Women’s Health

We have a number of treatments specific to women’s health

 

What is Pelvic Congestion Syndrome?

Pelvic Congestion Syndrome (PCS) is a condition caused by Varicose Veins in the Pelvis. The Varicose Veins are caused by incompetent valves in the veins of the Pelvis. This causes blood to fall back into the Pelvis rather than being taken away from the Pelvis by the Iliac Vein which causes congestion.

Symptoms of Pelvic Congestion Syndrome

The symptoms of Pelvic Congestion Syndrome (PCS) are caused by these Varicose Veins pushing onto the other organs in the Pelvis:

 

  • Pressure of the Varicose Veins onto the Pelvis Causes Aching more so during a woman’s period
  • Pressure on the Rectum causes Bowel symptoms such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Pressure on the Bladder causes Irritable Bladder which can cause Stress Incontinence
  • Pressure on the Vagina can cause Dyspareunia (Discomfort on Sexual Intercourse)

How is Pelvic Congestion Syndrome (PCS) diagnosed?

If you suffer with any of the symptoms above and have any visible Varicose Veins (bulges) around the Vulva, Groin or Vagina then you need to see a Medical Professional and have a Venous Duplex Ultrasound Scan

 

What is Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)?

Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) is a common medical condition characterised by an uncontrollable urge to move the legs. This can occur during sleep when a person has persistent leg movements. Sensations such as tingling, burning and aching can also be felt.

Sufferers from Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) can find activities such as sitting for long periods of time impossible because they cannot sit still for long periods of time.

 

What is the cause of Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)?

The cause of Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) is unknown but it appears to have a link to damage to the valves in the veins. Medical research shows that 22% of patients with Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) also have venous insufficiency or valve damage with or without visible Varicose Veins.

 

What is the treatment for Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)?

The treatment for Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) can be as a result of treatment for venous insufficiency. Anyone who experiences these symptoms should see a Medical Professional and have a Venous Duplex Ultrasound Scan to see if there are any ‘Hidden’ Varicose Veins if not seen on the legs or to determine what vein is incompetent if there are Varicose Veins visible on the skin.

Following the Duplex Scan, suitable treatment will be discussed with a Consultant Vascular Surgeon.

What is a Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)?

 

A Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) is a blood clot that has formed in one of the Deep Veins.  A DVT usually occurs in a larger vein that runs through the muscles of the calf and the thigh. It can cause pain and swelling in the leg and may lead to complications such as Pulmonary Embolism (PE). This is when a piece of blood clot breaks off into the bloodstream and blocks one of the blood vessels in the Lungs.

DVT and Pulmonary Embolism are known collectively as Venous Thromboembolism (VTE).

 

What causes a DVT?

A DVT can occur for no reason however, there are certain risks that can increase the risk of developing a DVT. These are:

  • Inactivity – Not moving around i.e. in Hospital
  • Blood Vessel Damage
  • Medical and Genetic Conditions
  • Pregnancy
  • Contraceptive Pill and Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)
  • Other Causes – Obesity, Smoking, Dehydration

Symptoms of a DVT

 

In some cases of Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) there may be no symptoms at all but possible symptoms can include:

 

  • Pain, Swelling and Tenderness in one of your legs (Usually the Calf)
  • A Heavy Ache in the affected area
  • Warm Skin in the area of the clot
  • Redness of your skin, particularly at the back of your leg below the knee

A DVT usually affects one leg but there have been cases of bilateral DVTs.

 

Complications of a DVT

 

If a DVT is not treated, a Pulmonary Embolism (PE) which is a blood clot that has come away from its original site and become lodged in one of the Lungs may occur. A If you have a Pulmonary Embolism (PE) you may experience more serious symptoms such as:

 

  • Breathlessness which may come on gradually or suddenly
  • Chest Pain which may become worse when you breathe in
  • Sudden Collapse

Both DVT and Pulmonary Embolism (PE) are serious conditions that require URGENT investigation and treatment.

 

Diagnosis of a DVT

 

If you suspect that you have a DVT then you need to seek Medical Professional attention. You will need to have a specialised blood test called a D Dimer and an Ultrasound Scan. If both of these fail to detect a DVT then you should have a Venogram however, a Venous Duplex Ultrasound Scan from the onset will tell you specifically if you have a DVT or not.

 

Treatment for a DVT

 

If you have a Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) you will need to take an Anticoagulant.

 

Anticoagulation

Anticoagulant medicines prevent a blood clot from getting bigger. They can also help stop part of the blood clot from breaking off and becoming lodged in another part of your bloodstream (Embolism).

 

Although they are often referred to as “blood-thinning” medicines, Anticoagulants do not actually thin the blood. They alter chemicals within it which prevents clots forming so easily.

 

Two different types of Anticoagulants are used to treat DVT:

  • Heparin
  • Warfarin

Heparin is usually prescribed first because it works immediately to prevent further clotting. A After this initial treatment you may also need to take Warfarin to prevent another blood clot forming.

 

Your GP or Hospital Consultant will prescribe the Anticoagulant required for you.

 

Compression Stockings

Compression Stockings help prevent calf pain and swelling and lower the risk of ulcers developing after having a DVT. They can also help prevent Post Thrombotic Syndrome which is damage to the tissue of the calf caused by the increase in Venous Pressure that occurs when a vein is blocked by a clot and blood is diverted to the outer veins.

 

After having a DVT, stockings should be worn every day for at least two years because symptoms of Post Thrombotic Syndrome may develop several months, or even years, after having DVT.

 

Compression Stockings should be fitted professionally. They need to be worn all day but can be taken off before going to bed or in the evening while you rest with your leg raised.

 

Raising your Leg

As well as wearing Compression Stockings you might be advised to raise your leg whenever you are resting. This helps to relieve the pressure in the veins of the calf and stops blood and fluid pooling in the calf itself.

When raising your leg make sure that your foot is higher than your hip. This will help the returning blood flow from your calf. Putting a cushion underneath your leg while you are lying down should help raise your leg above the level of your hip. You can also slightly raise the end of your bed to ensure that your foot and calf are slightly higher than your hip.

 

Prevention of a DVT

  • Smoking and Diet
  • Mobilising
  • Compression Stockings
  • Anticoagulant

What are Vulval Varicose Veins?

 Vulval Varicose Veins are found on the Vulva and Vagina. They develop during pregnancy. Women may not have had any symptoms of reflux prior to getting pregnant and had no visible Varicose Veins and were therefore unaware that they had any problems. During pregnancy the veins in the pelvis dilate further causing Varicose Veins in the Vagina, Vulva and then they become visible Varicose Veins on the legs.

Out of embarrassment, women rarely mention Vulvar Veins but these veins can be treated.

 

Diagnosis of Vulval Varicose Veins

The diagnosis for Vulval Varicose Veins is the obvious Varicose Veins on the Vulva and Vagina. A Duplex Ultrasound Scan is required prior to treatment.

 

Treatment for Vulval Varicose veins

Treatment is available for Vulval Varicose Veins. If you have any of the symptoms, then see a Medical Professional and get the required investigations and treatment required.

 

What are Leg Ulcers?

Leg Ulcers can be either Venous or Arterial. A Venous Leg Ulcer is a Chronic Non Healing Wound that has been present for at least 6 weeks with Broken Layers of Skin and Exposed Tissue. Venous Leg Ulcers are usually found on the inside of the leg just above the ankle. They can be painful especially when they are infected.

What causes Leg Ulcers?

A Venous Leg Ulcer is caused by Poor Blood Circulation due to damaged veins in your legs.

There are two main types of blood vessel:

Arteries oxygen rich blood is pumped from your heart through your arteries to the rest of your body.

Veins blood is returned to the heart through the veins once the oxygen has been removed.

Vein problems occur when the valves inside the veins stop working properly.

In a healthy vein, blood flows towards the heart. Blood is prevented from flowing backwards by a series of valves that open and close to let blood through. If the valves weaken or are damaged, for example, following a Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) the blood can flow backwards.

This may cause Varicose Veins visible on the surface of the leg or the damage may lie in the deep veins hidden from view. A Pressure inside these veins is increased and this can damage the Skin.

The constant high blood pressure in your legs causes fluid to leak from the veins. The fluid causes swelling and damages the skin which becomes hard and inflamed leading to a Leg Ulcer.

 

Symptoms of a Leg Ulcer

Swollen Ankles filled with fluid that temporarily hold the imprint of your finger when pressed (Oedema)

Discolouration and Darkening of your skin around the Ulcer (Haemosiderosis)

Hardened Skin around the Ulcer (Lipodermatosclerosis)

Small, Smooth areas of White Skin which may have tiny Red Spots (Atrophie Blanche)

The associated symptoms of a Venous Leg Ulcer are caused by blood not flowing properly through your veins. This is known as Venous Insufficiency and can cause the following:

  • Leg Pain
  • Heavy feeling in the affected leg
  • Aching
  • Itching
  • Swelling
  • Varicose Eczema (Itchy, Irritated Skin associated with Varicose Veins)

Diagnosis of a Leg Ulcer

If you have the above symptoms then you need to see a Medical Professional. You may well have a Doppler and a Duplex Ultrasound Scan. A referral to a Consultant Vascular Surgeon is next to determine the next stage and treatment for the Leg Ulcer.

 

Treatment for Leg Ulcers

Treatment for Leg Ulcers should start with the UNDERLYING vein problems.

  • Assessment by a Consultant Vascular Surgeon
  • Duplex Ultrasound Scan
  • Surgery (approx. 60% of patients)
  • Long term Compression (40% of patients)

 

What should be avoided at all costs?

  • Patients with Leg Ulcers being condemned to dressings and compression bandages/stockings without assessment by a Specialist Vascular Surgeon (unless patient is immobile, has poor ankle movement, is very unwell for any other reason or has a very short life expectancy).
  • Patients with skin changes at the ankle being given creams (particularly steroid creams) before venous causes have been excluded by a Specialist Vascular Surgeon
  • Patients with Varicose Veins being told that it is a cosmetic problem only and to “wait until there is a problem before having anything done”.
  • Patients with skin changes at the ankle or Varicose Veins being given long term support stockings without a cause being found and the possibility of a cure being offered.

(The College of Phlebology)

 

Intensive Pigmentation Corrector

Cyspera® is a biological depigmenting treatment for hyperpigmentation concerns.

Hyperpigmentation is a common skin condition in which some areas of the skin become darker in colour than the surrounding skin. Hyperpigmentation occurs when an excess of melanin is produced by melanocytes, the pigment cells, which are moved up to the skin’s surface.

Hyperpigmentation can be caused by inflammation, hormonal stress, sun damage, or other skin injuries. People with darker skin tones are more prone to hyperpigmentation, especially with excess sun exposure.

 The active ingredient is cysteamine. Naturally present in human skin cells, cysteamine regulates melanin synthesis in the skin. It has been formulated to work as an effective topical treatment, Cyspera®.

Clinically Proven Results

Cyspera® is a biological molecule that reduces melanin pigments in human skin. It helps remove brown spots, treats pigmented marks and produces an even and light skin complexion.

Significant depigmenting effectiveness. Highly biocompatible and well tolerated. Non-cytotoxic, non-mutagenic, non-carcinogenic Superior benefit/risk ratio compared to hydroquinone –and all other alternative.

67% melanin pigment reduction in hyperpigmented areas.

92% of users noticed moderate to significant improvements.

 

 

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