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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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26/Sep/2017

During pregnancy, a woman’s body goes through significant changes. Whilst some of these changes can exude radiance and health, other changes can be a little more uncomfortable and problematic. One such change that affects some women during pregnancy is the onset of varicose veins.

The severity of varicose veins in pregnant women varies and ranges from mild discomfort to the legs feeling extremely tired, restless and heavy. The veins in the legs can become swollen and purple in colour and can sometimes itch and throb.

What causes varicose veins during pregnancy

Varicose veins during pregnancy are caused by the pressure the growing uterus puts on the large vein at the right hand side of the body. The pressure being put on this vein can radiate through to the veins in the legs, which can result in the swelling and discomfort of leg veins.

The amount of blood in a woman’s body is increased during pregnancy. This increase in blood can also put pressure on the veins. As the Baby Centre notes, progesterone levels also increase during pregnancy, which can cause the blood vessel walls to relax, again adding to the burden on the veins.

Being overweight and the additional weight a woman gains when she is pregnant can also put pressure on the veins in the legs and in some women cause varicose veins.

Treatment for varicose veins whilst pregnant

If you are suffering from varicose veins during your pregnancy you may look for a way to treat the discomfort caused by these enlarged leg veins.

Exercise

Running a marathon might not be recommended during pregnancy, but some regular gentle exercise, such as a brisk walk, can help with a woman’s circulation and minimise and even prevent the onset of varicose veins.

Raise your legs to an elevated position

When you go to bed and when you are sitting down try to raise your legs to an elevated position by using a pillow or stool to help with the blood circulation in your legs.

Sleep on your left side

It is also a good idea for pregnant ladies suffering from varicose veins or attempting to prevent varicose veins to sleep on their left side. This is due to the fact that the main vein that causes varicose veins, known as the inferior vena cava, is situated on the right side of the body and sleeping on the left will help to relieve the weight of the uterus from putting pressure on the inferior vena cava.

Wear compression stockings

Some women find relief by wearing graduated compression stockings when they are pregnant. These support stockings work by making it easier for the blood to flow up a woman’s leg and towards her heart, consequently helping to prevent the swelling.

The good news is that varicose veins during pregnancy tend to disappear naturally after a woman has given birth.

If you require any advice or treatment for varicose vein during your pregnancy, get in touch with the Vascular Consultancy, specialists in providing advice, diagnosis and treatment for varicose veins and other vascular conditions.


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26/Sep/2017

Sweating is necessary to control the temperature of the body, particularly when the weather is hot and during exercise. Hyperhidrosis is the term used to define excessive sweating, whereby the nervous system works at a revved up level and causes an individual to suffer from extreme sweating.

Hyperhidrosis affects approximately one percent of the population, affects women and men equally, and all ethnicities.

Whilst in many cases, the causes of hyperhidrosis remain unknown and is believed to be caused by an issue related to the nervous system, the condition does have an identifiable cause known as secondary hyperhidrosis.

The NHS highlights some of the triggers that can result in secondary hyperhidrosis, which include pregnancy, the menopause, anxiety, certain medications, low blood sugar levels, an overactive thyroid gland, and certain infections.

Hyperhidrosis and depression and anxiety

A recent study has revealed there is a significant association between hyperhidrosis and the prevalence of depression and anxiety.

The study was compiled by researchers at dermatology clinics in Canada and China and was aimed at analysing the connection between hyperhidrosis and anxiety and depression.

The research analysed the responses of questionnaires completed by outpatients at the dermatology clinics. According to the study, patients suffering from the condition hyperhidrosis had a “significantly higher prevalence of anxiety and depression compared with those without hyperhidrosis.”

“Hyperhidrosis severity and prevalence of anxiety and depression showed positive correlations,” concluded the study.

Factors affecting the correlation between the excessive sweating condition highlighted by the report include age, ethnicity, gender, BMI and the diagnosis of skin conditions.

Bruce Thiel, a researcher involved in the study wrote:

“The results of our study showed that both anxiety and depression were much more common in patients with [hyperhidrosis] compared with those without [hyperhidrosis]… and that this positive association was common to all [hyperhidrosis] subtypes, especially generalised or facial [hyperhidrosis].”

“Assessment and management of anxiety and depression should be an essential component in management of patients with hyperhidrosis.,” continued Thiel.

How is hyperhidrosis treated?

This condition can be a challenge to treat and can take time and patience to find the right kind of treatment for the patient. It is generally recommended to begin with less invasive types of treatment, including making lifestyle changes, such as avoiding drinking alcohol and eating spicy food, to using powerful antiperspirants and wearing loose clothing.

In more severe cases, more invasive treatment might be recommended, such as botulinum toxin injections, iontophoresis, in which the affected areas are exposed to a weak electric current given through a wet pad or water and even surgery.

If you have any concerns related to hyperhidrosis or any kind of vascular condition, The Vascular Consultancy offers advice, diagnosis and treatments for a wide range of vascular-related conditions.


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26/Sep/2017

There is a number of ways to treat varicose veins, including several non-surgical options. One such treatment is a procedure known as Endovascular Laser Ablation. Endovascular Laser Ablation is a common type of treatment for patients suffering from larger varicose veins that create heavy and tired legs, which is often accompanied by swelling, pain and ulcers in the legs.

Endovascular Laser Ablation tends to be a replacement for an older varicose vein treatment, which involved vein stripping and the affected veins being removed. The newer technique of Endovascular Laser Ablation comprises of a laser being used to generate heat into an affected vein. This intense, localised heat essentially closes the vein off over time and enables the body to absorb it.

As the Herald News notes in an article about Endovascular Laser Ablation, the ultimate aim of this type of treatment is to reduce both the symptoms and the complication risks varicose veins can cause, such as clots occurring in the blood.

A catheter is used to direct the heat to close the affected vein. Unlike the vein stripping procedure, Endovascular Laser Ablation creates less bleeding and bruising, meaning recovery time is often quicker for the patient. Not only this, but this less invasive method only requires the use of needle punctures opposed to incisions into the skin.

As the Herald News writes:

“The less invasive nature of this therapy allows the patient to return to normal activities soon after the procedure, and results in less pain and similar cosmetic results compared to stripping surgery.”

Endovascular Laser Ablation is typically carried out under a local anaesthetic and patients are usually able to go home the same day. It is also typical that normal activities can be resumed after a day or two following the Endovascular Laser Ablation procedure. However, despite patients’ legs looking and feeling better in the immediate wake of the treatment, with some patients it will take 1 or 2 weeks to detect any improvements.

The Vascular Consultancy carries out a number of treatments for varicose veins, including Endovascular Laser Ablation, as well as Radiofrequency Ablation, Varicose Vein Surgery, Varicose Vein Avulsions, amongst others.

For more information on the Vascular Consultancy’s varicose veins treatments, including Endovascular Laser Ablation, get in touch with the Vascular Consultancy.


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26/Sep/2017

Varicose veins can cause more than physical pain and discomfort. Their unsightly appearance can also be a source of much emotional pain and anxiety for many people. However, there are many treatments available now for people who suffer from the condition.

According to the National Institute of Health, 60% of all women and men suffer from a vein disorder of some description. Due to poor circulation and blood pooling into the legs, many people who live with the condition complain of their veins throbbing, especially at night time. It can also cause a painful rash or ulcer.

There are many causes of varicose veins, it is not just a result of advancing years. Other contributory factors include can be caused due to an unhealthy lifestyle habits, obesity, poor blood pressure levels, sleep disorders and genetic disorders.

The physical and emotional pain that is caused by varicose veins means that more and more people are seeking help to cure the problem. According to a report by Grand View Research, the global varicose vein treatment market is expected to reach 475 million US dollars by 2024. Ever improving technology and people requiring less-invasive treatments are said to be the reasons for the surge in the market.

The report discovers that due to its cost and time efficiency, the most profitable procedure in 2015 was sclerotherapy. The other benefits of the treatment such as the reduced amount of scarring involved, the fact that the procedure is painless are all key factors that contribute to this.

The minimal side effects of the Closurefast technique in the endovenous ablation treatment sector is said to be the reason why it is the fastest growing segment in the industry.

The most widely used medical procedure in 2015 was endevonuos chemoablation. This is said to be due to the less invasive nature of the procedure.

North America held the largest market share of varicose vein treatments in 2016. This is reported to be due to the increasing rate of varicose and spider vein incidence within the population and people requiring treatment for aesthetic purposes.

In Europe, a high growth rate in less-invasive procedures for is forecast, as of 2016. This is said to be due to advanced treatment procedures and favourable initiatives brought in by government.

Pacific Asia is forecast to have the fastest growth in varicose veins treatments. This is due to many factors such as rising disposable income, improved healthcare infrastructure and increased patient awareness about the benefits of early treatment for varicose veins.


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26/Sep/2017

Migraines are a common condition which affect around a billion people worldwide, which equates to around one in seven people. Doctors, scientists and researchers struggle to pinpoint what causes migraines. While the exact cause of migraines remain unknown, the condition is believed to be the result of abnormal activity in the brain, which temporarily affects the brain’s blood vessels, chemicals and nerve signals. Debate continues around whether this debilitating neurological disorder is a vascular dysfunction or the result of neuronal dysfunction with vascular changes.

The results of a recent study uncovers some interesting new information related to the cause of migraines. According to researchers at the International Headache Genetic Consortium (IHGC), which comprises of a multi-national team from the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia and Europe, migraines are linked to a vascular condition, which is related to 38 different genes.

The study involved 375,000 people worldwide and is the largest migraine-related study to date. The results of the research are published in the journal Nature Genetics.

In previous migraine-related studies, 13 different genes have been associated with migraines with some scientists claiming that the migraine is a vascular condition, which is triggered by issues with the blood vessels. However, the recent International Headache Genetic Consortium research discovered 38 genes linked to migraines.

As the Jilard Health Digest notes in a report about the new migraine research:

“Not only did the researchers discover a wide variety of genes related to migraines, they found that the genes had a common link. The genes were all related to vascular and smooth muscle tissue, either in or near genes that run the vascular system or that previous research has linked to vascular disease. This evidence seems to support the theory that migraines are a vascular disease, not a neuronal disease as some had theorised.”

Having greater knowledge about the cause of migraines and that they are linked to abnormalities in blood vessels is likely to create more opportunities for the treatment of what now looks to be a vascular condition.

Those who suffer from migraines tend to experience varying levels of severity with certain treatment working for some and different treatments working for others. With more substantial knowledge on-board about the cause of this debilitating condition, scientists will be in a better position to work on finding a treatment that works for a broader range of migraine sufferers.


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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

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