Varicose veins can become a significant nuisance for many women during menopause. Hormonal fluctuations during menopause often increase the chances of developing varicose veins. There are several points in a woman’s lifetime when hormonal fluctuations may occur and it is important to appreciate that when certain hormones significantly rise or fall in relation to one another, this can trigger varicose veins or exacerbate pre-existing ones. Healthy veins are determined by two key hormones, oestrogen and progesterone.
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Why are oestrogen and progesterone important for preventing varicose veins?
Both oestrogen and progesterone exert positive effects on the walls of veins and help to support a normal functioning vascular system. Specialised receptor sites are found in the walls of the blood vessels to allow these hormones to accept the effects. The normal flow of blood through blood vessels is promoted by healthy circulating levels of oestrogen and progesterone. Certain events in a woman’s life such as menopause may result in a decline in levels of these hormones which can result in blood vessels weakening and becoming more rigid. This may result in valve dysfunction leading to venous blood collecting in diseased veins. This process results in the development of varicose veins.
How can I reduce the risk of developing varicose veins during menopause?
Varicose veins do not go away on their own once they have formed. The only way to get rid of varicose veins is with minimally invasive treatment such as endovenous laser ablation. Reducing the risk of developing varicose veins during menopause can be achieved by adhering to a number of practical measures including eating a healthy and nutritious diet and following certain lifestyle modifications. These will help to minimise the risk of varicose veins occurring in menopause.
- Focus on eating unsaturated fats – certain fats sources which are considered to be healthy include certain types of oily fish which are high in omega-3, nuts, seeds and avocados. Unhealthy saturated fats are commonly found in processed meats, full fat dairy products and highly calorific snacks.
- Maintain a healthy weight – your heart is placed under extra pressure when you are overweight and weight loss will help to reduce the risk of developing varicose veins during menopause as well as helping you to feel healthier overall. You should try to achieve a body mass index below 25.
- Regular physical exercise – it is important to keep mobile and for those who have sedentary office jobs, we would recommend moving around every hour to prevent blood from pooling in your legs.
- Consume more vitamin C – vitamin C is highly beneficial in conferring increased strength to the walls of the blood vessels. Vitamin C helps to promote healthy collagen which is a key protein molecule most commonly found in the skin and the walls of blood vessels. Increasing your consumption of green leafy vegetables and other types of citrus fruits is an excellent way to increase your vitamin C intake.
- Leg exercises – varicose veins most commonly occur in the legs and so it’s important to achieve a good standard of leg strength which can be achieved with many types of cardiovascular exercises. Examples include running, cycling and swimming. If you have difficulty walking long distances, a physiotherapist may be useful to help you carry out low-impact exercises which are safe for your joints.
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What is the best way to treat varicose veins occurring during menopause?
Following the five simple interventions above can help to minimise the likelihood of developing varicose veins during menopause. If despite this, varicose veins do occur then we would recommend seeking treatment at Centre for Surgery in London for the most effective varicose vein treatments with the highest success rates and long-term results.
What is EVLA (Endovenous Laser Ablation)?
Endovenous laser ablation, also known as EVLA is one of the most effective varicose vein removal treatments at Centre for Surgery. EVLA involves the insertion of a specialised optical fibre into the diseased vein using ultrasound guidance. Once the fibre is positioned correctly, the vascular specialist will apply laser energy to heat up the vein which leads to its collapse and eventual sealing. The sealed vein will then be safely reabsorbed by the body over the next 7 to 14 days leading to its disappearance.
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The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence also known as NICE recommends endothermal ablation as the first-line treatment for varicose veins. EVLA is considered the gold standard treatment for the vast majority of varicose veins. Success rates are extremely high with approximately 98% of patients achieving complete varicose vein removal. Endovenous laser ablation is a minimally invasive procedure carried out using a local anaesthetic. Compared with varicose vein surgery, complications such as bleeding and infection are much reduced with EVLA. The incisions to insert the laser fibre are no more than one to 2 mm in length and do not require stitches to close them. Scars aft EVLA are barely noticeable once full healing has taken place and patients can return to their everyday activities the next day.
Varicose vein treatments at Centre for Surgery
Centre for Surgery is the leading varicose vein clinic in London and has many years of experience in treating patients with varicose veins during menopause. We continue to treat hundreds of patients each year at our state-of-the-art clinics in Marylebone. Our vascular specialists are renowned in the field and have specialist expertise in treating varicose veins for women during menopause.
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If you would like to learn more about varicose vein treatment, please get in touch with us today on 020 7993 4849 or complete the contact form below to book an expert consultation with a varicose vein specialist in London.