Healthy legs key to healthy life, says consultant plastic surgeon
0 month ago, 13-Jul-2019
Dr Lee (left) at his clinic, displaying materials on vericose veins and chronic venous disease.
KOTA KINABALU: It should go without saying that healthy legs are key to a healthy life, but this is rarely said or heard.
Emphasis is usually given on other organs like the heart, for example, as the heart pumps blood to the whole body.
That said, the heart pumps blood all the way to the legs, but if the legs are unhealthy, blood will have trouble making its way back to the heart.
Consultant plastic surgeon Dr Charles Lee said the health of our legs, or more specifically the veins in our legs, is something that is very much neglected.
A lot of diseases come into being because the legs are not healthy, he said, which is why health professionals should pay more attention to venous health, particularly in the legs.
“You can love your heart, but love your legs as well, because both of them are muscle pumps. If you dont have your legs pumping blood back to the heart, problems will arise.
“Other than maintaining a healthy lifestyle through physical activity and a balanced diet, a cost-effective way to prevent or at least detects venous disease at an early stage is with an ultrasound leg scan,” said Dr Lee.
The public are invited to participate in free leg scans today and tomorrow from 10am to 10pm at ITCC Shopping Mall, where the annual ‘Jom Scan Kaki’ campaign is held to increase awareness on varicose veins and chronic venous disease (CVD).
The campaign, organised by Vein Malaysia, aims to educate the public and engage healthcare professionals on the need to assess the health status of the veins in the lower leg in order to avoid the consequences of CVD, including leg swelling, skin colour changes and skin ulceration.
Free ultrasound leg screening together with educational materials and resources are provided, alongside health talks and a poster exhibition.
healthcare and lifestyle industry providers are also present at the campaign, held in conjunction with the Health, Beauty and Wellness Fair.
Dr Lee said varicose veins and chronic venous disease are a lifelong degenerative disease in which the incidence increases with age. Prevalence of CVD has a considerable impact on primary healthcare, affecting over four to six per cent of every population in the world.
“Medical advice for varicose veins is seldom requested and if left untreated can result in increasing health-related risks such as deep vein thrombosis (DVT), pulmonary embolism (PE) and eventually, death.
“DVT is a serious health problem which can result in death from blood clots that obstruct blood flow to the lungs, resulting in pulmonary embolism (PE).
“However, most of these health-related problems resulting from CVD can be detected by a simple, cost-effective screening procedure using ultrasound imaging and also clinical inspection of the lower legs,” he said.
Dr Lee went on to say that scans should be done nationwide and at every level, because the lack of awareness causes most patients to seek medical attention only when the problem has progressed to a more serious stage.
This is also what makes CVD a “silent killer,” he added, as many are unaware of its risks.
Physical activity such as cycling, walking and swimming are ways to improve circulation by preventing blood from pooling in the leg veins, said Dr Lee, adding some of the risk factors for varicose veins are increasing age, frequent pregnancies and family history.
A clinical study of 150 leg veins treated with endovenous laser ablation (EVLA) by Dr Lee since 2010 showed 50 per cent of patients were housewives while another 50 per cent were from occupations that require standing or sitting for long periods of time.
Most patients were 50 to 60 years of age with a majority being women. The most common symptoms include heaviness and muscle cramps followed by tiredness, eczema, aching, burning, swelling and leg ulcers.
The Health, Beauty and Wellness Fair also features promotions for aesthetic treatments offered by Dr Lee, comprising non-invasive facial rejuvenation and other treatments on beauty and health, available in various packages.
Clinical information is available on the campaign website, www.veinmalaysia.com, for patients and the public. Interested parties can contact Merry at 0168245224 for more details and registration.