


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26/Sep/2017

Varicose veins are a common condition, which affect at least one in four of us. The onset of these swollen veins, typically in the legs, are more common in women. They are also more likely to occur the older we get.

While there are numerous ways to treat varicose veins, are there any ways of prevent the condition from occurring in the first place?

As Bupa informs, there is no scientific evidence to prove we can prevent varicose veins. However, the following suggestions are regular cited as being sensible precautions to help delay the onset of varicose veins.

Exercising

Undergoing regular exercise, keeping weight under control and the muscles, particularly in the legs, active is associated with keeping the condition at bay. Exercise improves the circulation and keeps the blood flowing around the legs, thus helping to avoid the pooling of the blood.

Low impact exercise, such as riding a bike and swimming, are recommended, as they don’t put the legs under excessive strain.

Refrain from wearing high heels

Wearing the right kind of shoes can be helpful in keeping the condition at bay, relieving symptoms, and keeping varicose veins under control. Unlike high heels, flat shoes enable the calf muscles to fully contract. By enabling the calf muscles to fully contract, flat shoes encourage the blood to circulate more freely through the legs, thus helping to prevent the blood pool in the lower extremities of the legs and cause or worsen varicose veins.

Put your feet up at the end of the day

At the end of a busy day, elevating your legs so they rest at a higher level than your heart for approximately 10 to 15 minutes will help to drain any blood that may have pooled in the legs and cause the varicose veins.

Avoid standing or sitting still for long periods

As the NHS advises, avoiding standing or sitting still for long periods can help ease the symptoms of varicose veins. Generally speaking, we should aim to move around every 30 minutes.

If you are concerned about varicose veins and would like to talk to a leading UK specialist in providing advice, diagnosis, and treatment options for varicose veins, get in contact with Daryll Baker of the Vascular Consultancy today. You can book a consultation with Daryll Baker to discuss treatment for varicose veins here.  


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26/Sep/2017

Leg ulcers are painful and long-lasting sores on the legs, which typically develop just above the ankle on the inside of the leg. The ulcer may be itchy, painful and cause swelling and discolouring of the surrounding area.

The most common type of leg ulcer is a venous leg ulcer, which account for more than 90% of leg ulcer cases. It is estimated that the condition affect approximately 1 in 500 people in Britain. Leg ulcers become much more common as we get older, and affect approximately 1 in 50 people over the age of 80.

The Vascular Consultancy offers effective leg ulcer management. Our comprehensive leg ulcer management programme includes our specialist nursing team cleaning the wound and stimulating the skin, in order to cover the wound. The management programme also involves the treatment of any underlying venous conditions.

The leg ulcer wound is cleaned by a combination of three techniques.

Mechanical cleaning is carried out, which involves our nursing team physically removing the slough.

The chemical cleaning of the wound involves protecting the ulcer with appropriate dressings. The wound must be fully cleaned before the compression dressings can be applied. When the wound is clean, a layer of protective cream is applied.

Our leg ulcer management can include the ankle pulses being checked with a Doppler ultrasound, which check arterial blood supply. If there is any compromise to the arterial blood supply shown by the Doppler ultrasound, compression to the wound should not be applied.

The biological cleaning of the leg ulcer includes using maggots to clean the wound.

The cover of skin applied to the affected area is taken by either waiting for the clean wound to heal naturally or by using a skin graft.

Following treatment and providing the leg ulcer is healed, it is important there is continual compression applied to the affected area by the patient continuing to wear support stockings. This will help reduce the risk of the leg ulcer coming back.

For more information about the Vascular Consultancy’s leg ulcer management, get in touch with our professional, experienced and friendly team.

You can book a consultation to see Daryll Baker, a leading UK specialist in vascular conditions, including leg ulcers.


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26/Sep/2017

Juice therapy is associated with many different aspects of health and wellbeing – losing weight, improving the immune system and aiding clear skin, are just three. Though did you know juice therapy can also be an effective treatment for varicose veins?

Instead of using more invasive methods to treat varicose veins, such as surgery or laser treatment, doctors are beginning to recognise the effectiveness of raw juice therapy for improving the severity of varicose veins.

Varicose veins are caused when valves leak, resulting in blood pooling in the legs. When the veins become engorged with blood, the valves are less efficient. This pooling of blood causes the veins to stretch and bulging and swelling to occur.

The causes of varicose veins range from carrying excess weight, insufficient exercise, standing still for lengthy periods of time and pregnancy.

The abundance of nutrients and vitamins found in raw juice help to strengthen the walls of the veins.  These essential nutrients are effective in breaking down hard protein deposits, which can accumulate in the veins and hinder the flow of blood.

So which fruits and vegetables should be present in raw juice therapy designed to improve the condition of varicose veins?

As the Herald news writes:

“Dark berries, including cherries, blueberries, blackberries, and dark grapes and currants have a high concentration of flavonoids and other natural chemicals that strengthen blood vessel walls and help less varicose veins.”

Other fruits and veg, including cranberries, carrots, oranges, strawberries and spinach, all contain high amounts of nutrients that can help break down hard protein deposits in the veins and strengthen the vein walls. Containing an enzyme known as bromelain, which is effective in breaking down blood clots, which can be a serious side-effect of varicose veins, pineapple is another great ingredient to include in raw juice therapy designed to treat varicose veins.

JuiceTherapy.co.uk recommends those suffering with varicose veins embark on a juice detoxification programme in order to restore the nutritional balance in the body. By restoring the nutritional balance, the body will start to reduce the size and severity of the varicose veins.

JuiceTherapy also recommends cutting back on highly processed foods, refined sugars, red meats, dairy products, smoking and alcohol. It is also recommended that following a complete juice detoxification programme, any one aiming to improve varicose veins should have a diet that is at least 80 percent raw plant based.


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26/Sep/2017

Thread veins refer to blood vessels that are purple and red in colour, which are visible on the surface of the skin. Due to their resemblance to small spider webs, thread veins are also known as spider veins. The medical term to this condition is Telangiesctasias. If the veins become raised from the surface of the skin, they are referred to as reticular veins.

Whilst they can be associated with varicose veins, thread veins are a different condition. Despite their unsightly appearance, unlike varicose veins, thread veins rarely cause any other symptoms.

Thread veins more commonly affect women. Due to the modern ‘selfie’ trend, more and more image-conscious women are having thread veins removed from their faces so they look better in photos. According to a report in the Daily Mail, doctors have reported a sharp increase in the number of women in Britain, particularly younger women, undergoing procedures to leave their skin blemish-free.

So how exactly are thread veins treated?

Microsclerotherapy

Microsclerotherapy is one method of treatment for thread veins. This fairly straightforward process involves a liquid known as sclerosant being injected into the affected veins. The liquid then destroys the veins and, over time, causes them to disappear.

It is generally recommended that Microsclerotherapy is only used on thread veins on the legs and body. Thread veins on the surface of the face are often treated by laser.

Laser treatment

Laser treatment involves the use of sensitive lasers to target the unwanted red and purple veins on the skin. By being administered in quick, short bursts, the laser doesn’t harm the skin and breaks down the thread veins.

Whilst some slight discomfort might be felt with both Microsclerotherapy and laser treatment, both treatments are generally painless and safe.

Some swelling might be noticed after the treatments or a slight bruising, but such side-effects don’t tend to last long and gradually fade to reveal new, clear skin.

Cosmetic makeup

An even less invasive way to treat thread veins on the face is the use of cosmetic makeup to cover up the veins. Applying a high quality foundation to the affected area, can help hide unsightly veins, without the need to undergo treatment.

If you require treatment for thread veins, Daryll Baker has experience effectively treating this common condition. Book an initial consultation to discuss treatments for thread veins with Daryll Baker and the Vascular Consultancy.


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Daryll Baker is a Consultant Vascular Surgeon at the Royal Free Hospital London and Clinical Lead for North Central Region Vascular Services.

He read Medicine at Oxford University and trained in Vascular Surgery in Nottingham, London and Edinburgh. He obtained his research PhD from the University of Wales.

Contact

Wellington Hospital
34 Circus Road
London
NW8 9SG

020 7722 7370

Copyright 2016 The Vascular Consultancy