Normal circulation involves blood carrying oxygen being pumped from the heart into the tissues via arteries and then returning de-oxygenated blood carrying other waste products from the tissues back to the heart through the veins. Your arteries might be in good health but if your veins are not working properly and leaking back into the tissues due to varicose veins then in the long term tissue damage to your lower legs can occur leaving you at risk of varicose leg ulcers later in life.  

Walking compresses the deep veins in the leg muscles and this pumps the blood out of the legs. This is the most important mechanism to improve clearance of venous blood out of the legs. If you sit on an aeroplane for a long flight you might be aware of some ankle swelling because you haven’t been walking.

People with venous disease will often find relief from their swollen feet and ankles and alleviation of tired and aching legs by elevating their legs at the end of the day.

There are many and varied medications and devices marketed as circulation boosters (e.g. the brand Revitive).   Medical Graduated Compression Stockings have Evidence Based Medicine to support their use to improve leg vein circulation and improve leg vein health.  

But these methods only provide temporary relief and do not prevent tissue damage from occurring in the long term. An Ultrasound investigation can establish if your aching or swollen legs are caused by poor venous circulation. 

The price of the initial consultation at our Vein Clinic in Brisbane and Toowoomba includes a venous duplex ultrasound examination for which there is a medicare rebate. 

Posted
AuthorNicholas Kemp

So party season is upon us and for many women that will mean wearing high heels more often than usual.  

A US study compared the venous blood pressure in the legs of women walking on a treadmill with and without high-heeled shoes.  Normal walking coordinates the foot and calf pump. When the foot is off the floor, the foot veins fill with blood. As the heel and arch of the foot contact the floor, the blood flows into the relaxed calf veins. The calf muscles then contract which propels blood up the deep veins.


High heels change the natural walking motion, shifting the weight to the fore foot and toes and causes the calf muscles to remain contracted. This results in a decrease in the filling of the foot and calf veins and a less forceful calf muscle pump. This lose of efficiency causes pooling of venous blood in the leg. 
 
You don't have to stop wearing heels, but you should be aware of what you are doing - make an effort to stretch your calf muscles throughout the day to ensure good blood flow in the legs, and mix up your footwear, give your legs a break! Remember to keep active and walk at least 30 min a day to ensure your calves are pumping blood back up the system - your legs (and your waistline) will thank you. 

Happy Holidays!

Dr Nick Kemp is a regular columnist for Style Magazine in which this post was published. You can read his column each month in the Expert section in which he covers all matters of phlebology with the odd bit of humour thrown in.  

Posted
AuthorNicholas Kemp

If you are at all worried about your leg health or are in pain, winter is a great time to book in at our leg vein clinic for a initial consultation. You will receive a complete medical examination and ultrasound investigation on your legs, I will discuss the findings with you and the best course of action. From there you will have a treatment plan is put together outlining all costs and any Medicare and health fund rebates.   

Most patients require multiple sessions, usually over a few months in order to achieve optimal results. From start to finish you will be taken care of by me (Dr Nicholas Kemp) and we also offer complementary post treatment reviews for a year in order to ensure procedures are fully successful and that you are happy with the results.

Booking in advance offers you the freedom to choose treatment days and accommodate work and family commitments. At The Leg Vein Doctor after-hours sessions are particularly popular as the nature of our treatments means there is NO downtime and you can go straight back to work or home to cook dinner for your family!

Modern varicose vein treatments are designed to be walk-in walk-out and this is the model that has practiced in Europe and the United States for many years. General anesthetics are discouraged because they prevent a patient from being mobile following a procedure, therefore putting them at greater risk of  DVTs.  Not to mention the inconvenience of not being able to drive and requiring someone to collect you from the hospital.

Early booking also allows you to complete your treatment before it gets hot, which is most patients preference as the compression stockings can be hidden under trousers or worn as tights (black available). Perhaps most importantly it means your legs will be ready for the beach before the next heatwave.

Call our friendly receptionists at our varicose vein clinic on 37209912 to book an appointment for Brisbane or Toowoomba. 

Source: Brisbane Body Expert

The most common type of sclerosants used in Australia today for the treatment of varicose veins and spider veins involving the legs are the detergent sclerosants. These are small lipid soluble molecules which can theoretically pass into breast milk in minute amounts. There is no evidence that they will do any harm to the baby but then again there is no conclusive evidence regarding their safety. 

However detergent sclerosants are very quickly metabolized by the liver and excreted by the kidney, so it is safe to resume breast feeding very soon after treatment.  At The Leg Vein Doctor we recommend to breast feeding mothers that they use a breast pump and store expressed breast milk prior to treatment which can then be used for the first feed after treatment. Normal breast feeding can resume twelve-twenty four hours after treatment.

Hypertonic saline is a less commonly used sclerosing agent, but it is safe to use during breast feeding.   

Posted
AuthorNicholas Kemp

Long periods of standing in the one position in certain occupations such has hairdressing, nursing or machinery work can often lead to discomfort in the legs and feet. Symptoms such as a vague aching sensation, itchy, restless legs or burning and sweating feet can be due to poor clearance of venous blood out of the legs. 

People affected with venous disease that causes venous incompetence are particularly prone to these symptoms if they are standing for prolonged periods and not walking around. Walking helps clear the blood out of the lower limbs because contraction of the calf muscles compresses the deep veins and this is the mechanism by which venous blood gets pumped up and out of the legs. It’s known as the “Calf muscle pump”.

If you are experiencing uncomfortable symptoms such as just described and your work involves extended periods of standing on your feet without the opportunity of moving about too much, you might be suffering from venous incompetence and poor clearance of venous blood out of your legs due to venous disease. This can often occur without the presence of visible varicose veins.

A duplex venous ultrasound of the saphenous veins and deep veins in your legs is the appropriate investigation for this problem. For many people immediate treatment may not be an option due to pregnancy, work and family commitments or because they do not have direct access to funds for procedures.

Compression therapy in the form of socks or stockings maybe beneficial in relieving some of the symptoms mentioned above through boosting a persons circulation when worn throughout the day. The Leg Vein Doctor now carries a wide range of compression therapy in various grades and forms to fit all sizes. Banish the thought of those white TED surgical / hospital stockings from your mind. The non surgical compression therapy we have is breathable for the Queensland heat and comes in a choice of colours. It is not just for women either, we have men's 'dress' socks suitable to be worn with a suit and a core spun range which can be comfortably worn with work or safety boots. Both the options for men and women are unidentifiable to others so know one need know about your issue.   

Please call the clinic to book an initial consultation should you require more information and advise regarding if these medical accessories could be as suitable option for you pre-treatment.