The speciality of phlebology has developed to enable physicians sharing an interest in venous disease and health to share knowledge and experience despite being trained in a variety of backgrounds such as dermatologyvascular surgeryhaematology, interventional radiology or general medicine. Diagnostic techniques used include the patient's history and physical examination, venous imaging techniques in particular vascular ultrasound and laboratory evaluation related to venous thromboembolism.

A significant part of a phlebology is involved with the treatment of superficial venous disease, frequently of the leg. Conditions often treated include venous stasis ulcers, varicose veins and spider veins (telangiectasia). Other conditions managed by phlebologists include deep venous thrombosis (DVT), superficial thrombophlebitis, and venous malformations.

From WikiPedia

AuthorNicholas Kemp

Dr Kemp is looking forward to joining doctors from all over the world at next month's  World Congress of Phlebology in Melbourne.

Hosted by the Australasian College of Phlebology, A/Professor Kurosh Parsi explains that phlebology is a multi-disciplinary field and the conference will bring together world experts in vascular disease, vascular anomalies and malformations, interventional radiology, lymphology, dermatology, haematology, thrombosis and haemostasis, fluid mechanics and haemodynamics, ultrasound and wound healing.

The program will feature daily multi-disciplinary state-of-the-art keynote lectures focussing on new technologies and innovations, international guidelines, debates and consensus meetings.

At the conference there will be hands-on training sessions (HOTS), a comprehensive Ultrasound Certification Program, live broadcasts of procedures, daily videos and workshops on a wide range of topics.

AuthorNicholas Kemp

Dr Nicholas Kemp has been treating leg veins in Toowoomba monthly for the last 5 years. As a Fellow of the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine and having practiced for most of his career in rural locations he is passionate about being able to provide a service to country patients. His family still live in the Lockyer Valley and so he has a long history with the area.

The Leg Vein Doctor offers the following procedures for the treatment of varicose veins:

  • Endovenous Ablation (Laser and Radiofrequency)
  • Venous Glue "venaseal"
  • Ultrasound Guided Sclerotherapy UGS.

GP referrals are not needed to make an appointment but are encouraged.

All initial consultations include full ultrasound scan performed by Dr Kemp. Dr Kemp only treats varicose and spider veins so you can be assured of specialised attention and a thorough knowledge of the most up to date treatment options available. All procedures are walk in /walk out and to not require hospital admission, general anaesthetic or invasive surgery.

For more information on the treatment options please read Dr Kemp's article in the Australian Family Physician.

To make a booking call 3720 9912.


AuthorNicholas Kemp

There was a recent TV feature on Channel 9 Television about laser treatment of varicose veins being painless. Is this true? Pain is certainly minimal in comparison to surgery but people do experience some pain so saying its painless is not entirely true.  The measure of pain is subjective as each individual has different tolerance thresholds for pain.  

Prior to the Laser being turned on and withdrawn through the vein, Tumescent Anaesthetic needs to be injected along the entire length of the vein with a series of needles so that the vein becomes enveloped in an anaesthetic blanket.  These injections are relatively painless but they are not painLESS.

Once the anaesthetic is inserted you can be confident that the laser treatment is completely painLESS no matter what type of laser or frequency of laser is being used.  

Following treatment the anaesthetic takes several hours to wear off and this is when some discomfort might develop.  Any dull ache that might develop which normally would only last a few days can normally be managed with ibuprofen or paracetamol. 

With the use of the newer types of Lasers there is often minimal or next to no pain over the recovery period.  There has been a trend towards the use of lower frequency Lasers (1470nm) which specifically target water in the vein wall rather than the blood inside the vein. The lower power settings required for these new types of Lasers accounts for the significant reduction in post procedural pain. 

AuthorNicholas Kemp

Many people believe Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) is only a risk when travelling by plane, however this is a myth! Developing DVT is just as much of a risk if you are travelling by car, and is most likely to occur by sitting for long periods of time (four or more hours). Which so many Australians do all the time when driving to visit interstate.  If you have already suffered from varicose veins your risk for developing DVT is heightened significantly, as varicose veins are a symptom of a malfunctioning or weak venous system.

What is DVT?

Deep Vein Thrombosis is the occurrence of a blood clot within the deep venous system, and is most common in the deeper veins of the lower leg. The condition can be severe as DVTs can spread to other veins and cause dysfunction or even life-threatening complications such as pulmonary embolism. Other complications can include post-thrombotic syndrome (where damage has occurred in deep veins and the blood pools instead of flows) and limb ischaemia – a rare condition that can cause high pressure in the lungs.

What are the symptoms of DVT?

Many DVT blood clots are so tiny they do not cause any damage or produce any symptoms, and your body is usually able to break down the clots without side-effects. However more serious and larger blood clots often:

  • Cause pain and discomfort
  • Cause leg or limb swelling
  • Cause pigmentation
  • Make your skin warm or hot to touch

If experiencing the above symptoms, it is recommended to see a qualified GP to ensure your vein health.

Can DVT be prevented?

There are several actions that can be done to proactively reduce the risk of developing DVT, these include:

  • Wearing compression stockings for long travels – these allow even blood flow and heighten circulation for a decreased risk of vein malfunction.
  • Taking regular 'walk breaks' whilst travelling (minimum every 2 hours).
  • If you have varicose veins, it is important to have an ultrasound examination prior to travel and if necessary having them treated as varicose veins heighten the risk of DVT.

Treating varicose veins

If you suffer from varicose veins, it is important to get them checked or treated (if necessary) prior to travelling for extensive periods of time.

Ultrasound is used to assess your varicose veins in much greater depth, depending on venous disease severity or complexity a number of techniques are available:

  • Endovenous Laser Ablation (ELA)
  •  Ultrasound Guided Sclerotherapy (UGS)
  • MicroSclerotherapy

Ensure your venous health before you take that holiday, a consultation is quick and easy but it could save you from developing Deep Vein Thrombosis.

AuthorNicholas Kemp

Hot flushes, changes in mood and night sweats are just some of the well known unpleasant symptoms associated with the onset of menopause. There are also many other lesser known  or common symptoms during this stage of life, including varicose veins.

Varicose veins can affect both men and women, however, women are more highly at risk as a result of fluctuations in hormones.  

There are many hormonal changes which evolve during menopause, one of these being the natural decline of the production of oestrogen and progesterone by the ovaries. There are also increased levels of two hormones of the pituitary gland – luteinizing hormone and follicle stimulating hormone - that usually stimulate estrogen production by the ovaries in the pre-menopausal years. Other tissues in a menopausal woman’s body continue to produce estrogen, and the adrenal glands make some progesterone, but the overall levels of the two hormones become much lower during and after menopause. This brings on the familiar symptoms of hot flashes, loss of bone density and otherwise unexplained episodes of fatigue or depression.

Less well known is the fact that estrogen and progesterone have positive effects on all of the circulatory system, not just the heart. It is these hormonal fluctuations which can result in the relaxation of your vein walls and may eventually lead to varicose veins. When your vein walls relax, there is less force moving your blood back to your heart from your extremities, and if your blood starts to pool downwards, this can lead to backpressure that can cause varicose veins.

Further to this, your metabolism slows down during menopause, weight gain easier. This excess weight is said to be closely associated with an enhanced risk of vein disease as it places additional pressure on veins.

Prevention is always better than cure, it is important to understand how varicose veins develop and how they can be prevented during menopause. It is essential for all women be aware of their cardiovascular health when reaching menopausal age in order prevent or even avoid varicose veins and any other potential complications arising from other circulatory related conditions.

What can be done to reduce the risk of varicose veins during menopause?

Though, there is no guaranteed way of preventing this disease, lifestyle changes are usually the first treatment for varicose veins. These include:

  • Possibly the most powerful preventative is regular exercise for the legs – walking, running, biking and swimming all stimulate circulation in the legs. Good circulation is key to preventing the pooling of blood in veins that causes them to become varicose.
  • Avoiding sitting or standing for prolonged periods. When sitting, avoid sitting cross legged. Likewise, where possible keep legs raised when sitting, resting, or sleeping.
  • Try to lose excess weight by sticking to a regular exercise routine. This will assist in improving blood flow, and ease the pressure off veins aiding blood flow out of the legs and back to the heart. Getting your legs moving will improve muscle tone, therefore helping the movement of blood through the veins.
  • When possible avoid high heels, wear lower heeled shoes as this can help tone the calf muscles. However, if you really have to wear high heels, avoid wearing them for long periods of standing.

While menopause can increase your risk for developing varicose veins, this doesn’t mean you are fated to have them. Just follow the tips to help you prevent or treat your varicose veins.


AuthorNicholas Kemp